White Balloon

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

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Conflicting or complementary thoughts

Nothing is new in the following thoughts. You keep hearing them from various people and keep reading them in the self help litreture. They sound logical. You might think that they're complementary. But they're also contradictory in some ways. And yet, individuals keep saying them and believe in them ...

1. Basic thought: Your partnership is the most import decision of your life. After birth and death that are out of your control, marriage is what will decide the fate of your life.

2. You're the problem: You think that you secure and insure your life with a great parternship, but at the end it's you who shapes the outcome of your life. Instead of trying to fill your loneliness and other emtoional problems, work on yourself. Enjoy yourself!

3. Destiny: You once might think that you have a great control on your life: You've a good job, education, your dream partner and then something comes out of blue: a sudden death of a loved one, A physically disabled child, A market crash, an accident, etc. So don't push things too hard. At the end your destiny is something not totally in your hands.

4. All about my ego: The problem comes from thinking all the time about "ME". Leave this "ME" out... move beyond yourself. Think about life and what are WE humans can do for each other. "ME" gets a meaning when it helps "US". Trash your egos

5. One way or the other: Just do your best at each critical point. Whatever is the outcome, you are sure that you've done your job and the rest is out of your hand....




Monday, May 26, 2008

Death of Sydney Pollack

He passed away today. There are some people that their entire artistic record is interesting and has something to offer. I always admired his character, even when he had a plain role like Eyes Wide Shut or even when he simply talked on TV. For me he was one of compromise between maintaining an intellectual vision and at the same time entertaining and popular: A quality that is difficult to find in the Hollywood. Among his impressively long list of works, The way we were (as director) and his acting in Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives are always memorable for me.

I just reread a note that I once wrote about his vision towards media control. The guy had quite a fresh mind in these dark years of American media. I'll certainly miss him on the screen!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Media War on Iran

A lesson learned from the Iraq and Afghanistan war is that public opinion is going to be a major factor for survival of any dominant foreign power. It's now clear that Bush adminstration and generally western media did a terrible job in winning the hearts of the Iraqis and anti-US media outlets such as Aljazeera or the Iranian Al-Alam channels were the ones who influenced public opinion.
The future of engagement and competition with Iran seems to be quite complicated and already the media war is extending to various battle grounds. Iran has been quite aggressive in its media tactics. After the establishment of Al-Alam, the Islamic Republic continued extending its propaganda message in English language via the Press-TV channel. The TV channel which contracts with various reporters outside Iran, competes very well with its western equivalents such as BBC or CNN. It is an example of the flexibilities of the Iranian regime when things get into the survival point. Many of the Islamic restrictions that are present in the Iranian national TV are relaxed or totally removed in the new international channel.

From the other side, various other powers are now showing off their interest in this propaganda war with Iran. BBC is testing its Persian TV this summer and it is supposed to start its airing this fall.
The Saudi backed Al-Arabia channel has initiated a Persian news page and has announced a new Persian TV channel that will start its operation in the near future.
And last but not least, European Union is in talks about starting a new Persian TV channel.

So let's put it together: US (VOA), BBC, Saudis, and EU. Let's Wait for Russian and Chinese to make the full house!

If I want to be optimistic and not think of any military complication with Iran, one thing is clear: Iran is gonna be on the world affair agenda for a long time and all these large scale media investments which are aimed towards influencing the Iranian population means something: Everyone wants to influence Iran's public opinion. Hopefully such influence is towards changing things at polls, and not shot guns!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Walking in the vacum

I feel walking in a dark and force-less space where I'm totally left on my own. No clear direction and sense about the road. For now, I'd better keep walking!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Playing piano in Tehran

On my last weekedn in Tehran, on a Friday morning:
Felt quite lonely. Everyone's sleeping. No one to talk and share my concerns and pains. . What to tell people when everyone feels uncapable of offering anything constructive ... And then I decided to talk to my old buddy: my piano, who plays my sole quite well.

I removed layers of plastic covers that mom had put on my piano. And once again, touched those heavenly keys. Oh, it was such a great nostalgic moment to play in our living room. The sound is still magnificant and fresh reminder of those years. Years that I became this person... I played the song that once I composed for Reyhan and I kept thinking about the point that things went wrong. Still confused how things went to that direction. Why she felt for that person, why I was passive and tired to stop her and many many why and hows ... Yet one thing is clear that I'm gonna be the one who decides the end of this story ...
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