Pulled out of fire

As I walked through the empty building today, that smell brought everything back

One of my architecture professors a the University of Houston is leaving the school and I went by today to pick up a notebook of mine that she had kept. I hadn’t been back in the building for a couple of years - the smell was still there. It’s not a bad smell, it’s not a pleasant smell, it’s just its own smell. Maybe it’s the years of chipboard shavings, or the sawdust of bass wood or the mold spewing from the AC grilles that we affectionately called “vent vomit” - whatever it is, you can’t miss it. It was there the day I went for orientation in the Fall of 2002 - making a u-turn of sorts and going back to school, I found myself in an unfamiliar yet familiar place>>>


ناصر زرافشان و انتخابات کانون نویسندگان

گونه‌ای از سیاست، گونه‌ای از اخلاق

22-Aug-2008 (2 comments)
مقاله‌ی‌ من در باره انتخابات اخیر کانون نویسندگان، تحت عنوان «سانسور زنان در انتخابات کانون نویسندگان» که در تاریخ ۲۲ تیر ماه ۸۷ منتشر شد ، اظهار نظری بود از سر احساس مسئولیت و ادای دینی نسبت به زنان میهنمان که روزهای سختی را در مبارزه برای کسب حقوق انسانی خود پشت سر می‌گذارند . آن مقاله با واکنش‌هایی، بویژه از سوی تنی چند از منتخبین انتخابات اخیر کانون نویسندگان روبرو شد. پاسخ سه‌گانه‌ «زهرا قلهکی»، آقای ناصر زرافشان و خانم فرخنده حاجی زاده با شکل و محتوای تقریباً یکسان به مقاله من به روشنی اهمیت موضوعی را که روی آن دست گذاشتم می‌رساند. متأسفانه بنا به دلایلی قابل فهم ، نامبردگان کوشیده اند با طرح اتهاماتی واهی، تحریف مقاله و بل گرفتن از اشتباهی که در ذکر نام دو نفر کرده‌ بودم، توجه افکار عمومی را از مسیر اصلی مقاله منحرف کرده و بر اساس داده های جدید ، نتایج دلخواه خویش و صد البته عجیب و غریبی بگیرند. در نوشته حاضر به این موضوع می‌پردازم. >>>


Georgia not on their mind

Georgia not on their mind

Photo essay: Massenkoff Folk Festival

by kfravon



The Old Professor

A Philosophical Journey

14-Aug-2008 (6 comments)
This essay is a tribute to Professor John J. Glanville from the San Francisco State University philosophy department, whom I have known well since 1988 and with whom I closely studied Ancient and Medieval philosophy from 1991 to 1996. He was well advanced in age, his hair was entirely white, and he was still going strong when I knew him. But I have heard through a friend that he is now slowing down a bit and finally reducing his work load. I learned a lot from Professor Glanville. But he was not the only professor from whom I learned much or who left a deep impression on me. >>>


Don’t look at me left left

Fun with translation

14-Aug-2008 (10 comments)
Any way, what follows is a number of some Farsi expressions that are not necessarily funny unless they are translated into English. You may have heard some of them before. This list, which is by no means exhaustive, is your punishment for warding off the good writers from this site. To tell you the truth, I was so bored during the last spring break and tired of persistent watching of the weather channel. Staying idle is so unbearable for energetic individuals like me. I thought doing this may not be that tragic, but it is less tragic that going to Florida and jumping into empty pool. That is what a couple of my drunken students did last year>>>


Character A

The day I saw the scene from my screenplay with my own eyes

13-Aug-2008 (5 comments)
I have always been fascinated by human relations and the way they work, how people’s feelings and expectations towards each other are formed and how we interpret people’s actions based on our pre-assumptions that although might be clear to us may not be the case for other people at all. I am sure you have many of those people around you who are always complaining. Not complaining about life (that is what we all do and apparently enjoy it very much because otherwise we would have stopped doing it long time ago) I mean complaining about other people’s attitudes, reactions, things we expected them to do and they didn’t, or things they did that we never expected from them>>>


Ammameh Gozaroon

PART 4: From Misery Alley to Missouri Valley

11-Aug-2008 (7 comments)
Even though she never insisted stubbornly, my mother wanted me to become a theology student or, at least, to have a close relationship with the clergy. After a few casual encounters, I was able to establish a friendly relationship with one of them, a rather handsome young man, who was also Sayyed, let’s call him Mr. H. I liked him because he was moderate and reasonable when expressing his views, and embraced modernity. Mr. H invited me to his Ammameh Gozaroon ceremony. It was really interesting to me. It was like a costumed-made graduation party, a crowning a prince, Taj Gozari. The pre-rolled black turban, which was placed at the top of his head by a high-ranking ayatollah in the midst of the jubilation and the chanting of Slavat by the audience, contrasted his bright-skin face so fittingly>>>


Treading softly

Sohrab Sepehri at 80

09-Aug-2008 (8 comments)
October 7th 2008 marks the 80th anniversary of the birth of one of Iran’s most celebrated modern poets, Sohrab Sepehri. On that day, hundreds of people will make their way to the lonely, remote mosque of Mashhad Ardehal, (on the desert road between Kashan and Dilijan), to pay their respects, recite poetry and lay flowers on the grave of this much-loved poet. Awaiting them will be no grand memorial tomb such as that of Hafez or Sa’adi: no pavilion with fragrant gardens, no trees to adorn and give shade. All they will see is a marble flagstone in the courtyard of the mosque (outside the women’s entrance), sometimes trodden below the feet of visitors on their way to prayer. The inscription on the stone reads:>>>

HOT Feeds your Needs!

