Reading Kafka at Harvard (3)

"Thou shall not respect his human dignity, crucify him", that was the message

27-Nov-2008 (5 comments)
If Kafka’s The Trial is about the estrangement of man from his liberty and the de-humanization and criminalization of human spirit by the fiat of modern system of criminal justice, then the lesson to be drawn from my similar story of false arrest and imprisonment on purely fictitious and trumped up charges by the campus police at Harvard University is, indeed, how the net of this system has expanded since Kafka’s days, enveloping the larger institutions of civil society, including the academic institutions that, nominally, ought to reflect and nurture the essence of human spirit and, yet, as my case vividly demonstrates, are also apt to clamp down, oppress and repress it, by various methods, often through more subtle, softer and more gentle manners than the outright criminalization of dissent and the resort to vile, naked, and unbounded cruelty>>>


A Time to be Thankful

I am grateful for George W. Bush because all bad things happen for a good reason

26-Nov-2008 (3 comments)
Every Thanksgiving, I remind myself of the many blessings in my life, but while doing that, somewhere in a secret corner of my mind, I also list the many more things I could have been thankful for. Such thoughts aren’t strong enough to spoil the mood, nor am I ungrateful enough to verbalize them, but they’re there and for once, I’ve decided to pour them out. This reminds me of something I had heard a few years after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Following a variety of sanctions and restrictions, Iranians experienced a horrible economy combined with a huge shortage and I heard over and over from incoming passenger about how unbearable life in Iran had become. A friend told me this story>>>


The Little Prince

Open Letter to Reza Pahlavi

25-Nov-2008 (18 comments)
Once upon a time, there was a King of a Land. Actually he wasn't really a King. Years before he became King, his father, a stern and defiant Colonel in the calvary of the mighty army of the Land, upon losing a terrible battle to an evil kingdom to the north, decided that the embarrassing loss was the result and fault of the old King who had become fat and corrupt and greedy. The angry Colonel decided he had to save the Land. So he overthrew the Old King, and proclaimed himself the New King. That is how his son became the King. Deep in his heart though, the young King had never really wanted to be King. He secretly wanted to be a graceful dancer. But when you are the son of a stern and angry Colonel with little patience for such silly surprises, you can't really tell your Father>>>


Once there was a legend…

Takhti’s legacy stirs our deepest sense of individuality and national pride

25-Nov-2008 (29 comments)
My sixteen-year-old cousin Shawn has no notion or understanding of his father’s culture. Born to an American mother and Iranian father, Shawn is an all-American boy with an all-American girlfriend and an all-American lifestyle. Shawn is his high school’s star quarterback, plays a mean guitar, he is the Capitan of the debate team, listens to rap, shaves his head and wears baggy pants. He gets good grades and collage football recruiters are falling all over each other to get their hands on him. Shawn does not speak a word of Parsi. Like many American teenagers born to an Iranian parent, Shawn has no interest in his father’s background. Shawn shies away from anything that might link him to his Middle Eastern roots>>>


The lessons of the Fedayeen

From a former member

25-Nov-2008 (28 comments)
First of all, one has to remember that it is easy to criticise all of this in retrospect, just as it is easy to underestimate the repression of the shah and the islamic republic. The influence that the Fedayeen had in the birth of the new left and on the Iranian revolution is historic and cannot be taken away, though a very heavy price was paid for it. But there were many mistakes - militarism, Stalinism, centralism, the culture of the heroic guerilla and the professional revolutionary. As the organisation disintegrated, not surprisingly heroes suddenly became villains in the eyes of many supporters. A lesson that I personally learnt is that without debate, without democracy, without the ability to discuss every aspect of theory, your organisation will end up as a sect rather than a serious force capable of leading a revolution>>>


مأموریت «یک اسکادران هموسکسوئل منحرف آمریکایی»!

