From time to time, I read with great interest, the articles that claim to have the recipe for that magic all-curing chai, the one that will solve all of Iran's problems, whether political, social, cultural or whether a Bee Em Veh is better than a Benz. They have been written by both Iranians/Persians (I forgot what we are calling ourselves this week, I seem to have misplaced my “Pick My Identity” calendar) or by some busybody khareji, who has either been to Iran, heard of Iran, can locate it on a map, or just some jackass who ate chelokabab for the first time. This so-called intelligentsia always claim to have all the answers, when truth be told, they don't even understand the question.
This recent article concerning how Iranian-Americans can learn from the example set by Jewish-Americans is especially nauseating [“Lessons in success“]. For no other reason except that it fails to address the single biggest problem in our culture–a total absence of personal accountability. Ask an Iranian what is accountability, and the answer will be, “Ven you can have checking account.”
You want to know why Jews are stereotyped as having money and power? It's because they do. And you know what? More power to them. They earned it. And it's not just American Jews. Look at the Russian or Eastern European Jews, living in L.A. for example. They come here with nothing. Nothing but the clothes on their back, zero command of the English language, and no money. Give them 18 months, they have money saved, they have become homeowners, and have better credit scores than most Americans and many Iranians who have been here longer.
What is the key to their success and prosperity? Well, there are many. First and foremost, however, is their goodwill towards their own kind. (You know, “charity begins at home”?) Jews are spoken of as if a nationality, when it's a religion, like Catholics or Moslems, but for the sake of arguments, let's leave that alone for now. Jews and Koreans are the first two groups that come to mind that look out for their own. I know they can't be the only ones, and before you start saying “I know a Jewish Korean who's not like that at all”, save your breath. There are always exceptions. Those exceptions just happen to prove the general rule.
Iranians can learn a valuable lesson from this. Take care of your own. It's not a racist ideology, it's a matter of common decency and common sense. When it comes to looking after our own, we are just like Mexicans and black Americans when it comes to prosperity and success.
There is so much petty jealousy among members of our respective communities. If a Mexican is successful at something, another Mexican who hasn't realized similar fortunes chalk it up to “he had help”, “he got lucky”, or “she slept around to get what she has”. If a Black person is successful, the first thing you're apt to hear that he or she “sold out to Whitey”.
Iranians don't necessarily openly criticize or make derisive statements like that, we just have a quiet tendency not to feel happy for them or wish them well. The more vocal critics will say something like, “I help him and his family many time and not even von time dey call to say tenk you.”
We'll screw our own countrymen, and worse yet, our own blood relatives, but kiss the ass of any American who happens to close by, even though they call us terrorists or towelheads, just so we can say “see, vee are Amerikan just like you.” And if money is involved, fuggedaboudit. Just make sure your organ donor card is up to date.
Iranians have to get over themselves, thinking that the old standby “vee have tree tousan year heestory” and the other assorted bullshit we've been rapping still works. Guess what? We have been around for thousands of years, but so what? what do we have to show for it? We traded centuries of monarchies for 27 years of mullahs micro-dictating every aspect of life in Iran while they funnel more money into Swiss bank accounts than the monarchy ever did laundering so much cash that the Cali cartel's liquid assets look like some pimply faced teenager's savings from a newspaper route.
The mullahs enacted “laws” banning alcohol and placing huge restrictions on the social lives of the unmarried. The passage of these “laws” was celebrated by the mullahs, who were doing body shots with a bunch of hookers flown in from Amsterdam. Iran sits on oil reserves that are second only to the Saudis. But Iran has to import gasoline from India to keep those Peykans smoking, I mean running. Hmm, that makes a hell of a lot of sense. Sounds like something one should expect from such a culturally rich society like Iran.
We like expensive designer clothes, but soap must be some cost-prohibitive expense or some kind of selfish indulgence, because you cannot make one trip to the Persian supermarket without smelling at least one Irooni who reeks of B.O. so bad that your eyes water and you want to throw up. It's ten times worse when it's a woman. You end up with this creepy feeling that buzzards are circling overhead. But, we spend “over tousand dollars per month for to drive Benz or Bee Em Veh, vee live in Beverly Hills, and vee only shop in de best esstores, veet American Express Plaateenam Karte.
I love Iran, and I love being Iranian. But the time has come that we start getting our act together. We have no one to blame but the face we see in the mirror every morning. Not the British, not the CIA, not the previous regime, or the current regime. We fail or succeed solely on our deeds and actions. After thousands of years, after all these great things we have supposedly done throughout history, we should be outsmarting the rest of the world, rather than simply fooling ourselves and each other.