Quotes / Qurac

I place you in charge of Arrakis. It's yours to squeeze, as I promised. I want you to squeeze, and squeeze, and SQUEEZE! Give me spice! Drive them! Drive them into utter submission!
Baron Harkonnen, Dune (1984)

We fly through the jungle, with lots of aerial footage of a large mansion...And all of the guards are speaking Spanish, because I think it was a legal requirement in the ‘80s that all action movies had to take place in the jungles of either Vietnam or South America.

Englishman: In my country women are never locked up.
Central Asian: What a marvel. And how can you trust them with so much temptation? They are poor creatures and easily led. But if one of them is unfaithful to her husband, what does he do?
Englishman: He goes to our Mullah whom we call a judge and obtains a divorce and marries someone else.
Central Asian: What! You mean he does not cut the woman's throat?
Englishman: No; he would be hanged himself if he did.
Central Asian: What a country! We manage things better in Khiva.
—Frederick Burnaby, A ride to Khiva.

Sandy, hot, full of hate, few (if any) exploitable natural resources, massive election fraud, genocides, outbreaks of diseases you thought were eliminated through massive vaccination projects of the 1950s, and a general complete lack of any semblance of an infrastructure, dictatorships, peoples democratic republic of (insert name here). A nation does not have to begin in the third world, but it will usually stay there.

True, at the present moment most of America's enemies in the world are Arab. But at one time or another, this country has been at war with the home nations of most of the major ethnic groups in America.

In case you didn't notice, Carbombya is a (very) thinly veiled dig at the real-world nation of Libya, whose militants were the Terrorist Boogeymen du jour in the 1980s. It's about as creative as naming a fictional country 'Attackistan' or 'Terrorahn' would be these days.

The plot deals with a conflict in a Middle East country that tactfully goes unnamed, undoubtedly because the state of that region fluctuates so much that it could be a waterslide park by the time this comes out.

And then, one fateful day (Oct. 8), a runaway asteroid, believed by scientists to be nearly twice the diameter of the late Orson Welles, slammed into the Earth and killed the dinosaurs, who by sheer bad luck all happened to be standing right where it landed. The massive impact turned the dinosaurs, via a process called photosynthesis, into oil; this oil was then gradually covered with a layer of sand, which in turn was gradually covered by a layer of people who hate each other, and thus the Middle East was formed.
Dave Barry, "We're Just a Few Dinosaurs Short of a Full Tank"

I'm interested by the name ‘Turmezistan’ too. Phil called it ‘Generistan’. I think the reason we feel comfortable making up all these generic istans is because we think of those places as generic. Roughly outlined, notional, semi-fictional spaces we see on the news, out There somewhere, populated by Them. Places where bad stuff happens as a matter of course, because that’s the proper place for it. Of course, our culture industries seem happy to pontificate on these generic istans without worrying too much about the fact that we’ve been waging war on one of them for more than a decade.

It goes like this, we have no choice
The minarets, the wailing voice
And vaguely Celtic music fills the air
We choose a foreigner to hate
The new Iraq gets more irate
We really know nothing about them and no-one cares
Barenaked Ladies, Sell, Sell, Sell