Good news & bad news

Thursday, May 05, 2011
Arkadag gets his hand smooched
First the good news. I've complained a few times that the former dentist, and current President for Life of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has too long of a name. For some time I've wished he had a shorter and snappier nickname like his predecessor the Turkmanbashi

Much to my embarrassment I discovered that he had been awarded a nickname during a military parade in October of last year. His new nickname is Arkadag, which means the Protector. 

Now the bad news. In doing research for my moribund Free Ma-Ro blog campaign, I've discovered that The Askabag has declared a New Renaissance in the art, literature and music of  Turkmenistan. As an example, this decree probably explains why, if you're a painter, you really, really want to paint horses.

Having apparently demolished the visual arts, Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Culture, Television and Radio Broadcasting has stated that all songs should now be orientated towards promoting the New Renaissance epoch. Of course, it goes without saying, the best way to do that is to sing the praises of the Arkadag.

The Askadag and the Turkmenbashi
As the Chronicals of Turkmenistan report in their article Patriotic repertoire for restaurants and cafes, this even goes so far as dictating to dining extablishments that that are "responsible for the content of the songs, performed during staff parties, weddings and other festivities which are held at their venues." In other words, it's now all Askadag praise, all the time. 

As one of the case owners sarcastically said, “I am afraid that according to the next instruction we will be forced to have two menus. One would have names of dishes whereas the other - the names of the songs devoted to the President!"

The Turkmenbashi was certainly an enormous lunatic and he'll be hard to top, but, sadly for the citizens of Turkmenistan, it looks like the Askadag is willing to give it the old college try.