Wednesday, October 12, 2005

1. When I read this story of an Iranian boy in the D.C. area who strangled his own mother, i thought for sure that either my uncle or my mom's college roomate would know the family. The father of the accused is a well-known ENT doctor, and since my uncle is an ENT and my mom's college roomate is a friendly and popular socialite, the chances were pretty high that they would know them. So I forwarded the story to my mom this morning who confirmed that, sure enough, both my uncle and her college pal were friends of the family.

This dude is the second troubled son of a well-known Iranian family in the DC area that is linked to public tragedy. The first was the son of two Iranian media personalities (who coincidentally were also very close with my mom's DC friends). That first guy shot and killed himself out of the blue, and the devastated mother jumped off of a building within a year of her son's suicide.

My mom and I recalled that sad story today while talking about the matricide case. My mom mused about Iranians in the U.S. losing their minds, and then added matter of factly: " i guess i should be thankful that neither of you have strangled me." (!!!!)

For years I've tried to get my mom to think more positively, and this is what she comes up with!

2. You don't have to be religious to admit that shi'ism has some pretty great cultural products. This is my new favorite ode to Zeinab, the daughter of the prophet's cousin Ali (AKA haidar) and the Prophet's daughter Fatemeh Zahra. The piece is called "Precious Girl Named Zeinab". I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

3. Speaking of cultural production, i read in passing that the over-rated Iranian artist Shirin Neshat has done some sort of film version of Shahrnoush Parsipour's "Women without Men". i can only imagine what kind of trite adaptation neshat will come up with, surely something self-orientalized and superficial, like the rest of the what she packages for her primarily western audience. And I'm not just ripping on Neshat because of my fantasy of playing the role of the tree-human in the movie (ok, maybe just a little), but I truly dislike Neshat's ouevre. It is problematic from a political point of view and fairly unremarkable from an artistic one.

Having said this, the masochist in me is dying to see what Neshat has done with Parsipour's masterpiece. Anyone know where it's being showcased?