6.16.2009

the people of iran show us how it's done

Last night, watching the streets of Tehran overflowing with protesters, people demanding election accountability, demanding change, I thought: this is what the United States should have looked like in 2000. If it had, maybe there wouldn't have been a second stolen election in 2004.

My mother used to say there would never be a revolution in the US, because people would miss their favourite TV show.

She was right. Our minds are so deadened from consumer culture, that as long as we can eat McDonald's, watch American Idol and buy ShamWow, democracy can go to hell.

I am hopeful for the people of Iran. I look at their courage and strength, at their numbers, and I envy them.

14 comments:

Chrystal Ocean said...

I've been witnessing the events over the past several days largely through Twitter.

Because what's happening is sent across the Twitterverse in real time - like messages from a student who is trapped in one of the universities with critically injured peers -, it really brings home the fact that we are all just humans. In such cases, nationality, ethnicity, politics don't matter. It's one human being suffering and hundreds of thousands witnessing and trying to get the word out so Iranians in the vicinity can get help to them.

L-girl said...

Yes, everyone is buzzing about following the Iran protests on Twitter. The people who run Twitter must be thrilled.

Gene said...

I totally agree with you CO. This is about humanity. We may say that we do not care about what's going on; that we do not have the time or the will to care. What we cannot say is that it does not concern us.

Amy said...

I greatly admire the courage of the people in Iran who are protesting, and I do hope that they can bring about some kind of democratic revolution there. But I do not envy them because I fear that despite their numbers, the governmental forces will slaughter them in such large numbers that the price they pay will be far greater than the gains they achieve. I sure as hell hope that I am wrong, but I am more fearful than hopeful.

L-girl said...

I am fearful for them, too. Despite the danger they face, I still envy them. I would rather live in a less comfortable society where people are engaged and connected than in a comfortable place where people are complacent and apathetic.

Amy said...

In theory, I agree, but I have to be honest with myself and admit that fear for my life and my liberty is too large a discomfort for me to live with, even if it means greater engagement and connection. Of course, I am fortunate and can choose to live with relative security and freedom (as well as complacency and apathy) whereas the people in Iran cannot. And that's in part why I have so much admiration for those in Iran who are willing to stand up and take those risks in the name of liberty. Perhaps I would find that courage if I had to live as they are living. I would hope so.

L-girl said...

Well, I'm not giving up my life in North America for a more socially engaged but less comfortable society. So my envy is only theoretical, too.

Kim_in_TO said...

This is why I sometimes wish we (as a nation) had some real hardship to endure. It's not that I want to experience hardship, but rather that living the comfortable live that most of us do breeds complacency and apathy. Most people don't get off their asses and fight for change until they have to.

Richard said...

Interestingly, Twitter has postponed a scheduled maintenance shutdown because if the crisis in Iran.

Richard said...

Even more interestingly, Twitter postponed their shutdown at the express request of the State Department. Wow

http://tinyurl.com/sdandtwitter

impudent strumpet said...

Cartoon

L-girl said...

It's brilliant. Thanks. :)

Kim_in_TO said...

LOL ! Great cartoon.

A Conformer said...

From spending a bit more than a full year in the US in the last two years, one of my main impressions is that the race towards convenience is killing that country. People are so obsessed with making everything easier and having everything done for them, that they've lost touch with reality. Character, the ability for thought, morals and basic health are all suffering in account of living the "easy life".
I have no doubt I am in many ways similar, being part of the "western world" (a strange and detached expression in itself. Did anybody look at a map before coining it?), but to a lesser degree. In Mexico, I found myself fantasising about joining the zapatistas, or any rebellion I could believe in. Of course, having been brought up a cynic, that would be a hard task indeed.
This might be the broadest generalisation I've ever made, and I don't like to do that, but I feel it is true for a lot of people in the US, maybe even the majority.