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December 03, 2016

Thread below the Gardening Thread: Cuba, Turkey and Art? [KT]

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

Well, Fidel Castro is dead, but not yet forgotten. I only saw one positive take on Castro in my Facebook feed. It was from the husband of my Swiss friend. He's a great guy. From Turkey. Sells insurance, lives in Switzerland and travels internationally quite a bit. Converted to Christianity. Lead singer for a little amateur oldies band.

His post was in Turkish, included a nice photo of Castro and made some comparisons between Castro and Ataturk. I didn't understand most of it because Facebook's translations from Turkish to English are pretty bad. But it was a good reminder that much of Castro's appeal (especially in Europe) is romantic. This compilation of Castro quotes includes some I would classify as romantic. Oh, boy. I also ran across this Castro timeline if anybody can use it to give more meaning to some of the quotes.

My friend also included a quote attributed to Ataturk:

A nation devoid of art and artists
cannot have a full existence.

I don't have much of a feeling for what the artistic scene in Turkey is like, though I have a relative who used to broker sales of rugs from Turkey. Anybody know something about contemporary Turkish art? Insty wonders if the passing of Fidel Castro will mean fewer beatings and arrests of young Cuban artists.

I guess Castro got some credit in the eyes of my friend for allowing Cuban music to survive. And cigars. I think there was a positive take on socialism in there, too. Just in case, I commented that socialism always seems to work better in theory than in practice, and linked an accessible list of those 13 facts about Fidel Castro. Got a "like". My friend is not too far gone.

Some of his Turkish commenters were understandably quite concerned about current developments in Turkey. They need to be careful what they say on Facebook. They mostly seem to like Ataturk better than Erdogan. They don't seem quite as reticent as right after this summer's coup attempt in Turkey. Apparently, there was a government-approved revivial of Ataturk's image a few months ago.

One similarity between Ataturk and Castro is that they both gave long speeches. REALLY long speeches.

I think I would prefer something from a non-political artist. There are many forms of Cuban dance to choose from. Salsa has its roots in Mambo and Cha-Cha.

Here's a Cha-Cha now. Beep beep. Bang Bang.

Have a great weekend.

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posted by Open Blogger at 12:21 PM

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