Wednesday, January 04, 2006

1. Okay, so i haven't read it, or even skimmed it, or know anything about the person who writes it, but I came across this Persian blog which is on all thing Kyrgyzstan, which i thought was in itself pretty cool.

2. The little ironies in life are the best. Like how the guy who lives near us, a youngish guy who always looks angry and avoids eye contact with everyone, just put up a big colorful sign on his front porch that says: "Friends Are Always Welcome Here".

3. Well I sure am glad the holiday season and all the car advertisements and social obligations it comes with are over. One cool thing about family-type reunions during holidays, however, is that there is always at least one kid or elderly member of the family who says socially inappropriate things in front of a lot of people. My favorite quotes from this season, though i didnt have the pleasure of hearing them in person, are from the five year old cousin who told my dad "get away from me, you smell like wine!" and declared that my brother was "an ass".

4. Iranian.com has this section called Anyway under which Jahanshah posts a variety of random things, most of which are really funny, so i like to check it out as a break. Today, however, I saw two things, neither of which were funny, but of which I want to speak:

A. First, there was this video of a bunch of frat boys who tricked their friend into thinking he'd won the lottery, letting him express his unrestrained joy, and then dashing his dreams and laughing at him. The guy was so disappointed that he started crying. It was one of the most mean spirited things I've ever seen, I really hated it.

B. Second, there is this picture of Ahmadinejhad under the title "Presidential Dinner". The person who labeled the photo and sent it in to The Iranian, I believe, did so to make fun of the man. But this image, which may be laughable to some, captures one of the main reasons why Ahmadinejhad was appealing to the large segment of the population who voted for him: he looks like "the people", he eats like "the people", and also like a lot of "the people" he has a thirty year old car and an empty bank account.

So those who came out in support of Ahmadinejhad during the elections did not vote for the dangerous foreign policy he seems bent on pursuing and they did not vote for him because they support his views on the holocaust. Dealing with Ahmadinejhad requires looking at what it is that he represents to the millions who voted for him.

But as long as people like Thomas Friedman get away with dismissing those who do support Ahmadinejhad and instead pontificating on what the "Youth of Iran" really want, we will be stuck with the likes of friedman and ahmadinejhad for a long time to come.