The Fine Line Between Comedy and Tragedy

by Nathan Hamm on 4/8/2004 · 6 comments

In the case of Turkmenistan, it’s the 5 million or so people who live there that make the difference. If Turkmenbashi was just some dude who sat on a milk crate in his bedroom and said wacky things to a make-believe kingdom, it’d be absolutely hilarious that he’s torqued out of shape over dental matters.

President Saparmurat Niyazov, whose tight control of Turkmenistan extends to citizens’ appearances, said Tuesday young people should not get gold tooth caps.

In a televised address at an agricultural academy, Niyazov took note of the gold teeth of the female student who welcomed him.

“Don’t take offense, your gold teeth are very beautiful, but you, young people, look much better with white teeth,” he said, exhorting them to take better care of their teeth, according to the Interfax news agency.

“I watched dogs when I was young. They were given bones to gnaw … Those of you whose teeth have fallen out did not gnaw on bones. This is my advice,” he said.

Whoa… What the hell? It’s not just that you shouldn’t have gold teeth, you should gnaw on bones so you don’t need them? Dad, what’s your professional opinion on this.

I must express my feelings in images from Turkmenistan’s future:

Ashkabat, 2050*


Who wants to bet that it’s only a matter of time before this book becomes part of the Rukhnama? (A book that has a website design reminiscent of bermuda shorts I wore in the sixth grade, and about which they actually said: “The Holy Ruhnama, on par with the Bible and the Koran, is to be used as a Spiritual Guide – to remove the complexities and anguishes from day to day living.”)

*I should get some kind of bonus** for putting the Cavity Creeps (who have spectacular technology for angry monsters made of what looks like rock) and Turkmenistan in one post.

**Since I don’t get paid for this, I guess it won’t amount to much. Click on that stupid google ad or something.

Subscribe to receive updates from Registan

This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

For information on reproducing this article, see our Terms of Use


Matt April 8, 2004 at 1:31 pm

Does anybody besides Cavity Creeps live outside of Toothopolis, anyway? I’m assuming that raids by the Creeps chased them all into the walled (toothed) city. Look at those nice fields and meadows, all lying fallow.

So life in Toothopolis must be pretty much like life in Helm’s Deep, or Sarajevo circa 1989.

And if the Crest super-weapon really worked, the citizens wouldn’t have to cower behind that famous Wall Of Incisors, afraid to leave their purple ceramic homes and offices.

God, that image has brought me down.

Nathan April 8, 2004 at 4:13 pm

I particularly like that they have these high-tech superships with lasers and something besides those stubby little wings that provides lift, but there’s still just a low-tech set of cross-hairs for a targeting system.

The best Cavity Creeps reference ever was in The Family Guy when Peter was one of the creeps.

mark April 9, 2004 at 1:35 pm

No, chewing bones will not make your teeth last longer. There is a selective pressure on dogs to be able to chew bones well (selection for large, specialised, teeth). Get the marrow, you breed my friend.
In humans the common activity most associated with good dental health (in a society with out processed foods) is ‘picking’ at your teeth with a small stick or twig.
The cavity creeps in reality are passive aggressive. Mutans Strep. eats sugar then the damage to our teeth is done when they literally shit (and piss) on us. The acidic waste erodes holes in our teeth, where the CCs find even better homes.

Matt April 9, 2004 at 2:00 pm

Yeah- I saw some of the early versions of the Crest commercials. You know- the ones where the Cavity Creeps all fling poo at the white enamel walls of Toothopolis. Chilling stuff, really.

Noah August 7, 2004 at 12:01 am

Does anyone have any of those Crest commercials or any jpegs of the Cavity Creeps???

Previous post:

Next post: