We've said it before: we're tired of blogging. We're rarely inspired anymore. We can hardly come up with a thought that's so sophisticated and insightful that it can't be said in 140 characters. We feel like we exhaust the creative potential of every medium available to us on a cycle that both shortens and increases with intensity every month. It's the plague of the modern: too many means to communicate too few thoughts.
We were wrong. And the solution to this problem has come from the most unlikely corner: The Turkish government.
In response to what has become the scourge of Istanbul's urban environment -- residents banging pots and pans at 9 pm in support of the Gezi Park protests -- the government has come up with an innovative idea to allow people to anonymously report their neighbors' irritating behavior by placing their complaints in a "neighborhood informant box" (NIB) for police to review.
Some people argue this is a terrible idea. We are not among those people. In fact, this is the best idea the Turkish government has proposed since it banned porn.
Opponents have clearly not spent any time thinking about its practical applications. Has it not occurred to them that they can use this mechanism to express their grievances -- ranging from the petty to the existential -- against every person, entity, animate or inanimate object or animal in Istanbul that has wronged them? Given that our list of Istanbul-related grievances is as long, complex and historical as the Talmud, this opportunity cannot be passed up. It's much better than bitching on Twitter.
Are you not yet seeing the awesome?
Anonymity means you can settle some scores using half baked theories, circumstantial evidence and idle speculation, just like you do with your friends and on Twitter, but with zero accountability and more police involvement. As someone who is striving to remove all accountability mechanisms from our life, this is exactly the creative outlet we've been seeking.
After approximately 45 seconds of thought, we have came up with a complaint list with which we could fill our NIB and probably the one up the hill too. Here are just a few: construction sites that pour cement at 2 am, the Istiklal Tramway Groper, Istiklal in general, Efes, Ramadan drummers, our upstairs neighbor who has terrible taste in music, the friend who never shows up for dinner on time, Deli Komsu, nasty street cats, the annoying guy at that party, sidewalk parkers, nosy cleaning ladies, Bambi delivery drivers who go the wrong way at high speed up Luleci Hendek, annoying houseguests, every taxi driver we've ever ridden with, people who bring Turkish wine to parties. Those are just the people against whom we have legitimate complaints but haven't yet found a better way to address them than Twitter, which never results in satisfaction. As for the list of people against whom we'd like to exact revenge for less honorable reasons, well, that's why we need the anonymity promised by the NIB.
The Turkish government has bestowed a rare gift on irritated Istanbullus as well those who have plumbed the depths of social media and found it wanting. We urge you to create a partnership with your local polis -- if he's not too busy bonking someone on the head with a teargas cannister -- and take advantage of the NIB. Everyone knows how the Turkish polis respond with alacrity and common sense whenever yabancıs file complaints, accompanied by color-printed documents in triplicate and multiple stamps, in person; if you use NIB, no one knows you're a yabancı. Let's view them as our Partners in Score Settling (PISS). It's a gift whose time has come.