Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Grief & Logic: "We're all Hrant Dink."

Today, Turkish mourners crowd the streets of Istanbul. The goddess of free speech—resting on her leisure sofa in the sky—can hear the plangent sound of the Armenian duduk. The duduk is a clarinet-like instrument made of apricot wood that is known for having once brought tears to the eyes of Soviet composers. In Armenia there is a dance that only men are allowed to do, called the Dance of Tamir Agha. But today Riva Djinn is throwing caution to the wind. She is doing the Men-only dance by herself, in the privacy of her own home. She is wishing, hoping, yearning, and aching for peace to be with the soul of Hrant Dink who was taken too soon from his loved ones and from this world. What kind of nation sees a 17-year-old shoot down a respected journalist for telling it like it was, asserting that Turks did kill Armenians at the turn of the last century?

Riva overhears a conversation on Public Radio International. An interviewer is questioning a woman who translates the work of Turkish authors into English. Their conversation goes something like this: What do you make of this man’s killing? Heart-breaking. What do you make of the visible turnout to the funeral? Heartening. Will this event bring about change for the better? It’s possible.

Riva dances on while more sad news comes in. What else can an urban hermit do when she is over-educated, out of work, but trying to refine her joie de vivre in the City of Logic and Reason? (Not to mention she is still challenged by the fact that she is only nine inches tall!)

Which one of the following illustrates a principle most similar to that illustrated by the passage?

a) When mourning a public personality, some people feel sadness, at first, then outrage and then they want to seek justice; when justice doesn’t work, they seek revenge.

b) When James Brown died, Simona played his Sex Machine LP over and over as she cried and shook her tight booty. When she heard reports that thousands had gathered to mourn and dance, her broken heart flew straight to Harlem. And, yes, we all felt The Unity beat straight to our dance bones. We were all riding the music man’s wake, feeling that we too were, altogether, the Godfather of Soul.

c) The only way Turkey can dissolve its “Article 301” is if more people get bold about speaking out in favor of free speech.

d) The unity people feel while mourning the loss of a dear one always arises from the spirit conjured by music. They dance and march to show respect for the dead. The turn out at a funeral procession indicates the degree to which the event of that public figure’s death has brought, or will bring, social change.

e) Girls don’t cry. They dance.

(If you leave the correct answer in the comments, who knows? It may be like a kind of gesture of condolence. You ever wonder if The Dead and The Unborn can overhear all this chatter in the blogosphere?)

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