Saturday, September 04, 2004

The LaLa Land

There are times I get this intense desire to locate the impressionable monarchists whose enthusiastic reverence for the Likudnik “successes” has been responsible for the introduction of the imaginative category, “self-hating Iranian,” into our political lexicon and to kiss them.

Yes, I am that close to officially declaring myself unabashedly one SELF HATING IRANIAN, and then leaving this country never to look back again, tearing my passport, joining a monastery and forgetting the day I ever encountered this rotten planet of ours.

More power to all forms of self-loathing, I say. Judged by this murderous chaos and global pandemonium, “pride” in “one’s own,” and “self-esteem” are way too overrated.

One of the causes of my tantrum of course is Mr. Ahura F.K.Yazdi; well not exactly him personally. But the social reaction I have been sensing. You might have probably heard of him. Goodness knows I have received quite a few frantic phone calls lately wanting to know what I think of the fellow. He is the latest craze around our enchanting LaLa land. Just like the super secret Book of Street Slang a few months back and the get-rich-quick mobile phone phenomenon before that! Similar, of course, to the commotion over our ever smiling President Khatami some years prior to all that. In essence, no different from what the rest of you have to face elsewhere, I suppose.

For those of you interested, Diane has been doing some digging. Just follow her trail.

Don’t get me wrong now. I don’t want to take anything away from the man. I appreciate his language skills. And I admire him for his hard work and achievements. I’ve always adored audacious individuals with courage of conviction. Some of you have come to know my feelings by now, I am hoping. Anything is preferable to the reigning bozos as far as I am concerned… well almost anything! The Iraqi and Chechen models are definitely not up for consideration.

But honestly, I am truly amazed at the savvy, competent American/Western team working with him. An impressive initiative. Those of you, who have been giving the hard working self made career professional analysts of the U.S.G a difficult time, heed and feel proud.

These exceptionally shrewd men and women responsible are truly an impressive bunch. My hat off to them for this coup. They appear to have finally grasped some very significant aspects of the dominant Iranian psyche.

But they have got to work on this 1st of October date. This is bigger than the ambitions of a couple of make believe fighter pilot king wannabes. I am genuinely impressed by the creative multi Millionaire-Polyglot-Squeaky-Clean-Zoroastrian-Dr. Savior from no where- Routine. It is infinitely preferable to the Chalabi carpet bagger shtick. But come on, October 1st?

Please, listen for just once. Don’t rush things on account of the political appointees. You’ve been doing well so far. Wait till after November 5. You’ll get A plus for effort. Here is a calendar with other Zoroastrian dates of interest. No more surprises, please.

Remember, Iranians are a conspiracy minded lot yes, but years of practice having had to deal with a Regime whose officials routinely mask every one of their petty ambitions by invoking the Almighty has had quite an impact. Not as much as some had hoped, mind you, but hey every little bit counts.

We Iranians are the kings and queens of false hope. Don’t pander to it. Don’t fan it. It will not pay.

Besides, first of October is riddled with restoration symbolism. The Azhi-Dahak and King Fereydoun redux is cute but probably too clever by half. Is this something you really want to do? Another George and Reza show? The overweening, entitled Jr. Jr. Team? Might not get you far you know! Try November 24, or July 1.

The Fire/Purity/Truth/Honor/ Cleansing symbolism might appeal even more broadly.

And remember, you are dealing with the Shi’ia scholars in power. The closest thing there is to cunning Philosopher Kings. Don’t underestimate them. Don’t underestimate their understanding of mythology and passions. Don’t underestimate their rationalism. They have written quite a few books on those subjects. They have a finger on the pulse of this nation.

They have elevated dissimulation to an art form. Some of you can probably connect with them easily on that front and compare notes. Don’t fall victim to your own public rhetoric.

They are neither dumb nor crazy.

Some of them simply don’t want to go back to being poverty stricken isolated sages anytime soon. A compelling motive you know. Just ask any one of the many Humanities lecturers in the ranks. Or any incumbent fighting for votes. Think Tanks haven’t quite caught on here yet.

I invite my gentle readers to explore a little in anticipation of the future excitement. I know multi-culturalism has been a dirty word in certain circles. But ask yourselves… where would any of us be if we were all intransigent about remaining allergic to the orientation? Go here and play. A nice place to start, with loads of interesting stuff about Zoroastrianism.

Who knows, the rare curious bird among you might even finally figure out the real reasons behind Xerexes’ decision to lash the Hellespont. The Greeks and Dante might have had an excuse repeating the hubris charge. But can any claim the same after so many centuries?

Here is a tip at no charge: think saltwater spirits and piety.

You might even subsequently recognize why some of us have been biting our tongues each time the phrase “Manichean foreign policy” appears in print.

Even Saoshyant might help you better deal with the evolving eschatological and messianic issues some have been concerned about. Paradise, whose present understanding has been in the making for centuries through a process known as “melioration,” is rooted in ancient Iranian loan words. Well don’t just take my word for it, look it up!

Any how, I am no fortune teller. But I’ll try to share some of my reflections about this Yazdi phenomenon, its cultural significance as well as my best hunches about some of the possible future scenarios as time permits.

On a different though related note: Nema links to a few interesting scholarly pieces about nuclear proliferation. Interesting reads.

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