White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Category: Politics of USA

George Lakoff has an interesting article on the gay marriage issue from his famous conservative mind set point of view analysis.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Category: Politics of Iran

Elections are over and as it was expected the conservatives gained an absolute majority of the Iranian parliament. It is difficult not to be disappointed of the future days of Iran. Some say that pragmatic conservatives are gaining the power in Iran and they'll not repeat their mistakes about social pressures (on youth, women, etc) like the time before Khatami. But by looking into the names of the people who have been elected (better say selected), we see very few names of pragmatic conservatives. It's the same army of backward strict conservatives folks who were running the parliament 4 years ago...
Anyway, there is a lot to say and hear about what happened in this (almost finished) reform era of Iran and there are many things to blame (including Mr. Khatami). The most regretful part is the Energy and excitement of millions of Iranian youth who have been sacrificing their mind and thought for the future of their country with no reservation and the disappointment that they're feeling these days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Category: Politics of Iran

Three days before the parliamentary election in Iran, MPs who have been disqualified by the Suversion Council did a perfect move: A direct letter (Read the letter in Farsi) to supreme leader which is a harsh response to his earlier attacks to these guys. The timing of the letter is really good and effective. If these folks stick together after the election and organize their future moves, they can become the most reliable opposition group in Iran which will be really hard to be stopped. Otherwise in the next few months they will be crashed by all sorts of manufactured stories. The same thing that happened to the Freedom Movement party in 1980s.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Category: Cinema

Last night I watched City of God, a film by the Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles. This was the first movie that I saw from this director and my 2nd watched Brazilian movie (after Central Station)
The movie was a perfect work of art. Based on a true story, the movie takes place in a very poor neighborhood (named City of God) close to Rio de Janeiro filled with extreme level of poverty and crime (drug, mass killings, etc.) The movie has an amazing fast rhythm, filled with variety of characters and sequential and parallel events which makes you go back to the theater or the video store at least for the 2nd watch. The cinematography of the film which is done by Cesar Charlone (a name to remember), is really breathtaking. Most of it is done by hand held cameras with remarkable camera moves.

The main character of the movie is in love with photography and since he is the narrator of the story there is picture shot style in the movie which gets to its peak performance in a dance club sequence which is truly breathtaking. The movie pictures an endless sequence of criminal events filled with shooting and death but is smart not to distract the audience with the bloodshed and violence (still it can be really troubling for some people).

One part that I had some problems with: The movie sticks to the local characters in the ghetto as main creators of the bloodshed and except a short mention at the end, it really does not go into the depth of the problem which is probably led by higher levels of powers within the city and country at the time. At the end you are really astonished about the fact how things can be this much messed up in a country which has had a fairly stable government (comparing with many other S. American countries).

In a film desert created by Hollywood studios, it was really refreshing to watch a true work of art. The movie has been quite successful internationally, including 4 Academy Awards nominations (quite a surprise for a foreign movie). I hope that Hollywood also joins the international crowd to praise this work before copying many of its original techniques in the future giant studio works.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Category: Media, Politics of USA

Once again, there is a chance that a democrat gets into White House and media is getting ready to fill our ears with BS about presidents sexual affairs. During these Bush years, whenever that the media occasionally picked something against Bush, it was at least about some real issue (except this recent military record story). At least we heard some small noises about Enron, Sep 11 intelligence, Iraq's WMD...
Doesn't these democrats have a more serious issue to be picked at them really? Is their records on other things really that clean that media has to go to such a BS level? Or maybe the anti democrates audience's understanding is at the level of these kinds of sexual crap that there is no need to ....!
Category: Personal

OK. Finally I changed the basic design of the weblog and I'll try to write and update at least a few times a week.
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