White Balloon

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

Saturday, September 29, 2007


There is a trade off between commitment and freedom in relationships. The negative part of the trade off shows up in many emotional forms at various types of situations. Even though the positive aspect (freedom) might not come into practice in majority of moments, but the fact that I hold such a jewel in my hand makes me so much light weighted.

I was thinking how humans easily give up their freedom easily in many circumstances. This is not just about personal freedom in things like relationships. It's at the social level too. And I guess an important positive aspect of America is that freedom has a very high priority in American model of thinking. In some way, appreciation of freedom can be a measure of freedom of speech. Just think that in a country like Iran, what percentage of the population have a real dilemma and obsession about the freedom of speech.

The other week when I was in DC for the anti-war protest, there was a moment that one pro-war guy made it to the podium and started talking lightly about supporting the troops etc. Then suddenly the organizers cut his microphone. Although the absolute majority of the crowd over there were against that guy, they all started shouting for support of the guy that "let him speak". It was quite a dramatic moment and finally they turned his microphone on. And as the guy started to talk in support of the war, then the crowd booed him. The message was clear: No one has the right to take away my and my opponent's freedom of protest and expression.

And I don't believe that appreciation of freedom has that much today with the economy. Many of those who care strongly for their freedom in this country belong to low-economic class of the society and many of those who really don't think much about their freedom in Iran, are pretty well off.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad on Charlie Rose

I was tempted to watch Ahmadinejad's interview with Charlie Rose last night, because generally discussions on this show are more straight and intellectual and less of BS is said there. Unlike the earlier Ahmadinejad's apperances, this program was quite fine. There was at least some content in the debate. And actually the translation was good this time. To be honest, I was a bit impressed with some of Ahmadinejad's answers. After the embarrassment at Columbia university, at least I cooled down a little bit.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A week with Ahmadinejad

Apparently we're sentenced to bear with a week of Ahmadinejad on US media. Last night, I watched his interview on 60 minutes and I couldn't take it for more than 15 minutes. Stupid questions from the anchor were followed with stupid answers by Ahmadinejad which even sounded more stupid with the terrible real-time translation. As far as I have heard, Iranian government has made it a requirement that any interview with Iranian officials should be translated by someone from Iran's side. And considering the typical chaotic and non-expert management of the Iranian government, very poor translators end up doing such a critical task.

Anyway, we're gonna have total treat with Ahmadinejad this week and the best thing to do is to totally ignore it. He doesn't have anything new to say except his cheap BS and on the other side US media doesn't have any new analysis except repeating the same rhetoric of war on terror, support for Israel, etc. It's such a shame that the whole political discourse of the world is dominated by this much of distortion and lies from all sides.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

DC Protest

After 4 years I went back to streets to protest against the war. In the months leading to the Iraq war, I attended many protests in San Francisco which was great experience to learn about America, leftist movements and effectiveness of a cause. I went back to protest this past weekend in Washington DC. What I observed over there was a tired and fed up America who does not have even the energy to protest. Walking on the Pennsylvania Ave, I observed groups of Pro-War people who had staged their anti-protests and were creating a dramatic scene of confrontation with the protesters. There was not much of a civil dialogue between both groups. They were all fed up of the hypocrisy and lies of politics of our time.

At the bottom line of the protest I didn't see much of awareness, but more of despressy. Getting out of the Iraq mess is now becoming a matter of survival for America, not a matter of progress. The economy is in a very confusing state that every minute one of the bubbles might burst. Americans are very worried from every corner: housing, security, social programs, health care, etc. How much more this workaholic society can take?
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