Sorry, but do you even speak the language?

I had this exchange with a Western European (I think he is British, but could be some other Western European country as well, or indeed the USA, Canada...  it happened in SL where nationalities are very hard to discern) who told me things about Turkey. Very self assured. Very sure in what he knew. Self-evident truths for him. Not the slightest hesitation. He knew. 

Well, let me sum it up: According to this person one should not confuse malice with incompetence. So what had happened in Western countries during the whole "outbreak" fiasco was incompetence, whereas what had happened here in Turkey (he also added Brazil and İndia as examples btw) had happened out of malice

Incompetence? Wow! Really? I have this long page on my website which is a documentation of the past year. He may just benefit from reading what's there and also he may want to watch all those evidentiary videos I have put there. Only 25 on the page itself. Hundreds more are on external drives here. Got to be so many in fact that at some point I stopped collecting them. I started compiling that page last June. Almost a year ago. I still keep adding to it because nothing has changed at all. Only gotten worse, if anything. 

So, only incompetence, huh?


Now onto malice: We have had considerably less deaths per capita here than in most Western countries. Why? We don't have nursing homes in this country. That's why. It is not part of the culture. Old people live with their families. The health system never closed down to non-covid patients. Not even for a day. No one has had to wait for their chemotherapies or their heart surgeries or even their regular checkups. And also... But wait! Wait! What am I even doing giving long winded explanations here?

Here's what to ask instead - how does he know that exactly? About the malice?

Does he know Turkish? Enough to read the Turkish newspapers? Hang out on Turkish social media? Watch Turkish TV? Seek out independent Turkish platforms online? Scrounge around in Turkish databases? Look at official Turkish stats? Unofficial Turkish stats? Does he know where Turkish dissidents hang out? Has he spoken to any of them - in their own language (since most will not be likely to know his)? 

So - where does this smug knowledge come from? Same for Brazil, same for India, of course. The BBC? The Guardian? Or some counterpart thereof? Oh dear... My advice would be to put the words "Obsculta" and "BBC" into the search bar. Here's what will probably come up - although it might not any longer, google may well be blocking that search nowadays. So, let me put it in here just in case:

This huge relief is on the wall of the BBC headquarters in London. Been there since 1933. Do you see what is written across the book pages that the angel is holding? "Obsculta." And what does Obsculta mean? It means "Listen and Obey." 

They are telling us... They have always told us.

All of which finally brings me to the title of this post: You cannot know even the first things about anywhere unless you know the language and find out for yourself. No ""trusted sources", in other words. What you think you know through them, where other lands are concerned - that is, at best, just hearsay. At best that, and more likely to be stuff that goes under a far less innocent rubric. Starts with a "P"... 

Does this make me smug now? What I said about the necessity for knowing their languages when it comes to having even the slightest inkling as to what is really going on in "other" places in the world? Well yes, I'm afraid it does a bit. Because you see, I am trilingual. German, Turkish, English. Equally. So yes, I can say I know some things about the countries where these languages are spoken. I can follow them in their own languages and I do. It isn't hearsay. I hear what they say with my own ears. No one has to translate for me. 

I can't say I know anything about Brazil or India. But I can say I know something about what is going on in Germany and in the UK right now - and I have not been elucidated from just watching the BBC or die Deutsche Welle either, I have all sorts of resources that I regularly follow and then I keep on digging further from those until I find the primary sources. Didn't do that PhD for nothing after all. I can do research. And what I find ain't good at all. 

Because that is the ultimate irony you see. What this person obviously doesn't know is this: The citizens of countries like Turkey, countries that are a bit more "peripheral", a bit more "unimportant" - right now they aren't feeling the jackboot on their necks quite as much as the citizens of the "important" countries are. Those have to be brought to heel first. Their citizens have to be depleted of their rights and their properties first. And boy, are they ever... It breaks my heart to watch what is happening in Germany. School children being force tested - that is probably the worst. Judges being harangued for decisions they took that the State didn't like. No one even knows the scale of the devastation to the small shops and enterprises. One estimate is one million closures. Police brutality. Really bad police brutality actually. 

But am I going to get smug about this now? Like this guy did with me last night? Because it isn't quite so bad here, yet? Of course not. The jackboot is universal. There are no longer separate countries. For "the cats" it makes no difference. They are merely working from the center outward. Very methodically. That is all it is. Our turn will come very soon. In fact it has already come. The past couple of months things have been getting tighter here as well. First full lockdown here now. All small shops are closed for 2 weeks. Started last week. And this is the first time that that has happened here. So, obviously we are due for our comeuppance as well now. How could it be any different?

This exchange last night - it wasn't good. Not because of what he said about my country. Jeez - I have heard worse. It wasn't good because unfortunately it is yet another indicator of how bad the situation is. Of how far the fat lady is from singing. As long as there are people in the world who can still make classifications such as "good countries / bad countries", even at this horrifying juncture, there is no way that she can, can she? From Canada to Kenya, from Chile to Malaysia. It is one big clamp down that knows no nations, no cultures, no nothing. If people can't see even that?

If all people everywhere still cannot see that their fate is now identical and totally intertwined to all people elsewhere in the World, what hope can there ever be? Unless they stop it with all this deluded conceit? All this misplaced smugness. Step off of their lofty little perches? 1st World, 2nd World, 3rd World - all the same World now. Which I don't see them acknowledging any time soon, unfortunately. 

There isn't any hope. Already knew that of course. Just another sad little validation. 

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