It’s the hot new topic of the day, I guess, and it’s a hell of a thing to see. I was born about eight years too late for the Iranian Revolution, but its cast a long shadow over the past thirty years. It was the first sign of how bad things would get in the Middle East. Back when Bin Laden was a rich little shit pissing about in Afghanistan, the Ayatollah was busy igniting the first great sparks of anti-American, anti-western sentiment.
What most people forget, and what very few people in my generation would ever guess, is that Iran and American used to have an excellent relationship. Back in the bad old days, when men were men and the Shah used his own people for squealing dartboards, the US and Iran were fast friends, the Shah’s new universities were based on American institutions, and the Shah was kind enough to endow chairs in petroleum at the University of Southern California.
It was the hostage crisis that sent everything south…but we could go on like this all day. The important fact is that there was a Shah, he fucked over his people, a revolution that kicked him out, and then a religious regime that set about fucking over the people again in new and interesting ways.
This latest little dust up over the election isn’t a disease, merely a symptom. The disease is the same thing it’s been in Iran since the 1950’s, indeed, the same disease that struck much of the Middle East in the early years of the twentieth century. A society suddenly catapulted from a traditional society to a modern power, flush with oil and freedom, must expect a few growing pains. Western Scum had a long slow process, the slow awakenings of freedom as the feudal system collapsed, Luther and Calvin showing the world that Mother Church was not the only power, and the slow building pressure of millions with a yearn they could not name, until the flames of revolution started in a dozen places; the Colonies, France, South America. But in the west, revolutions, no matter how bloody, were the end of a long slow building process.
In Iran, quite the opposite happened. The rule of Shah, the sudden bloody collapse into theocracy, and this new explosion of democratic fervor is a process that took place over fifty or sixty years. There is also, in the Islamic tradition, no great democratic precedent. While the West looks to Athens and Rome as our great predecessors, the glorious ancient societies that lit the torches we still carry, ancient Islamic society was based in conquest and theocracy.
The (relatively) swift nature of the change, the lack of any historical precedent to examine and copy, and the deeply religious nature of Iranian society all conspired to keep the Iranian Scum down. Like a magician with a tablecloth, the regimes were switched so quickly and neatly that no one had time to inquire into alternatives.
The question of Iranian religion is a separate post, one that I want to address later. Indeed, the entire fucked up, abusive relationship between Scum and religion is a fascinating topic, but is out of place here.
For the moment, the one thing about religion in this new Iranian dust up that I DO want to point out, is that while there has been a great deal of rage directed at Amawhatshisfuckingname, there has been no signs of protest against the Ayatollah himself. It almost seems that the people simply decided not to antagonize both the president and the Ayatollah, and if these protests were more centralized, that hypothesis would make sense. But these protests are more spontaneous. Instead, they are simply thousands upon thousands of angry people expressing their rage at their government’s rampant fuckery. Certainly if the Basij or Revolutionary Guard had found any protesters attacking the Shah, it would be posted everywhere, holding them up as examples of the horrible traitors trying to overthrow the holy will of God or something.
More to the point, I currently have twitterfall open, a lovely little website that scrolls twitter posts on any subject you search. In this case #iranelection. I’ve read hundreds over the past few days, and there are hundreds more queued up, the queue growing far, far faster than I can read (at the moment, it is set on one post a second, with a queue of 400, with no signs of slowing.) And yes, there are posts attacking the religious leaders. But for the most part, the posts out of Tehran are simple information, people exposing government plants (not a tricky job, oppressive regimes aren’t known for subtlety) exchanging software to evade government blocks, talking about what they’ve seen, attacking Amihatethejews…and with a few exceptions, not a word on mullahs, Ayatollahs, or religion at all. Change the wording and this could be the twitter feed for a GTO protest.
Still, it’s easy to discuss the obvious, the words of the Ayatollahs and presidents, and decide on the grand scale what this means. But that isn’t the point of this blog. It’s the Scum I’m interested in, and it’s the Scum who are protesting.
And as usual, if things continue the way they have been it’s the Scum who will be beaten, killed, attacked, and finally ignored. But for the moment, the question is, what is the Scum perspective on all this?
The Iranian Scum, as I pointed out already, are taking an interestingly irreligious approach. If they are not condemning the Ayatollah, neither are they imploring him for aid. Thus far, appeals to religious authority are based entirely upon that bodies secular authority…the ability the religious councils have to weigh in on the elections. The people are treating politics….like politics. A strange sort of thing to find in the Middle East certainly.
