Our Generation (for nazy kaviani)


Rosie T.
by Rosie T.

last december nazy wrote an article called "my generation."

it actually began as a post on jahanshah's photo essay "daughter of the revolution."

it was a very important time for this website. they were two very important threads, i thought. we were just starting to come out of the "wild wild west"--an embryonic system of moderation was being implemented following a collective discussion. and on these two threads, i think, people began to look at themselves and look at each other and at their roles in the revolution and ask questions that united rather than divided.

but the generation of the revolution was my generation too. i was twenty in 1979. and as a child i was a child of the woodstock generation. i was only nine in 1969 but i was very precocious and sensitive and aware and so i was very much a child of woodstock. and i have been thinking about your generation, nazy, and about my generation. about our generation.

i have been thinking that every generation leaves a mixed legacy. my generation's legacy was very mixed. the chaos, the excessive hedonism, the rampant drug use, the irresponsibility. but what were the IDEALS of my generation? one must take the best and leave the rest. the greatest ideal of the woodstock generation was hope for a better world.

every generation leaves a mixed legacy which can only be evaluated in terms of how the next generations choose to build on it, and how the youth of that generation who have now become elders, choose to guide them.

it must be very very difficult for many iranians who were part of the revolution of 79 to find this mixed  legacy. what earthly good can there possibly be in stringing people up over major commuter thoroughfares in a world capital? what good?

(what good is there in iraq?)

it must be remembered that the greatest ideal of your generation was the same as mine. it was also hope for a better world. one must take the best and leave the rest.

and one must also remember that blood shed is the same blood of blood ties. the ties that bind. 

so i have been thinking about our generation. nazy, and i thought and i looked around and i decided that this was the best expession of the best legacy i could find of my generation. 

of your generation. of our generation.

we are stardust, billion year old carbon, we are golden, caught in the devil's bargain, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.

joni. take the best and leave the rest, take the hope in her eyes. 

ps serendipitously i just happened to remember that the three-day festival began on august 15 1969.


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Nazy Kaviani

Dear Robin

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for this post. I'm honored. I, too, had to send my regrets to the folks at Woodstock, for no better reason than my age and the simple geographic constraints! However, it has never been hard for me to understand this generation of Americans who wanted change. As an international and collective group, it seems, everyone around the globe at that time either wanted change or was forced to undergo it in dramatic ways sometime soon in their lifetime.

As I mentioned in that article, though by the time the Iranian revolution started to unfold I no longer lived in Iran, I do take my generation's responsibilities seriously. I have no choice. Our generation became somehow 'responsible' for all that went wrong in the world, never celebrated nor acknowledged for what went right. We have had to answer to ourselves and our children why we did or didn't do some things. We have had to admit our ignorance, our failure, and our inability to fix things while all the time dismayed and disenchanted, knowing better, yet unable to do anything. In Iran, the same people who were in favor of the revolution have had to watch the mistreatment of themselves and their children, unable to do anything about it. The children always blame their parents, because they weren't around when their fates were changed on Tehran streets, and Iranian parents blame themselves for having let the country fall in the ways that it has.

Therefore one of our differences is that while most Americans of your generation are not sad about what they did in their youth, Iranians of my generation look at their youth with longing and nostalgia and pain.

So, here we are. Since change of dramatic proportions seems to have become my generation's destiny, my personal reflection about my life is that I must always try to do my best, to see, to feel, to understand, to learn, and to teach at every opportune moment, hoping that I can help bring that change through with open eyes, armed with knowledge. That has been my lesson in life. A lesson I can only hope to teach my children.

For you, the thoughtful and kind and brilliant Robin, I leave a Persian song, Imagine, by Siavash Ghomeishi. Thanks again.


The Video

by Your Fish Fan (not verified) on

Thanks Rosie. The video works and it's a beautiful song, you are right. I'll check the JJ and NK articles and come back.

Rosie T.

if you're having trouble playing the video

by Rosie T. on

me too. i don't know why. it is very beautiful and i never had trouble playing it before. but today it plays..and then it won't...it works...and then next time keeps stopping and starting even when i play it directly on youtube...

if you have the same problem i highly recommend you try it later...it'll work (sooner or later)..well worth it...

anyway...peace! and happy anniversary woodstock!