Jim Milak
•Easy Sex the Hard Way

Kiki Mercury
•The Modernist Gift Guide
•Iranica/Opposite Day in Iran

Matthew Shultz
•Animals in Pornography

Eric Ottens
•A Message to You
•Japanese Hangover

Mike Toe
•Bob Chinn's Crab House
•Stream of Bowling Conscious Wood
•My Young Coconut Juice

John Dugan
•My Terrorist Romance
•Politics in Your Coffee




Kiki Mercury
Iranica / Opposite Day in Iran

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Admittedly, there is a side of me that somewhat relishes this image of the confused homicidal whitepower fascistic gypsy, the “Iranian.” Rather than to see this as say “scary,” I choose to embrace the verboten sexiness and the fact that most media-savvy, well-or-even-non-educated, white grown-ups, when really considering this combo, tend to congratulate “us” on our assimilation-prowess, our excellent grasp of the language, our good manners, lack of ethnic anger and feelings of cultural vindication, all most likely in the name of opting not to fuck with “us.”

Q: Doesn’t America think you are evil?


Q: So are you evil?


Q:How do you feel about America saying you were born in a country that is part of the Axis of Evil?

I am sure our resident reigning whiteyrighties believe Iran is some combustible ethical Hades, filled like an éclair with nuclear cream, but all I can say is hey. [Shrug]

The real problem rather is what I call “commercial-break syndrome”—the peace-sign-flashing interventionist distracters who pop up every time someone wrongs an “other” in the name of cultural saviordom. The albatross at my Aryan neck is the left-wing liberals who love us dune-goons! You know the type: they recite Sufi poetry, think veils are actually “quite striking”, will only cook Basmati rice, do yoga even though Iran has nothing to fucking do with India (what about some Iranian national sports like wrestling + soccer, you fucking hippie?), love sitar and other archaic middle eastern instruments even though in Iran they are still rocking out to Like A Virgin-era Madonna and Smooth Criminal era Jacco...and they might even do horrible things like name their children Ali—after the prophet whose elaborate harem included his favorite nine-year-old—a name they also like, Aisha. Their dream is to go to Shiraz. To swim in the Caspian sea. To read Rumi in the original. Salman Rushdie’s politics confuses them.

These people don’t count.

Enter George W’s January State of the Union “Axis of Evil” speech. The offending statement: “Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.” Okay, the term “Axis of Evil” is very He-Man and Skeletor and yes, Bush is a reductive simpleton but the offending sentence...not wrong! Ask any Iranian in Iran: nobody is happy! Newsflash: the people are oppressed! An Iranian who does not agree their homeland government is evil is just wrong or works for them.
Plus, let’s put it in context—every trio has its unlikely member. With the Axis, we could all agree that Iraq did a few things over time to merit membership. North Korea... well, little did we know what a crazy ho NoKo would be, begging for a lil’ American-spankie... but Iran? Well, Iran, didn’t as obviously fit in. Let’s consider Iran the Jan Brady, the Larry of the Stooges, the non-blond Dixie chick, the Lucy Liu of the new Angels. Iran could be in or out and the Axis would carry on.

So does Bush hate Iran? Certainly. Do all right-wing Republicans hate Iran? Well, yes. But they go where the money (or oil) goes. After all, everyone’s favorite rotund righty, good ol’ Newt Gingrich recently had this to say: “Iranian-Americans have contributed much to America since they arrived in the last several decades. We are proud of your heritage and of the added strength you have brought to our communities nationwide”. (Psyche! Opposite Day! In 1995 Gingrich declared that Iran was “the most dangerous country in the world” and “a permanent, long-term threat to civilized life on this planet.” Ol’ Gingy was the one who spearheaded Congress passing the $18 million covert action authorization bill for the CIA to go buckwwild in Iran and some day dethrone the ruling clergy.)

Love? Hate? It is hard to tell. But the key to understanding Iranian sentiment is the same logic as flipping coins: Heads OR Tails. One side or another—one toss goes one way, then the next toss maybe the other, over and over—but the coin will never, ever land on its edge. If it does, DO NOT TRUST THE COIN.

Q: Okay, I’m trying to learn to be one of those who loves Iranians. Are there any cool famous Iranian I can namedrop?

The real question here is are Iranians cool? Cool, remember is different than good, or right. We all know black people are cool, and most may agree, white people aren’t. Brazilians: cool; Canadians: not cool. New Yorkers: cool; West Virginians: not cool. This is a fairly black-and-white science, it seems, except for when it comes to Iranians. Still somewhat, but particularly in the age of irony, I’d argue, many Iranians have helped push Iran on the “it” rather than “shit” list.

Evidenced by my list of bedazzling Irazzles:

CNN’s war correspondent Christiane Amanpour. She’s hot. Okay, hot in that handsome Georgia O’Keefe babe way, but totally hot on the inside for sure. Known for wearing desert combat couture whether in Baghdad or in Atlanta, Amanpour has style. She was tight with JFK Jr. And even fucking Gwyneth said in Vogue last year that if she could be anyone on earth, she’d be Amanpour—Gwyneth called her “punk rock,” probably the only usage of “punk rock” that Gwyneth will ever be allowed to use in her life.

All Iranian cinema art house: Kiarostami, Makhmalbaf, and the gang. No one even knows what to say when an Iranian art film comes out. Brilliant. It’s just all good. Genius, every frame. Acting: so real. Boy, these Iranian must have some pain. So poetic. The shit gets so praised that it’s almost sickening. SO many awesome western critics are riding these banned filmmakers jocks that I have often heard Iranians, with a cool anti-western contrarianism, trying to convince Americans that the movies actually suck, and are boring. Right? Opposite day.

Freddie Mercury aka Farokh Bulsara! Yup. This makes everyone happy. A flaming homosexual, AIDS-casualty glam rock icon who is from one of the most homophobic cultures in history, from a country with the lowest AIDS rate and thus the most severe lack of AIDS education in the world. Daddy is mortified.

And I. I am kinda cool.

Q: Any famous Iranians who suck?

Actually many...
The Ayatollahs: SUCK.

Iranian musicians: last summer in an attempt to do something “culturally relevant” Daddy takes me to an “Axis of Love” concert. These clowns are part of a respected classical ensemble, all doing some culturally conscious world music shit. Terrible. Dates-eating, hookah-bar seeking dreadlocked and henna-ed white liberals swaying and nodding everywhere. Heinous. And what of the new “Persian rap singers?” On the forefront: “Da Ali” who does Tupac hooks in sitar for songs like “Da Akhond Fucker” [translation: “the Islamic Priest Fucker,” which admittedly is kind of awesome.]

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