Odious and Peculiar
Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.
O&P's Current Pick:
Friday, February 08, 2008
And continuing the theme of surreal personality cults, good God, look at this: public architecture in Turkmenistan. I'd heard repeatedly of the golden statue of the late leader Turkmenbashi which rotates in a 24-hour cycle always to face the sun, but it's something to see the photos. The Wikipedia article cites some altogether remarkable presidential decrees (remember, this happened within the living memory of today's children):
ballet and opera were banned after Niyazov felt they were "unnecessary ... not a part of Turkmen culture"In fact, the President-for-Life renamed all the months and days of the week. Turkmenbashi also wrote the Ruhnama, which purports to be a national epic for the Turkmen people. History will judge; I will merely note that T-shirts appear to be available (though what's up with the Romanov eagle?).
Is this how types such as Galba and Otho would have behaved had they come to power in 1991? Was the Turkmenbashi in fact ahead of his time?
To end on a brighter note, Turkmen music is damn good.
Update: Ethnocynologist Steve Bodio reminds me that the Turkmens also have damn good dogs and horses. Well, they're Central Asians, so I take those accomplishments for granted. Always nice to ponder on them, though.
And still more, this time strictly Turkmen.