One of the best features is that you can instantly add an event right into your Google or Yahoo calendar

09-Aug-2008 (18 comments)
Ever since the dot com boom and bust, I don't get too excited about new websites anymore, especially Iranian sites. Iranian sites for the most part either suck, or they are template sites and the greedy developers seem to want to create the most busiest and complicated sites with the teeniest tiniest text that you can't read, almost as if they wanted to make it as hard to use as possible. God forbid they have those awful ads on them too. Farsi language sites are often bad, as the penchant for Iranians to blog like crazy, at times becomes too much to bear. Certainly painful on the eyes. I think the number of Iranians blogging now, is more than the actual number of Iranians reading those blogs>>>


Irrational eyes

The blind and Mr. Saramago's blindness

07-Aug-2008 (2 comments)
The picture that Jose Saramago presents of the blind is more repulsive than any Eugenicist dares to draw. The reader asks himself if this writer before writing his book had ever met a blind person or after publishing his story, has he ever received feedback from a blind reader? It is ironic that Mr. Saramago intends to write a book in order to criticize a kind of ideological/spiritual bias by which human society is divided into "us" and "the others", but the result is Blindness in which the author has slipped into one of the worst kinds of bigotry>>>


چهار دیواری اختیاری

چقدر در فرهنگ ما "اختیار" از دست ما گرفته شده

تمایل به داشتن خانه ی شخصی و اتومبیل شخصی و .... را در ایرانیان مقیم فرنگ بهتر و روشن تر می توان دید. اینجا بیشتر معلوم می شود که در تمایل ما به "داشتن"، انگار عامل دیگری هم غیر از "مصرف" به چشم می خورد! کمتر ایرانی مقیم خارج هست که در دکوراسیون داخلی خانه اش چیزی یا چیزهایی از صنایع دستی و کاسه کوزه ها و قاب های ایرانی نباشد. داشتن یک آنتن ماهواره ای و تماشای تله ویزیون های فارسی زبان. یک دستگاه عالی ضبط و پخش با آهنگ های ایرانی، کلاسیک و پاپ و اغلب هم ملودی های سوزناک! غم غربت؟ یادگار؟ دلتنگی؟ نمی دانم! شاهرخ مسکوب در "گفتگو در باغ" به تمایل فرهنگی ما به سبزی و آب و گیاه اشاره می کند، و نقش قالی که تصویری ست از باغ، گاه باغ بهشت! شاید این میل، از ذهن کویری ما بر می خیزد؟>>>


Well endowed

Well endowed

Photo essay: Getty Museum, Los Angeles

by Alireza Ajam
23-Jul-2008 (one comment)




Glorification of the corrupt

23-Jul-2008 (23 comments)
“Zerangi” in Persian can be loosely translated as “cleverness” and to be “zerang” is to be “clever”. Most, if not all the time in Iranian culture and society, a zerang person is seen in a positive light for he or she is intelligent, resourceful and independent/autonomous and is thus what most Iranians strive to be. To be a zerang person can be applied in many situations, both positive and sinister. For example, a person who knows how the American legal system works and is able to work it to his or her advantage is zerang. A person who is resourceful in business and has made something of himself/herself is zerang. However, a person who is able to cleverly cheat his taxes and screw the system and government is also zerang. >>>


مورچه ی آرژانتینی

مورچه ها بخشی از زندگی ما شده اند. می بینی و نمی بینی شان، می شنوی یا نمی شنوی شان

19-Jul-2008 (5 comments)
همین که یکی دو روزی در حال و هوای این جزیره و میان مردم زندگی کنی و ... بی اختیار به یاد مورچه ی آرژانتینی "ایتالو کالوینو" می افتی. راوی داستان همراه همسر و فرزند خرد سالشان برای سکونت به شهری آمده اند که از پیش نمی شناخته اند. روز اول در آشپزخانه و بعد در ننوی بچه متوجه ی مورچه ها می شوند و کم کم در می یابند که مورچه ها در همه جای خانه حضوری پر رنگ دارند. راوی به خانه ی همسایه می رود تا برای دفع مورچه ها دوایی موقتی بگیرد. متوجه می شود که همسایه با وجود کار شبانه روزی و بکار بردن انواع و اقسام سم دفع مورچه از مایع و جامد و خوراکی های آلوده به انواع سم، به همین دلخوش است که در راهروها و اتاق ها و حیاط، میان انبوه مورچه ها مسیر باریکی برای رفت و آمد خود و همسرش داشته باشد!>>>


A Couple of Days in San Diego

The entire area feels like a military camp. Or maybe like an occupied territory

17-Jul-2008 (39 comments)
Maybe statistics would prove me wrong, but the economy feels like a military economy. The major things you see being manufactured and built are border walls and military facilities. You see battleships and carriers in the bay, bases and naval air stations along the freeways, soldiers in camouflage sitting in the backs of trucks or on gates in fences at freeway exits in the countryside with nothing around, tattoo parlors and strip joints on the main streets of National City, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, the immense retired officers community of Coronado, jeeps and Humvees and SUVs on the highways, black with tinted windows, driven by young men with buzz cuts>>>