The world watched with awe and horror at massive demonstrations in opposition to the results of Iran's presidential elections this month, and paramilitaries' deadly crackdowns. But the modern world's attention span is severely screwed. Two weeks later, a mood of melancholy is enveloping normally frenetic Tehran, reported the NYT over the weekend. Although a smaller demonstration occurred Sunday, the opposition's options are dwindling fast.
And suddenly now, the planet is on MJ overload.
Here's how we can honor both tragedies: The above video mashing up Michael Jackson's protest anthem "They Don't Care About Us" with images from the Iran unrest. (Pop-meta-meltdown once more, albeit with that awful "Jew me, Sue me" lyric still floating in there.)
"Freedom is near," the video says, "Don't give up." Could it be? From one of the many forwarded dispatches sent to me from inside Iran:
There is the possibility that those imprisoned remain there, that Moussavi is done away with by some means (exile, house arrest, etc), and that Ahmadinejad remains the illegitimate president of an unlawful dictatorship. If this happens, the next four years would mean major organizing in the underground and a new stage in Iranian political activism. One thing is sure: people are no longer going to accept the self-censorship or fear that has been imposed upon them.
For a long archive of beautiful ephemera in Iran, visit the photoblog Life Goes On In Tehran.
And for smart looks at Michael Jackson's death and legacy, from African and African American male perspectives, see here and here. Ernest Hardy discusses Jackson's most overlooked inspiration -- Diana Ross -- and Paul Tiyambe Zeleza cites Frantz Fanon to lament Jackson's long-ago death "as a black man."