I didn't set out to make a series on BBC snippets, but I feel that I must. I shouldn't even be watching BBC documentaries. But somehow tricked by my love of their nature documentaries (which are just amazing) and some residual memory of their great series on Civilisation, I downloaded in bulk a series of recent BBC shows that looked interesting. But of course the BBC being what it is, basically the representatives of evil on earth, these recent documentaries I've been seeing are so jarringly and boorishly leftist, so in-your-face on their promotion of evil that I feel I must take something good from them. I'm that sort of man that hates wasting time on anything, I must always be able to rationalize any activity as having made learn something, or been the groundwork of some future productivity. I can't say I learned much of this BBC show so I might as well make a blog post on it.
So the BBC makes this 3 part documentary on the Ottoman Empire. And it's presented by this man who looks a lot like an old Egyptian waiter I knew from years ago. Why would they use an Egyptian to make a special on the Ottoman Empire? Beats me. Beats me more still when I check out the guy's name and learn that he isn't Egyptian, but Somali. He's not a dark Egyptian then, but a light Somali. And a connected one by that. Name's Rageh Omaar, public school and Oxford educated. Younger brother of the Somali Foreign Minister. Who's also been to Oxford apparently.
Now this reminds me of Jim Donald's latest post. He talks of Alassane Ouattara, which is some guy from Ivory Coast who's educated in the US and gets a cozy
fief job in the international bureaucracy. Then for some reason he's installed as president of the Ivory Coast, even though he doesn't live there, has no local power base, and is married to a white Jew who probably has never even been to the place. As he has no power base, the locals rebel against his rule, only to be gunned down and replaced by foreigners.
For all the anti-colonialism and anti-imperialist rhetoric of modern liberalism, it's clear that whatever the reason imperialism came to be in the first place, the reasons seem to continue existing today, and thus effective imperialism also goes on to this day. Now instead of having overt rule by European administrators, they have corporations doing whatever business needs to be done, and some plausibly local guy educated in the metropolis sent over as a figurehead. In exchange you give the figurehead's younger brother a job in the BBC. And a white wife, of course. That's indispensable.
Anyway what does all this have to do with the Ottoman Empire? I didn't get it either, until they got to this point:
See what they did there? Look again. It's such an bold-faced piece of bad propaganda, their Soviet ancestors must be crying in their atheist underworld. The BBC screenwriters must have felt so smart with all that covert symbolism. Ethnic nationalism. Stories of the war. An inter-faith choir. Modern-looking women. Did you hear what they're singing though?
It sounds very strange to me that any self-respecting Bosnian Serb would join a choir with Muslims and chant Allah for a 100 times like in that clip. I bet you half the black stone in the Kaaba that Muslim Bosniaks don't join Serbs in chanting Gregorian Chant and sing the glories of Jesus Christ.
And the poor Bosniak woman thought the war was hell. Oh war sucks so much when you lose. It sucks really really badly. She wouldn't say that had her side won, and her brothers the ones gunning down Christian boys and raping their little sisters. That's, you know, politics. It happens.
And all that talk about how we all got along so well back then. Respect! Multiculturalism! What's infuriating is that this clueless kin of pirates had just 1 hour ago talked extensively about how Christian were taxed heavier, their children were kidnapped and enslaved into service to the Sultan, and their Churches were always made simple and down-run in contrast to the big and pretty mosques on the same town. Hey, but there was more respect! Funny that it's the people in Sarajevo saying that. Why didn't they ask the people of Belgrade or Athens?
My wasting-time-stop-this-now reflex was going overdrive listening to the Ottoman's Empire multicultural respect, when I arrived to the end of the clip. Now that's just priceless. Let me quote it in big letters:
In the case of the Ottomans, what is most impressive to us is that they were able to think through a system of government that did not depend on ethnic sovereignty.
No kidding? No fucking kidding? A Cathedral minion finally asks the right question. How did the Ottomans come up with a system not based on ethnic sovereignty? How did that happen?
Well, that system has a name actually. It's called Absolute Monarchy. And that particular flavor was commonly called Oriental Despotism.
It seems the BBC has finally come up with the answer to how to make multiculturalism work in the modern world. What we need is Absolute Monarchy. And slavery. Heh. I didn't see that one coming.