The Barbie-Like Women of Turkey’s Creationist TV
Turkey’s Islamic creationist guru Adnan Oktar is a regular fixture on his TV channel A9 – for hours and hours, day after day. Today, as he often does, Oktar is talking about one of his many exhibitions of fossils that he says disproves evolution.
Oktar and his cult-like organization have been in the Turkish media space for decades. But only last year did he deploy his new weapon in the battle against Darwinism.
A flock of ostensibly attractive, curvy young women. The “kittens,” as he calls them, call him “master” and generally guffaw at the right moments and nod their heads in agreement with whatever he says.
Some of the women have their own programs in which they also “debunk” evolution, among other things.
The spectacle has attracted attention beyond the creationist community. Turkish artist Pinar Demirdag describes herself as a “visual narrator” of “extreme happenings.” She says she finds herself drawn to Oktar’s kittens, who look eerily as though they were all created in a Turkish barbie factory.
Demirdag says:”They have almost the same proportion of assets, if I may say, and also the same clothing, the same hair, almost the same make up, posture, and like hip gestures.”
Demirdag calls the spectacle a “sensation overload,” skillfully combining Islam, sexual objectification, demagoguery and Versace.
“I believe his work is to master media,” says Demirdag. He knows very well what attracts Turkish people, what makes them talk, what makes them change their minds and what entertains them.”
Indeed. When Oktar and his voluptuous Ed McMahons aren’t trying to rid the world of Darwinism and radical Islam, they have fun too. Like when they “dance” to the latest hits, without getting out of their chairs.
A9 also produces English language programs to spread its message beyond Turkey. One program is called “Building Bridges with WPTN,” distributed by the “we the people” television network of the Libertarian Party.
The discussions cover big subjects like religion and politics. But the chats aim to foster goodwill rather than ask tough questions, according to Jenna Krajeski. She’s an American journalist who was a guest on the show. When Krajeski was picked up, two attractive, charming A9 employees were in the car.
“One was a microbiologist, the other an economist,” Krajeski says. “They both had advanced degrees, very smart women. Spoke fluent English. I asked them the title of the show and they said its called ‘science – colon – from creation to end times.’ and that’s when I knew [laughs] that I was really in for something interesting.”
The TV host says, “Welcome to another edition of Building Bridges. Today we have a very sweet, distinguished guest with us…”
The studio has ornate furniture and a backdrop of London. The hosts’ heavy makeup and tight clothing might not jibe well with the values of western feminism. But Krajeski says the women earnestly believe they are making the world a better place.
“They are very concerned with how westerners perceive Muslims, Muslim women and Muslim Turkish women specifically,” Krajeski says. “In this way, I think they feel like by dressing the way they do they project a really revolutionary image of Muslim women to the west.”
At A9 I was only able to meet Oktar Babuna, a medical doctor and long time collaborator of Adnan Oktar. He says the women joined the team to counter the fiction created by radical Islamists and bigots that Muslim women should be hidden from public life.
“In the real islam, there is no such thing,” Babuna says. “If you look at the Koran, you see women, are, like Allah says, they are flowers. They are the beauty of this world.”
Several months – and many many facebook messages later – the ladies agreed to speak to me – but only via Skype. I spoke with Ece Koc from Building Bridges.
“We are trying to show that islam is a religion of peace,” Koc says. “Islam is a religion of love and Islam is very modern. People should be modern people and good looking. People should be very elegant.”
By any Koranic interpretation, it’s hard to see the ladies of A9 reaching the airwaves of other Muslim countries like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. Turkey clearly isn’t the only place where sex sells. But it may be the only country in the world where it’s used to teach Islamic doctrine and encourage morality.
Storage Wars stars make $10k an episode, so why are they acting like they’re broke?
I began watching the reality TV show Storage Wars a little over a year ago. I have to admit the bloody show is addictive. The Barry character is hilarious and Brandi has voluptuous boobs. And then there is that rat Dave Hester.
This guy is a bona-fide prick. He runs up the price for the storage units and then lets Jarrod or Darrel get stuck with the inflated price. And Hester is a bitter man, it looks like he was beat up a lot when he was a kid. He always bad mouths the other buyers, he uses terms like pukes and shitheads etc. Very insulting guy. So I love it when the buyers stand up to him and threaten him with physical violence. But all these guys are making a buck off the show.
The dirty rat Dave Hester
The National Enquirer scored an exclusive interview with Dave Hester, the “Yuuuup” shouting high-roller storage unit buyer, The “Mogul,” who always seems to be feuding with someone. Sometimes I root for Dave, but he’s too cutthroat lately and seems to be bidding people up and generally being a pain. He probably is playing it up for the cameras. Well The Enquirer revealed just how much all the castmembers are being paid an episode and it doesn’t sound bad at $10k per. The show is wildly popular, though, and A&E must be raking it in. Dave wants a raise in order to come back for the third season. He said that he’s holding out for more money and will basically see if A&E thinks he’s worth it.
“Storage Wars” star Dave Hester says he’s ready to pack it in if he doesn’t get a big raise.
Right now, the fast-talking storage unit treasure hunter on the hit A&E show says his negotiations with the network are “at a standstill and he doesn’t know if or when they’ll start up again. The production is due to start filming the third season in a few weeks.
Although he won’t say what he makes and what he wants, sources said that Hester and his cast mates earn about $10,000 per episode, and he told The Enquirer: “I want as much as I can get out of them so that I can support my family and my employees. It matters what my market value is, what I bring to the show.
“A&E owns the circus and we’re the elephants out here working for peanuts! A&E is making a mountain of money on our backs now and they need to share more of it with the talent!…”
In its first season in 2010, “Storage Wars” was A&E’s top-rated nonfiction show of the year, drawing an average of 2.8 million viewers per week.
