Ankara Assassin’s pop culture irony

A Muslim assassin murdered Russia's ambassador to Turkey yesterday and was shortly thereafter killed.  He said he killed the ambassador because Russia is committing atrocities in Aleppo, Syria. And it is true that Russia is committing atrocities in Syria, along with the Syrian Army, Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Shi'ite militias like Hezb’allah, the Al-Nusra Front, ISIS, and just about anyone else in Syria with guns, except perhaps the Kurds.  Probably, though, given the indiscriminate killing record of militant Islam, if the Russian ambassador hasn't been available, he would have found another noncombatant to execute.

Anyway, by now you've seen the photos of the assassin with one arm up and pointing.

He may not know it, but that is a clear imitation of John Travolta's stance when he was dancing to "Stayin' Alive" in Saturday Night Fever.

This is especially ironic given the lyrics of the song.

Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother

You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive

Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin'

And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive

Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive

Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive

The song is concerned about enjoying life and staying alive. The Muslim killer, on the other hand, was concerned with the exact opposite--death and killing.

That's what the clash of cultures is all about. Our culture celebrates life and enjoying living. Radical Islam celebrates slavery, suffering, and death. It's ironic the Muslim assassin struck a pose reminiscent of the complete antithesis of everything he stands for.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at