(Dan Weiss is out on tour with his band The Yellow Dress. He’ll be back on August 3rd.) While we’re getting rid of the flag, here’s some other Confederate memorabilia we should get rid of. Russia is trying to promote safe selfies. Twizzlers, string cheese, and Rice Krispies treats are helping negotiations with Iran. The […]
(n.); unification; to make into one; the unifying power of imagination; accredited to Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) “Austen is far from superficial … Her books are intimate and compelling. She has a voice that somehow seems to chime even with a modern sensibility. She is, in essence, timeless.” –Alexander McCaul Smith, from “The Secret of […]
The Islamic State of Iraq in Syria, known better as ISIS, has operated in Syria and Iraq since 2003 as an offshoot of al-Qaeda—at least until al-Qaeda disavowed any connection. The military organization is neither a political party nor religious group, though membership primarily consists of Sunni Muslims, the “orthodox” branch of Islam and the […]
Writer Porochista Khakpour discusses her new novel, The Last Illusion, her desire to literalize the surreal, the role addiction plays for her characters and narrative, and being a lover of outsider stories.
In mid-October, the New York Times reported that an Iranian man survived his execution by hanging and was scheduled to be re-executed. Lapham Quarterly‘s Déjà Vu feature (“Bringing an historical perspective to the day’s news”) connects the miracle/tragedy to another man who proved difficult to kill: “Russia’s greatest love machine, Rasputin.”
Sending a monkey into space, as Iran will do later this month, is only one of many bad ideas involving monkeys and technology. Luckily, our very own Jason Novak has an illustrated essay in Esquire about some of the other things you shouldn’t let monkeys do. (Though we have to politely disagree that monkey shouldn’t be allowed near […]
You’ve heard of the Ramayana and the Epic of Gilgamesh, but have you heard of Shahnameh? It’s Iran’s epic mythical poem, and it’s “twice the length of The Iliad and The Odyssey combined.” Artist Hamid Rahmanian wanted to bring the seminal Iranian saga, full of romance, war, and intrigue, to an American audience so he sat down and […]
The first man to make me feel like I could groove in America was Magic Johnson. Not just be here, not just make it through a school day without crying, but groove: exist with such assurance that I could look in one direction and engage with another.
This summer, I found myself in Iran in the midst of an escalating international conflict, admittedly not the most pragmatic of decisions. After a four-hour drive from the Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran, I arrive at my grandmother’s house on the Caspian Sea.
Somewhere in an anonymous functionary’s desk drawer or a filing cabinet in a fluorescent-lit office or a cardboard box in a dusty basement sits the Persian-language manuscript of Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s The Colonel. Whatever the Iranian government does with books that challenge the official history, that so incisively delineate the many facets of Iranian politics and […]
Alexandra Sandels reports that security is tight in Tehran. Eskander Sedaghi discusses where the Green Revolution has to go next. Greg Scoblete asks how much would be different had the Green Revolution succeeded. James Miller argues that the Green Revolution is ongoing, and important. “But the veneer of calm masks what many here call the […]
“After I recanted my false confession, my main interrogator essentially told me he knew I was not a spy. My captors may have wanted to use my false confession to intimidate Iranians advocating better relations with the West. They may have also wanted my false confession to reinforce their claim that America had planted spies […]
I’ve just got this hunch that things might be ok. Watching Shrek in Tehran. Hey, so, what happened to that tsunami? Related: The Chilean earthquake did however probably (possibly?) make the day shorter. Why the internet will never catch on. Gang signs of the deep. A very important issue: taking a stand against alphabetism.
A new documentary paints Italy as “a democracy of boobs (in all senses).” How does one “explain the gay” in terms of evolution? (via The Daily Dish) “That’s not what countries think of when they go to war.” Why no one ever cleans up the environmental mess they make after sending their citizens off to […]
Greetings! Your humble guest-editor Michael is back in the saddle for another round of negotiating the highly-addictive world of the book blogs. I had an interesting week, where I had time to contemplate my imminent move to Bernal Heights and whether I should apply to those blasted MFA’s again and what it means that I […]
The sun blazes in a clear blue sky and is visible well until 9 o’clock at night. It’s Gay Pride weekend in San Francisco, the streets bejewelled with parades, both joyous and bittersweet. The coffee shop is full of people playing board games while the taquerias overflow with confused French tourists. Desire of every form […]
Protesters and police clash in front of the Iranian Parliament at Baharestan Square (pictures). “They started beating everyone […] and throwing them off the bridge […] they beat a woman so savagely that she was drenched in blood…” an eyewitness account of today’s brutal violence. Obama condemns Iran’s crackdown on dissidents. Fighting back (videos showing […]
“With the Marchers: A resident reports from the streets and the rooftops.” The BBC interviews Caspian Makan, the fiance of Neda Agha-Soltan whose murder at the hands of the Basij was witnessed by the world on YouTube (warning: this video is very graphic). Demonstrators help an injured riot cop. (via Nico Pitney) Has there been […]
Starting off, I want to thank Jeremy Hatch or subbing in for me last week, both on this column and as Saturday Editor. Great job, dude. Seth Abramson writes a lot about MFA programs and, by extension, the PhD in Creative Writing. It’s hip to criticize these programs, but Seth does a hell of a […]
In the current political crisis in Iran, the boldest tool, turns out to be civic technology. Iran has gone out of its way to block the BBC, Yahoo, mobile phone networks, foreign journalists, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites during the election. What this has revealed is that the Iranian government is very sophisticated […]
The Iranian government has made its first move toward some form of dialogue to “defuse the outrage.” Hundreds of thousands rally in Tehran to mourn dead, defying Iran’s supreme leader. Mousavi’s external spokesman, Mohsen Makhmalbaf states, “Ahmadinejad is the Bush of Iran. And Mousavi is the Obama of Iran.” (via Steve Benen) Is Iran “calmer […]
32 reported dead. New protest builds as Iranian government expands crackdown. “The photos coming out of Tehran demonstrate, movingly and beautifully, that women are on the front lines of the protests taking place there, veils and all.” More pictures of civil unrest from TPM.
It’s been amazing to watch it spread. “As the embattled government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to be trying to limit Internet access and communications in Iran, new kinds of social media are challenging those traditional levers of state media control and allowing Iranians to find novel ways around the restrictions,” reports the New York […]
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calls for an election inquiry. A “how to” guide to tracking Iran protests with Twitter and social media. @PersianKiwi may be the world’s most important journalist right now. Gunfire from pro-government militia kills one at Tehran reform rally. Juan Cole says the funeral for the fallen will surely be […]