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

SuperTruth® for the UltraBeliever


Are there any real mysteries left? Clearly, we’re not the doe-eyed, innocent public we once were, back when Howdy Doody and Alka Seltzer ruled the popular infotainmosphere. It’s not enough for things to be true anymore. Now they must pass a more rigorous test: the test of believability in the state-of-the-art laboratory of public opinion. And yet somehow there still remain unsolved phenomena to boggle the jaded mind, shake us out of our trances, and remind us never to trust our senses, our reason, our memory, or the evidence. We live in a truly miraculous time, when anything can be true.


But only the best things can be SuperTrue®.


The Barbed Wire of Eden


One sunny Sunday morning, archaeologist, Trudy Braznorkle, working overtime on a dig in the mountains of Afghanistan, found her garden trowel’s tip wedged, immovably, between a rock and hard thing embedded in the Afghan clay. The trowel stuck out of the earth at a thirty-three-and-a-third-degree angle. She put all the weight she could bring to bear upon it by standing on the handle with one foot. The trowel handle bent all the way to the ground before she released it with a “sproy-yoy-yoy-yoing” sound. She tried again. “Sproy-yoy-yoy-yoing!” She did it a few more times because she enjoyed hearing the sound.


Then the handle of the trowel broke off. She tried next with a pry bar and eventually removed the stubborn artifact from the clay. What she saw turned out to be confirmation of a very old, obscure legend.


A book of early apocrypha, The Shawarmas of Enochle, tells of a garden, recognizable as the selfsame Garden of Eden from the Old Testament book of Genesis. The description is reported by an ancestor of Noah (builder of the famous ark), Enochle, who recounts being told by Adam and Eve about the garden soon after they faced eviction from it.


It’s long been held by biblical scholars that Eden was the first gated community. Barbaric Australopithecans and other inferior hominids were denied entry. It may be that these brutes were early failed experiments by God himself. Even hobbits, cute and whimsical though they were, could not pass through Eden’s gate, nor gain ingress by digging a tunnel beneath the hedgerow. Boobytraps bristling with poison-dipped barbs would spring into the face of anyone foolish enough to try to... read more

Jun 20