Friday, 16 May 2014

Turkish PM visits mine disaster site, goes whack

The powerful, like the rich, are not like you and me. It’s doesn’t take long for a person with a retinue of hangers-on, greedy ass-kissers, and the sort of ruthless managers and operators that cling to the guys in charge like cheap Velcro to turn a boss or pol or public figure into a cliché of clueless obnoxiousness. The examples are too legion to begin to mention, but I remember a perfectly normal middle-class activist in Chile telling anyone who would listen about what she called the “Altitude Virus” that beset her when she became a congressional deputy. She even wrote a short book with that title (El virus de altura, by Laura Rodríguez of the Humanist Party, sadly felled by brain cancer in her 30s not long after taking office).

Rodríguez said the constant hubbub, the polite masses hanging on one’s words (as if they had a choice not to) and the adrenalin-fueled days full of phone calls, meetings, hallway confabs, rushed meals, the whole environment of power and importance, quickly convinced an otherwise normal person that they were some rockin', rollin' shit. She said it took about six months.

I recalled those comments this week when reading about Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan [above] who clearly has lost his marbles. What head of a country that has just had the worst mining accident in decades goes to the grieving village where half the men were just asphyxiated underground and gives them a history lesson about mining disasters in the U.K. in the 1800s? What giant bozo thinks that because his friends and backers have a ton of money and have to make it by ripping out worker safety precautions that the villagers who can barely get their breath are going to put up with statements like,”These are usual things”? The guy has real je ne sais quois, no?

Not content with that performance, Erdogan proceeded to respond to a heckler in the grocery store where he had to run away from his constituents for safety, like this, according to an eyewitness cited by the Haberinyeri website:

When inside the store, I saw the Prime Minister in an aisle next to a young girl who looked around 15 or 16 years old. Then I heard her cry and scream “What is my dad’s murderer doing here?” Right after that I saw the Prime Minister grabbing her and placing her head under his arm. He started to hit her face repeatedly. She kept saying “Please stop.” I have never seen anything like this in my life. I was aghast with shock. How can a Prime Minister do something like this? My father was also with me. I could not get over what I saw since yesterday. As I'm telling you this, I am still shaking and very scared. I'm afraid that something could happen to me or my fiancee because of what I witnessed.

I guess when you’re riding high and heading for your fourth term in office as the embodiment of the Nation and True Religion, little things like the deaths of 300 poor slobs out in the countryside somewhere doesn’t register as important.

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