Well it's been I guess about a month since I started posting here, and that was after about two years that I couldn't be with things Iranian because it was too painful, actually. And then there were the two years previous to that when I first came to things Iranian (and hidden somewhere in this website that story is quietly told, partially in poem). And before that were the first forty four years of this life that sails like a boat.
And in this past month or so as I approach completion of one half century on this earth that sails like a boat, I feel I've gotten to know some of you somewhat surprisingly well. And some of you have indicated the same to me, and this gives me more happiness than you can possibly know. And you've known me to speak in different voices and sometimes also in tongues. But I've never blogged because I've found myself drawn to babbling on your babble instead. 0:D (Smiley Emoticon with halo). It seemed so much more imortant. But finally yesterday one of you asked me about my poems. And that was when I knew it was time to start posting my Persian-related poems. I have a whole book of them called "Notebooks from the Persia Within" and they were written between 2003 and 2005. And one is hidden quietly within the womb of this website. And the rest I now shall post.
But the first one I wrote was actually, surprisingly written in 1989. And it keeps coming back to me in this past month, as I listen to all of you here. Haunting me, so to say. I was thirty then and the world was changing in oh so many ways. And things which seemed stable had liquified, and things which liquid solidified. And the Soviet bloc was beginning to collapse and Tianamen Square had happened. And a man had died in a country I knew very little about despite the fact that I possessed a very privileged advanced education in the Humanities, with two degrees in Spanish literature and much focus on Al-Andaluz, whose caliphate I was never ever even told was Persian. I say all this just so you know how little about you in Amrikaa is known.
But I knew that a most glamorous king and queen had graced the cover and pages of Life magazine in 1971 when I was I eleven years old. And then when I embarked on that privileged edducation at Columbia University, in 1976, fine men and women, and some from my college, from the land of the glamorous king and queen, would stand at tables at Astor Place even in the cold, with large graphic pictures of tortures the king and queen had done to people of political persuasions perhaps not unlike my own. Always with petitions when they were there, and almost always there..
Then, suddenly one day there was a man in black with eyes as black as a crow, and also there were hostages, and that was all I knew. And everything started going black, and over the next couple of years the image of the glamorous king and queen were somehow replaced in my mind by a woman dressed like a crow, standing before a very large picture of that same man with eyes as black as coal. And sooner or later those very same fine men and women who'd stood out in the cold, with graphic pictures of people just like me who'd been tortured by the glamorous king and queen, were standing again on Astor Place, with other petitions andgraphic pictures of tperhaps the same or different people tortured by the crow. And then everything went completely black except for the sound of the crow. And then one day it was 1989, and this is what I wrote:
In Poland people vote.
In China people die.
In Iran the man with the eyebrows
meets his turbanned god in his mosque in the sky.
The agitated crowd flocks to the rooftops.
In Iran maybe people will vote.
In Iran maybe people will die.
Probably people will vote and die.
The angry crowd rocks the rooftops.
And I am troubled
by a great, desperate and dictatorial love
for the Poles, the Chinese and the man with the eyebrows
saying save us we are drowning
to his turbanned god in his mosque in the sky.
if I love you can I kill you?
ayatollah ayatollah I am drowning I am drowning
Robin Jayne Goldsmith, 1989
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testby Rosie T. on Sun Aug 17, 2008 03:53 AM PDT
.by Nadias on Sun Aug 17, 2008 05:45 PM PDT
I saw it!by Sash, (not verified) on Mon Nov 19, 2007 06:58 AM PST
And I saw your post. And I already responded to "Critic" who provided me with the opportunity I was waiting for, quickly and expeditiously, to air my views on the controversies surrounding Forough.
This is a GOOD place, chez JJ. IT's a VERY good place.
Rosie T. Girl............by Sasha on Sun Nov 18, 2007 05:02 PM PST
Girl your article has just been posted. Congrats! Of couse I was the first to post a comment for you.
Sasha,by Rosie T.. (not verified) on Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:50 PM PST
sigheh is a very interesting phenomenon. Generally speaking, in modern history, it has been considered a kind of legitimized prostitution (which it often IS, with mullahs literally acting as pimps in dark alleys in places like the holy city of Qom) and frowned upon by "progressives." But recently in Iran, under the current hardliner crackdown, something interesting happened. The trend changed and now sigheh is a favorite cause among certain sectors of the progressive youth. It is like the ONLY way they can BREATHE if they are interested in "premarital" sex (which I know you're not but of course it IS a legitimate position tohave). So, like everything, sigheh is a PHENOMENON. As such it is both simple and complex.
