Thursday, April 29, 2004

Year 1185, Gun ships and the Messiah

Some bells tolled today in our schools for the Valiye-Asr (the Guardian of Epoch.) That is the Shi’a version of the long awaited Messiah, Mohammad al Mahdi. It has been roughly 1,185 years since the occultation of the hidden Imam and the believers patiently await his return.

In a gesture, the significance of which was not lost on many of us, the Helicopter Gun ships of the Islamic Regime were used to throw thousands of flowers on a few streets in Downtown Tehran, and on the resting place of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Regime.

So, while some of these monsters are used in “targeted killings” close by, or in hunting Iraqi insurgents; as it turns out, a regime with no cogent claim to civility, democracy or human rights won a subtle round contra its competing models of occupation in this rough neighborhood …isn’t that a hoot?

Sort of makes you wonder what the defenders of Civilization might be thinking right about now. But not to worry, other rulers winning “hearts and minds” appear quite as brutal and as self absorbed as those in power here, and just as clueless. I sort of wished they simply could have just collectively left us alone. They get to keep what’s left of their hearts, and we’ll make do with what’s left of our minds. A bargain wouldn’t you think?

I know we Persians have a tendency to take credit for a lot of things, so, I wouldn’t hold it against you if you were to disbelieve me. But when it comes to the Messiah, we are really responsible. And lest you begin to get holier than thou with me about the idiosyncrasies of our zealous, religious, and backward culture, then have a look at your own backyard: the rapture excited contingent in their millions.

The Catholics, of course have managed to keep a sane perspective on the whole thing. And the Jewish version has an interesting history of its own, which gets intriguing after the Babylonian exile and increasing contacts with the ancient Persians. Our ancestors, of course, appear to bear the brunt of the responsibility for the battle of the Messiahs which promises to make our lives a living hell in the years to come.

Let us offer our gratitude to the ancient Zoroastrian community for their gift of Saoshyant.

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