شناخت و درک آقای زرافشان از «هموسکسوالیته» چندان بیش از احمدی نژاد نیست

25-Nov-2008 (5 comments)
در سایت‌های اینترنتی، اخبار و گزارش‌های خبری را دنبال می‌کردم که چشمم به مطلب زیر افتاد. پیش خودم فکر کردم بد نیست آن را با شما خوانندگان عزیز در میان گذاشته، سؤالی را نیز مطرح کنم. به نظر شما گفته‌های زیر را ممکن است چه کسی به زبان آورده باشد؟ آیا شما به عنوان یک روزنامه نگار که پیدا است نظر مساعدی هم نسبت به نظام سرمایه داری دارید، خبر دارید که این واردکنندگان دموکراسی و حقوق بشر به عراق، اسکادرانی از هموسکسوئل های منحرف امریکایی سازماندهی کرده و آن را با ماموریت تجاوز به کودکان ۱۰ تا ۱۶ ساله عراقی به عراق فرستاده اند؟ آیا خبر دارید دو اسکادران از مزدوران جنگی را به همراه سگ های تربیت شده یی که به آلت تناسلی زندانیان دست بسته حمله می‌کنند، برای جوانان بالغ عراقی که بازداشت می شوند به این کشور فرستاده اند؟>>>


The magnificent fjords

A journey of discovery to Norway

I came to Norway with certain predilections. They were mostly based on reading about the country and personal encounters with a few Norwegians. Two were especially memorable. A budding journalist attended a summer school with me in college and a veteran diplomat shared a l with me last panel year to discuss international relations. In the fifty years that separated these two meetings, as the saying goes, “Ekofisk changed Norway.” The discovery of oil in that offshore field in 1969 has transformed Norway from a small, poor, and almost inconsequential country to a very rich state that often plays an active, generous role in global peace projects. The image of Norwegian as a people has undergone a commensurate transformation.>>>


خروج از قدرت، نا ممکن و نا مطلوب

انتخابات آمریکا برای ما که در سال آینده با انتخابات ریاست جمهوری مواجهیم عبرت انگیز است

24-Nov-2008 (2 comments)
می گویند "سیاست هنر ممکنهاست" (نه باید ها) و انتخابات اخیر آمریکا در این نکته خوش استدلالی است. پس از اتمام مراحل انتخاباتی مقدماتی انتخابات در ماه اوت سال 2008 گزینهً اوباما یا مک کین در برابر مردم آمریکا قرار گرفت، گزینه ای که برای بسیاری از آرمان طلبان و عدالت جویان از ایده آل مطلوب دور بود. کاندیداهای دیگری بودند که شجاعانه اصول موضوعهً سیاست داخلی و خارجی آمریکا را به چالش کشیده بودند. آقای رالف نیدر از جناح چپ و آقای ران پاول از جناح راست مواضع غیر عقلانی و غیر انسانی آمریکا در خاور میانه، تاثیرات مخرب لابی های سیاسی، اقتصادی، و مذهبی در فرایند سیاسی کشور، و میلیتاریسم نهادینه شدهً آمریکائی را زیر سوال برده بودند ولی جو سیاسی آمریکا حکم می کرد که هردو آنها در همان مراحل ابتدائی اتنخابات از گردونهً نامزد های دو حزب بزرگ خارج شوند و شانس انتخاب شدنشان به "امکان دوام یک گلوله برف در جهنم" (بنا به ضرب المثل آمریکائی) تقلیل پیدا کند. با اینهمه هردو آنها به فعالیتهای انتخاباتی شان ادامه داده هواخواهان پر شور (و کم شماری) نیز پیدا کردند و توانستند مواضع خود را با استفاده از تریبون های انتخاباتی تبیین کنند. >>>


Los Olivos – A Day

He is looking at me right now, searching for my response

24-Nov-2008 (3 comments)
How is it that I find myself seated across from him in a romantic setting such as this, on a warm sunny August day, alone and allowed to soak in the moment? It takes a good bit of practice for me to gather my thoughts and release them to the passing breeze. I want to be wholly at this table – it is hard though. I have to chase the stubborn thoughts; which refuse to leave, insisting that they be witness to this. I will to focus on the mere pleasure of a simple fare with a person who happens to have slithered his way into my heart. Who is he? Do we ever know? Well, I have only shared a handful of days with this man and fewer nights even. This time around, I don’t have to ask ‘who am I’ – a much more pertinent milestone. So I settle to enjoy this “familiar stranger”>>>


Reading Kafka at Harvard (2)

Conversation With A Harvard Detective

24-Nov-2008 (12 comments)
At day break on Wednesday, January 17, 1996. A tremor shaking the old house to the roots I thought, but the surge of sounds drilling into my peaceful sleep bespoke of an impending crisis of a different kind, one that would instantly transform my life for years to come by imposing on me all the existential horror of a Kafkasque nightmare. Luckily, that night my wife Sylvia and our little Sabrina were staying with my mother-in law who was recuperating from an ice-related car accident. Winter had arrived in full force that January. Lying in bed with the bedside lamp on, I didn’t move but tried to grasp what was happening. A luminous fresco of clouds was gazing through the bay windows; expectant mother nature had found an empty theater to mount a small absurdist play. The heavy knocks on the door sounded as if I had been hit in the head.>>>