Seen from the Hajiagha perspective, you really can't blame people for bringing up "sigheh." He is such a hopeless case (really...have you seen Mouse's last blog on him lately?) and some people think he'd be helped if he...well...basically...got laid. HE says he wants to get married, and he is religious...and so are you...and of course a "real" marriage with such a person is impossible, who could live with him?...and so...they see you, and you are pretty, and you believe in Islam...and they think...well...what's a way around the impasse? Why not a sigheh? If it's good enough for the progressive youth these days, why not for him...and you?
Don't be insulted. It's just...an...idea...floating around...in a particular cultural/sociological context...as all ideas do...it too shall pass.
Anyway, there AREN'T really any rules for Netiquette. Certainly not hard and fast ones. My observations about successive multiple postings come from seeing reactions, not from being familiar with any rules.
I'm glad JJ is going to post what I sent. I had no idea I could tell whether or not it was accepted.
Robin PS As regards the sigheh, one surely wonders where one would find the mullah to officiate at the ceremony in Victoria, Canada. What I was trying to say is that "sigheh" doesn't necessarily imply the stigma you think it does.
Rosie T. ........I saw...........by Sasha on Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:59 AM PST
I saw in your bio that you had a blog and article listed. The article is dated November 16 which means JJ accepted it and it will be posted soon. Surprise!!!!!
I will do my best to keep within the netiquette rules of our web society. :o)
I still think that it is an insult to be asked to be someone's sigheh. In my culture such a request would be followed by a thorough beating of the idiot asking such a request by the males of the offended woman's family. :o) It is a permanent marriage or nothing at all.
PS Sasha,by Rosie T. on Sun Nov 18, 2007 09:24 AM PST
I mean not a good idea to do multiple posts in succession one after the other. It's fine to post a lot on one thread (although someone will invariably complain about it, that's their own problem talking, not yours), just not in succession.
Sorry, I tried to edit my post below to explain this better, but for some reason right now the editing feature isn't working so here I am doing multiple posts. (But actually two in a row is fine; people start to get ticked off when it EXCEEDS two in a row....)
To Sasha:by Rosie T.. (not verified) on Sun Nov 18, 2007 07:19 AM PST
Article? What article did I publish? I sent JJ one two days ago but haven't heard back from him on it.
Jamshid and I have a nice on-going conversation, I guess he came here out of curiosity. Don't worry about my giving out the information. It is fine. I don't have any wierdo following me, just that guy who called himself Karim Kirkoloft was starting to follow me around before the moderated forum began. But I'm pretty sure Karim Kirkoloft was just one of the regular posters (could've even been our fearless leaders...) making a point about the limits of censorship by inserting serial pornography. It was actually very funny, the stuff he wrote, about his being reunited on this site with his long-lost sweetheart and then maintaining a dialog about their times together in bed thirty years ago. I almost miss him....
The anonymous guy on the Lolita thread didn't think I was looking for a husband really, he was just suggessting I marry an Iranian. That's what they sometimes do when they accept you, they invite you to marry in. Of course they don't all accept me, but actually I've had more problems with women than men telling me to shut up. I'm glad you read those comments under Destroying Iran because I posted them relatively late in the thread so I think few people actually got to see them and I thought they're pretty representative of what my whole point is and what I'm doing here.. That's one of the problems with this format, people are always running off to catch the next train and it's very very difficult to sustain a conversation long enough to reach any new conclusions about anything...but there have been notable excpetions. Your blog on Islam being one of them, btw.
Your picture is lovely and you look far from desperate. Believe me, if someone is trying to arrange a sigheh for Haji, he will try to find the best sigheh. Iranians are very meticulous about sexual matters. (Hmmmm....other than the "call," could that explain why we....forget it... :D)
Just a comment, it's not a good idea in general to do multiple postings. I don't mind it but other people do, it's not considered the best "Netiquette." People think you're hogging the blog. Next time do what I do, just consolidate all the replies into one or two posts. And call it "Responses to Posts Below: Jamshid, Bacheh-Porou, Imam Reza..." It's a better format.
Rosie T. ...........I see............:o)by Sasha on Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:02 PM PST
I see now why they mentioned your search for a husband. I was reading some of the comments on Destroying Iran. You, Irani lover and unknown had some sparks a flying. Should I call you Esther now. Ha! Ha!
