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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:15 PM

Juan Cole: A Different View of Iran, 2013 (Video) - in the US we seldom see this kind of footage

Meh Heyd did a mash-up of iPhone video he just took on a trip to Iran and set it to music. In the US we seldom see this kind of footage, which humanizes the place:



http://www.juancole.com/2013/02/different-iran-video.html

Interesting comment below the story:

Alamaine
02/25/2013 at 3:41 am

For those who have never gone far afield of the U.S., everything seems a little less ‘human’ inasmuch as there is no common experience, nothing deemed worthy of sharing. I experienced this in Turkey, Korea, Europe, and other locales … places that are foreign and exotic that might be comparable to some spicy food when the Americans are accustomed to boiled potatoes and well-done meat. Anything out of the ordinary gives rise to acid indigestion, even without so much as a taste of other cultures’ fare.

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Reply Juan Cole: A Different View of Iran, 2013 (Video) - in the US we seldom see this kind of footage (Original post)
pampango Feb 2013 OP
ProdigalJunkMail Feb 2013 #1
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 #2
Purveyor Feb 2013 #3
Peace Patriot Feb 2013 #4

Response to pampango (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:17 PM

1. people, all around the world

are generally peace-loving, decent folk. it's their leaders that suck...

sP

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:22 PM

2. And I, for one, hope that there will always be something 'different' and foreign to

explore, understand, and visit. I hate the thought that someday the entire world will be homogeneous, but that's the American capitalists' goal.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:23 PM

3. Reminds me of some of the first pictures out of Iraq after we 'liberated' them. You know

before we obliterated them...

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:50 PM

4. I find the lack of women in public spaces, in these images, notable.

It's all about guys. They keep showing the same young woman over and over again (and she wears a scarf), but in group shots and public spaces, there are almost no women (and those one or two are in heavy purda--head to foot blackness).

I don't buy U.S. propaganda about Iran. I don't think it is a threat. There have exhibited no territorial ambitions. They have not invaded anyone (unlike the U.S.!) I think that their desire for a nuclear weapon is entirely defensive, given what the U.S. did to Iraq right next door and the long history of horrible U.S. intervention in Iran itself. And I think that Iran has a fairly decent government, given what they had before--the horrible U.S. installed "Shah of Iran." I also think that Iranians are the potentially most progressive Islamic people in the Middle East. They are Persians, not Arabs, and have an ancient cultural heritage that, at one time, far outshone "the west" in respect for learning and the arts and sciences.

But this primitive stage of Islam that they are undergoing, the repression of women--which I think I understand: I think it's a form of economic 'bootstrapping' that many cultures have gone through (division of labor--women enslaved in the home, drudgery work with no pay and no choice, women as baby machines; men with all the political and economic power, with later liberality, if the economy is successful)--is appalling. I think there are many reasons for it--big among them, centuries of interference by "the west." But it is still appalling. No reason to nuke them, for godssakes! Or to sanction them, or boycott them, or surround them with military forces. No reason to even hate or despise them. It just IS. Women lack many human and civil rights in Iran. These images--which I guess are supposed to make us identify with Iran--really don't do that, for me. What I see is great big black hole where women in public life should be.

Actually, I've seen better vids, as to women in Iran--in public places, workers and so on. They suffer many oppressions but they are not invisible. This vid should probably not be taken as anything but what it is--the vid-maker's own, idiosyncratic, randomly chosen images of "his" Iran. As to "humanizing" Iran, it doesn't do that for me--or only a little bit. Though he has snaps of one beautiful, vibrant young woman in the vid, and she and the young men seem like young people everywhere, the reality for her and for other women in Iran is lack of rights, lack of political power and lack of standing as full human beings.

I've got to say that we have our downsides for women, too. In a lot of ways, women have only ostensible rights here--theoretical rights, written rights--and the reality is far, far from ideal. Also, we have fascist forces within trying their best to undo the rights we have fought for. It is a constant struggle everywhere, really, to achieve full human rights for all human beings. Iran seems to be doing it men-first--the right of MEN to run their own country, to have sovereignty and independence, not to be dictated to by "western powers." I can approve of that--Iran's right to independence--while not approving of the exclusion of women from political power.

One of my criticisms of our own country and its allies is that the phrase "western powers" does not include most of us. "We the people" are hardly in charge of our governments, our resources, or our lives. We may have rights on paper. These are severely curtailed--increasingly so--in reality, for men and women. Our biggest problem is Corporate Rule. Iran's is male rule. And consider this, in comparing us and them: We invaded a country and slaughtered a hundred thousand innocent people in the first weeks of bombing alone--for no just reason whatsoever. Iran may have its human rights problems, but so do we. Iran has the problem that half the population--the male half--runs the country. We have the problem that 1%--the richest few--run our country--and are looting it, and have pushed it into unjust war and torture.

Just sayin'.

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