But like many things, it makes perfect sense taken in context. Iran has an extremely young population (26 years old is the median age) with all of the discontent and revolutionary fervor that comes with youth.
It seems that every other day there is an article reminding us that the Iranian youth seem to have rejected many of the values of their forefathers, choosing a more secular life that has been forced underground. And now we see that same effect here, in the pragmatic approach to political life that these demonstrations have forced upon the world.
Iranian Scum, more than most Scum, are very self-aware. They are downtrodden, but educated. Repressed under a religious government, they have become secularized in private, a slow boiling rebellion against the religious leaders who don’t seem to understand that their world has changed…or perhaps understand it too well.
And who are these Scumfuckers? Sadly, there is nothing new, nothing unique about the Iranian dictators. Indeed, they are almost tiresome; like watching a 80’s hits cover band, same shit, just not as well done and certainly not as clever. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the strange paranoia that many people in power seem to feel about Iran, it isn’t quite clear why they would get the amount of coverage that they do. Personally, I believe that terrible fear is rooted heavily in the Iranian revolution. They deposed the Shah, and since Scumfuckers the world over stick together, this must have been an unpleasant reminder that they too could be unceremoniously booted out of power.
What’s more, they took American’s hostage. It was a severe blow to our self-esteem as a nation. We had always been the biggest fish in the pond, fat and complacent. People might oppose us, certainly, even fight us. But no one had ever humiliated us before. It was a strange new sensation, and one we haven’t yet forgotten.
Iran right now is a clash, a clearly cut battle between Scumfuckers and Scum. The old regime is fighting for more than a president. Iranian presidents are kept on a tight leash. They are fighting something far more dangerous. They are fighting choice. And the Iranian’s are aware of this, on some level. In Iran, everyone who isn’t in power is Scum. Businessmen or housewife, everyone has to bow to the religious leaders. Until now, the Iranian government has somewhat successfully pulled the same trick Scumfuckers the world over use- convincing the Scum that there are layers of Scum, and playing on the same deeply rooted pack instinct to climb the social ladder that everyone else does.
This election is something new, and something infinitely dangerous. These people on the streets have discovered that they all care about one thing. They all have the same burning desire for justice, for the smallest modicum of human decency, of basic choice from their government. The desire, just once, to see the Scumfuckers listen. Everywhere else, the Scumfuckers are wise enough, or well trained enough, to keep that desire on a leash, to allow elections, and slow change where it doesn’t matter.
The Scumfuckers running Iran have overplayed their hand. They have taken away the last choice their people had, and flouted it in their faces. Now the housewife and the businessman standing side by side, shouting the same slogans, weeping from the same teargas, marching in the same place have discovered something dangerous, something that could sweep the old order before it like a matchstick in a flood.
They have discovered that they are the same. That whatever labels they use, they’re both Scum. And they don’t like it anymore. They don’t like being insulted, stifled or fucked with. And the Iranian government has pushed the Scum too far at last. They have two choices in front of them, and both could be disastrous. One, they let the people have their way. Give in to them, put Rezaee or Mousavi in charge. Give in to their people, the most dangerous thing a dictatorship can do. Let them realize that their protests can change things, and it’s over.
Or two, they stomp down. Crack down with every thug they have. And they’ll probably win, on the surface. For now, for a year, maybe five. Until all the resentment, all the bitterness, not just from their current opponents, but from every person who realizes that their government doesn’t care. From people who used to support the regime, who realize that they were lied too. From the religious who can’t remember what passage in the Koran advocated killing and stomping your own people. From everyone, in their country and across the world, who feels the yearning that has a name now. Freedom. Democracy.
The people of Iran have tasted western money, and gone to western universities, adopted western websites for their revolt. How long can it be before they desire western democracy? The Scum of Iran are on the march. For the first time in a long time, they are tasting power, tasting authority and open rebellion, and if they move, if they take this chance, then the world will see again the proof of my essential point. When the Scum of the world unite and demand to be heard, all the guns and authority in the world are useless.
Next time: Religion and the Scum Part One.
Also, at some point, if she agrees…a guest blog! (Four posts in and I’m already guest-blogging. This bodes poorly for the future.) A good friend of mine who has qualifications in this area that I certainly don’t. Namely, she’s actually been to Iran. Should be a good time.