Well, at least they did not ask you if you wanted to be Haji's sighe.
Honestly, does my picture say desperate woman on my forehead. I don't think so.
I am with you if one must marry then one should marry an Iranian. They can be so fiesty and calm at times. I would give you the name of one of them as an example but he is going to start saying I am attacking him again and owe him an apology. :o)
Rosie T. .............How did they think........by Sasha on Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:46 PM PST
I read several of the comments posted on the thread for More than Lolita in Tehran . How on earth did that anonymous person think you were looking for a husband on this website? I read your comments and it did not lead me to believe this.
Rosie T. ........I greatly enjoyedby Sasha on Sat Nov 17, 2007 09:16 PM PST
I greatly enjoyed your blog, poem and comments posted. I look forward to reading the rest. If you wish to correspond with me .........you do realize all you have to do is contact me through my email via this website.
You know Rosie I think it was destined that I get involved in the Iranian culture since my childhood. I just never realized it until my mother told me about my neighbor marrying an Iranian man. I just thought he was an interesting and unique man.
Jamshid the creator........by Sasha on Sat Nov 17, 2007 09:08 PM PST
Jamshid the creator of an article or blog does not have the power to delete someone. Only JJ has that authority and who ever works for him. If we are verified users then we can go back and delete our comments but we can still see our user name. I thought I made that point clear on my last blog.
Nassery and Dreamer ................all over the placeby Sasha on Sat Nov 17, 2007 08:56 PM PST
Rosie T information is all over this website. I am not sure why she gives it out. She already has some weirdo bothering her. I think he has been bothering her for years now. I am as concerned as you are by her giving such information. I hope that she will be okay. Apparently she knows no fear.
Nassery, why were so many women attracted to Iranian men back in the 1970's just out of curiosity. My mother told me the other day that our old neighbor's daughter was married to an Iranian man during that time period. I had no idea the man was Iranian, I was only a kid then. Who knew I had met an Iranian man so long ago.
By the way she is still married to the Iranian man last time my mother heard.
Wow! I take a mini break and come back....by Sasha on Sat Nov 17, 2007 08:45 PM PST
Wow! I take a mini break and come back to find that you have finally posted not only a blog but also an article. Life if passing me by. Okay, let me see what comments were left. I see you have attracted Jamshid. It will be interesting to see what he has written.
Jamshid:by Rosie T. on Mon Nov 12, 2007 05:56 PM PST
Sorry Jamshid, it was Opposition Destroying, Not Bombing Iran, from November 8. It's an article. The post I'm talking about is the one from "Ashkenaz in the Anderoon."
Also check out a November 7 blog on censorship with only 8 paltry posts (one mine), but the issues are clearly stated there. Things just disappear! Totally completely harmless posts that couldn't offend a fly have disappeared! One I wrote about the pilot who bombed Hiroshima died, disappeared! It's completely arbitrary and it happens quite a bit!
Check out also (if it's still there) what I wrote jj today about it underneath his latest photo essay on theater in the Bay Area. I did tell him I know it's off-topic and he can delete it after he reads it but if I write to him either on the site or at the jj e-mail, I never really know for sure if he's read me or not. At least if I post under his essay or blog I know for sure.
Re: Rosieby jamshid on Mon Nov 12, 2007 05:17 PM PST
The "Opposition/Bombing Iran" post? I couldn't find a post with that title. Please provide a link to it, or the correct title. You said you had a comment in there that part of it was directed to me. So I want to see it.
I guess you may be correct. You being an American, have nothing to fear by giving away your address.
Deleted comments? How can a comment be deleted? I thought nothing gets deleted here unless it is directed profanity. Is the admin deleting or is the creator of the article?
CAPRICIOUS DELETION OF POSTSby Rosie T. on Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:52 PM PST
Yeah, someone did, and it was just like a really nice post about how we young people here in Amrikaa AND in Iraan in 70's fought Shah's SOFT human violations and now we have what we have...and you offered your cell phone number as a gesture of conciliation regarding the anonimity/transparency debate.
I have had similar things happen with my posts,but not ONE of mine which was deleted was as tender, understated, and bittersweet as yours. I have tried and tried and tried to get jj to explain and/or stop this but he just doesn't do it. If you go back in the blogs you'll find the most recent one on this topic has only about 8 posts, it was written AFTER the "moderation" began. Before that such posts on such blogs were SOARING through the roof. People were all like this whole issue was their crusade or jihad or long march or whatever for like two weeks and then jj made his SURPRISING decision with NO explanation and now the moderation is not only ABUSED, it is NONSENSICAL. And people are like okay with this???? Rosie no comprende...
