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June 21, 2001

No center

Why with most of us things have to be all the way to the right or far to the left? Consider how we evaluate the previous regime; we often hear two totally different views. Some find nothing nice to say about that time while others think the Shah's regime was the best thing ever happened to the human race. We have the same sort of categorization and absolute view about Iran-US relations, religions, the current regime in Iran, the opposition, and most every other political, social and cultural issues that we talk about, regardless of the depth of our knowledge about the subject.

"Ya Roomi-e Room, Ya Zangi-e Zang" is how things have to be with us. That may be one of the reasons we keep missing the boat. Not knowing exactly how things are, makes it difficult, if not impossible, to correct the mistakes and to work for a better future. We need to realize that the real world is not all black and white, and reorganize that it is more flexible than we are used to. We need to look at things from different angles and find out what part of it works for us and what need change. To see a better Iran and better Irani, tomorrow, we must learn a better way of looking. One side effect of the Absolute Vision is trying, or rather forcing, to make connection between issues that really have nothing or very little to do with each other. This, I see a lot of. Just read the "Letters" section of the once in a while to see how simple things change to blockbuster social issues or future forming political revolutions. Some example:

1- Googoosh's concert. A widely popular singer, who due to the revolution in Iran and like many other male and female artists could not perform, comes out of the country for a concert tour. Her motivations for doing so, most probably, were to feel better about herself by perform again after twenty some years of silence, and make money. But it couldn't be that simple for us. There we tons of articles analyzing everything that is and was about her, and from those, all sorts of accusations and blames were built up against her, the Islamic Republic, the Shah's regime and so on. Of course there were many who voiced the opposing views. If we were to draw so many serious conclusions from a pop concert, aren't we missing the serious points?

2- Someone likes to write a series of erotic short stories., for reasons known to its editor, decide to publish it. At this point, for the most part, it's a matter of the taste and quality of these writings in one hand, and the readers' judgment of in publishing it, on the other hand. But this matter, like most anything else becomes a hot issue so nothing else is safe from criticism. And not surprisingly it follows all sorts of praises and admiration for the writer and the "Literature." Too much, too far from either side.

3- The last example and the main reason for writing this article: Death of Leila Pahlavi. A young woman has died. Regardless of who she was and how she died, it's a tragedy for her family and friends. That simple. If you haven't already, read some of the comments about this issue. I see no need to reflect every point of view in this matter; there are some (now that we find out who she was, and dead) who think of her like Diana [""Diana not""]. Some don't. Some find this a good subject to attack the previous regime, Reza Pahlavi, current regime, and etc. The issue of why Shah left and the Ayatollah came, what we had or hadn't, what is or isn't have not really anything to do with Leila Pahlavi, at least not with her death. Let's not mix things up. We need better way of answering all these questions. Better yet, find some new questions. Work on a way out to the future.

It's great to talk about the things that are important to us, especially about the things that effects us all, like the politics, politicians, social and cultural issues, and so on. But all these talks mean nothing if they aren't to change us for better. We have to see things for what they are, and make connections where it makes sense and come to conclusions when they are reasonable.

Ray Irani

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