Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Blog Roundup where I confirm all of my preconceived biases

Nothing new happening these days. Just plotting my casual takeover of the Istanbul scene, stuff like that. A trip to the Philippines (uncomfortably PoCo, if real, real, beautiful) for a bit. Work for a bit more. I'd hate to say that I've stopped doing interesting things, but it certainly seems that way.

That said, be sure to read my discussion of Turkish moustaches. And hopefully some of the things I'm talking about here will make their way into fuller-length pieces, but I need to get a few things settled first. Unfortunately that's been the theme of the summer so far. Thus the more navel-gazing and less analysis.

That said, here's what's going on while Turkey confuses itself for the Ciller years of the '90s.
  • Obama breaks out the speechin' stick. Zaman breaks out the Hagiography Camera. Fun ensues.
  • Joshua Foust over at (my techinically-still-affiliated-with) Registan shows what's up with corruption in Central Asia. Both Afghanistan and some decades-old Kazakhstan ish. And no way to blame Karzai or Nazarbayev for this, these sort of things are straight out of USAID and DOJ. So yeah, kind of an awkward chink in the armor for us blue passporters. And I received a random e-mail from the author about this article, because seriously folks: there is no rising tide of Islamism of the scary variety in Central Asia. So cool your jets, thy non-experts. I trust de Cordier more than you.
  • Also, the Tajik government goes dada, decides no praying on mosque. Next up: one can only wear shoes when not walking, can only take showers while clothed. Considering that I always shrug my shoulders when it comes to Tajikistan, leaving the Parsiphone country in far abler hands, that's about the extent of the analysis I can offer.
  • Linked to me from a real-life friend, okcupid has some of the most fascinating stats out there, though not related to CA, energy, or anything else...you'll still like them, I promise.
  • As I am now cruising my way through this guy's work, I'm getting more than a lil' nostalgic for the homeland. And after some brief wikipediaing, I've decided that I will, at some point, live along this road. Preferably in this most American of towns, beside this most American of dams.
  • And finally, along the lines of my self-righteous screed earlier this week, here's all these conflicted whitefolk complaining about how to discuss travel. Followed up with this screechingly awful bit on White Privilege straight out of Hipster Runoff.
Is it significant to you at all that you can choose to think about this or not to think about it and it will not necessarily have an effect on your life?
Can you continue to ignore race politics and theory without having it bother you one way or another?
Is that significant?

Yeah, I'm kind of done with Matador. In fact, I think I'm done with any sort of travel discussion. I'll try to stick to my academic forte from hereon out. The next post will be my first, I realize, but I need to get back on point here in order to get the real life stuff figured out as well.

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