Rosie no comprende why JJ allows this to happen... Rosie knows JJ is scattered all over the place but Rosie also knows censorship is jj's pet issue....and Rosie REALLY no comprende why OTHERS allow JJ to allow this to happen. Rosie tozieh mikhasteh?
To Jamshid and Anonymous8by Rosie T. on Mon Nov 12, 2007 06:34 AM PST
Dear Jamshid, Yes, well that's a pretty fair characterization of me, I do tend to teeter precariously on that border between sense and none-sense and I find it a rather comfortable place to be in general, for the reason that any syllogism (a logically valid argument) can ALWAYS be a sophism (an intentionally specious argument that APPEARS to be true but is not, particularly when one of its premises--those basic statements on which the argument is built-- is NOT true while the syllogistic reasoning itself is valid). Syllogistic reasoning being the tool with which this our now global "Western" civilization has been both created, named and perpetuated, is hence the necessary tool of a patriarchy which is responsible for both Sistene Chapels and atomic bombs. So I'll just tread water here on that border for time being, as women after five thousand years finally jump back into the "Big Game" and balance things out a bit, and see what happens next.
But regarding your PARTICULAR concern about the address, trust me on this one. It's fine. Things move so fast here in cyberspace and the people jumping to read this blog either already know me and don't plan to letterbomb me, or are just passing through and clicking on the features, and I'm not Iranian nor ideologically polarized enough for them to bother either. And within a week this will be so buried under new blogs that it will be "erased from the pages of time." And when/if indeed my Iranian Ted Kozynski shall emerge, (s)he shall be a patient. clever. and DEDICATED adversary im his/herown sense/non-sense and grasp immediately that all this info is easily findable once I've revealed my name. And Dr. Atta convinced me in the site's recent debates on censorship that unless one fears serious consequences from an insidious regime, revealing one's nameIS the nobler use of the technology.
Also your reply makes me wonder if you got to read my long post on Opposition/Bombing Iran, because I directed the end especially to you and it was on this very issue of sense/non-sense. So if you haven't seen it, please go back there and check it out, and we'll catch each other later. :D
Anonymouse8, yes, I seem to be one of the lucky Americans who's been spared large parts of my brain, including conscience. I'm not sure how many of us are left though. It's one of the reasons, actually, why I'd rather be here dialoguing amongst :YOUR hamvatans who, with the exception of the core brainwashed of Rafsanjani's Friday afternoon Sermons bunch, seem much more fit for both discourse and action, while trying to attract the better and brighter of my own right here to communicate directly with yours. Starbuck's and MacDonalds, see, they have this Friday Afternoon Sermon aspect of their very own....
Thank You for your honesty and "Ensan Doosti"by Anonymous8 (not verified) on Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:55 PM PST
It's people like you that gives me hope about Americans and their capacity to understand the consequences of their own actions around the world. Thank You for rising above your government's BS and seeing the beauty in Iranian people.
PS. As you can see Iranians are a conspiracy-loving bunch.
Re: Choosing between sense and none-sense...by jamshid on Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:29 PM PST
Strange creature you are Rosie, always hanging by a hair between making sense and making none-sense.
Leaving a phone number is one thing, leaving your address is "none-sense".
Those pictures of torture you saw in your college days were nothing more than "false" "madeup" propoganda that unfortunately succeded in doing what they were meant to do. Trust me, I know.
Too esoteric for me...by Nassery (not verified) on Sun Nov 11, 2007 06:29 PM PST
Well, good luck on your quest. I agree with some of your thoughts, but you seem to go off on tangents that I am unable to follow. Perhaps, it's a NYC thing... We country folk are grounded in dirt.
Response to the Next Three Postsby Rosie T. on Sun Nov 11, 2007 05:53 PM PST
I thank you so much for your concerns but I absolutely cannot delete this personal information. You three aren't the ones I've been "babbling" with this past month, so I'm guessing you don't know all that much about me. First of all, Nassery, let me assure you wholeheartedly that on one hand, no person who was even intermittently sane would "choose" as a cause the "timarestaan" that is Iranian expat politics and identity crisis. I can only say that it chose me and that I am absolutely certain of this for manifold reasons, and also that you probably won't believe this and you don't have to either.
