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It seems that one of the outcomes of "the SHITuation" is like always happens when you are sitting on fertilizer, the blossoming of Art that emanates from the eternal sunshine of the hopeless minds of Iranian Artists, Musicians, and Oh all right! Filmmakers too! If you insist.
Whether you are New School fans of the Parazit show launched Radio Tehran (Tamoomeh Chiza), Old School fans of Shahin & Sepehr, or Middle School fans of Kiosk and Abjeez, you've witnessed a damn fine run of some of the best truly new music in the parallel universe and answer to the somehow still kicking shitty 6/8. If you are in the Graduate School of Hamed Nikpay, or getting your Doctorate in Mohsen Namjoo, then you're out in some serious choppy waters, that only the deep parts of the ocean provide, far past the outer banks of mere Alternative.
Recently, like today as a matter of fact, one of the aforementioned, mentioned that in stopping at an Iranian run gas station recently, or years ago, the owner recognizing the musician in question, said, with no small measure of a real true Iranian fan, "I loved your album so much I made 20 copies and gave them to all my friends!"
And here, my friends, is the crux or crust of the truly staleness that our collective bread wrapped as culture, or lack thereof, has come to.
Either gasoline fumes are truly harmful to one's health, or that along with the slightest hope that Iran will become a true democracy where we can all speak our minds, and consider alternatives sanely, we have too abandoned the slightest capacity to appreciate the finer things. Especially those intangibly beautiful notes and sounds that often seem to magically float on the air, into our eager ears, yet their greater meaning and value somehow never getting through our fat heads.
Music, and the value of a musician, is passed over as effortlessly as "You're very talented." or "You have a real gift." And as with any gift, the pre-supposed judgment that one should not actually deserve to be paid for that gift, because making music for you, must be like pissing for me. And you don't see me getting paid for pissing. Even if I am doing it right now, right into your already soggy corn flakes.
My musician friend, ever appreciative of the irony of life, replied, "That's perfect! I just happen to have 20 friends who could use some free gasoline today!" The gas station owner didn't get it.
Worse is Art. God forbid an Iranian picks up a brush and goes anywhere near a can of paint! If you know Amir Salamat, you love Amir Salamat. Not just as the humanest being that he is, but for the true talent that sits in our infuriating mist, no, like right in our midst! Like a King Kong chained to the bottom of the boat. Except this boat isn't going to New York. This boat is going to nowhere. And it's not just holding Amir, it's holding hundreds of Amirs. All of them in chains. And the boat has a slow but most definite leak.
I once went to a "High Tech Executive" housewarming for a recent house upgrade, in which he went from one ridiculously huge home in the gated community halfway up the hill, to an even more ridiculously huge home in the gated community a little bit further up the same hill. As we were given the "Official Tour", we stopped to reload our plates, and drinks, and at the fireplace, replete with gold plated framed qoranic verse, I noticed a hugely absurd oversized modern painting above the mantle, shooting up to the very peak of the Everest-esque ceiling. Which was of course, vaulted. All I can say is that it was definitely light blue, with some semi-angry or semi-gay streaks of grey and white fighting or lisping for attention, in it. Maybe it matched his Mercedes? I don't know.
Stunned by the sheer size of it though, I simply had to interrupt the tour and ask, "Uh Mehdi joon, what is the deal with this painting?" Which is about as politely as I could put, "WTF!!!??" When it comes to Iranians and appreciation of art though, I should have known, but I never seem to, because the answer I got, followed by the immediate resumption of the tour was, "I have no idea, it came with the house. Come let me show you guys how many flat screens there are!"
Which brings me to film and the required Kiarostami, Makhmalbaf, and Majidi references.
Buy Iranian Art and Music. It's really good, and if you don't believe me, it's really affordable, and worth like at least twice the price!
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