Deliciously complicated

A stranger's intuitive interpretation of your culture can apparently often open one's own eyes

24-Nov-2008 (2 comments)
The love affair with the story in the game of Prince of Persia led the creator to explore areas of the story that he had always wanted to do, but never got around to it. Until now. The adaptation of his story in the form of the Graphic Novel, enabled him to flesh out some of the more dramatic details as well as to do some research into the culture and it's vast and rich history. It has resulted in an outstanding new story, which is a unique adaptation taking various elements of both ancient Persia, as well as the more important inclusion of our traditional character and culture. But as in the story, all is not what it seems and there are mysteriously provident strings being pulled from afar.>>>


The Newlyweds (20, Conclusion)

Goodbye dear brother. Goodbye again and forever

24-Nov-2008 (27 comments)
It's over. She is gone. I am left behind. I went to her and tried to stop her, plead with her, convince her that I had not betrayed her. Geraldine told me she had already left. She took my wrist and placed her other hand on my heart and told me it's over. I lost Kati like I lost my "other friend", the one who "is in the dark." I blanched. I had not told her or anyone here about Leili. I came home, crazed. I felt like I was the one stuck under the rubble, the rubble of a sham marriage, an unwanted child, a pretend-life. I had dug and dug until I caught a glimpse of sunlight and now it had been taken away from me. This will be the last of my correspondence to you dear brother. I thought when I saw Kati that first day that Leili had come back from the dead>>>


24-Nov-2008 (2 comments)

"گل شبدر چه کم از لالهء قرمز دارد؟"
تو اینرا می خوانی
تو اینرا می دانی
و باز هم در دست
چاقوی تیز قضاوت داری!
تو اگر پیش آید
گل شبدر را به لالهء قرمز می فروشی روزی >>>


The Newlyweds (19)

I never want to be that Firoozeh again

22-Nov-2008 (5 comments)
Dear Maryam: I decided that the very first person that I will write to inaugurate my new email account is you, doosste aziz. Of course, no letter or email or telegram could put into mere words my gratitude to you, your husband and your team for helping me in my most trying time. I hope that you send my warmest and most heartfelt regards to all of them for now until I can somehow find a way to honor them properly for what they have done for me. Strange to think it has been more than a month since I have said good-bye to you. I know your first questions will be on my life in Iran and how my family has taken the news of the failure of my marriage and my return home. Well, as you can expect, Papa was not thrilled at all but I think it was less to do with the fact that I am back than ... >>>


يقين به آزادی عين آزادی است!

انسان، از سرآغاز مدنيت خويش تا کنون، هرگز و هنوز هيچ سيستم اجتماعی بهتری از آنچه در آمريکا ساخته و پرداخته شده خلق نکرده است

22-Nov-2008 (16 comments)
انتقاد از آمريکا فقط کار کسی می تواند باشد که نخست بپذيرد که سيستمی بهتر از سيستم اجتماعی زنده و کارآيند در آمريکا هنوز در هيچ کجای تاريخ و جغرافيا بوجود نيامده است. انتقاد چنين کسی به آمريکا البته که قابل شنودن و فکر کردن و پذيرفتن است. اما اگر کسی فکر می کند که، مثلاً، سيستم مسلط بر شوروی و اروپای شرقی سابق بهتر، انسانی تر، قانونمند تر و سالم تر از سيستم حاکم بر آمريکا است، يا کوبا را ـ بعنوان مدل و آلترناتيو ـ بر امريکا ترجيح دهد و يا در جستجوی آن باشد که در دل احکام اسلامی پيچ و مهره های ساختن اجتماعی بهتر از آمريکا را بيرون کشد، به گمان من دچار خيال و ماليخوليا شده و بايد خود را به روانپزشک نشان دهد. باور کنيد که قصد من دفاع از آمريکا نيست، که آمريکا به دفاع من نياز ندارد. من اين نکته ها را از آن بابت مطرح می کنم که می بينم اکنون نيز جريانی قوی، که از سنت های گذشتۀ چپ و ملی و اسلامی آب می خورد، در کار آمده است تا ذهن نسلی ديگر از جوانان ايران را مشوب و خراب کند.>>>