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I should be elsewhere
At five in the afternoon

April 8, 2004

: .

In the name of United
And the BBC
In the name of Georgie Best
In the Name of the Father
And His wife the Spirit
You said you didn't,
They said you did it.

I have not yet had the privilege to see Samira Makhmalbaf's latest direction and production [Five in he Afternoon], but have a decent understanding of her sharp talent and beautiful style as a filmmaker. Just now I listened to her BBC interview, and for the first time heard her voice. Her voice, both as that of a great new generation of those who made it through the revolution all right through blood and art, but also as far as it relates to her love of a woman president in the new Afghanistan, spoke volumes. She also spoke about Cannes.

The inner migration has led to so many "I don't know"-s and "I can't answer"-s that are otherwise visible from the chessboard of global politics: Nothing left to say, but to talk about the old dichotomy, love and wisdom. The Hafiz card, the Molana card, the Erfan card, is pulled out too quickly or perhaps too late...

Courage with art, in neither rebuttal nor Taa'rof (itself a byproduct of not ethics but rather an expression of fear) but in genuine affirmation of things as they are: this is yet to come from the land of flowers and Bolbols. We still need to come to words.

Ms. Makhmalbaf is right, the physical cover is not the most important thing right now, perhaps more important would be to more closely look at the relationship between various ways of exiting the self-guilted mouthlessness without the help of an other, as it were: on our own.

The movement you need is on your shoulder as one says, and in this, questioning the questioner in an interview as the voice of "the west" in a ridiculous dichotomy with Iran or some other abstract thing, while perhaps always a first step, yet remains far from the core of reaching a certain maturity necessary for getting closer to the sun of both light and warmth, the love that was given to Jesus by the kings from the East and Mithra, and the one that was the god of the age of enlightenment, the one that has given us the declaration of human rights, and the one that has given us the atom bomb and systematic production of corpses. What do we affirm? What do we negate? What is our unique moral stance without the fear of, or accusations for another?

New York is calling.

A week or so ago, finally, the Persian Parade was put on, here in New York. I was unable to attend, but I was there at least at one of the meetings of its organizers and the public at large. As far as I understand it, four doctors and some others have footed the bill, performed the labor and sacrificed time this year, hoping for many happy returns in the future. This is in fact quite a noble endeavor; I applaud them for it, and wish them success.

I was also in some sort of correspondence with them regarding primarily two separate things: the democratic element of the parade in its decision-making bodies, and also the matter of the Shirokhorshid flag. At the meeting I attended, it was made quite clear that in fact the Iranian tricolor and the golden Shirokhorshid would be flown. In the films that I have seen from the parade (NY1) this decision appears to have been implemented.

It was made clear to me in various conversations that the undemocratic element remains as always, to some degree understandable (as far as it is tied with the capitalist interests of this capitalist undertaking).

The most important outcome, I hope, was that the fear lurking among and within various Iranians as products of the reign of terror in Iran was overcome, and that, without issuing a political dictum prematurely, they renewed their connection with their past. A good advertising partner would perhaps have been, No Fear! Even those who preached the separation of politics from culture with a straight face let up this time.

So, no matter what posts as the flag of Iran, when it conducts polls about it, the flag of Iran, at least on the 27th of March and in honor of the coming of spring and Neoruz, in New York New York and in the Persian Parade, was the one with the Lion and the Sun.

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Book of the day

Modern Iran
Roots and Results of Revolution
By Nikki R. Keddie

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