My other blog, Thurso Daily Photo, is part of a group-effort called City Daily Photo. Although there are only one thousand or so contributers, the photographs and conversation are of a high-quality and over a wonderful magic-eye view into the world.
Recently, I have been following a handful of Iranian contributers. Well, you can guess what is coming next. One has gone missing. Known as ‘A’, he blogged under Tehran 24. On Saturday, Life Magazine published a number photographs, including his. Shortly afterwards, other CDPers lost contact with him, and his blog was taken down. Another Iranian contributer is found here.
As I discussed before, the Stop the War Coalition believes its purpose to to hold its government to account (which does not stop it concentrating on Israel over which its Government has held no authority for 60 years). Plumbing even further depths of moral repugnance, John Wight – a leading light in its Scottish scene, who is under the misapprehension that Hamas represents the inheritors of the International Brigades and not the Falange – has experienced his Michel Foucault moment, his Ezra Pound realization, his Jose Saramago inspiration, his Knut Hamsun gathering, his Jean Ziegler awakening.
Marcus at Harry’s Place (I am not giving the oxymornically named Socialist Unity any traffic) points to Wight’s post-modern, sociological gobbledegook:
It is well nigh certain that not all of the protesters who’ve been on the streets confronting the state in recent days have been motivated by economic factors – or at least not solely by economic factors – or indeed support for Mousavi. Within their ranks are undoubtedly many who see this as the opportunity to challenge the very foundations of the Islamic Republic, determined to end the political, social, and cultural restrictions which are part of daily life in Iran, ushering in a new system of government altogether.
His rejection of women’s rights as a shibboleth of a progressive Left:
No democracy is without its imperfections. Under the Islamic Republic Iranians, no matter where they happen to live throughout the world, have the right to vote in elections. Women are debarred from standing for office, which is certainly regressive in itself. However, this differs from democratic elections in the West only in the sense that debarment here is based on economic status rather than gender. In effect this ensures that only the wealthy within western societies have any meaningful chance of holding high office.
His jolly-well near direct-lifting of Sayyd Qutb’s belief in the function of the family:
The family is the fundamental unit of society and the main center for the growth and edification of human being. Compatibility with respect to belief and ideal, which provides the primary basis for man’s development and growth, is the main consideration in the establishment of a family. It is the duty of the Islamic government to provide the necessary facilities for the attainment of this goal. This view of the family unit delivers woman from being regarded as an object or instrument in the service of promoting consumerism and exploitation. Not only does woman recover thereby her momentous and precious function of motherhood, rearing of ideologically committed human beings, she also assumes a pioneering social role and becomes the fellow struggler of man in all vital areas of life. Given the weighty responsibilities that woman thus assumes, she is accorded in Islam great value and nobility.
Oh dear, Onion Johnny, oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
In Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell said:
I have no particular love for the idealised ‘worker’ as he appears in the bourgeois Communist’s mind, but when I see an actual flesh-and-blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not have to ask myself which side I am on.
I second that. I do not have to ask on whose side I am with current events in Iran. I am with Neda Agha-Soltan (warning, highly distressing), who took a bullet to her chest as she stood beside her father. I am with A. I am with Shooresh 1917.
If the world were filled with piss, and John Wight were in the only tree, I would not, ever, under any circumstances be with that disgusting person.
UPDATE – A is reported to be in Evin gaol, although from what I can glean, he is merely thought to be another photographer on the street. Not the author of *those* photographs. If anyone has contacts that can confirm his detention (or anyone else’s), please contact email@example.com (Hadi Ghaemi) at the New York office as soon as possible.
UPDATE II – Meead at Portland Daily Photo is republishing A’s work.
UPDATE III – in retrospect, maybe comparing Onion Johnny Wight to literary greats such as Hamsun, Pound and Saramago was a praise-too-far (although, his views are precisely the same as the still living Saramago). How about Malcolm Caldwell, Pol Pot’s greatest fan? Yes, that sounds right. Go on, Onion Johnny, take a flight to Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport.