Internet Concepts
To Be or Not To Be Iranian

By Elizabeth Malekzadeh
Gothenburg, Sweden

Elizabeth Malekzahed

Well, maybe Shakespeare didn't quite put it that way, but this was (and still is) one of the hottest topics on the Iranian bulletin board/newsgroup, Soc.Culture.Iranian.

Did you know there is a big difference between being Persian and being Iranian? If your answer is "no" then join the club. 'Cause neither did I.

I joined SCI only a month ago and at the beginning all I did was basically sit in a corner, so to speak, and snoop around. I sort of wanted to get an idea about who was there, what they were up to, what they discussed and how they discussed it. I was hoping that this would give me more information about Iran and our culture. Maybe I was also a bit curious to see whether there was anyone out there to share some odd ideas with.

Well, I wasn't disappointed.

People on SCI, who happen to be mostly Iranian for some odd reason, discuss the widest range of possible and impossible subjects and issues. What really gets me going about this cyberplace, is all the self-righteous people, who think they absolutely, positively, sad-dar-sad KNOW what they're talking about even when they have no clue. (Yeah, count me in.)

Having some people around who believe everything is either "black" or "black," makes discussions less colorful but absolutely more fun -- and guaranteed to drive you up the monitor. I guess what I'm trying to do is to give you a fair picture of SCI. An invitation perhaps. Let me put it this way: If you haven't checked it out by now, take a look. SCI is for you if you:

  1. like to think aloud.
  2. respect others' opinions but still have one of your own.
  3. don't take things too personally.
  4. know that "to win" and "to have the last word" are two completely different things.

OR if you:

  1. think you're always right.
  2. don't take any criticism and still criticize everyone else.
  3. want to show off in how many ways (and how many languages) you can curse.

My last word is that finally, there is one place where Iranian "bad guys" co-exist with the "good" and they don't kill each other for their opinions. SCI lets you listen to everyone and gives you the choice to decide who's "right" and who's "wrong." I'm hooked, man.

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