Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A politically hopeful Iranian exile, Reza Pahlavi, was interviewed in the March 6th New Yorker. Connie Bruck reports:

At one point, Pahlavi became quite excited, saying, "Maybe what happened twenty-six years ago is a blessing in disguise. ... I don't think we could have had the appreciation for democratic values we have come to today. It's by losing democracy that we have come to value it."

Iran lost democracy twenty-six years ago when Reza's dad, the former Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was kicked out by a popular rebellion. You will, of course, recall the democratic procedure which installed the Shah into power many years before that --- a CIA-sponsored coup which displaced Mohammed Mossadegh, a politician who had been autocratically forced on the country by voters in a free election.

How fortunate we are in America has appointed one of the children of its own men of power --- Dick Cheney's daughter --- to the position of "democracy tsar" so that the democratic process that installed the Shah the first time can happen again. Look how well it worked out for us...

Last year, I was always looking forward to the next installment of "A Canticle for Lieberman" --- a near-future SF story in installments on Pacific Views which didn't so much end as peter out, though not before offering a conspiracy theory which made frightening sense of what had earlier seemed the more implausible elements of the plot. Earlier than that, though, a piece had featured urban farmers in a quarantine zone being rousted out by stormtroopers. Which seemed awfully strange. It's a bit less strange now that I've read about a real-life urban farm in L.A., feeding 250 families, being kicked out to make way for a Wal-Mart.

Speaking of fiction in blog form, the 3500-year-old woman is still blogging. (Though she isn't fully out as a fictional character --- when two bloggers stepped forward to introduce themselves as her ghostwriters, she showed up herself in one of their comment sections to coyly demur. She always was an unreliable narrator). She has, however, recently completed a minor saga which took her from minor huntress-goddess in the wilds of Gaul to crazed, down-and-out hooker on the docks of Ostia, via bloodlust, kinky religious rituals, nasty Roman politics, and self-delusion on a massive scale. It's pretty well executed if you like that sort of thing. Though even as a goddess, she was not above petty annoyances, as she starts the story by letting you know...