Recently the Iranian government's PR machine has recognized the value of using pop culture as a way to appease the growing scream for freedom to party like it's 1979, that the youth of Iran are demanding, louder and louder as the rapidly approaching decrepit mullahcracy gets older and older.
The Mullah's handlers, having learned a thing or two from taking one of those free modern business management marketing courses from Harvard over the internet, have finally recognized the power of media, and specifically pop music as an ideal way to appease and quell the growing discontent. Music, and the bodies it invariably moves and de-clothes, is the anti-depressant- no, laxative for passion-locked souls of Iran's next generation. They wait eagerly, panting sweatily for change, but cutely oblivious. Almost unsure that they may actually be asked to take over the near future, when the Octogeniuses in charge now, simply forget to wake up one day, one by one, and disappear into the empty pages of this forgettable chapter in Iran's history.
But PR is like a shark, it needs to keep moving in order to survive, and Iran's home grown meth lab of pop music is cooking up a storm. Refining each batch purer and sweeter than the first. The first signs of pop music as "product" for the masses, was a couple years ago, and the dust kicked up by Benyamin, the Mosque Industry's former call to prayer, azan-singing choir boy turned sex symbol, whose electronic voicebox croonings melted the panties off of every single young Tehran tart right through their Hejabs with one surprisingly sensual album. Benyamin showed for the first time, that it was actually cooler to be in Iran, than out. Word has it a trio of Iranian girls is coming next. Ladies and gentlemen, look out, here they come, The Supreme[Leader]s!
But way before Benyamin's refined poptroleum, there was the grand experiment of Arian Band. Arian Band, or as I like to call them, the Frankenstein of made-in-Iran pop music. It's alive, but the parts don't fit very well, and the whole thing's so fucked up that it's about to fall apart or go berserk at any minute.
Back when Arian Band was just an evil gleam in the eye of whoever came up with it, the idea was simple enough. Take some western melodies based on the usual Pachel Bel canon, add some harmless lyrics talking about spiritual love. Put in sexy guitars stroking that vaguely similar hole in the middle, in a wet-lipped way. How to make it sexy without an actual Girl? Simple, just have the lead singer sing like a girl! Now add some eye candy like Reza Golzar for the guys and the girls, and put some backup chicks in hejabs just to round it out nicely. Legal. The name Arian Band is even designed to rekindle an almost subtle racist patriotism that is only just barely free of any taint ,and seems acceptable since it's Iranian Aryanism and not the other kind. This is how deep the sickness an average day in Iran is.
Arian Band music however, is absolute total shit. If Goebbels rose from the dead, converted to Islam, and wrote the songs,himself, they would be better. It is the Persian Empire of shit. A ripoff of the 80's German gay anthems of Blue System and their less big hair reincarnation as Modern Talking. It's amazing what Iranians with a slow internet connection will dig up, steal, modify slightly, and with full roo re-manufacture as their own. Stunning.
Recently, these newly empowered MadMen of Iran's latest Ministry of Propaganda Through Pop Music have done some research into the Next Big Thing. The problem is that not having a decent clue or bone in their body, choosing to be governed by an evil will that has long ago lost it's way, ends up merely being classless, tasteless, and entirely useless. Which means you have to spin it real hard for it to be considered cool. And spin it they have.
So the next big thing was to show the West that Iran was a cool pop music destination again. That would show the West! That would prove that the Iranian system is right, and everyone else is wrong, and if you don't believe it, just look at the validation of a visiting western pop music icon as proof. The only problem is that no one in this machine has the slightest clue as to know what a western pop icon is.
So first the rumors were spread through the media that Morrissey, the former lead singer of The Smiths was signed, sealed and scheduled to perform in Iran. Again, an Iranian with an internet connection and some late night research fueled by Tehran take-out. Morrissey was the ideal stooge for the plan, he was morose, a longtime anti-establishment (Western) anarchist of sorts, and to make it a perfect fit, he was even celibate! The he-she smell on him was even more titillating. Young mullahs in Tehran smiled and gave each other quiet hand jobs, so as to not jinx the news.
The only problem was that as stupid as Morrissey has been at mis-managing his career since leaving The Smiths, even Morissey is not that medicated or stupid to consider Iran as an opening gig of his ill-fated reunion tour. Well, maybe he is that stupid. But never mind that, because other than 3 songs from The Smiths days, and possibly 2 from his thankfully short solo career, Morissey is nothing more than a dim blip on the 80's musical timeline. If you were a Goth in highschool.
Since there is no news of the Morrissey kickoff in Tehran, fire up the 56k modems boys there's more research to do! And lo and behold another nugget courtesy of the Iranian version of Google, enter Chris De Burgh.
De Burgh was another 80's one hit non-wonder (with Lady in Red), and in possession of a mediocre wispy tenor voice. He was so bad, that he actually could have had a career in the easy-listening-drill-bit-in-your-brain section of the charts. Could have had. But never actually did. Michael Bolton had already cornered that market and what few scraps fell off his putrid table of slop were greedily sucked up by Kenny G through that horrible horrible modified clarinet-saxophone monstrosity.
But the beauty of lesser known, graphics-free, text-rich websites when viewed from slow internet cafes in Iran, is that they can store such useless amounts of extremely poor cultural taste. And an Iranian who works in the Ministry by day, can just barely read them, and think that they are cool. Then, the same Iranian who thought up the bad joke that is Arian Band, after a nice dose of warmed up Kalleh-Pacheh at 11pm, can also hallucinate an even worse plan. To put the 2 together! And the biggest problem with an inept, tasteless, and classless Iranian who works for the ministry, with a dream, is that he will actually ask his uncle the mullah to let him do it!
And so it is written and so it shall be done. At least the car crash of a video "The Words I Love You" is proof that this horrible accident is going to happen.
In 2008 or 2009, if he doesn't come to his senses and realize he's being invited to Iran and not Ireland, Chris de Bergh, armed with what little dignity his career has left, will step off that sodding plane, into Tehran's new working-public-toilet less but nevertheless shiny airport, and unite with the mighty Arian Band and those 3 nerdy blissfully docile "ditzy-chicks" with makeup that looks like they're not wearing any makeup.
And when they play with each other- I mean together, in the esfand and gol-ab scented, thanks to the Shah-era musical hall, they will re-affirm to the world, what everyone already knows. That we are indeed one! At least when it comes to lame and shitty!
They will porve with all the glory it deerves, that lame and shitty music performed by lame and shitty people, staged by lame and shitty government stooges, proves one thing and one thing only, that lame and shitty is always lame and shitty, no matter where you come from regardles of the color of your shit. And no amount of spin, posturing, re-packaging, or lip gloss on men, will ever change the taste of that lame shit in your mouth.
God help us when Iran gets broadband and they find out that Michael Jackson used to be black. You know it's coming.
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