Category: Serious

Two days have passed since the ban on Youtube. With a friend’s notice, I realized that I cannot view Youtube with my current modified DNS settings (ie, other than Turkish Telecom ones).

I tried to ping www.youtube.com but it all timed out. I tried Netvibes‘ Youtube search and it worked. Using proxies to reach Youtube works as well.

News at PcLabs (in Turkish) shows that the ban is no longer DNS-based – but IP based.

So, apparently; leaving Turkey, using a proxy or reaching Youtube from http://youturke.com/ are the only options for now.


Youtube banned in TurkeyYes, once again. It was first banned around a year ago, on March 7, 2007 – which was lifted two days later.

This is again a DNS-based ban, so it is no big deal to pass the ban. But, as you know, that’s not the point. WordPress.com is still banned, and probably this new ban on Youtube will get nice mainstream press coverage, so it will be lifted again.

<sarcasm>But you know, we should do better. I personally want a Turkish version of The Great Firewall of China. I want a new Turkish Google that pre-filters search results for me. Who would want to google the word ‘****’ anyway?</sarcasm>

Ah, and Turkish Telecom is probably happy now: a lot less bandwidth use, more profit and less users whining about the slow internet.

EDIT: Check out this post for latest news.


A player on World of Warcraft is experimenting with the game by leveling characters, who don’t kill. He doesn’t kill anything in either PvE and PvP – doing quests that doesn’t involve any killing and only distracting opponent players by “stunning” them or throwing bombs so they cannot pick up the flags in Warsong Gulch. He’s trying to level both a priest and a rogue this way. His characters doesn’t wear any weapon. Read the excerpt from the interview below.

Noor the Pacifist

For his priest character, he says:

I started him from a roleplaying point of view, based very loosely on a real German priest, Franz Reinisch, who refused to serve in Hitler’s army and was executed. My undead priest’s back story is basically the same, and he still refuses to kill.

Show us your kung fu: what’s the actual nuts-and-bolts reality of this character? Both my priest and my rogue try not to hit anything, although there’s always a chance of a misclick when trying to open a quest item with mobs fighting near it. Both of them always wield a fishing rod, so any accidental hits won’t increase their weapon skills. Neither of them will do quests where they have to kill things. In battlegrounds, my rogue will throw bombs to interrupt flag captures and stun people and may even accidentally kill players low in health or nearby critters. My priest only heals, so he is actually closer in roleplaying terms. Neither will “get around” these limits by grouping and having other players do their dirty work.

In terms of bragging rights, I intend to keep my rogue’s weapon skills (dagger, thrown and unarmed) at all 1s. My priest will also have all 1s, but it won’t be obvious on WoW Armory that he has no offensive spells beyond the level 1 Smite all priests start with.

Read the rest of the interview at WoW Insider.


Pinky and the Brain

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Psychosomatic thingy is not the reflection or representation of mind in the body. It is the protest. It is the silent scream or passive resistance of the body. Or I better not say passive resistance – it is when the body becomes passive aggressive. It is when you laugh with anger when people think you are physically sick.

It is the convergence of your body and mind. It is having orgasmic pleasure with all of your body as much as crying as a whole with it. It is preferring to shut up and being able to appreciate silence. It is being able to appreciate and bear things that others can’t. It is difference but not différance. It is deferring only when something bothers you so you can converge your body and mind even more.

It is how you expel yourself each time you throw up.

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To be honest, I could not think of a better title for this post. Yesterday, I have found this group named Clitrock at last.fm, and I got very interested in the idea and the word itself. Before I move onto this clitrock thing, let me try to give some rough information about women and feminist activism music in general, which is not necessarily correct as I am a man and was never part of it (why am I writing about this anyway?).

The movement riot grrl starts within punk (anarcho-punk) and DIY subculture (fanzines, self-financed demo tapes, etc) in late ’80s when women started to make music with lyrics about women’s power, individualism (and all the other opposites of what the male culture exposed onto women) as well as reactions to sexual abuse, etc. You can find better and more organized information at Wikipedia entries on riot grrl and girl power.

Barb WireHowever, this radical movement had to be neutralized (or neutered?) and it also had to be commercialized. Barbie is probably the best example to this though it was release in early ’70s. Barbie represents the new post-babyboom generation and asserts them to consume (think of all the toys you need to buy in order to complete your set) to become individuals (i.e. free). This is similar in Turkish pop singer Nil Karaibrahimgil’s song titled “Pirlanta” (Diamond). She says “tek asimi kendim aldim” (~ “I bought my diamond all by myself/with my own money”) where freedom of women is associated with consumerism. You can watch/listen the song here. Also notice the military march-like bits in the music, which is not arbitrary of course but it’s linked to the power and freedom associated with military (military and freedom make an oxymoron when used together, but you get the idea).

