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Turn a bad thing into a good thing...

By Michael J. Smith on Monday February 14, 2011 09:55 PM

... or, Your Tax Dollars At Work, in Iran:

The coiffure, the maquillage, the manicure, the rather polished professional-looking(*) poster with its English text and globalized semiotics.... all very fishy, if you ask me.

Of course it's over-determined, like everything else. There are plenty of people in the Islamic Republic who have every good reason to be unhappy with the existing order there. It doesn't seem likely that the CIA all by itself could get any appreciable number of people in the streets just by sending a well-placed tweet, or a few million well-placed greenbacks. But if the Langley reptile fund is not a big part of the events today in Tehran, I'm a lizard.

You've gotta admire 'em, really, the gold-braid gang on the bridge of the imperial Death Star. The last couple of weeks in Egypt have really shaken their world. They may yet come out on top again, even there; but they weren't expecting it, and it scared 'em. Poor Obie looked like a deer in the headlights.

Nevertheless, they haven't entirely lost the ability to learn from experience, and hats off to 'em for figuring out how to co-opt, for their own purposes, the technical elements (like Twitter) and the thematic elements (Death to Dictators) of the Egyptian insurrection for their own wicked purposes.

Despise 'em strategically, respect 'em tactically -- it still seems like good advice.


(*) Okay, it's pretty low-end. But maybe that's the idea? -- I know this is starting to sound like an English-department thesis about Measure for Measure.

Comments (22)

Peter Ward:

The specter of women's repression is becoming a leitmotif re: what a peace-treaty-with-Israel-breaking new regime in Egypt is definitely going to mean. Here's one Alan D taking a premtive stand on behalf of Egyptian feminism, to site one of the more subtle exambles.


Interesting also how the cat got the tongue of some usually highly loquacious pundits, though they'll be sure to chime in on Iran.


The coiffure
It's a ponytail. Also that's a homegrown manicure.

I don't know anything about the Middle East (or North Africa), including what exactly has been happening there politically — or, more specifically, I know less than nothing; I know things that ain't so — but, I do genuinely hope the people there manage to take back what they have been consistently denied by US-installed oppressors. Including professional manicures! Viva la revolución.


Father is still barking remote guardian
For ringo and the roughs
And I salute him for that

But this looks like spontaneous raw pro class tweeterian rag time

Btw I don't get the sense Barry sees this as frightening just a hard passage
Between two nasty extreme outcomes
Challenging perhaps
But hey these chaps have their illusions of progress too


I'm sure Barry prefers fair and free ballot farces to
Uncle's Mug on the bloc thug of the month club

Now there's your Cheney types now they might have a different centerfold in their mind

Much as father has ringo
And I have Hugo

Can't I be terribly unfair
Why father loves Hugo too
He loves all the guys and gals ready to stick uncle in the eye with a thumb
It's me with the weak stomach for what amounts to a goats breakfast


I wouldn't mind seeing Mahmoud and the clerics get tossed if and only if the new group in control generally represents the working class, isn't corrupt and isn't a bunch of US stooges. That outcome doesn't seem likely at all. From what I've seen, this "Green Movement" looks very Made in America and doesn't seem to represent a whole lot of Iranians. It may not be as bad as the "Purple Revolution", but at best it's still a colour revolution.

Whatever the source, the Green Movement people in the streets aren't there, from their own perspectives, in order to make the US stronger.


jc makes a point

but not the key point

are too many of these folks
not implicitly anti us empire

are they using contradictions between enemies of the people of iran
or are they " cosmo humanist"
citizens of the global enlightenment
ie unintending pawns
the hegemon on the potomac

one can always find ties
between real national liberationists
and rivaling imperial powers
from the 16th century dutch
to yenan hanoi and on to cuba
in fact can teheran be said to need national liberation in the usual sense or something else
something vague and liberalistic
like " inalienable rights of citizenship "
to peaceful candle light assembly
and freedom to growl in public
at the "state "

are these folks clear headed enough
to play this game
and still come out
with a liberated AND small d democratized nation ???

i agree with fb
the class struggle here looks one step the wrong side of nascent
whereas in egypt....


in re reading an earlier comment of yours insincerely
i notice i never built the proper bridge

my reflections on barry
and his alleged knocking knees
that was apropos egypt not iran

i'm certain barry like the jfk in black face he is
eagerly awaits the next langley dirty trick agin
ringo and the terrible turbos


no more comments from the detroit
broken axel
i promise

But the good news is that the stakes of militarily attacking Iran are now immensely higher, right? That's big progress.

Let's hope the Egyptians also find a way to reopen the tunnels to Gaza, plus more...

Louis Proyect:

What a low-level apolitical post.


puss face proyect ????

master of a grove
designed for the lowest of low
hanging pink ecumenical meme-fruit

lipless butt plugged censor
wildly self important
candid only when taking a shit

his tedious cough syrip brand
of coconut marxism
oughta crawl up its own colon

i'd take our man crow over lulu
on pot luck date nite....
in a manhattan heart beat

Clapham Omnibus:

no more comments from the detroit

Promises, promises.


come on

when the flamingo of morningside heights
flaps over for a quick peck

gotta take out the sawed off
and pop at it eh ??


I'm a subscriber to Louis' list, and consider it worthwhile for the occasional gem. But as with most political mailing lists, the signal-to-noise ratio is low. I'm not sure what Louis considers 'political' as opposed to 'apolitical', but I imagine I have sinned because my jargon quotient is deplorably low -- no references to bourgeoisie, proletariat, democratic, etc.

I've been gestating a little essay for some time on the combinatorics of Marxist vocabulary; perhaps this will encourage me to bring it to light soon. Thanks, Louis.


That's Marxian terminology father

One of the delicious pleasures of toting with over earnest
They run like sardines in glittering schooling herds
Round and round
A real IMAX spectacular
When they break from the school and fend for themselves
They look like .......bait
A bait fish dangling lonely on a line
That thinks it's an eel striking from concealment



An opportunity for another 'low level apolitical post'.

Brian M:

LOL. Have to say that OP is funny as hell when he is policing the boundaries of the kraal! Bravo! Especially at 9:27. Splitters, indeed!


goat's breakfast paine ??

list of questions
leftist political prisoners
answered b4 they were executed
in the great islamic revolution
iranian style

'Are you a Muslim?'

'Do you believe in God?'

'Is the Holy Koran the Word of God?'

'Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?'

'Do you accept the Holy Muhammad to be the Seal of the Prophets?'

'Will you publicly recant historical materialism?'

'Will you denounce your former beliefs before the cameras?'

'Do you fast during Ramadan?'

'Do you pray and read the Holy Koran?'

'Would you rather share a cell with a Muslim or a non-Muslim?'

'Will you sign an affidavit that you believe in God, the Prophet, the Holy Koran, and the Resurrection?'

'When you were growing up did your father pray, fast, and read the Holy Koran?'

weimar time cabinet of lady lux
takes oxy to the very time and place

imagine oxy following some red fool
into the "green " room

oh ya
he has no party
leaves no finger prints

he's safe back in los angeles


moi au contraire ..

"i repeat mr paine Will you publicly recant historical materialism "


'think a reversed john candy
in that peace corps comedy
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090274/ )

"allah is the only god and begin is his prophet "

"WHAT???.. mr paine "

More Obarrassment:

"What has been true in Egypt should be true in Iran, which is that people should be able to express their opinions and their grievances and seek a more responsive government. What's been different is the Iranian government's response, which is to shoot people and beat people and arrest people."

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