Wednesday, December 29, 2004

How dangerous a "blog" can be?


Here is the English translation of what the Iranian ex-vice president, Mohammad Abtahi, has reported on his weblog about the interrogation and torture of several Iranian blogers for what they said in their blogs.

This is what governments do when when the "national security" is in danger, and they should defend the "homeland", or "religion", "values", or any other sacred shit.
More on the tortured bloggers here.

Susan Sontag (1933-2004)

Susan Sontag died at 71 (News: 1, 2). Thinking about her reminded me of myself at age 19, writing down the Persian translation of In Plato's Cave narrated to me and a few others by Bahman Jalali in the Iranian School of Radio and Television. In those years (mid 1980s) there was no book published on the theory of photography in Iran, neither there was any photography magazine. I had not read anything like that before. Reading that essay while I was writing it was a shocking experience.
It was winter. I used to go to Jalali's classes in Thursday afternoons. We wrote down that essay and two others ("Melancholy Objects" and "America, Seen Through the Glass Darkly") in two or three weeks. Those winter afternoons were a turning point in my life. Sontag's essays changed the meaning of images for me forever. Maybe the same way the pictures of Auschwitz changed every thing for her.
* For reading Sontag's last article in New York Times magazine click here.
* Read "Looking at War" in "The New Yorker" here.
* Also listen to Remembering Susan Sontag at Radio Nation.
* Quicksilver by John Berger.

The Photograph by Peter Hujar.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Girlfriend-Lap / Boyfriend arm, for Sale


After the boyfriend's arm pillow now the girlfriend lap pillow is in the market.
I think We should read these articles (1 and 2) again. The writers had seen something in the 1800s that we are still blind to it.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Israel of Our Time


This qutation from Herman Melville explains about many things that happenned years after him, both in America and in the world. I can not read it without thinking about Superman and G. W. Bush.
And we Americans are peculiar, chosen people -- the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world ... Long enough have we been skeptics with regard to ourselves, and doubted whether, indeed, the political Messiah had come. But he has come in us, if we would but give utterance to his promptings."
--Herman Melville, White-Jacket (1850)