Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The tulip/lemon/kalpak revolution

Dick Cheney thinks this is a reassuring thing to say about Social Security: “In effect, what we are saying is we are going to tie your future as you retire to the overall health and function of the American economy.” I so look forward to spending my retirement checking the stock market prices every morning to see if I get to have the good cat food for dinner.

Kyrgyzstan’s lemon revolution — or possibly tulip revolution, they still haven’t made up their minds, which probably does not bode well for the future — continues. Or, if you listen to the government, “a putsch and a coup” organized by “criminal elements connected to the drug mafia,” which doesn’t sound very tulipy to me.

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I am now an expert on Kyrgyzstan. I know that Kyrgyzstan women are “diligent, faithful, good-natured, loyal, responsible, stable, traditional, understanding, intelligent.” And I know that in Kyrgyzstan it’s all about the hats:

The protester in the center is wearing a seized soldier’s helmet, the guy on the right isn’t actually wearing a hat, that’s his real hair, while the guy at the left is wearing what news stories refer to as Kyrgyzstan’s “traditional felt hats,” which are called kalpak. They account for, oh let’s say 98% of the Kyrgyz economy, so the Kyrguys and Kyrgals get very upset if you don’t look good in one:

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