As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from a troubled dream, he found himself changed in his bed to some monstrous kind of vermin. — Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
As the critical U.S presidential election approaches, I recently received an e-mail from the dearest of all friends. Much to my surprise, I discovered that my formerly laissez-faire friend had metamorphosed into a “neo-con”. An angry-not-quite-so-white-rather-hairy Iranian neo-con that is. As puzzling as this metamorphosis was to me, the rage from posse of our freethinking friends was unrelenting.
Fox News and a shadowy Iranian trash TV from Los Angeles became his channels of choice, Rudyard Kipling's The White Man's Burden became his mantra, a pile of Wall Street Journals began to decorate the master bathroom, and a map was produced with the best routes to Tehran highlighted and numerous cities underlined to be “Liberated”, per his suggestion by the Fifth Armored Division.
Not satisfied by insulting the current regime, he soon began bad mouthing Mossadegh, calling him a paid disgruntled communist bus boy and describing the CIA coup in 1953 as a trivial detail in history not worth debating.
Shirin Ebadi became his latest reincarnation of the devil. “If only she lived in Paris or Connecticut, and stopped all this nonsense about Islam and democracy” he wished loudly over some fine Italian wine few weeks ago. He has been boycotting French wine lately and has renounced the Nobel Foundation as an Al Qaeda dormant cell in Sweden.
“Arabs… they are the ultimate root of all of our wretched quandary, Iran would have been Germany if not for the Arabs.” “Rubbish,” we replied, yet he did not relent in his argument, insisting, “we would have all been blonds if it were not for the Arabs.” Now that was a rather delightful thought, we all agreed. Soon, to our dismay, he began forwarding e-mails asking for donations for building the Israeli Wall and a few extra settlements around Jerusalem.
His e-mail began to collect dust in my inbox. Then, after a few tearful reviews, I decided that it was time for an intervention. I urged our common friends to attend a confrontational meeting intended to help our Iranian neo-con overcome his denial of joining a confederacy of dunces and begin treatment.
The first step to helping someone with neo-conish symptoms is to learn as much as possible about the malady. So we all read a bit of Foad Adjami and Richard Perle writings, and ordered Freedom Fries at every occasion. Yet the clue was in his recent manifesto that he had e-mailed a fortnight ago declaring himself to be a faithful believer (among his other neo-con symptoms) of the Constitutional Monarchy in Iran.
Much to our surprise, after few tasty mojitos at our intervention meeting, he admitted that he did not care much about neither a constitution nor a monarchy, and that his greatest wish was to regain his family's confiscated property outside Mashhad. This neo-con thing he said “is just to give his claim an ideological facelift.”
Oh but how could we disagree with him? As I watched him the other day trying doggedly to obtain a ticket to the Republican National Convention in New York, I realized that we shall miss him dearly at our posh gatherings and endless benefit cocktail parties in the Upper East Side.