/ Opposite Day in Iran
these gay times, with our coasts kissed by hurricanes named
Henri and Fabian (fabulous!), with Republican Terminators
taking over California, who has the will to ruin the party
and think internationally? Alas, this is blessed war-time,
with the second anniversary of September 11 upon uswhat
better time for a primer on everyones perpetual favorite
middle eastern problem child: Iran. The White House after
all thinks Irans been a lil D.L. these days, reminding
us that the country lies just a border from, and three alphabetical
letters away from Iraq. But who we are, where we really stand,
what we meanwell, if youre Iranian like me you
will have trouble finishing this very sentence.
Day: an expression, rooted in elementary school discourse
and playground tradition. Children generally between the ages
of 6-11 generally exclaim, Opposite Day! when
meaning to absolutely negate a previously stated concept,
notion, phrase, sentence, or word: I eat kaka; you dont
eat kaka. Opposite Day! Synonyms: Psyche!,
slang, (usu. offensive.) a person of Middle-Eastern
origin, usually of Arab origins. Synonyms: Sand-nigga,
Towelhead, Camel-jockey, Blackhead
Formerly (until 1935), Persia. A republic in SW Asia:
an Islamic republic since 1979. 53, 920,000; ab. 635,000 sq.mi.
adj. having or showing a merry, lovely mood: gay
manner. 2. bright or showy: gay colors. 3. given
to or abounding in social or other pleasures: a gay social
season. 4. homosexual: judging from his manners and
colors, the gentleman is a gay!
adj. 1. not good in any manner or degree: He is
one bad president. 2. Slang. Outstandingly excellent;
first-rate: He is one bad president!
Q: Im watching the news these days. Whats the
deal with Iran? I am so confused. Good? Evil? Huh?
a test: if you cant answer this about your homeland,
you are from a country that, whether good or evil, counts.
(e.g.: Bali=good; the U.S. = hmm?) First of all, no Iranian
I know is fit to answer this, especially me. Iranian-American,
yes, but I was also a full-time 90s Los Angeles valley girl.
Not even from the Moon-Zappa-valley, the San Fernando, but
the other east side valley, the San Gabriel. We dont
even have Iranians; the Iranians are in Beverly Hills and
Westwood. Remember the first day of school in Clueless,
when Alicia Silverstone is introducing Brittany Murphy to
90210 High and pointing out a group of all-black-Armani-donning,
gold-jewelry-strewn, big hair-sprayed/slick-gelled kiddies
all glues to their celliesThats the Persian
mafia, Silverstones insightful Cher points out,
You cant hang with them unless you own a BMW.
certainly didnt own a Beamerand neither did my
familyone possible explanation as to why I had no Iranian
friends. I was located deep in the listless crotch of the
anonymous the east side, where everyone assumed I was Spanish,
well-blended with the ethnic lo-mid masses, with a Daddy who
actually owned a Pinto, then upgrading to a Dodge Omni hatchback.
My parents taught me Sizzler was a nice night out and that
you never tip more than $2, no matter how much the bill. The
on conflicted Iranian identity was very obvious to me. PhD-holding
Daddy, while mysteriously making no money teaching computer
science, astronomy, physics, etc. at UCLA, proudly claimed
the many west-side Persian mafia kids he taught were always
the best and truly nerds. At the same time
I will never forget my good friend Wendy who opted to go there,
asking me if my parents expected me to marry Iranian, because,
she warned, the UCLA Iranian boys were fiends,
coke dealers, and did everything short of
date-rape and maybe that too.
in a city called Tehrangeles by many, nobody really knew what
to make of us. I still dont know.
with twentysomethings still in the trenches of the ironic
so-bad-its-so-good hipster logic era (the
post-9/11 New Sincerity came and went), I guess there is a
constituency that can stomach Iran as both terrible and awesome.
Like the schizophrenic ingenuity that allows a hipster to
view marshmallow fluff as simultaneously disgusting and delicious,
or don a $200 mullet that is both fashion and fugliness, Iran
sucks and rules in way I would say only my generation is fit
to deal with. I am thinking of sending my peers, the Bush
daughters, for instance, a halter top I inherited pre Sept
11, designed by Iranian-NYC design duo Michael & Hushi,
that says Death to America in Persian graffiti
with little gold glitter bullets coming out of the machine
guns of prettily stenciled veiled Iranian chicks...you like?
What is someone from Iran anyway?
I mean, Persian. I mean, Iranian...
Remember the last time you asked one of my people where they
were from? Bet they said Persian. Persian
is what Iranians who refuse to identify with present-day Iran
and its Islamic reign of terror call themselves. Some of these
people additionally belong to the particularly loathsome subset
who think by marketing themselves as people of Persia,
they conjure up lots of pretty paisley flying carpets, Arabian
night images, Rumi poems, Shiraz wine, and the long-haired
fat cats. They will always insist they too belong to the Caucasoid
race and when convenient, avoid the matter altogether, and
call themselves Eurasian.
year, I started saying Iranian.
as a word has a lot of shit attached: Iran Contra Affair.
Iranian hostage crisis. Much of it is linked to danger,
American fear, and Iranian oppression.
on the bright side, Iran means home of Aryans,
or rather Aryan Nation! Wow: Aryan!
Theres a fun word! Yes, scholars agree that Iranians,
not only speak an Indo-European languageFarsithat
is not Arabic at all, they are not Semites ethnically at allthey
join Turks and Israelis the only non-Arabs in the middle east.
(Iranian nationalists will heatedly, often with clenched fists,
remind you that they are only Arab by rape.) Apparently the
Aryan tribes originated in Iran, and then during the Ice Age
after all the deserts got flooded fled to the eternally iced
Northern Europe. To make matter more sketchy, Iranian reliefs
and art, like those in India, are full of the ancient spiritual
sign, the swastika! If that werent enough, my OG-Aryan
countrymen, particularly the ones in Iran, often have terrible
prejudices against other races, from Asians to blacks. For
instance, the Persian New Year Santa equivalent,
still incorporated in Persian festivities and fearlessly doing
his jigs annually on Persian TV stations, is a dancing clown
in a red suit and black face. What does the KKK think of us?
That is the real question.