Lara CroftWe can extend the list to this: G.I. Jane, Wonder Woman, Lara Croft, Heavy Metal, Witchblade, Spice Girls (I remember feeling this very notion of female independence as an early teenager when they first appared) or the movie Barb Wire featuring an oversexualized Pamela Anderson.

What the title of this post, which I have postponed until now, connotes is beyond this commercialized and neutered representation of women. Clitrock, as you might already notice is a mixture of the words clitoris and rock. I used the word neutered on purpose to suggest the removal of feminine identity epitomized in women’s genitals in popular culture. Feminist theoreticians such as Kristeva, Irigaray, Cixous said a lot on this from the point of view of psychoanalysis, which I am not going to repeat in detail. But to give an idea; according to them (which makes sense and I believe in this as well), the female body has been represented in writings (Plato’s Cave), and all those visual/filmic representations omit the female genitals because female sexuality is repressed and female genitals disturb the very idea of patriarchy (related to Kristeva’s notion of abjection).

Moving back to this clitrock word: The word reasserts the women genitalia without any further negotiation with mainstream ideology. It is related to what these feminist theoreticians wanted to establish: A way of feminine expression from the female body herself – both a sexual and a textual (textual because they were writing in relation to literature/writing) expression – a sextual one in Cixous’ words. Expression from the female body – with vaginal liquids, menstrual blood, the milk – and everything else the symbolic order -which is male- would feel disturbed.

But as with anything else, as I said concerning post-commercialization/neutering of grrl power era, the word clitrock had to be represented from the male perspective again. As I first saw this on a last.fm group as I said, I googled the word to see if it is commonly used. Apart from a few places it was used (which are mostly blog comments or forum posts) all Google search results linked to this last.fm group.

Two entries from urbandictionary.com is “music for lesbians that like to rawk. See Melissa Etheridge” and “A rock band with a female lead singer.” It’s not hard to notice the aggression in the first entry, and the other is simply naive.

Or check out this comment to a Myspace blog post:

The Black Cat has a downstairs bar with pool table where the performers can mix with the patrons; upstairs is an open room with two bars flanking the floor. The stage is (perhaps) three feet off the ground. When I saw a clitrock band there, the sweat from the crazy-ass bassist exhibited a sheen reminiscent of an autumnal fog. The steam rising from her breasts as she bent back under the limelight, corded hands and arms thrumming…

YES.

Play the Black Cat!

Not hard to notice how what the word clitrock connotes is eroticized: “some hot chicks playing on the stage.”


Buttons 1Sascha Pohflepp is a British designer, artist and an MA student. Just found this amazing project by him. This is one of the two thesis projects made by him called Buttons. I want to quote directly from him as he’s explaining this wonderfully:

Between Blinks & Buttons is a twofold thesis project about the camera as a networked object. Through making their photos public on the internet, individuals create traces of themselves. In addition to their value as a memory, each image contains a multitude of information about the context of its creation. Through this metainformation, every image is linked to the precise moment in time when it was taken, making it possible to see what happened simultaneously in the world at that instant. This work tries to focus the user’s imagination on that other, to create narratives that run between one’s own memory and a stranger’s moment which happened to coincide in time. (Quoted from)

And also:

Buttons takes on this notion of the camera as a networked object. It is a camera that will capture a moment at the press of a button. However, unlike a conventional analog or digital camera, this one doesn’t have any optical parts. It allows you to capture your moment but in doing so, it effectively seperates it from the subject. Instead, as you will memorize the moment, the camera memorizes only the time and starts to continuously search on the net for other photos that have been taken in the very same moment.

Essentially, it is a camera that – using a mobile communication device – takes other’s photos. Photos that were created by someone who pressed a button somewhere at the same time as its own button was pressed. Even more so, it reduces the cameras to their networked buttons in order to create a link between two individuals. (Quoted from)

Buttons 2In short, when you hit the button on this lensless camera, it fetches a photo taken at the same time the button is hit from Flickr – that is, when a photo becomes available on Flickr: “After a few minutes or hours, depending on how soon someone else shares their photo on the web, an image will appear on the screen.”

What a great idea and what a great project! The camera and the social networking redefined.


I am often asked why I am a vegetarian as this is rare in a country like Turkey. And I greatly dislike answering these as the questions that follow are usually stupid and often include mockery. However, I somehow (academic procrastination?) felt the neccessity to discuss certain aspects of vegetarianism:

First of all and actually most importantly, vegetarianism is not simply a choice of diet. It’s a political and ethical attitude. It’s standing for ‘life.’ In other words, while there are also vegetarians out there, who do not eat animal bodies for the sole reason that they find it disgusting, there are also people who refuse to eat animals because it has other connotations. This can vary from person to person, but the main idea is, eating meat (or animals in general) justifies and normalizes murder, the sight of blood. Remember sacrificing animals as part of religious ritual in Islam and how little kids see this as a glorification – with animal blood on their foreheads.

