The Conversation

Three Pictures from Turkey

While many are skeptical of another Spring in the Muslim world, I'm optimistic about this one. Why? Beer. Drinking beer openly in the streets -- in defiance of Tayyip's Islamist laws against alcohol (he calls anyone who takes so much as one sip of alcohol an "alcoholic")-- is a positive sign. In this context, beer is liberty, beer is human dignity. Beer is a human being saying he will live his life the way he likes, not as the morality police demand he does.

"Molson Labe," a commenter at my site quipped.

I like these protesters, too, because I sympathize with their plight: Their media blacked out all coverage of the protests, currying favor with the State, and CNN Turk ran penguin documentaries rather than mention the greatest civil unrest in Turkey in decades. The focus of the protesters' ire is Erdogan, but they are plenty angry at his Media Palace Guard.

They have seized upon the penguin as their icon -- they are the penguins -- as Tea Partiers seized on McCain's sneering reference to "Hobbits." And thus, a Penguin Protester is now a symbol of resistance:

And this one just seems iconic. It says a lot about our current age. The colors alone are remarkable.

I collected these from Twitter, so, honestly, I cannot confirm their authenticity. The Penguin, especially, seems like it just might be someone's idea of a good symbol, rather than a symbol actually being deployed. But, what the heck, on that score I agree. I dig the Penguin. If it's not a symbol yet it should be.


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