The moment of alternative truth

The moment of alternative truth

Nazlan Ertan -
The moment of alternative truth “Everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise,” said the dysfunctional heroine of Margaret Atwood in “Cat’s Eye,” capturing my sentiments in the last one week of strong statements. In this post/alternative/non-truth world where opinions shape facts rather than the other way around, here are my politically incorrect alternative facts against Oscars, women’s power, “no” campaigns, international relations and Istanbul dreams:

1. Didn’t you just hate “La La Land?” It may actually be the only musical I have not liked since the age of 10, and my tastes are hardly high-brow. How the film, which is some form of musical nostalgia for people who never watched enough musicals to be nostalgic, was nominated for 14 Oscars is beyond my imagination.

2. “Jackie” sucks, too. The only good bit was the last 15 minutes, when Jackie Kennedy pushed her own headline (and the legacy) to the anonymous/hapless journalist by comparing the JFK time to “one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.” Again, I fail to understand why most critics are singing the praises of the film by Chilean director Pablo Lorrain, unless it is also some sort of nostalgia for Arthurian optimism.

3. Are you also fed up with the powder-pink, rose-scented slogans around the theme “if only women ruled the world” by people who post and repost the Women’s March against Donald Trump? By all means, let us fight against injustice, gender discrimination and whatnot and do it with creativity and intelligence, but a Gezi-style public movement initiated by women at home and abroad seems like pure utopia to me… or literary affectation by those who read “Lysistrata” in high school. I might have been more positive on the whole thing had I not seen the women’s brawl in our parliament and the video of the elementary school student who told the CNN Türk camera that she wanted to be president and “bring back capital punishment” when she grows up.

4. The lovely blond ladies who lunch in the chic cafes of Alsancak, İzmir, and support the Republican Peoples’ Party’s (CHP) “no” campaign through videos posted on the internet must have had too many glasses of wine if they think they will swing the vote of anyone. Admittedly, I had one too many myself when I burst out at one of them, predicting that we would see an unaccountable increase in “yes” votes if they ever went to the poorer districts with their posh accents, huge solitaire rings and Moncler windbreakers. Particularly if they talk down to their counterparts in chirpy but didactic tones in a monologue that starts with “It is a single great leader, Atatürk, who gave us all our rights. There’s no way we are going to let this republic turn into a one-man regime!” More so if they make flattering references to “those idiots who have been selling their votes for a bag of coal for the last decade.” This goes for men in the same cafes, too.

5. It always strikes me as odd that the people who would not trust Justice and Development Party (AKP) politicians with the time of day manage to fall into line with them when it comes to conspiracy theories. My favorite conspiracy theory flows along the following lines: The British, always the dark-minded strategists with their greedy gaze fixed on the Middle East, persuaded the oil-hungry Americans to change the borders of the Middle East to create a Kurdish state – “all the better to control resources.” Mossad took it from there and, in order to create instability in the region, created ISIS, whose initials actually mean Israeli Secret Service.

 These are the forces behind terrorism in our country. I am in deep admiration of U.K. Ambassador Richard Moore, a prolific social media user, who is never too tired/disheartened/busy to reply to the Twitter accusations that “İnkilizler” (the Brits) are behind it all.

6. The white-collar professionals who tell the İzmirians that they would love to come and settle in İzmir are lying through their teeth. What they mean is that they’d love to do it in case of retirement or redundancy – and even that is doubtful. A friend of mine who buried his redundancy package in a building and is running a boutique hotel in a sweet little resort here says he is looking for “another Istanbul idiot with a dream” so he can sell the hotel. So far, he hasn’t found one.

So yes, here is my alternative truth – do write and tell me your own. Or rather, don’t. Let’s just read Margaret Atwood or George Orwell – it seems that the sales of “1984” has gone up after the christening of the new political term “alternative facts.”