March 2008 archive

It could happen here

I just saw Persepolis, and I am in awe.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, you need to check out either the Graphic Novels by Marjane Starpi by that same name or the 2007 Oscar nominated film (the one I am talking about right now). I read the books before and just saw the movie yesterday, and the movie has literally blown my mind. Filmed in Pencil-drawn black and white animation, the movie takes us into the story of Marjane during her childhood as the Shah is about to fall, through living with the Aftermath of the Iranian revolution and the newly founded Islamic regime. The animation-which is an odd choice in the age of 3D generic crap- is really what makes this film special, especially that its dark feel adds to the stark brutality of the scenes of violence or its aftereffects. The use of black and white and shadows only  gives Persepolis the feel and quality of film noir. When its dark, its the stuff of nightmares, especially for someone like me, but when its humorous, it is silly, lighthearted and uplifting; such are the contradictions of this film. I mean, this is the kind of film that is austere in many ways and yet boasts a
sequence in which the heroine sings “Eye of the Tiger” in broken
English. How could you not love that? (Also, the dream sequence between Marjane, God and Marx, well, that's the stuff of greatness).

The movie chronicles Satrapi's efforts to reconcile the Iran she loves with a country upended by war and extremism, and it is a tribute to one young woman's stubborn resilience and a
reminder that people are people, regardless of how their governments
may want them to behave, and how people inherently understand the essence of evil presented to them by those ruling them, even if they do share the same or similar beliefs to them. I literally cringed at the scene where Marjane's maid was crying while holding the key the authorities gave to her 14 year old boy, telling him that it's the "Key to Heaven" if he choses to join the army and die a martyr, because I can see this getting deployed here, easily, if for whatever reason we are ruled by Islamists who might feel like starting a war with Israel and we started to lose badly. What's even scarier, I can see it working.

But if there is one thing that did break my heart upon viewing the movie for a second time, it's the assurances of Marjane's great Marxist Uncle, as the revolution stops being about getting rid of the Shah and starts slowly but surely become about installing a far worse theocratic regime. I could see every single marxist or leftist friend I know here who fights for the right of the MB and who believes himself to be in the same boat with them sitting just like him in a chair, re-assuring everyone that there is "no need to worry. It will get better. Half of the country is illiterate. It's normal and natural for them to vote for islamic rule", until the very next scene, where the new regime decided that they need to get rid of all the other enemies of the old regime, and arrested the man again, only executing him this time. And while I might think of those friends of mine as naive, idealistic or misguided, I wouldn't ever want them dead. But then again, I don't have the audacity or the arrogance of ever claiming to represent what God wants us to be like. Even my Ego has its limits.

The question of the movie becomes immediately that of: What does one do in such a situation? Marjane's family is obviously well-off, educated, westernized and mostly secular, something that I can relate to greatly, and they find themselves suddenly surrounded by uneducated bearded men who believe in their absolute moral authority to do as they damn well please, no matter what the consequences- even if the consequences are the destruction of a country. What does one do in such a situation? The obvious solution – to stay away from Iran, or whatever your respective country may be – isn't easy, and the movie emphasizes that above all else. The
predominant theme of Persepolis is not war or repression but the pull
of home, no matter one's location. That home can be a state of mind, and that it follows you everywhere. And this rings true to me. As much as I am horrified of the direction my country is taking, I can't find myself able to leave it, even when presented the opportunity last year by a reader I am very grateful to. I love this country, I think it's beautiful, and I believe it to be mine. Why would I ever leave it to those who only see it as some part of a greater empire, whether Arabic or Islamic? The more and more you deal with Islamists, the less scary they get, because you realize that you are facing the morally and intellectually bankrupt whose only weapon is fear. But they are such cowards themselves, that they can't ward off or face off against anyone who stands up to them without threatening them outwards with violence. And if that day comes and they rule this land, well, I have a feeling that they will have to kill me and thousands and thousands like me, because we won't shut up and they will have no answer than that provided via a sword. There will be blood, no two ways about it.

Thank God we are not there..

…yet! 

