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Artworks produced under Islamic Republic of Iran
February 15, 2007 10:40 AM   Subscribe

These artworks are produced under the Islamic Republic of Iran, by young artists educated in Iran's current numerous art schools. (Click on each to see a set of photos.) Do they need to be liberated by Bush and Cheney?
posted by hoder (44 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Came for the art. Stayed for the non-sequitur.
posted by kosem at 10:48 AM on February 15, 2007


More art. Less editorial. This is Good.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:48 AM on February 15, 2007


(love yr blog, btw, hoder)
posted by kosem at 10:49 AM on February 15, 2007


Nice, but no Tommy Kincaid.
posted by Dizzy at 10:51 AM on February 15, 2007


A society's art gets boring when there's too much peace and comfort.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:57 AM on February 15, 2007


Iran has long been a country suffering under one or antoher regime. Prior to the religious nujtters, they had dictatorial Shah with his secret police; then the religious crazies. The Bush appeal is to the ordinary citizen to try to bring about a saner govt. We do the same thing and hope the Democrats will get in.

Amerians do not disline Iranians. But Iran now supports Hezbollah, as but one example of terror outfits working within Lebanon and striking at American assets years ago.

In sum: keep the art but dump the leaders. Can't we sayh the same thing for the US?
posted by Postroad at 11:00 AM on February 15, 2007


Do they need to be liberated by Bush and Cheney?

Looks like Cheney is already running things behind the scenes.
posted by DU at 11:00 AM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


The surreal elephants are especially cool.
posted by smackwich at 11:09 AM on February 15, 2007


Because they produce nice art, they shouldn't be bombed? Is the flip side that if they did not produce nice art they should be bombed?

I've always thought it was pretty common knowlage that Iran was a pretty modern, normal society, albeit with a lot of cultural restrictions. More then say, China, but less then what we would consider an average tin-pot, stifled dictatorship. The people seemed to be doing OK, and so I would be kind of surprised anyone would be surprised by this art stuff.

On the other hand, I remember in the run-up to the Iraq war some soldier mother talking about Iraq and the "horrible situation for women" in Iraq, which was strange since women in Iraq had much more freedom then in it's neighbors. Freedom they've since lost. She had obviously confused Iraq with Afghanistan, (or Saudi Arabia). A lot of people just don't pay that much attention or bother to differentiate different countries.
posted by delmoi at 11:10 AM on February 15, 2007


delmoi: She probably meant that women in Iraq are suffering under the yoke of non-Christianity.

I got from Iran to LOLXIANS in 10 posts--is there an award for that?
posted by DU at 11:14 AM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can't read Farsi - the art is lovely, but what is Quentin Blake doing in there? That's one of his illustrations to Roald Dahl's The BFG.
posted by WPW at 11:17 AM on February 15, 2007


Postroad writes "But Iran now supports Hezbollah"

Savages. Why can't they be more like the United States? Here in freedomland, we'd never support terrorism.
/sarcasm

Really though, agreed. To the people running the show, it's a big fucking chess game with human lives. We can get all moralistic about the methods (in fact, we absolutely should), but if we're going to do that then we should shine the flashlight everywhere and not just where it's convenient. The Iranians aren't doing anything the US doesn't do.
posted by mullingitover at 11:20 AM on February 15, 2007


mullingitover: "The Iranians aren't doing anything the US doesn't do."

One of the reasons democracy is so bloody stupid is because it allows people the chance to have absolutely no perspective whatsoever on the world.

Or, in other words: the whole world looks to the US and says, "well, they do it, so we should be allowed to, too." The whole world is full of fat fucking hypocrites who need to be shut the fuck up, and who probably deserve any bombing they get.

/misanthropy
posted by koeselitz at 11:26 AM on February 15, 2007


Iran supports Hezbollah. WTF. Who does the US support? Everyone else?
posted by chunking express at 11:31 AM on February 15, 2007


Postroad: "Prior to the religious nujtters, they had dictatorial Shah with his secret police; then the religious crazies."

The difficulty of Iran is the difficulty of existing in the wrong times. The responses which we Americans have to Iran (which are, predictably, not very diverse; we tend to be thinkalike drones who please ourselves with the notion of intellectual and spiritual diversity) demonstrate this in spades: the entire West is, in general, incapable of understanding Iran in any sense. And Iran will pay, and pay, and pay for this misunderstanding, all the while being cursed with the bad leaders that seem to come with the territory. They are a country that has had to stand up against misunderstanding for millennia; it's not likely for it to stop now. It is, unfortunately, more imperative that Iran be understood now than ever; and the West is, unfortunately, less able to pull its head out of its ass than ever before on this subject.

Iran was re-founded almost three decades ago by a seventy-nine-year-old Muslim cleric named Ruhollah Khomeini. He re-founded it, not as a dictatorship, but as a religious democracy. He based, or at least claimed to base, his re-founding on a popular constitution which the Shah had denigrated. He drew together support from all segments of the Iranian population: communists, liberal democrats, clerics, persians, arabs, et cetera.

He proceeded to prove that he was a terrible leader, and did some very stupid things before dying ten years later. But what the world keeps forgetting is that he had some very great ideas. Furthermore, the world keeps forgetting that those very great ideas were at the heart of the problems of the Muslim world today. Khomeini, whether he knew it or not, foresaw the conflicts in which we've found ourselves in the 21st century. He tried to create a republic which took the best aspects of Islam and forged them into the best form of modern, democratic society possible. Many of his ideas, which are laid out very well in his writings, turned out to be mere bluster, as he proved willing to suppress and slaughter as he found it necessary. But that 'bluster' of his does not deserve to be thrown away any more than the 'bluster' which lead the writers of the American Constitution to neglect to legislate upon slavery; it is a foundation upon which a new world can be built.

But nobody cares about this. Not the republicans, who seem to think that it's their duty to help the democratic process along by killing off bad leaders; and certainly not democrats, who are probably more kind than the republicans, but just as stupid. We in the West turned our backs on what we called 'theocracy' hundreds of years ago; now we can't think of it without turning up our noses. We'd better learn how.
posted by koeselitz at 11:52 AM on February 15, 2007


The Iranians aren't doing anything the US doesn't do.

Except for, y'know, executing teenagers for being gay, or having sex before marriage. And so on.
posted by Martin E. at 11:59 AM on February 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Favourited for the art -- which is very interesting, thank you.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 12:00 PM on February 15, 2007


delmoi said:The people seemed to be doing OK, and so I would be kind of surprised anyone would be surprised by this art stuff.
and
A lot of people just don't pay that much attention or bother to differentiate different countries.

Bingo... which is why this link is really important. I don't think this applies so much to the metafilter demographic, but many persons of seemingly average intelligence know almost nothing about culture in other countries, particularly the middle east.... and WOULD be quite surprised by this art stuff. They seem to have the idea that everyone in the middle east lives in tents in the middle of the desert...

The other day I was at the UPS store and the girl behind the counter was chatting it up with her coworker about someone who'd bought a ticket to Israel, and how expensive the ticket was. She reasoned that it must be so expensive because they'd have to take the last leg of the journey "by camel"... It was all I could do to restrain myself.

It may seem like a little thing but I think if more westerners, particularly Americans, were aware that people in the middle east and specifically countries like Iran, have art and culture and film and go to universities and let women have careers and stuff, we might not be so gung-ho to bomb them all the time...
posted by crackingdes at 12:03 PM on February 15, 2007


Also, this one is really good...
posted by crackingdes at 12:05 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


neat art.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 12:17 PM on February 15, 2007


I think we should invade and enforce some copyright
posted by pantsrobot at 12:18 PM on February 15, 2007


But nobody cares about this. Not the republicans, who seem to think that it's their duty to help the democratic process along by killing off bad leaders; and certainly not democrats, who are probably more kind than the republicans, but just as stupid. We in the West turned our backs on what we called 'theocracy' hundreds of years ago; now we can't think of it without turning up our noses. We'd better learn how.
posted by koeselitz at 2:52 PM EST on February 15


First, you are confusing the people in power with the structure itself. The constitutional framework of the United States is not more or less likely to elevate leaders who are idiots or geniuses or despots. The people elected the idiots.

In Iran, the question is whether the system allows for anything other than religious tyrants to hold power. In the US, the president cannot eliminate dissent by disappearing people. All those anitwar and antibush demonstrators are still around. But in Iran, does the system really prevent there person who is holding power from wielding absolute power? I'm not so sure. Khomeni seemed like he had absolute power in Iran, or close to it. I don't know if the same can be said of Washington, Jefferson, or even Bush.

Furthermore, Iran needs to understand that the West doesn't simply dislike the notion of theocracy, it's moved on from it. Iran is, in fact, ignoring the West's history, and in particular US history. If they knew anything about US history, they'd realize how ridiculous it is label the US as "too secular". That's the whole point of this country from day one. To be fair, I can't blame them too much for not understanding this when plenty of people here don't get it, but...
posted by Pastabagel at 12:23 PM on February 15, 2007


Good stuff. Whenever I think of Iran and "Art" I think of Karostami's Taste of Cherry, which is so good it's sick. Easily on the same level as a Bergman or Tarkovsky or Antonioni or any visionary world class director.

I don't know what to think anymore in regards to the Bush Admin and Iran. They insist that they're not going to invade yet they're provoking and saber rattling waiting for what exactly? For Iran to take the bait and give them an excuse to attack? And on the other side Ahmanjad that SOB makes threatening insane noises and the price of oil goes up. Cha-Ching instant profits for both Iran and the American Oil Co's. What a crazy world. If any country in the Middle East is on the verge of a real democratic revolution it's Iran and this country should be doing everything to encourage that. Not provoke or take the bait of a two bit SOB. ( And by two bit SOB I mean both Bush and Ahmanijad).
posted by Skygazer at 12:34 PM on February 15, 2007


Pastabagel: "First, you are confusing the people in power with the structure itself. The constitutional framework of the United States is not more or less likely to elevate leaders who are idiots or geniuses or despots. The people elected the idiots."

The people are the idiots. I never suggested otherwise. We all divide ourselves according to an artificial distinction to please our penchant for contention; we vote for opportunistic dingbats because they're just like us; and we believe that we're further ahead in the field of 'information' than ever before when, in reality, we know less than almost anybody ever has.

Pastabagel: "Furthermore, Iran needs to understand that the West doesn't simply dislike the notion of theocracy, it's moved on from it."

Ah. So you're suggesting they accept (or rather we cram down their throat) another of our famous inventions: the notion of progress. This notion which allows us to ignore the fact that the West is the most depraved, unhappy, unlucky, and idiotic civilization which has ever existed; to ignore the fact that our precious West has the privilege of having been originated by Europeans, who are responsible for more bloodshed over the last millennia than anyone in the history of the world could have even conceived before then.

Religion can sometimes be a good thing. In the case of Islam, religion can be a tremendously good thing. If we had the humility and decency to recognize that, we'd be where we should be-- offering them our services and respect, rather than offering to liberate them to the filth-encrusted, spineless 'liberty' which we cling to as flies upon sewage.

I really liked this art. Thanks, hoder.
posted by koeselitz at 12:40 PM on February 15, 2007


Nice art, nice post: My Aunt (not Iranian, western European) is working in Iran in the arts (but not this program - I'll ask her later) and she has some interesting insights about Iran.

No Income tax (!) among them. And outside of Tehran things get pretty rustic pretty fast. Kind of like those 'Top Gear' guys found out about Alabama (and seriously, it's probably about that bad (in both directions)).

I wish we could decide, simply, to not bomb them since they make good art, but there is an even deeper obliviousness that needs to be surmounted first.

The subtext with of "Should we or shouldn't we bomb the buh-jeewillikers out of them" is insane. It's on a par with "Should I or shouldn't I rape that girl/guy who's passed out in the corner?" ("What? I know he/she's passed out, but they're kind of hawt...")

I fail to see where there is even a point to discuss. It makes my skin crawl when it comes up.
/sanctimony
posted by From Bklyn at 12:43 PM on February 15, 2007


This notion which allows us to ignore the fact that the West is the most depraved, unhappy, unlucky, and idiotic civilization which has ever existed; to ignore the fact that our precious West has the privilege of having been originated by Europeans, who are responsible for more bloodshed over the last millennia than anyone in the history of the world could have even conceived before then

And there it is. We're depraved? What exactly is depraved about Western society? Too much sex? Scantily clad women on the street and on TV? What? This is the kind of thing someone's bitter grandfather would say. I reject this out of hand. Depraved is twentysomethings trying to one-up each other by kidnapping truck drivers and relief workers and chopping off their heads on video to the soundtrack of religious chants. When that stuff happens in the west, it ends up in the seedy underbelly of society in places like rotten.com. In the middle east, it's on Al Jazeera during dinner. That's depraved.

You know what's depraved? Requiring that women cover up from head to toe in a desert to protect them from rape. That is a depraved society - one where it is expected the men won't control their impulses and punishes women for men's impluses.

The West has killed more people? Maybe, but only because Western science has enable the development of technology that, like sticks and stones, can be used for good or evil.

But the West has also saved more people's lives than any other civilization. Half of the people who have ever lived on the planet earth were killed by malaria. Malaria is nonexistent in the west, as is polio, smallpox, the measles, etc etc. How many lives have been saved by antibiotics? Chemotherapy? Surgery? How many billions of people on earth right now are not in pain because of aspirin and Tylenol? Those things didn't come from God or by magic.

But I guess we are idiots because we have developed a society that at once provides for all our needs, preserves our personal liberty and affords us leisure to do and say as we please.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:22 PM on February 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


I really liked the stuff in the left-hand column, second from the top. (It's the thumbnail shot of people in a car)

I'm sure that I'll find some other cool stuff on that page later. But it's definitely going into my del.icio.us page.

Thank you very much for sharing this link.

But you know . . . I really could have done without the use of this beautiful art to serve facile political sloganeering about "Bush and Cheney." It's a serious pet peeve of mine -- that contemporary tendency to try to reduce artistic expression to easily digested dogmas.

But again, thanks for sharing the link.
posted by jason's_planet at 1:27 PM on February 15, 2007


On the subject of Bush and Cheney, I guarantee you that both of them will be out of power on Jan 20, 2009. Can you say the same about Ahmenijad? Or the theocrats that actually run Iran?
posted by Pastabagel at 1:28 PM on February 15, 2007


Iran has long been a country suffering under one or antoher regime. Prior to the religious nujtters, they had dictatorial Shah with his secret police; then the religious crazies. The Bush appeal is to the ordinary citizen to try to bring about a saner govt. We do the same thing and hope the Democrats will get in.

Postroad, this comment is either disingenuous, or displays a profound ignorance of Iran's modern history. The belligerent posture the Bush administration has adopted is serving only to strengthen the position of the extremists inside Iran. With a little historical perspective, it is easy to see why Iranians have every reason to mistrust American intentions. You fail to mention that before the Shah's autocracy, Iran was a developing constitutional monarchy complete with a growing middle class and increasing investment in and returns on infrastructure and education.

The last effective, democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, tried to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. (now BP). This attempt to reverse decades of British exploitation of Iranian oil wealth was interpreted by Eisenhower, a the urging of the British, as nothing short of communism, and Mossadegh was subsequently overthrown in a CIA orchestrated coup labeled "Operation Ajax." If Mossadegh had not been ousted because the British feared losing control of Iranian oil, it is hard to say what Iran would be like today, but it is fairly reasonable to assume that Iran would likely be more democratic, stable, wealthy, open and friendly to the west.

Part of the justification for the war in Iraq was to create a model of democracy in the Middle East. While far from perfect, an argument could be made that Iran was just such an example prior to Operation Ajax and the installation of the Shah as dictator. The role of the British and American governments in this coup is a cause of deep resentment and mistrust toward the west. The Islamists exploited these feelings during the revolution. Indeed, the revolution was a clear example of blowback, an unintended consequence of the actions of the CIA. Not only has Anglo-American policy towards Iran been completely indifferent to Iranian interests, in the long term it has been entirely detrimental to the interests of the US and UK.

The US has never apologized for Operation Ajax, or supporting the repressive, autocratic Shah, or orchestrating the Iran-Iraq war. Now Bush is using the same language he used during the run-up to the Iraq war. The best the US can hope to accomplish now is to avoid further entrenching the power of the belligerent extremists. This can be best accomplished by explicitly precluding any preemptive military action, including airstrikes against Iran, and publicly warning Israel not take the same course of action.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:35 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, if we must discuss the role of art in a theocracy, I think we should start with György Konrád’s book of essays on the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution, Antipolitics:

“Antipolitics is the political activity of those who don’t want to be politicians and who refuse to share in power. Antipolitics is the emergence of independent forums that can be appealed to against political power; it is a counterpower that cannot take power and does not wish to. Power it has already, here and now, by reason of its moral and cultural weight. If a notable scholar or writer takes a ministerial post in government, he thereby puts his previous work aside. Henceforth he must stand his ground as a representative of his government, and in upholding his actions against the criticisms of democratic antipolitics he may not use his scholarly or literary distinction as either a defense or an excuse."

“But what does spiritual authority have to offer that is positive? How is it anything more than sheer negativity? It asserts the worth of human life as a value in itself, not requiring further justification. It respects human beings’ fear of death. it views the lives of people of other countries and cultures as equal in value to those of our countrymen. it refuses to license killing on any political grounds whatever. I regard the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ as an absolute command. I have never killed, I want to avoid killing, yet it’s not impossible that situations may arise in which I will kill. If I do, I will be a murderer and will consider myself one. Murderers must expiate their crimes."

“Antipolitics asserts the right of every community to defend itself, with adequate defensive weapons, against occupiers. It is a great misfortune to have to fire on occupiers. We would become murderers ourselves in so doing, but it may happen that we will decide we have to be murderers.”

Eastern European dissidents understood this, and so do Iranians: it's precisely relevant to the role of art and cultural production in Iran, if that is what this post must be about. Resist oppression, resist invasion, and resist the politicization of beauty. All art can teach us is that there's something that makes human life worthwhile, and that it's wrong to inflict suffering or take life for politics.
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:47 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


All the many iranians I have talked to and known, from LA to IN, want the regime in Iran dismantled, but not necessarily by US. More intersting is the deep history of art, design and poetry in iran. Very comparable to French poetry and art in terms of development and challenging of themes and ideas.

For the artwork on the site: khaily motkesheram.
posted by sarcasman at 1:52 PM on February 15, 2007


Religion can sometimes be a good thing. In the case of Islam, religion can be a tremendously good thing.

What's good about a religion that demands the death penalty for those wishing to leave it?

This post confuses me. Is it about the art? (The art has merit, but not because of where the artists reside) Is it about politics? War? Religion?
Is it saying that governments whose citizens create art are worthy of our respect?
posted by rocket88 at 1:55 PM on February 15, 2007


Some keepers in the left column:

The twelfth from the top. The fourteenth from the bottom.

Some keepers in the right column:

The eighth from the top -- but only the one in the top left corner of his page, the crazily patterned elephant.

The sixteenth from the bottom.
posted by jason's_planet at 1:55 PM on February 15, 2007


Iran is not a viable military target, period. But you can improve people's lives there by eroding the power of the religious leadership. Just create a free global satellite telivision station which (a) has no commercial agenda, (b) targets young audiences, and (c) is extremely sexually liberated. Here are a few program suggestions:

0) music videos
1) various modern & classical dance instruction
2) Dan Savage's sex advice column
3) real advice on improving your sex life
4) global news

Bye bye Islam.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:58 PM on February 15, 2007


Is it saying that governments whose citizens create art are worthy of our respect?
posted by rocket88 at 4:55 PM EST on February 15


I think the post implied that because people in Iran are capable of this art, they don't need the US to liberate them. Which is something of a childish nonsensical point, as the arguments being presented for attacking Iran have nothing to do with liberating the people, but with punishing their government for its alleged conduct.

It's is silly to think that because a people are capable of creating art they are not capable of atrocities. In fact, the very people who create art are themselves capable of atrocity. The two things have nothing to do with each other.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:00 PM on February 15, 2007


Regime change in Iran will come surely enough, without any need from interference from without. Roughly half the population of the country is under 25, courtesy of the prolonged war against the US-backed regime of Saddam Hussein. This means that half the country was born after the revolution, and lacks a lot of the older generation's perspective that the revolution was, at least, a decent enough alternative to the rather nasty, US quasi-puppet Shah.

At the same time, I personally have no end of respect for the Iranian people. The typical Iranian you might meet in the street just oozes education and culture, on top of the very best of Islamic courtesy & hospitality, in my experience. They also seem to have a very keen interest in, and perceptive analysis of, world politics. If the average American could be half as refined as the average Iranian, the world would probably be a much better place. Then again, I have never been to the US, so I am largely speaking out of my ass.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:02 PM on February 15, 2007


Pastabagel: "The West has killed more people? Maybe, but only because Western science has enable the development of technology that, like sticks and stones, can be used for good or evil."

What I criticize is our inability to tell the difference between good and evil, and our inability, more practically, to tell the difference between justice and injustice. This is something which other civilizations have spent centuries trying to do, and which we have left aside for pursuits we felt were more important. Specifically, we told ourselves, and still tell ourselves, that justice will sort itself out if we have powerful weapons. This was the thesis of Francis Bacon, and it has been our thesis ever since. The extent to which we have succeeded at what we like to call 'political science' can be seen at a glance.

Seyyed Hussain Nasr, a great teacher, and a man who, one must recall, was forced out of Iran when the revolution came, said an intelligent thing about this once. He said: democracy is not good by nature, and can only be good accidentally; theocracy is good by nature, and can only be bad accidentally. Perhaps a more comprehensible way of saying this would be: we all worship gods. The gods which are worshiped by Muslims are more just than those worshiped by Westerners.

"Malaria is nonexistent in the west, as is polio, smallpox, the measles, etc etc. How many lives have been saved by antibiotics? Chemotherapy? Surgery? How many billions of people on earth right now are not in pain because of aspirin and Tylenol? Those things didn't come from God or by magic."

Well, not by magic, anyhow.

"On the subject of Bush and Cheney, I guarantee you that both of them will be out of power on Jan 20, 2009. Can you say the same about Ahmenijad? Or the theocrats that actually run Iran?"

Ahmadinejad is up for re-election that year. Maybe he'll win, maybe he won't. If he does, he's limited to a single term, so it's certain that he'll be out by 2013. The president does have a sizable amount of power in Iran; at least he has since the late 80s, when he assumed the powers of the Prime Minister. And we can always hope for another Khatami, no?

Part of my point is this: since the first day of Khomeini's unfortunate reign, and probably for a long time before that, the US, and most of the West, has hated and feared Iran. The irony lies in the fact that we could probably have helped Iran along and helped ourselves in the process if we had been willing to leave off our distrust and arrogance; but that never happened.
posted by koeselitz at 2:03 PM on February 15, 2007


(um, my experience may also obviously be a bit self-selective, in that for me to chat with an Iranian entails that they speak english, ergo they are, by definition, educated. OTOH, english is the lingua franca, and is becoming part of the standard curriculum from primary school upwards, pretty much anywhere in the world)
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:07 PM on February 15, 2007


UbuRoivas: 'If the average American could be half as refined as the average Iranian, the world would probably be a much better place."

As an American who knows a few Iranians, I'd say I'd have to agree. But I'd add Westerners in general to that equation.
posted by koeselitz at 2:08 PM on February 15, 2007


Except for, y'know, executing teenagers for being gay, or having sex before marriage. And so on.


Things are not the way they're reported in the West. It's very much like Cuba. There is a huge propaganda machine that twists and blurs facts to produce something that helps them justify their attempts for regime change.

Some examples:

* "Iran forces Jews to wear badges": turned out to be an ugly lie spread around by a new-conservative Iranian journalist, hyped by the right-wing Canadian newspaper, National Post

* "Iran executes teenage gay men": turned out they were not only gay, but also they had raped and murdered a few teenage boys at the the gun point.

* "Iran arrests any blogger who criticizes the state in their blogs": turned out all the people claiming to be arrested for their blogs, were arrested for other reasons such as involvement with foreign-supported NGOs or working with American-run opposition media, but then the authorities later had found some of them had something called blogs. So they used them to add to their charges and frighten them even more. This needs an essay. It sheds light on the way the whole campaign works.

* "Iran stones women for having sex outside marriage": turned out the judiciary has ordered a stop to the inhuman act for quite a while and the rare cases that have happened in the past decade, mostly in small cities, have been the result of a broken and inefficient hierarchy in the judiciary.

* "Iran executes teenage girls for having pre-marital sex": turned out the girl was seen as a prostitute by the Iranian prosecutor and her execution was unusually pushed forward by a local judge in order to cover up his own involvement, using his personal connections, defying the standard procedures of appeal etc. He had also hidden the fact that the girl was not 18 years old yet, which is the legal age in Iran. The dodgy BBC documentary that made the case popular, repeatedly shown in the whole world, bluntly paints that irregular proccess as a policy of executing teenagers for pre-martial sex.

* "Iran blocks all Western media websites such as the New York Times": turned out to be a technical mistake for 48 hours which was carelessly publicized by a press freedom watchdog, Reporters Sans Frontier, before they correct their mistake in a small note. Even Israeli news websites in English or Hebrew are all open and accessible in Iran.
posted by hoder at 3:24 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cites please.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:26 PM on February 15, 2007


Very interesting art. Anyone click through and see the portrait of William Peterson as Gil Grissom?
posted by elf_baby at 4:34 PM on February 15, 2007


Seyyed Hussain Nasr, a great teacher, and a man who, one must recall, was forced out of Iran when the revolution came, said an intelligent thing about this once. He said: democracy is not good by nature, and can only be good accidentally; theocracy is good by nature, and can only be bad accidentally. Perhaps a more comprehensible way of saying this would be: we all worship gods.

This is rhetorical hand-waving, and you know it. There's also the appeal to authority - "a great teacher". Plato was a great teacher too. So was Aristotle. They clearly felt differently on the subject. I disagree that theocracy is good by nature. Why? What if my God is different than your God? What if I have no god, or 400? What if I worship the devil?

It can only be bad accidentally? Says who? Where's the argument for this? Theocracy is inherently bad, because theocracies are always run by men seeking power and never by God, and those men are invariably, impliedly telling the people what God is saying.

Those things didn't come from God or by magic.

Well, not by magic, anyhow.

Well, humans in their present form have walked the earth for about 100,000 years, and presumably God was around that whole time. Pretty much everything I mentioned was a product of post-Renaissance and post reformation West, when God ceased to be a central figure in the lives of most educated people.

By I think I'm getting it now. Your point is really that the West is decadent because it has rejected God. That's what this is all about, isn't it? This criticism of Western values, injustice, etc. is really about how Westerners on a daily basis couldn't care less about God.

And there's the central conflict of the 21st century for you, folks. Reason vs. magical thinking. The irnoy is that Bush and Ahmenijad, bin Laden, et al. are on the same side, whether they know it or not.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:02 PM on February 15, 2007


Re: the Quentin Blake (Roald Dahl illustrator) picture (1,2)

The caption below the thumbnail says it's artwork from the "goroo bereetanyaee majeek penceel"--that is, from the "british group/organization The Magic Pencil."

The very recognizible thumbnail is Quentin Blake's (who chose the MP exhibition's artwork); the rest of the pictures when you click on the thumbnail are also by british illustrators. It appears that the Magic Pencil collection was in the Iran Artist Organization's galleries; hence the british artwork's appearance on that iranian website. There really ought to be artist name attributions there instead of just the collection name (although if you look here it's short work to match up the illustration to the artist).
posted by neda at 7:44 PM on February 15, 2007


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