authority vs. creativity

  • June 9th, 2013

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    One of the many things that has been remarkable about this uprising is its ability to unite people from different backgrounds, interests and needs. The aspect that seems to run across the board and unite them too is the humour and creativity that they use in order to rise up and fight back. It’s probably not what’s said about the Prime Minister that really gets to him, but the fact that despite being tear-gassed and water-cannoned, many still won’t take him seriously. His victims find new ways to celebrate and laugh, to take the sting out of his vindictive anger and then share it across the internet. True creativity depends upon finding new ways to express a universal truth. While the story presented may or may not be factually accurate, a successful joke or story gives us a new way to connect with people by allowing us to feel the storyteller in a way that seems genuine. While Mr. Erdogan and his camp get very ‘creative’ with the facts of this uprising, he spouts such obvious untruths — involving Jewish conspiracies and foreign agents, for starters — that he simply makes himself look all the more ridiculous. Everything from his descriptions of the people involved in the uprising, that they are çapulcu (bums/louts/pillagers) to the number of trees he’s planted while in office, and his ideas on democracy, creates more weapons that backfire on him and further damage his credibility. Everyday dozens of new songs, new pop-culture references (in Turkish, English and a variety of other languages) as well as performances and jokes are staged at the Prime Minister’s expense. The only person who certainly can’t be laughing or getting in on the fun is the Prime Minister. While he remains angry and defiant, the protestors stay good natured and friendly. While Erdogan insults them and their aims with stern warnings and grave disdain, they roll about on the grass laughing, finding new ways to channel the facts of their oppression into different forms of expression that resonate with the one thing he lacks: truth. Perhaps if Mr Erdogan understood the importance of creativity and fun, especially among the young, he wouldn’t have lost so many hearts in the first place.

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