Books · Expatria · Istanbul · Politics · United Nations

yesterday the devil appeared here, and it still smells of sulfur

kudos to the venezuelan president for his recent speech at the UN, where he aptly referred to george dubya as the devil and noted that the smell of sulfur remained even 24 hours after the idiot president stood at the same UN podium. kudos because most of us with half a brain can smell the sulfur wherever we may be in the world, and kudos that someone in a position of power finally said something. criticism has been made for the un-diplomatic speech in the UN, known as the hub of diplomacy. to the critics i would say that the UN may be the home of diplomacy, but it is a political and poisoned diplomacy, whereby The Haves bribe the Have Nots away from telling the truth through carefully crafted economic plans and the overlooking of human rights violations. thus, they can take their talk of diplomacy and shove it where the sun don’t shine until it makes a diamond. diplomacy is dead, the UN is dying, and the world is run by an evangelical jihadist by the name of George W. Bush. three cheers for the truth-tellers of the world. Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

i was disturbed to hear about the military coup in thailand, especially since i have a dear friend working there at the moment, but oddly enough it has been peaceful and seems to be for the best. there are so few coups that are not violent and horrific that maybe this is the first one i have heard of that may in fact bring the country forward. of course, the situation on the ground may be completely different…

although i have not been doing much here in istanbul in terms of adventuring around town (especially since i discovered the hard way that food i thought was safe in restaurants is in fact made with bread and sugar, even though i was told otherwise and have since been suffering the consequences of wretched food allergies), i have a job as an editor for UNICEF reports! this is extremely interesting work as not only do i get to do something that i am really good at and work from home in my pyjamas if i am so inclined, i am learning all kinds of things about the situation of women and children in turkey. for example, 1 in every 4 girls aged 19 are pregnant! wow. and there are no official statistics to how many people in turkey are infected with HIV/AIDS…among many other frightening and interesting things. i really like this kind of work, i feel very useful and i am learning so much. i hope it leads to more work of its kind and maybe more hands-on report writing for UNICEF.

aside from the crazy developments in the world and my working life, i just read the most incredible book i have read in years. it is called ‘Peyton Place’ and was extremely scandalous and controversial when it came out in the 1950s. in fact, i think if the book were to come out today it would be considered controversial. it covers all of the dark and dirty secrets of american small town life, including incest, alcoholism and the physical and emotional violence inflicted by the denizens of a small new england town upon each other. from the first page of the book, i was completely immersed in the hearts and minds of the characters and taken on what began as an amusing journey to some grotesque places. i am amazed the book was published at all as it came out during the mccarthy era of censorship and fear in the USA, and they even made a film of it. though i am sure the film left out most of the juicy details that grace metalious so cunningly included in her story. i always wanted to read this book, ever since i saw mrs. flax reading it in the bathtub in the movie ‘mermaids’ and ended up finding a 1963 copy of it in a used bookshop on the other side of the bosphorus in kadikoy. in an odd turn of synchronicity, 1963 was the year President Kennedy was assinated in dallas and was one of the turning points in american history, not to mention in the film ‘mermaids,’ and is an event that i have had a personal obsession with since i was about 10 years old. i feel like that particular copy of the book found itself to me after so many years of dreaming to read it (and the fact that my mother would not tell me what it was about nor allow me to read it, even though she never had a problem with me reading stephen king…go figure) in istanbul of all places. i highly recommend it, it has not dated one bit and i think anyone would find it relevant as much today as it was then. as relevant and as shocking.

before i close i would like to welcome lovely linda to my reader’s list: welcome, welcome, darling! it is a great feeling to know that these silly things are being read and that my constant readers are expanding. three cheers for all of you! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

until next time, then, i hope this finds you smiling!


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