Amazon Honor System

Serious * Support * FAQ * Write for
* Editorial policy

Standardization of standards
My spurious attempts at being an "antalagh toloogh"

July 25, 2002
The Iranian

Standardization, the sister of globalization is an imminent, constantly evolving, happening. But do I have a choice? Do I have to listen to the hotelier's pride and joy of piped music at $700 a nap in The Maldives or watch the Coca-Cola Christmas man sweating away in front of a load of German pensioner's in Thailand?

Surely, as with McDonalds' good record of loo hygiene even in Shanghai, so I'm told; a global standard for drinkable drinking water should be first on the agenda? Isn't this elementary? Vociferous objections to sound pollution go way back to the 60's, but did anyone listen?

At London's Virgin Mega Store I couldn't find copies of Mary Poppins nor Jungle Book amongst the latest debris of dreadful Disney tunes or whatever fad. I could not hear myself choose either: the banging of those modern-day tribal tunes are there to numb the mind to a point where it can only pass on its credit card details.

I cannot see whether I look civilized in a synthetic Gucci garment made-in-where-ever at $2000 a thread, listening to the banging of the latest pop piffle. But I can bid for a hand-made, painstakingly embroidered, properly cut "oriental/ethnic" jacket at a fraction of the price at auction or scavenge in a bric-a-brac. And surprise surprise: the "oriental ethnic" cut suits my shape much better because it was made for me in a roundabout way, and it transcends the regurgitations of fashion and sweatshops.

Eating out seems to be cumbersome too. I often feel myself moving my knife and fork in rhythm to the foreground "music" racket to be rushed out for the next sitting, before even missing my mouth. And what is put in front of me is similarly of dubious origin. When have you last seen a real carrot or peach in a shop? The ones that made one giggle because they looked like someone's nose or private parts? The taste of natural, seasonal nutrition lingers only as a memory!

But we all have to keep up appearances of being "normal". As a phenomenon, keeping up with the Jones's is not new. It's just that the Jones's nowadays are supposed to have the IQ of Forrest Gump, grunt in imitation of the latest groovy, grotesque lingo from the latest TV comedy fix and be as creative as that infamous inanely profound plastic bag floating in the wind. But is it any wonder when the former First Lady of the most powerful nation in the world commences an acceptance speech with the gruesome grovel of "Wow"!

The lowest common denominator is appeased in plugging products: there is a wanna-be Jean-Claude van Damme on every street corner from Bangladesh to New York. It's human nature afterall. But there used to be standards instead of an imposition of below-the-par standardization across the globe.

Cary Grant was an actor. Sylvester Stallone isn't; he is a commodity. Yet more people are familiar with Rambo than Rimbaud. (I also had to look up the poor poet's spelling!) Together Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin created a celebration of cultures. The occasional Three Tenors concerts are only an ephemeral reminder of the possibility of redemption. Noel Gallagher on the other hand is simply not a musician. He is admired for pissing on stage.

Advertisements teach me a rigmarole of base cough-ups like "whazzup" to represent a life-style. Where exactly is the style in that? And they also tell me to be different - like everybody else in the same uniforms from Gap to Chanel and fight for my right by declaring war on split ends with a shampoo. Ha?

Children are to grow up in front of the TV to keep them quiet, armoured with now-even-crunchier-and louder crisps. They have to be entertained in order to jump from one sensory instant gratification to another starting with the teletubbies to computergames.

Going on a treasure hunt for conkers used to be one of our family treats. We didn't even need the commendable Lego. We were allowed imagination and made of conkers what we wanted them to be. We were allowed the freedom to think.

The colour pigmentation that we used - instead of subjected to - were not that of a screen, but watercolours sprayed through old kitchen-sieves with an even older toothbrush. Nowadays there are debates about conkers being banned at school in case of schools being sued; rugby seems to have had its day too.Weren't saying "please", "thank you" and "sorry" less troublesome and more humane than the destruction of a ginormous amount of trees because of someone's legal moan?

Bizarrely, at the same time, teenagers can have coffee breaks to give them instant oh-so healthy kicks to the stomach and immune system and young teenage girls can use their mobile phones to calorie-count ad infinitum or anorexic limbo to slick into silicon and Gucci garbage.

Surely as with any healthy food diet, a mental diet of variation and moderation is the common-sensical natural course to pursue. Enough of my spurious attempts at being serious and "antalagh toloogh"("intellectual" -- blame my father for the expression!): have you noticed how lately soft drinks are getting harder?

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for Marjaneh Zahed-Khorassani-Kindersley

By Marjaneh Zahed-Khorassani-Kindersley

Marjaneh's features




* Recent

* Covers

* Writers

* Arts & lit

* Opinion

* All sections

Book of the day

Borjhaye Khamooshi
Dr.Javad Mojabi

Copyright © All Rights Reserved. Legal Terms for more information contact:
Web design by Bcubed
Internet server Global Publishing Group