Again, vegetarianism is standing for ‘life.’ The world has gone crazy about lowering the amount of water used, at least Turkey did because there is water scarcity. Have you ever considered the amount of water to make say a baby cow to grow up enough to be slaughtered compared to the amount of meat/nutrition you get from the cow (not including the cereals used to feed it). Before you even say “they are going to die anyway.” Well, we are talking about animals that are produced to be slaugthered at a certain age – that is animal overproduction (what a disgusting word to use here) farms. In short, with that amount of water and cereals wasted, you would not need an initiative like Live 8, where people think they are doing something useful and have their conscience comfortable. Anyway, there are a lot of statistics about these: like, 80% of agricultural fields are used to feed animals. And that amount of space could be used to produce more vegetables, fruits, cereals, etc. More information is available in Turkish here.

Secondly, being a vegetarian is being the Other. There are no words in use that I know of to refer to those normal people who eat meat (unlike the word heterosexual to refer to the same situation in terms of sexual orientation – but then, vegetarians don’t experience social pressure other than the limited number of foods to choose from outside home). That is, I am marginalized when I say I am a vegetarian, as those meat eaters do not use a word to describe themselves – they do not have the need to do so anyway. So, this is another point to reinforce non-vegetarianism.

And thirdly… The situation is similar in Got Milk? campaign, where milk/dairy producers started an immense promotion of milk consumption saying that it’s healthy and needed to drink milk. Similar to this, we have the myth of the healthy meat, which continously tells you to eat meat and otherwise you’ll have certain deficiencies – with ads speaking, doctors commanding, etc.

And so on…


CybercultureHad this thing in my mind for a while. The title of this post sounds too wide and generic. And the word cyberculture is a lot more than cyberculture jargon or how technology shapes and (re)creates a new (form of) culture. Anyway, however, the sole reason I’m posting this is a quote from a Youtube user’s comment on some video. Unless you are not familiar with internet slang, what that user was doing is trolling. Troll(ing) is, to steal from Wikipedia: “An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who intentionally posts controversial or contrary messages in an on-line community such as an on-line discussion forum with the intention of baiting users into an argumentative response.” Anyway, this Youtube user says:

This is Internet Wonderland. You can say whatever you want about anything even if you don’t make an idea about what you are talking about.

When it comes to Internet, the phrase freedom of speech has more connotations than it does in real life. Let’s think it this way first: Suppose you were to read this post in a book. You had no chance to reply me here. But now, thanks to the internet and interactivity, you can post a reply and say whatever you want (does not mean there’s no censorship on my part tho:) Anyway, this might sound trivial, but the thing is, the fact that you can reply to posts [whether on (video/photo)blogs, portals, forums, etc] is also related to what Roland Barthes calls the death of the author: We no longer have the authorial power that puts a distance between him/herself. Now, everyone’s an author (or, author is an ugly word: rather blogger, forum user, commentator, etc). We can now respond to someone else in seconds after we see the post, we can disagree, flame the poster and so on. Also, on forums, there is no hierarchy of a thread. The most recent post gets to the top, or a recent reply bumps the post to the top. If it’s old, it’s usually only accessable through search (engines). So, on the internet, it doesn’t really matter if you are Lacan or Alper (that’s me!).

Similar with search engines… I don’t know if they changed it yet as it has been criticized because it was a hierarchical way to do so (or even canonical, maybe), but Google (I don’t know how other search engines work) uses Pagerank, which prioritizes the pages that have more links from other pages to show up before all others in search queries. In other words, your little personal homepage does not have a chance against a huge portal. Compare this idea with small newspapers/magazines and big media companies. Another thing is, you can easily (if you got the money) exploit this Pagerank system by paying companies to increase your Pagerank, and boom, your page is at the top with certain keywords. So, it’s seen undemocratic (democracy is overrated anyway).


İngilizceyi çok seviyorum. Nedenim ise öncelikli olarak şu: bir şeyleri ifade etmek daha kolay geliyor çoğu zaman. Anadil illaki güzeldir. Ama İngilizce’deki minimum sözcükle çok şey anlatma işini çok seviyorum. Aslında vereceğim örneğin ve bu yazıyı yazma nedenimin dil ekonomisiyle ilgisi de yok. Bu yazılar da sadece konuya girmek için bahane.

Rocket science! Ne kadar çok şey anlatıyor bu sözcük öbeği… Wtf? diyenler olacaktır. Ben de derim ki; ffs! rocket science ftl!

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mumblings on life, literature, computers, media, whining, university life, movies, poetry, music, internet, procrastination, technology, media, horror, gender, blogging, concerts, film studies, wordpress, sexuality, vegetarianism, ideology, i greatly dislike sugar in my coffee, and all other unnecessary crap you would otherwise ignore.