I don’t know about you, but I’m done with the whole Prince thing. Willing or not, like it or not, Reza Pahlavi is the King of Iran. He is our latest, full-bred, proper, traditional, street legal, Ancient Persian Emperor. He is the current model in a very long line of Mercury Monarchs that we Iranians have always had, and have always needed. If we didn’t need a King, you’d think that we’d have taken even one step towards self-rule over the past 2500 years. And No. the Islamic Revulsion certainly does not count. That was just disturbed mean people getting even with the Shah.
But like a delicate butterfly, like all Previous Princes of Persia, who flap their wings, and float around us, Iranian Kings are often amazing, occasionally beautiful, and arguably unnecessary.
I will argue that Reza Pahlavi is different from the standard issue Persian Emperor we tend to get. In 3 ways. First, he was genetically engineered, then raised as one, and specifically trained in the 20th century, to be a 21st century King of Iran. Second, he is an Iranian King without an Iran, to rule. Third, he doesn’t strike me as the typical “brutal dictator” we usually-historically-
statistically get. He seems fair. Reasonable. Possibly even a Cyrus in the making. Cyrus, in his pre-scroll years. I feel like we can work with this King.
Right about… Now. You should begin to ask this seminal question. If Reza Pahlavi is King of Iran, then why for nigh on 38 years now, has he not done much Kinging? He often appears as though he does not know what he should do. And that is completely understandable. If you ask him, he’s not even sure he is our king. He has even actually said so. In so many words. Including in his book. Which is actually a very good read. If you want to get to know him, and where he stands on the issues, I highly recommend it.
Among the fighter pilot training, language classes, soccer, the drums, personal world affairs tutoring by Henry Kissinger, and memorizing the names of all 30 provinces*, their capitals, native tribal cultures, languages, and agriculture and industrial and mineral output, no one ever thought to teach Reza Pahlavi (RP) anything as fantastic as “Post Islamic Revolution Strategic (and Financial) Contingency Planning”.
And to be honest, none of our parents, or any of us for that matter, took that class either. In hindsight it should have been an upper division course. Iran 101. A required course. The minimum for understanding Iran, if you will:
“Jason Rezaian, please report to the Principal’s office.”
Currently, RP is producing, starring in, directing, possibly editing, maybe writing the theme music, and most definitely paying for the “Ofogh” satellite and online TV channel.
Since Karma is most certainly one Iranian bitch, let me translate Ofogh for everyone now. Besides being uncannily similar to a choking sound, Ofogh is Farsi for Horizon. Horizons are distant. Actually you can never get to one. In fact it is technically impossible to ever reach the Horizon.
In addition, we all now know that the Iranian world today is not actually round, but flat. And that if you could ever reach it’s “Horizon”, you would most likely fall off the edge of the world. One could argue that Iranians who left Iran only to get rich, have fallen off the edge of the world. They are certainly nowhere to be found. Except on #beyondhshahsofsunset.
So, if anyone is asking, “Ofogh” or Horizon, is not a very good name for an opposition TV channel, aiming to change things. Plus when Americans try to pronounce Ofogh it only comes out as “Oh Fuck!”. Which is appropriate.
(Yes, Yes, Yes. I know Ofogh is supposed to imply Hope. But it doesn’t. Because it can’t. The better word for a TV channel inspiring Hope would be “Omid”. But no one is asking…)
While we Subjects like a good deal of pageantry in our Kings, what really turns us on is action. No! Better than action! The ability of a King to lead! Especially during a time of national crisis. And if current Iran is not in a national crisis, well…
So RP needs to show us he can Lead. Show us he can command our respect, and more importantly inspire us to rise up. And serve our country. This is the truest test of any King. An op-ed TV Channel called Oh Fuck doesn’t do that.
Instead, RP should stage an event. One that showcases his leadership and all that he has been taught (minus lessons learned), forged by the bitter taste of time, but topped off by the sweet cherry of destiny, offered up by the whipped cream of obvious failures that the Islamic Republic has as their only accomplishment. Above all, if he hasn’t already, RP should forget everything his father taught him. Maybe keep a tiny bit of the arrogance, when speaking to the foreign press.
One of the mental health benefits of writing, is that it lets you work out the stuff that rattles around in your head. To that end I offer the following hallucination.
RP could rally all Iranians and bring us together, by hosting, “The International Conference on Iran”. A 3-day (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) conference in Washington DC, in the god-damned Ronald Reagan Center, no less.
Experts from around the world would be invited to submit papers identifying any known clear Problem that Iran has, and then offering their Expert Solution to that Problem.
Any Problem. Every Problem.
Each expert would be given 15 minutes to present their paper to the attendees. 10 minutes to present. 5 minutes for Q&A. Arguments will be continued outside in the hallway. Fist-fights in the parking lot.
US officials. Iranian Officials. Intergalactic Officials. Henry Kissinger. Jimmy Carter. Ahmadinejad. Khatami. Anyone who would like to learn about Iran. Uncensored. Leftist Opposition Groups. Rightist Opposition groups. Everyone and Anyone, and their mothers, welcome to attend. Especially the Press. Lunch, Tea, and Pastry. Free.
After the conference, the papers would be published as one giant volume of problems with solutions, and given to every attendee, as well as mailed, emailed, and faxed if necessary, to every member of every Religious Council in Iran, as well as the President, the Vice President, every Minister, every member of the Majles, as well as every Mayor of every major city in Iran.
The full text would be available free online. Optimized for Mobile. Free to download. Free for any printer in Iran to print and publish, and even sell it if they wanted to, inside Iran.
- Rally the best and brightest Iranian minds?
- Collectively solving Iran’s most pressing problems?
- Giving out the solutions for free?
- Daring Iran’s government to refuse the help?
- Let Iran’s government risk further ridicule by refusing to attend?
- Teach American politicians about the real Iran?
If that is not leadership…
But hold on. Maybe I’m being childishly impulsive. Maybe I’m dreaming. Maybe this is all a ridiculous idea. Maybe it is a joke. Hey! Maybe there’s an opening for a Pahlavi Court Jester!
But maybe. Just maybe, this is what RP was built to do. What he should definitely do! And maybe if he is reading this now, maybe he wants to reach out to ask me for more details. Which I have. Maybe RP is out there somewhere. Somewhere just beyond the never-ending Ofogh.
*List of Iran’s Provinces
Ardabil Province/ Ardabil
Bushehr Province/ Bushehr
Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province/ Shar-e-Kord
East Azarbaijan Province/ Tabriz
Isfahan Province/ Isfahan
Fars Province/ Shiraz
Gilan Province/ Rasht
Golestan Province/ Gorgan
Hamadan Province/ Hamadan
Hormozgan Province/ Bandar Abbas
Ilam Province/ Ilam
Kerman Province/ Kerman
Kermanshah Province/ Kermanshah
Khuzestan Province/ Ahvaz
Kohgeluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province/ Yasuj
Kordestan Province/ Sanandaj
Lorestan Province/ Khorramabad
Markazi Province/ Arak
Mazandaran Province/ Sari
North Khorasan Province/ Bojnurd
Qazvin Province/ Qazvin
Qom Province/ Qom
Razavi Khorasan Province/ Mashad
Semnan Province/ Semnan
Sistan and Baluchestan Province/ Zahedan
South Khorasan Province/ Birjand
Tehran Province/ Tehran
West Azarbaijan Province/ Urumieh
Yazd Province/ Yazd
Zanjan Province/ Zanjan