Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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Uprising in tehran  keshavarz boulvard september 2022  2  cropped for itn

My take is that when it comes to establishing and trying to grow these kind of roots for democracy, I personally think it has to be rooted in resistance, originally. I think that democracy, in order for it to be meaningful and for it to thrive over time, it has to grow these kind of deep roots within the culture. And I think that when it comes to protest and resistance, these are ways of expressing these kind of desires. And for really constituting this sort of collective memory among the populace to say, you know, one: we're not going to forget these moments, these acts of brutality by the regime, we're going to make our voice heard, right? So that to me is a deeply democratic way of thinking and of beginning. I think that it's the sort of incipient and early moments of democracy.

We speak with political science scholar, Nojang Khatami who is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Justitita Center for Advanced Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt. Beginning in the fall of 2023, he will be Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fordham University. Nojang is on to talk about his Boston Review article, “The Lifeblood of Iranian Democracy: From street demonstrations to song, dance, film, and poetry, women are advancing a long legacy of struggle against authoritarianism in Iran.”

 

 


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the wooden stake that is the hammer. Very difficult to use.

It snuck up on us one day while we were listening to Pete Seeger and reading the diary of Anne Frank, and listening to Bessie Smith and reading Edward Said, and listening to Chumbawamba and reading Frantz Fanon. The agents of rot swarmed in. They came at night. They used the silence and darkness to conceal their purpose and their protocols.

Or, maybe it was obvious. You were listening to Martin Luther King, Jr. inspiring you to action against the smug, violent, comfortable bosses, leaders, and owners. The FBI and the Ku Klux Klan could be plainly seen hovering around him, making threats that had nowhere to go but into execution. And then he was killed. Everyone was getting assassinated except the people who really needed assassinating. They were cruisin’ for an assassinatin’. They were clammoratin’ for an assassinatin’. They were dunning for a gunning. But they never got it. Only the decent people did, plus John F. Kennedy.

Rachel Carson, Joe Hill, W.E.B. du Bois, Jacques Cousteau, Virginia Wolfe, Malcolm X, Eugene V. Debs, Shirley Chisholm, Fanny Lou Hamer, Ho Chi Minh, did they all live in vain? Were they all killed by werewolves? The current thinking is that they were. Were they all killed by the same werewolf? Current theories say, “probably.” Does that mean they all live on as werewolves now? Yes. E.O. Wilson recently became a werewolf, in case you missed it.

What exactly is a werewolf? A lot of ignorant people will try to tell you. On a podcast called “Supernatural,” a not-very-persuasive voice named Ashley Flowers tried and did a crap job. She began by asserting that “we always cast extremely attractive men to play them in movies, like Michael J Fox, Hugh Jackman, and Taylor Lautner.”

Okay, Michael J. Fox was in Teen Wolf. Taylor Lautner was in that Twilight garbage. Hugh Jackman? Is she mistaking Wolverine for a werewolf because of his suggestive facial hair? No, right, he was a werewolf in Van Helsing. I didn’t remember that either.

The writer of that first clause, “We always cast extremely attractive men to play them in movies,” must have a pop culture memory the depth of Zambonied fruit leather. The original actor to play the Universal pictures wolfman was Lon Chaney, Jr., not a glamorous ingenu by any measure. Actually, downright... read more