The Caliphate Demagogy of Islamic Iran – A very short story!
“We human beings have a talent for deluding ourselves.
We fortunate ones; who still have jobs, go to work and sell ourselves as slaves to a machine that consumes our lives, and sucks and spits out our youth.For our sake oil is turned to plastic, and plastic to TV remote controls, tools and toys; metal is forged to galvanized steel, turned to screws and bolts, to hold sheets of pressed wood in the shape of discarded IKEA cupboards.
We don’t even have a relation with what we make, it is as if it is made by alien beings. For us thousands of china men and women day and night, night and day dress up in blue uniforms sit at rows of tables in large grey Godless cathedrals that reach out to infinity and compete to turn something raw from mother nature to a consumable object, an object that often costs the merchant less than 99p and send over in cities of metal fraters sailing on gigantic ships.
So the Chinese rivers are polluted by the rapid industry, and their sky is red as cultivated land is turned to desert and the dust colours the city escape but they are proud for they are giants of Global industry! Halleluiah!
For our sakes, tyrannical sheiks and Caliphs sit on oceans of black oil. Dictate the lives of millions, trade in people, cars and palaces and keep nations frozen in a dead past, but send their kids to have expensive hookers and drive Ferraris around Monte Carlo.
The World economy collapses, the ice caps melt and the polar bear on the TV is now homeless, the ozone is torn out of the sky and we like migrating salmons do what we must do and buy that piece of plastic impregnated with silicon and copper, that shiny metal mirror that gives light from its corners for those that we love!
Don’t get me wrong, I am as sinful as any of them; I spend three days clearing a double garage containing unused toys, chairs, garden furniture, and tables that were rarely used. I met my fellow sinners at the congregation of the local recycling plant dumping those “must match colour” furniture, the exercise bike that was never saddled, and the picture frame that their wives never liked. At least we recycled!
So why do I start by such an elaborate sermon, a doomsday sketch of humanity and the consumer world my dear nephew?”Uncle Sohrab remarked.
“Simply to demonstrate a point, that we despite what we would like to believe are not rational beings, we do not have free will and there is certainly not a divine being watching for our interest, if there was there would not be so much suffering in this world, even if there was a God that wanted to better us through suffering, I ask why so much, why so much of it? If this God is omnipotent then why make something so ridiculously imperfect.
Look at the World, look at our bodies, all far from perfect!”
“But uncle surely you are not suggesting that we are not responsible for our actions in saying that there is no free will?
And why talk about God, you are not going to start your philosophical paradoxes again to divert the conversation, and bring in ‘Can an omnipotent God make a breakfast so big he can not eat it?”
I responded knowing all well that this might fire a flame in his brain and get him focused, as he usually behaved.
“Better still, can a suicidal God faced with the boredom of eternity and omnipotence shatter his consciousness to so many fragile peaces that he can always exist but not get back to being a God again. Perhaps he did?” He responded, and continued:
“No what I’m saying is that we are free within the constraints of culture and circumstance. It is what I call the chaos theory of social movement another words although sometimes a small change by your average Joe can make a difference and it does we see it in the form of the consumerist catastrophe that is destroying the planet, he the average Joe that is overall would operate within the bars of the cradle that hisculture, family, school, nature and fortune provides, so our entire justice and ethics is based on delusions and corrupted by religion. Is there really free will?” He asked.
“It is welcoming to see you following the trends of the Greens and care for the plant” I responded with mild sarcasm, “but what does that have anything to do with the Iranian elections? Can we get back to that conversation, as you promised.”
“Don’t you see Dear boy; we are creatures of habit, addicted to what we think is our normality, we sacrifice heaven and earth to sustain that normality. We are consumers, and there is no humiliation that we don’t put up with to carry on being consumers, and we fill up our empty lives with so much junk we buy and want, so much… He then surprising stood up in a salute and claimed:
“It must be said though as delusional goes that amongst the nations we the proud nation of Iran must be the masters of the Art of self-delusion.
There should be books written on this, volumes of it, and this should be titled:
“The great Iranian delusion of the past several millenniums, but at least for now here is a drink to them!
I can see the book now, Chapter one, they thought they build Persepolis but the Ionian Greeks carved the relief, and the Babylonians layed the bricks!
Chapter two, they think they are Aryan decedents that migrated, and there was no such massive migration, just small pockets that grew and merged and moved south, and they were not white they were all colours.
Chapter three they are not Arabs but everything that they build and thought since the Arab invasion is credited to the Islamic world …”
I could see that the vodka was going to his head so I interrupted,
“Please uncle, come on you promised we would finish our debate, don’t do an off side tackle now!”
“Without being aware, we have become caricatures of humanity.” He continued.
“So here we are knowing perfectly well, that all these candidates have their hands soaked in blood and that like a glove puppet the unelected leader the Caliph has his fist up their backside.
A Caliph that rules under the name of a hidden Imam that did not exist, a descendent of another Imam who was never martyred, for a prophet who had the words of a pagan God, a mythical creature, a God that changed his name, lost his divine Arab daughters and only Jewish son changed the rules and doctrine every few hundred years but only existed in people’s imagination. A God with all cruelty yet called compassionate. Here we are facing extinction and like ant workers that carried ripped fragments of dead insects to nest that is about to be flooded by a broken dam we are all in our delusional sleep going to drown!
And these clowns, these thugs that are part of the same brotherhood of thieves are once again managing to mislead the people, and no matter how many times I see it, it hurts, it really hurts.
In thirty years there has not been a crime against humanity that these people have not committed, we who a hundred years ago had the constitutional revolution, we who thirty years ago had women roaming the coast of the Caspian in Bikinis not that I’m saying that was progress but it was a small sign for a potentially libertarian society now we get excited because one of the candidates shows his wrapped up wife in his election campaign as a portail of a woman who can be considered human by the regime as a sign of progress.
Do you see them all singing freedom like canaries today, come a week after election and all this is put aside; they are only presidents after all, in Iran a president is a nobody who goes round the globe and makes an Ars of himself; and all this whilst Iranian girls are sold to our neighbours, we are sitting and watching like a child in a concentration camp watches a loaf of bread across barbed wires, we are sitting there waiting to be handed our freedom, by whom? by no other than our oppressors. How pothetic, how delusional!”.
“Forgive me uncle but you always had a flare for melodrama”.
“Don’t you think you are taking this conversation to a dooms day scenario is a bit far fetched? Besides why do you call Iranians delusional? You must give some credit to the social movements that have cornered this regime into this masquerade, is it not the case that through pressure by the student movement and the feminists and workers that this regime is beginning to crack?”
“Normality, and delusional hope, Dear boy. Childish, gullible hope is what we have but I try to stick to the facts. You are hopeful, just like a guy sitting on a street corner, hungry, drugged, unemployed with no future but he still carries a bloody mobile phone in that clapsed economy, because having a mobile phone means that he still has a clasp on normality and goes to one of those stadiums where they took these pictures because they are giving him something for free.
He doesn’t understand that he is trading what should be rightfully his and giving his future up for that stupid coupon or freebee, or whatever handout they give him!
I admire these movements, but these are scraps, scraps of freedom being begged, it is not enough. Iran is ruled by a Sheik, or a Caliph, sitting on barrels of oil, stop the oil.
Stop the bloody oil that is the way, not taking part in these phoney elections, hoping things would change”.
“Look I have sympathy for your views uncle, but I think you are being harsh on the faith part, you of all people should remember that this is the same faith that made Grand Mother get up in the morning thinking that she is being watched and protected and take care of you and her other kids when she became a widow as you yourself told me. Besides the nation took a bad step thirty years ago, and I am facing the facts it has to pay a high price for what you call normality”.
“I know, so she spent a lifetime bending up and down to a foreign mythical creature, and uttered verses that she never understood.” He sighed.
“For her she might as well had been uttering them in a Korean dialogue, yes it gave her comfort, but it also took away her right to choose, it took away her right to live. She was married off young, was not given the opportunity for an education and she used to beat the crap out of me because she thought that was a good thing! After this debate you might argue that it was! It was all part of the religious culture.” He said with a soft drunken smile.
“But that’s the thing, women are not just being handled like cattle, a lot of good has come out of this misery, it would take a while, look at the French revolution, that took a few hundred years to settle down, but our social enlightenment can get back quicker, and before you say it I don’t mean progress in feeling proud that we bought hand me down rockets from North Korea, I am talking about the development of the society itself through resistance to tyranny”
I responded but felt defeated in getting the conversation back on track.
“Oh what I would give to have her here and slap me again now! Right here, do you see it, a small scar! To see me as the old man I’ve become.I miss her so much that sometimes the ache in my chest could make a cracking sound, and I’m not talking about my gastritis!
She is there with us I guess, even for an atheist like me, she is there in my heart, even though that all that is left of her are some bleached bones with a wedding band and the gold fillings of her teeth and I know that there are no other worlds other than the world of our dreams where she lives.
And look at me, wasting a year of my life in front line, seeing all those kids getting blown up on mines, running away across the Turkish boarders, being scared I’m not going to live, sleeping in a telephone kiosks until somebody bless them helped me out, years of cooking burgers until I managed to get my status sorted and get back to college, me the bright kid of the family, the one that would make her proud.
I tried to keep it from her, on how much I suffered, on how I always thought the next knock on the door was going to be the immigration Police. She suffered so much and I wasn’t there, I wasn’t there the day the Basijs turned up at her front door asking money for the bullet when they killed Zahra, what kind of God… What kind of God. They took her and gang raped her, and then hung her but still used a single bullet even though she was finished off. She who was the purest of the pure. Do you think I could forgive such a God, do you think I would forget that it was these jerks standing for the election who had a part in the masscares? Screw their elections.”
I could see that he could not hold back the tears rolling from his moist brown eyes; the intellectual debate had finished, if indeed it was an intellectual debate rather than an excuse to spend time with an uncle that I loved but did not have the time to visit, and besides we were both drunk.
“I miss her too you know, but you are wiggling out of our conversation again” I smiled.
He looked at me with a solemn yet intoxicated look winked and said:
“Finish your vodka, dear boy. Don’t waste your life like I did, enjoy it, find yourself a good woman, fall in love and be a happy slave, just don’t screw with nature or nature screws with you, don’t listen to me rambling on and on! It doesn’t matter, I’m pissed none of it really matters! The hell with it let them vote for whatever Goblins the so-called leader choose for them, but don’t ask me to call this farce democracy, Here we are sitting in a European room, in a European town, we are both Iranian and we are holding this conversation in English!
I don’t know maybe there is hope, there is always hope, what else do we have? Or I should say, what more could they have, we are sitting here with our umbilical cords attached to that land but they are the ones who suffer.
But for one thing I must put my foot down, it is a Caliphate Demagogy of Islamic Iran, not the Islamic republic of Iran. I refuse to take part in this silly masquerade, and to answer you and wrap up our before dinner conversation, of course I’m not going to bloody vote, but here is a drink to our people, may they get their freedom one day. The Caliphate Demagogy of Islamic Iran will become history, we will have another system one day just like the others became history, but don’t listen to me what do I know?, I’m too drunk and none of it really matters.”