Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The never-ending asininities

I am beginning to think slow internet had its virtues. I mean, I tell you, I get so mad these days reading Iran related material that I am about ready to flip. I simply don't know whether to react to the perpetual torment which this murderous Islamic regime never tires of inflicting on our society or respond to all the silly clichés people use to talk about them.

It has been one caricature after another.

So I end up turning all my fury inwards. And as you might suspect, my already battered lungs are taking a beating from chain smoking.

So today, I am going to rant about Open Democracy.

I know some body there has been kind enough to link to my blog, and I shouldn't bite the hand that feeds me. But anyways, does the quality of what they put out about Iran compare in the slightest with any of their other material?

How is it that of all the hundreds and hundreds of articles written about Iran, only the silliest, most asinine speculations ever gets published there?

I must admit, I very much like that they don't even make the slightest pretense to objectivity. But seriously, do you think some of the writers showcased there would have gotten away uttering the sort of nonsense they routinely peddle about Iran if they were writing about any other country on the face of our planet?

Even the more sophisticated writers that I normally should learn from! And I don't want any (needless) misunderstanding here. I like that he is speaking up and I like those global protests even more. But I think we should avoid simple, terribly tendentious presentations of Iranian society.

Take the following section of Mr. Ireland's expose about the tragic, brutal execution of those youngsters accused of "rape," or "homosexuality"-- whichever charge you have been a-priori most comfortable believing:

Afdhere Jama, editor of the e-zine for Queer Muslims, Huriyah, says contacts of his in Iran affirm that the two boys hung in Mashad were lovers. "The first day I found out, I called my Iranian contacts from Huriyah," says Jama. "All agreed on the fact that these boys were murdered for being queer. One of my contacts who has been to gay parties in Mashad (the city where the boys were executed) swears the boys were long-term lovers, and another source told me one of the boys' family members outed the couple.

Jama told me that, "The level of surveillance in Iran has reached maximum since the reports of the hanged boys 'got out.' You would be surprised how far I had to go to find out what happened. Can you believe one of my contacts had to dress up as a woman -- with full facial nikkhab -- also wearing gloves.... and go into an Internet cafe... only to use Yahoo messenger he created right there for only -- yes -- just a ONE minute message to me? He had to travel a day to this Internet cafe to make sure nothing would get back to him. it is that scary. People are rightfully scared for their lives."

This is what my Iranian compatriots routinely call, "khalee bandee," or that time honored practice of exaggerating fluff which might only engender in listeners fully grown horns in utter disbelief. (Shakh dar-o-Vordan).

What is this? A bad melodrama set in a North Korea populated by Saudi Arabians? What country does he think he is talking about?

Just look at the prose. What was there to "get out" about a very public hanging? And what kind of a city is Mashad anyways?

Yes, it is "holy" city. But it also (rightly) boasts a reputation as one of the most "libertine" cities in Iran. It is a city of pilgrimage, yes, which means it is a tourist resort.

And just like any other tourist town the world over, people who pass through act out on all their pent up frustrations and fantasies by doing what they are normally unable (or unwilling) to get away with in their own cities located somewhere in one of the most meddlesome societies in the globe.

People gorge with food, abuse drugs and copulate like crazed rabbits—licit, elicit, gay, lesbian, straight and everything in between.

And about those internet cafés.

Does he seriously want us to believe his account? Give me break! The surest way to attract attention anywhere in Iran is to go to an internet Café dressed in the outfit the fellow describes. Again, where is the exact setting for this goofiness?

But let's focus more on this scary campaign he talks about.

The whole country has been in an uproar with myriad revolts breaking out all over the place and those sit ins and protests and candle light vigils and battles with the police and the army and the guards-- and not to mention, all the habitual licentiousness and the utter contempt for anything remotely resembling laws and ordinances everywhere and here we are again-- being fed that same ridiculous gobbledygook about a petrified population in such morbid dread about some simple act of using the internet to send a message.

Look, you don't even have to have been to Iran to evaluate the veracity of some of the claims.

How many Iranian blogs are there? How many million of internet users? Where do we get most of our news from? Just look at the Netstats rankings of Iran's top sites from only today --even with this regime's ongoing best efforts to filter and suffocate independent life.

And unlike the fellow's contact, these sites remain stationary.

# 1: Porn. #4 porn and #15 porn. And terribly bad porn at that.

They can't even stop Ganji's letters and writings from getting out-- and he has been under surveillance!

I am so absolutely fed up with all of this simplemindedness, I tell you.

We are so doomed. With all these murderous, mediocre rulers and the outrageously silly friends and allies, and even more obnoxious enemies, there are no graceful exits anywhere in sight.

Why can't we get some sane voices to speak out about Iran? Please, please, write and send them to Open Democracy! They seem to need it.

No comments: