Magical mystery man
Thank you! You are not hypocritical or condescending
By Assal Badrkhani
December 20, 2001
Holding the remote control in one hand and a warm glass of chai and honey
in the other, I began my afternoon ritual of Persian channel flipping. I
would watch American television, but there was never anything worthwhile
on at four o'clock.
I would pick up the San Francisco Chronicle, but I'm one of those few
teenagers who knows that all the media does is put a pretty little spin
on the lies our leaders feed us. In what other country in the world would
you find the world news section in the very very back next to some lawn
furniture advertisements? Only in America...
And so, I kept switching channels, wishing I'd dropped an ice cube in
my tea to cool it down a bit. And then I saw him, or maybe I heard him first.
Anyways, it was love at first sound. I'll refrain from using names because
I in no way want to make anyone mad or anything, but I do want everyone
to know about an unexpected gem that I came across a few weeks ago.
For the first time in my life, I saw someone in the magical world of
Iranian television who spoke perfect English, no accent. I thought that
he was probably someone there to run "Ahang haayeh darkhaasti",
the only show on TV geared towards teenagers. But no. This man wasn't there
to spring another load of mindless music videos with bee-aaberoo dancers
on us. This man had a brain... and a very educated one I would like to add.
He spoke of Erik Erickson's theories about the stages of life, and the
story of Imam Ali, and the hazards of drugs and sex. Never in my life had
I been so proud of someone I didn't even know. I wanted to call in and tell
him know how wonderful he was, but I couldn't, because I am totally against
those people who call in and ramble on, kissing * and wasting valuable time
that could otherwise be spent by saying someting of value.
So, I am here to say: Thank you! You know who you are. You should also
know that you are the first person I have ever seen on Iranian TV who can
prove to the entire Iranian community that their teenagers are not as "lost"
a generation as we have been labeled. You speak perfect English and almost
You are not hypocritical or condescending in your tone, you just say
it like it is, straight from the heart. You talk of how we should love ourselves
and our country and how we should strive to educate the people of America
about what we are about. You say you hope for the day when American athletes
and celebrities can raise their heads proudly and tell the press that they
are Iranians, and my heart soars because I too can see that day approaching,
slowly yet surely.
Most of all, the words that steal my heart are "If you're not part
of the solution, then you're a part of the problem." I hope you realize
how great an effect your words have on the future leaders and workers and
singers and students and lovers of Iran and I hope you never stop to rest
on that path you are taking. I wish you the best and I hope that everyone
who watches your program appreciates the purpose of your show the way I
have begun to do so.