On the other hand, no citizen of the United States who has the remotest sense of decency (which after all is a kind of sanity, isn't it?) has the right NOT to involve themselves in the current political situation, whereby flanking of Iran by US military in the two adjacent countries thoroughly devastated the burgeoning Reform movement and brought out of the woodwork the most disgusting backward elements of the IRI. And further, whose UNELECTED "President" with the cognitive capabilities of a mediocre junior high school student (and I know, I'm a teacher), after thoroughly destroying Iraq like his own personal Christmas toy, was then re-"Elected". And following disclosure of his narcissistic idiocies, was publicly disgraced and, yet, somehow is now being permitted to use the exact same stupid rhetoric he used on Iraq to propose bombing Iran. If the managing officer of a corporation behaved in this way, after having lost the concern millions, he would be immediately removed by the Board of Directors for psychiatric evaluation. That more than five fools in "this great nation" are even ENTERTAINING the notion of bombing Iran is a disgrace and an abomination. My "hamvatans" have NO RIGHT to ignore what they have unleashed upon this earth, and while they are busy at Starbucks and MacDonalds, I'll stay right here, thank you.
As for the personal contacts, well, over the course of the month I've developed very profound relationships with some people here and they know who they are and they know what I'm trying to do which is asking them to shed their ideological skins so they can see where the enemy really is. Bush, yes, Khamenei, yes. Khatami, no, a secular monarchist parliamentarian like Ali Mostafi who proposes a general strike in the tradition of the Tobacco Boycott and Mahatma Ghandi, no. I feel I cannot ask them to do this, it's very difficult for them, unless I personally show that I am also willing to shed whatever skins are necessary and face whatever consequences arise. I'm very clear about this. My personal info remains a matter of public record.
Yes, Anonymous, more than ironical, it's deeply deeply painful for me, for I was a child of Hollywood movies as was my mother, a glamorous woman, so how could I not admire the glamour of the Shah and Farah growing up any less than that of say Bogie and Bacall? And that is why I think I understand Monarchists so well and I think Darius Kadivar will get me on this one. I hope he reads it.
But on the other hand, Anonymous, cell phone disclosed, there's something deeper here I was trying to say in "my first blog", about Ruhollah, and I chose Ruhollah BECAUSE it means breath of God, from among his several other possible names, and if you want to understand me better please read the poem again a few times. We ALL know Ruhollah very, very well. We have known him from the dawn of civilization, as an archetype, as also we've known kingship. And we have to come to terms with it, embrace it, forgive it, and learn, to move on to the next phase of our evolution.
And finally, Nassery, about Iran being my cause, well yes and no, again, because my cause is really Gondwanaland. That was the name of the one continent once and Africa still has a nose, and so on. At that time, long before humanity existed, the one continent was the solidest matter standing in a vast sea. You are standing in the new Gondwaland. The continents have again converged,this time in the least solid form. Welcome to the new Gondwonaland, the World Wide Web. How we choose to use this new technology will determine the fate of this entire planet. Please think about it.
Opposition: Destroying Iran and Darius Kadivar's Hearts and Minds which is currently displayed as a most viewed item.
Hey Rosie/Robinby Dreamer (not verified) on Sun Nov 11, 2007 04:41 PM PST
You are a decent person. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. But please please delete your personal info. There are always some weirdos around that may bother you. That is not fair to you.
Iran is your cause?by Nassery (not verified) on Sun Nov 11, 2007 04:25 PM PST
I guess anyone can randomly choose something to care about. I doubt that it's a good idea to give all of your personal information out like you did. Perhaps, you could reconsider and JJ could remove it. Do you really want strangers to call you on your phone?
In response to my first replies...by Rosie T. on Sun Nov 11, 2007 03:41 PM PST
No, anonymous, you don't understand. This is my cause. Nassery, that's your answer too. I have no specific connection, professional, social, or of kinship with persons or organizations Iranian, other than this website and my own personal research, which has been considerable.
Anonymous, my name is Robin Jayne Goldsmith. I was born in Queens, New York in 1959 (I'm only 48).
As they used to say it in the old days, "you were aby @ Anonymous @ (not verified) on Sun Nov 11, 2007 03:20 PM PST
rebel without a cause then, and you are an old fart without a cause now!"
What is your connection to Iranians?by Nassery (not verified) on Sun Nov 11, 2007 03:16 PM PST
I'm a little older than you are and I married an Iranian physician in 1977. Were you married to an Iranian? In the 70's a lot of college age American women were dating Iranians. It was a different world.
I was just wondering if we lead parallel lives.