Monday, June 22, 2009

Heroism in Iran: "Live Free or Die"

I'm currently taking time away from Superhero Babylon to work on music and other matters (not that I owe any explanations; I do this for free, gaddumit.) I really haven't had much to say on heroic matters recently, with Heroes and Smallville having concluded their seasons. I haven't had much inspiration from reality, either; it seems the concept of heroism in America has taken a hiatus as well...

But the situation in Iran demands acknowledgement.

I hesitate to say too much, because I really don't know much about Iran beyond the immediate fact that it's a theocratic state that is usually depicted as being anti-American whose people are usually depicted burning American flags while the leader vows "Death to Israel." I'm not rushing in to comment on the goals and motives of the protesters beyond the immediate surface level motive of dissatisfaction with the election results; I find it hard to believe that suddenly Iranians are "pro-freedom," given the strong Islamic tradition there. There is also the question of Mir-Hossein Mousavi's past involvement with the Islamic fundamentalists. I know nothing about him, but I am hearing a lot of contradictory information, that he is a hardliner and a reformist, that he had to say what they wanted to hear in order to get this far, etc..

I am not going to theorize on what I don't know, or pretend to be able to infer anything to make any real meaningful commentary beyond a personal statement. That said, to the extent that the protesters are putting their own lives on the line for what they believe in, and the readiness of Mousavi to accept martyrdom, I can't help but feel admiration. When you compare the fire and spirit of the Iranians versus the apathy and complacency of too many Americans towards the government advance into outright fascism, it's hard not to feel a little bit that we've entered the Bizarro world. While American "tea party" protesters" are afraid to violate a permit law, Iranians, whatever their motives, are standing up and telling their government just who is in charge, giving life to the Colonial American phrase "Live free or die."

I'd like to say that "we are all Iranians now," except that too many Americans still don't understand what's happening at home. Hopefully, the situation in Iran will remind everyone that "the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." If the protesters in Iran are truly fighting for freedom (and not just another form of tyranny), they have my utmost support and are true heroes. And if the picture above is an accurate reflection, then I, too, am an Iranian now.

(It's strange that such a revolution would start in Iran, but on reflection, not so strange if one takes into account in heroic mythology of the Trickster archetype. I've been meaning to take on this topic here, but haven't have the time or motivation. Well, it seems the Trickster will have his way with me anyway, and this will soon change.)