Since then, its popularity has increased tremendously. The two-part premiere of season 2 drew a whopping 5.1 million total viewers, making it the most-watched show in A&E history…
Dave, who’s been in business for 25 years, is holding out, and with no modesty, said: “If A&E doesn’t appreciate my skill level and talent – and what I brought to the show – I would hope they say, ‘Thanks, Dave, and here’s an unconditional release.’”
This is what always gets me about reality shows – they talk a lot about money problems but they never admit to the great cash they’re making for doing the show, and they often act like they’re broke when they’re not. This bothered me on “Teen Mom,” it bothered me on “Sister Wives,” and it bothers me on “Storage Wars.” I think that Dave was probably the most successful buyer going into it, but if Brandi and Jarrod have made over half a million from the show so far it seems disingenuous that they’re acting like they’re broke. 50 episodes have aired so far for season one and two combined, so that’s half a million for each of the principal cast. I guess I don’t blame Dave for wanting more money since he probably considers himself the “star.” It seems like a hell of a lot of money for acting like yourself, but that’s the reality show world we live in now.
This is the real star of “Storage Wars,” Brandi. I can see Brandi and Jarrod getting a spin off focusing on their home life, and then predictably splitting up. All they ever seem to do is argue.
Barry Weiss out on the town
Barry likes fast cars and motorcycles, he also smokes, cool.
Gerry Anderson, the creator of hit TV shows including Thunderbirds, Stingray and Joe 90, has died at the age of 83.
He also created Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and his puppet superheroes fired the imaginations of millions of young viewers in the 1960s and ’70s.
Thunderbirds, a science-fiction fantasy about a daring rescue squad, ran from 1965 and was his most famous show.
Anderson had suffered from Alzheimer’s since 2010 and the disease had worsened in recent months, his son Jamie said.
Jamie Anderson announced the news on his website, saying his father died peacefully in his sleep at noon on Wednesday.
“Gerry was diagnosed with mixed dementia two years ago and his condition worsened quite dramatically over the past six months,” he wrote.
Voice actor David Graham, who voiced the reformed safecracker, as well as fan-favourite Brains, said it was “a very sad day”.
“I owed him a lot professionally and he was a good friend as well,” he told the BBC. “I think he was a genius.”
He revealed the inspiration for the voice came when Anderson “took me to an old pub in Cookham where there was an old guy who was a waiter and he said, ‘I’m going to call him over, just listen to him’.”
Actor Brian Blessed, who worked with Anderson on shows including The Day After Tomorrow and Space 1999, told BBC News: “I think a light has gone out in the universe.
“He had a great sense of humour. He wasn’t childish but child-like and he had a tremendous love of the universe and astronomy and scientists.
“He got their latest theories, which he would expand on. He was always galvanised and full of energy.”
I caught the episode of Dirty Jobs: Down Under where Mike was working for Snake-Away. It is a company in Adelaide, Australia that collects poisonous snakes that slither into swimming pools, homes and mainly garages. An Eastern Brown snake chasing mice made its way into the house of an elderly couple. The second most venomous snake in the world landed up in the couples pantry. The old woman sat up on the kitchen island as Mike and the Snake-Away guy lassoed the snake and bagged it. The elderly couple didn’t seem panicked or overly concerned. Just par for the course living in Adelaide. If that snake bites you, you have 15 minutes to get to a hospital or have the paramedics administer antivenom. The paramedics get caught in traffic, you die!
At one point Mike said why don’t they sell the place and move to North Dakota. Good advice, too many snakes for my liking.
Eastern Brown Snake
Mike Rowe has kicked off his new Discovery Channel show, Dirty Jobs: Down Under, and this week he faced deadly brown snakes.
There are a lot of snakes in Australia, so it doesn’t seem odd that there would be a job for someone to go around to people’s houses, extracting these deadly brown snakes from their homes. And, in Adelaide, Australia, there are more venomous snakes than in any other town in the world. The most dangerous is the Eastern brown snake—the second most deadly snake in the world. To catch it, one must first be certified.
Snake-Away gets 80 calls each day during the summer to remove snakes from people’s homes. Mike Rowe “interned” with the Snake-Away professionals for this episode. Before they even got started, Ian, the manager and owner of Snake-Away, was bitten by a non-venomous snake he had taken out for Mike to hold—not a great omen to start the show with, to be sure.
The rather interesting thing about the brown snake is that, even though there are obviously a lot of them, as a species native to Australia, they are protected. So, after they are caught, they are not killed; they are simply re-released, typically in a non-residential area close to the catch site, even though, as Ian said, Australia is starting to get too many of them.
“Job security,” Rowe observed.
Dirty Jobs or Deadly Jobs?
Some Dirty Jobs are not necessarily as much “dirty” as they are “dangerous” or even “deadly,” and this week’s job would certainly qualify. Rowe is undoubtedly enthusiastic, but he is not an expert by any means in situations such as catching the second most deadly snake in the world. When one must be certified to catch these snakes, why is Mike Rowe doing it for an hour-long TV show? Snakes do not, one would assume, care about being on television, and probably do not recognize Rowe as being an entertainer. Therefore, it is unlikely that they are going to be inclined to cut him any special slack when deciding to strike. So, why risk it?
Ratings, of course; earning potential for “deadly” jobs is apparently more lucrative than for “dirty” ones. So, when Rowe makes a “rookie mistake” as he did in this episode, one that could literally cost him—or someone else—his life, well, it’s all done in the name of exciting television, assuming everyone survives.
Good luck Down Under, Mike; stay safe.