That Speech

The Video of the speech is here

The text of the speech is here

Grouchy rightwing response here

Andrew Sullivan drooling here 

and a bunch of US liberals having a full body orgasm upon hearing the speech here

Me? Well, I liked it. It was a good speech and Obama is a terrific politician. However, I do wonder if people would be talking about how great this speech was if (and yes I am going there) Obama was white, his pastor was white and his pastor's remarks were sometimes racist against blacks. Saying that black racism is a reality and part of the african-american experience is true, because, let's face it, we are all racist to one degree or another. The flaw is, however, that we do try to disavow that. That while we do recognize that racism has been part of our experience growing – not just the african-american experience-, we also recognize that its bad and that we should try our hardest not be this way, and even shunning it when we can. Obama is not saying that. He is saying that it's part of the African-American experience and that he can not disavow that anymore than disavowing the entire black community. I would find this personally troubling if I were a US voter. Other people don't seem to for some reason. They also don't seem botherd with the idea that this is the man who introduced him to christianity, that this is the man who baptized and spiritually guides his daughters and this is the man that he won't cut out of his life, no matter what. I mean Hagee was equally shit but McCain isn't running around saying "I can't disavow this man, he is my spiritual guide and I will keep him around because, well, he comes from a difficult background and therefore his views are not excusable, but understandable". Hell, he would be eviscerated for it, no?

As for arab obamaniacs, I wonder how they felt towards his shout out towards Israel and his summation of the Palestine-Israel conflict of it being a product of Radical Islam and Radical Islam alone. If they paid attention, then the honeymoon is over, but they didn't, which is why their support is still incredibly funny!

Lesbianism is very very bad!

There is apparently en egyptian film in the works that “tackles” the issue of woman on woman love, and I say tackles in quotation marks because it’s..well..shit. Haven’t seen the movie yet, but the story so far….yeah, it’s shit. It’s starring Ola Ghanem and Dolly Chaheene- which means we will get eye-candy and semi-nudity but no real acting what-so-ever- and the story goes as follows: Ola is a rich girl who has ” deviant urges” towards women, and towards Dolly in particular, who is of course not gay at all and dirt-poor (Please note that the Poor girl is the one without deviant urges. See..the rich are bad and deviant, the poor are wholesome and straight vanilla, anyway). So Ola uses her money to entice dolly to have an illicit affair with her- despite Dolly’s straightness- a temptation to which Dolly succumbs too, which kinda makes her a gay prostitute, well, prostitute for someone who is gay. You get it. Moving on. However, there is a twist: both women have men in their lives who don’t know about their Spritzer-like arrangement initially, but when they do, the moral judgment of the movie hits you with its heavy-handedness. Because, well, the moment Dolly’s guy finds out, he like, rapes her, while Ola’s guy tries to cure her of her gayness by the use of therapy. So, girls, least we forget, if you are poor and some rich girl convinces you- using money and charm- to clean her carpet, well, don;t do it, because once your boy finds out, he will rape your ass, and it will seem like a fair consequence to your transgression to the average person. However, if you are the rich girl type- thus attracting men of the non-rapist variety- well, seek therapy. There is always hope for you. Your desire for women can be cured. Nothing a few hours of Electric Shock Therapy coupled with memorizing the Koran can’t fix. Right? And maybe you should also wear the veil, and not hang out with men anymore, and go to women-only beaches, where the usually veiled girls take the opprutunity to get as naked as can be humanely allowed without actually being naked. I am sure that would cure you. Quite positive actually. 

Barak Obama is the Anti-Christ

The latest Clinton smear e-mail:

Obama 'Frightens Me'. The Bible has warned us that 'A man will come
from the East that will be charismatic in nature and have proposed
solutions for all our problems and his rhetoric will attract many
supporters!'

When will our pathetic Nation quit turning their back on God and
understand that this man is 'A Muslim'….First, Last and always….and
we are AT WAR with the Muslim Nation, whether our bleeding-heart,
secular, Liberal friends believe it or not. This man fits every
description from the Bible of the 'Anti-Christ'!

I'm just glad to know that there are others that are frightened by this man!

See..they are not afraid of him because he is black. They are afraid of him because they think he is the beast of the apocalypse. That, like, transcends race. Take that Barak. Take it you anti-christ Bitch! 

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