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A poofter’s work… February 15, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
…is never done. Or so it seemed. Today, at least. If it wasn’t one housewifely task it was another. Thank heavens I am – selectively, and temporarily – unemployed, until Monday.

Yet it’s a sure sign of blogger’s block when you think of writing about how many washes you put on and how cooking was a chore. And yet I like to convince myself that the everyday makes a riveting read. Perhaps not. This is like reading about paint drying. For which I apologise.

So how to sex a post up? Talk of quiet February days might not do the trick… But isn’t February rather a spare month anyway? It can’t even decide how many days to have, often. I propose, in the name of going metric, and for simplicity’s and standardisation’s sake, it being abolished along with November – another utterly pointless month – and us having ten 35-day months with a two-week period called Yearmiddle, or something catchy like that, stuck between months five and six when we all do nothing but lap up the sun and be nice to each other. Those in the Antipodes, southern Africa and the bottom chunk of South America could have a Christmas-style Mittelfest to make sure we were all happy.

There we are. That’s what to write about when you have blogger’s block. Revolutionising the calendar. If there are no takers here, maybe I can get on to Turkmenbashi and give it a whirl with him.



1. daggi - February 16, 2006

Turkmenbashi’s got other problems at the moment. He’s gone and abolished pensions. Well – not quite. Only for those who haven’t spent their entire working life in what is now Turkmenistan. The place being what it is, that means the civil servants have stopped paying all pensions (as opposed to the 80% of pensions T-bashi wanted to abolish), just in case they make a mistake and have to face some nasty consequences. Perhaps instead of money, the old will get another book of poems to study…

Hang on, perhaps abolishing 2 months of the year (or naming them after his mother, and that would be a very Jimmy Savile thing to do – can you imagine that, a small gas-rich dictatorship run by Sir Jim, a scary thought indeed) would be just the thing to distract from his pension worries. Get on the phone right now!

2. Paul - February 16, 2006

…a small gas-rich dictatorship run by Sir Jim…

has just caused an involuntary shudder of fear over here. If my dreams are invaded by a cigar-smoking marathon-man with an oedipus-complex then I know who to blame…

3. Wyndham the Triffid - February 16, 2006

I’m quite partial to November. As the nights draw in a young man’s thoughts turn to a nice mulled wine. Everyone gets fireworks out. The Christmas adverts start getting us in the mood and then, towards the end of the month, everyone starts holding parties.

February is shit.

4. BiB - February 16, 2006

Darlings, explain. What is the Savillean-Oedipus Complex? I thought his perversions didn’t extend beyond fluorescent clothing and being an utter arse. Is he still with us, incidentally?

5. Paul - February 16, 2006

The real love of his life has been his mother, the Duchess. He lived with her until she died, wouldn’t bring women back to the house because it was disrespectful (though he kept a caravan nearby in case he struck lucky). The Duchess has been dead more than 20 years, but her bedroom is frozen in time. Her clothes hang in the wardrobe, dry-cleaned once a year. Savile says they are better than photographs.


I’m saying nothing…

6. BiB - February 16, 2006

“Norman! Norman!”

7. BiB - February 16, 2006

Is Blogger playing up? There was a spooky moment when a comment from Wynders appeared, but then it disappeared again, and I didn’t get so much as an e-mail notification… Glad you’re a February-hater too.

8. BiB - February 16, 2006

Ghoulish! The stray comment is back…

9. daggi - February 16, 2006

If Albania can have a Norman Wisdom Museum, how about a Turkmen version of “Jim’ll fix it”? And would not a comparison between Turkmenbashi and Cigarwaver be an ideal theme for a (Media Studies) dissertation (it being “Freud-Jahr”, as I heard, while half asleep, either on Deutschlandradio or the Voice of Russia, this morning)?

10. daggi - February 16, 2006

It seems Turkmenbashi has already abolished two months. Or renamed them. And, no, I wasn’t (consciously) aware of this when I wrote the above comment, though I know he does like his dead mother a lot (like Mr. Stoke Mandeville).

January in Turkmenistan is no longer January but the month of Turkmenbashi and April is the month of Gurban Sultan in honour of the Turkmenbashi’s mother who died in 1948


* January — Turkmenbashi, in honor of the president
* February — Baýdak, in honor of the Turkmen flag
* March — Nowruz, the traditional New Year of Turkic people, which is celebrated in March
* April — Gurbansoltan-eje, in honor of the president’s mother
* May — Makhtum Kuli, in honor of the Turkmen poet
* June — Oguzhan, in honor of one of Turkmen military leaders
* July — Gorkut, in honor of the Turkmen epic hero Gorkut-Ata
* August — Alp-Arslan, in honor of the ancient Turkmen commander
* September — Rukhnamawill, in honor of the president’s book
* October — Garaşsyzlyk, independence
* November — Sanjar, the last ruler of the Seljuk Empire
* December — Bitaraplyk, neutrality

Days of the week

* Monday — the Major Day
* Tuesday — Young Day
* Wednesday — Favorable Day
* Thursday — Blessed Day
* Friday — Friday
* Saturday — the Spiritual Day
* Sunday — Rest Day


According to the BBC, he “enjoys an unrivaled personality cult”. Is Kim Jong Il shitting himself?

On the other hand, it seems all is not well in Ashgabat. The official internet site at http://www.turkmenbashi.org reads thus:

The requested resource
is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.

Savile looks amused and is about to book his plane ticket. And one for his dead mum.


11. leon - February 17, 2006

That Blogmenbashi site is brilliant.

12. BiB - February 17, 2006

…but quel dommage that it’s updated so infrequently. Good sleuthing, Daggi! As personality cult dictator eccentricities go, I suppose choosing to name January after oneself could almost be seen as modesty. Unless January’s particularly fab in Turkmenistan, of course. Maybe that’s when the sun best gleams on the rotating gold statue of Turkmenbashi, or when the Rukhnama pages are at their crispiest.

13. daggi - February 18, 2006

Is there a worrying oh-we’re-so-ironic package holiday company to Turkmenistan (possibly run by two English men, clever enough not to live themselves in the place)? If so, I might save up. If not, I suppose we could set one up. I understand BBC Four would give us a lot of money for some quaint documentary films.

And has Turkmenbashi’s book been translated into English (or German) yet? I did read once of some Swedish gas company that had set up a joint venture with the Turkmen government, which paid for its translation and forces its employees to read it every day (or that’s what they told the Mediocre Leader anyway).

If not, I’ve got a copy of Gadaffi’s Green Book (in German I think) here somewhere.

14. BiB - February 23, 2006

I met a chap in Berlin once who’d written for, or edited, the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide to Turkmenistan. But I don’t know if there is a groovy agency offering poetry-reading package tours to the place. I have also seen a TV docu here with a German gent touristing around Turkers, including a guided tour round the palatial and utterly empty national museum, where I think the Rukhnama was every exhibit. The naughty docu-maker was endlessly putting Turkmens on the spot asking if they thought this was all bollocks. Looks of horror and shying away from the camera ensued.

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