White Balloon

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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Consumer America's embarassment

It is reported that one of Walmart store's employees has died because of the crowd that had trampled on him to get into the store's special sales on the black Friday. That's a huge embarrassment for this stupid consumerist culture. A country whose moron president encourages people to shop for fighting the enemy, wouldn't do better than this.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Post Proposal State

It's a vacuum of pain and stress at least for today!! Soon I'll be back to normal!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Order a PhD!!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Boris Kovac on an autumn day

Accordion's sound is magically nostalgic. When put together with clarinet and Boris Kovac's gypsy orchestra, then it becomes life and ignites a beautiful busy morning.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Film: Waltz with Bashir

Israel is probably the most paradoxical nation. From one side a country with complicated history that its entire formation is controversial, had defied all sorts of UN's resolutions and international norms against Palestinians and its neighbors, etc. The other side is an extremely democratic society that is obsessed to provide the best service to its citizens and thoroughly questioning its own actions, even better than its enemies.

Waltz with Bashir is a strong documentary-animation about the first Lebanon war when Israel went after Palestinian militia and occupied Southern Lebanon for 16 years. The film benefits from an impressive animation style. The medium helps the director to go beyond documentary and add drama to the plot. The narration is done through animation interviews with several Israeli reserves who served in the war and tell their memories... Further down, each narration is supported by an animated visualization of the narrated events. The film dig into the psychological effects of the war on soldiers. One bright moment is visualization of the story of soldier who had break down when he sees a massacre of horses in Lebanon. He had tried to look at whatever that he sees from a camera point of view. That enabled him to survive and ignore all the bloodshed that he was creating and was observing. But suddenly there is a moment that his camera style vision find totally
unexpected: the massacre of horses. In that moment he realizes the cruelty of what he's working and has a break down.

The height of the movie comes towards the end when the events leading to the Sabra & Shatila massacre are shown. This is the famous massacre of over 800 Palestinians by the Lebanese Phalangist militia under the cover of Israeli forces (commanded by Ariel Sharon). The picture and interviews are really strong. Right at the end the animation is dissolved into the real picture of the post-massacre moorings. That's where you get a freezing sweat

When the film ends, it is difficult to stand up and walk. Most people (including many Israeli/Jewish audience are shocked. You keep wondering what's Israel really? It's both a country that produces such strong criticism of itself and chooses this as their best movie of the year. It's also the country who not only caused this massacre, but also reelected its architect (Sharon) to the top office. What is this paradox? What does an Israeli kid inherit from her country when she walks into life? It's so difficult to be an enlightened Israeli in such paradox. I admire those who fight for it!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day on and off blogging

1:34 PM - I voted early in the morning since I have a busy day mixed with research meetings and campaign volunteering. The polling was fairly quiet in the early morning, but friends now say that it has taken them at least an hour to vote. They say the first exit polls are gonna surface around 5:00 PM.

4:54 - There is anxiety everywhere. Although it's a beautiful day (weather wise), I find people nervous. We're making the last push of calls to make sure people go and vote. I'm very tired.

8:34 - We won. PA is for Obama. AP reports 80% of people have voted in Ohio. Yes it's a landslide!

9:42- Ohio is for Obama. It's over! Time for celebration and HOPE!

1:48 AM - It's great to live through a historical moment, to see the cheerful youths who have found their aspiration in a young president. To see the tears of the African Americans who see a dream coming true. I was one of the 100s of those young who took over the streets around our campus, danced, cried and chanted "yes we can"

Monday, November 03, 2008

Campaign Heat

Hi my name is X and I am calling from Barack Obama's campaign for change. I'd like to touch base with you to make sure you are voting tomorrow. Please double check your voting station and your voting rights at barackobama.com. If you have any voting difficulty, please call us immediately at 1-877-US-4-OBAMA (1-877-874-6226).

This is the call that I along with tens of other volunteers made today from our local Obama's office. The energy at the campaign is quite high. So much of excitement among the many young volunteers! Obama's campaign has perfectly closed the racial gap in this campaign. Whites are strongly out numbering all minorities in this campaign. Another interesting thing is the diversity of the volunteers in terms of social class. We have people from various levels of income: neurosurgeon, lawyer, teacher, mechanic... I have seen all sorts of people over the past few weeks.

Tomorrow is the day! Seems that we are going for a land-slide.
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