Thursday, May 10, 2007

Condi Inspires Iranian Persian Kids to Cross Arms, Look Away, or Just Stay Home

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, accompanied by young artists from Iran, makes very brief remarks to the press after she toured the Iranian art exhibit, 'Wishes and Dreams', Thursday, May 10, 2007, at the Meridian International Center in Washington. Though the event was intended to promote cultural links with Iran, ten of the 14 Iranian artists refused to be photographed with Rice and two would not accompany her through the gallery. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Whoops, I pretty much wrote this whole post right there in the headline, huh? It's hard to imagine that not everybody jumps at the chance for a bona fide Condi-op, but there you have it. See what happens when Arab Persian younguns get democracy 'n' stuff?


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Sometimes I wish there was somewhere I could go to sign up to not be photographed with her, then that gap in her teeth call out to me and I am powerless to resist.

Anonymous said...

Dr Rice is the best argument for women -- or men -- wearing veils.

Michelle said...

I hate to be a stickler, but most Iranians are Persians, not Arabs.

section9 said...

Look, I know it's de rigeur on this blog to use incidents like this to insult Rice, but the fact is, these are Iranian artists who would normally have to watch their backs for a visit from the Pasadaran, the friendly folks from Revolutionary Guards Corps Internal Security. There is a reason why they didn't want to be photographed with her: the regime is in the midst of a crackdown on students and intellectuals right now. It had nothing do do with any dislike of Rice personally. These people have to live in Iran as artists; the regime considers them to be dissidents. You don't have to live there, Princess.

The people who did show up in the photograph probably have files opened up on them by now. The Guards have data on everyone else who made the trip, as well. A few of these people will probably have unpleasant experiences with the Pasadaran when they return, especially the women.

Still, a fine occasion for snark.

Anonymous said...

Dear Section 9 (your name sounds like a division of the East German secret police):

No one is insulting Rice. It is she who is insulting Iranians -- and the American people.

She is insulting the American people and the world by lies and pushing useless wars.

While the Bush regime she so dutifully serves has led us into one dumb & bloody war -- against Iraq -- her boss is talking about "all options are on the table" against Iran.

Presumably, that would include bombing the country of the ladies Dr. Rice is hosting with her vacuum-cleaner smile.

Bomb 'em so they can really become free (oh, also give 'em a trip to DC where they can see Condi smile for the US media).

Talking about it being de rigeur to exploit artists.

Wake up, Ms/Mr snark/de rigeur

Fran said...

All I can see is some combo move of magical spherical friend/cover the lady parts move with those hands!

And it is true- Iranians are Persian, speak Farsi and not Arabic and do not take kindly in my experience to being called Arab.

I know you meant nothing but kindness PSP.

Jess Wundrun said...

What does it mean when they send the real Condi and not a Condibot to Iran? (Condibot never covers the lady parts, nor speaks to invisible spherical friend-hence we know we are looking at authentic Condi)

Man, you really don't want to piss off the big guys in this admin.

lulu maude said...

Did she play the pye-anna?

Fran said...

Princess- in reference to your comment in the Mickey post regarding photo ops.

May I suggest we call these the NPIPOPPs?

Nancy Pelosi Inspired Phot Opps?

Condi's life is rife with them!

jolie said...

hmm ... condibot bodytalk.

what signal is she sending with that odd, yet awkward hand position, and that strange, if tentative forward cant to her torso?

Matty Boy said...

While 10 of the young artists decided not to be photographed with Condi (or Condibot?), the tall woman with the red and pink scarf was voted to be the designated seether for the entire group. She looks fairly young, but she obviously knows a thing or two about seething already.

Was the italicization of the word scarf in the last paragraph a not very subtle hint to Our Beloved Princess? Yes, I believe it was.

alien lizard said...

what signal is she sending with that odd, yet awkward hand position, and that strange, if tentative forward cant to her torso?

Like, maybe that she feels awkward & doesn't know exactly what to say?

I don't quite understand what she is hoping to accomplish with this speech. Of course it appears to me that the US government is still trying to make a war with Iran happen. So if that is the case, why is Ms. Rice speaking to young Iranian artists in Iran?

Does Ms. Rice believe that, even if the US or Israel is about to bomb Iran, we should still talk to them? To what end? If we bomb them, their population will turn very anti-US. (They seem mixed now.) Is she hedging her bets, doing low-level diplomacy in case the current administration doesn not attack?

It's just hard to see her angle.

Terri said...

Alien lizard said;

"Of course it appears to me that the US government is still trying to make a war with Iran happen. So if that is the case, why is Ms. Rice speaking to young Iranian artists in Iran?"

CondiCo probably wants to foster good relations with artists in hopes that these iconoclasts will side with us in the fight for the "hearts and minds" of Iranians. Presumably we are meant to represent freedom of expression and freedom in general, as opposed to an Iranian government which censors and spies on artists of all stripes. Of course, Michael Moore isn't exactly feelin' the love right now from these Defenders of Freedom, is he?

Anonymous said...

Zipdrive sez:

Is that all that bitch has to do?
Since when has the Bush administration cared about artists?

Mojopo said...

I think Condi's body posture is reminiscent of Stevie Wonder's posture while singing "Fingertips Pt. 1 and 2", as a young fellow.

Perhaps Condi is making a statement about being blind ("I do not recalling seeing that report."), young ("We didn't know then what we know now"), black (or brown skinned, as it were) and how artistic she is (her musical pie-yano). Her portrayal as a young, blind Stevie Wonder tells us she is just one of the young artists being themselves. Only great things ahead.

"Just a little bit-a so-whoa-whoa-whoa-oh-oul
Yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah
Clap your hands, just a little bit louder
Clap your hands, just a little bit louder

(harmonica & instrumental)

Stevie sings:

I know that ev'rybody had, yeah
Ev'rybody have a good time
So, if you want me to
If you want me to
I'm gonna swing a-song
Yeah, just-a one mo' time
Be sure I'll come back
Just-a one more time
When I come back
So, good-bye"

alien lizard said...

in hopes that these iconoclasts will side with us in the fight for the "hearts and minds" of Iranians.


You think that this administration believes that these artists will fight against the Iranian government on behalf of the US government when they go back home? (I reread the post and realized that this happened in the USA.)

If Bush's administration seriously believes that it can convince young, presumeably reformist-leaning, Iranians to fight against their own government, on behalf of the US government, by having Ms. Rice speak to them, then all I can say is that Bush's administration is even dumber than it looks. However, I'm not completely convinced that Ms. Rice actually believes this- that she may have some other angle.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Secretary Rice's visit, the point of this diplomatic effort was to show that the American government is interested in the Iranian people, their culture, history, and traditions. The message they want to send is that it is not the people of Iran, but that it is only the government that is at issue. I offer this not as conjecture.

Regardless of all the politicians and their objectives, this is a good and positive exchange that will both help educate Americans about Iranians and Persian contemporary culture and that will (we hope) also provide very positive experiences and foster good will, creating friendships between Americans and the artists themselves, while also supporting and encouraging their work as artists. The artists, while in the United States, are visiting with many different museums and cultural institutions, seeing great, famous works of art from all matter of international artists that are housed in some of our museums; they are gaining valuable new insights of all kinds to share with both us and with others, which they will perhaps then express through their wonderful art. They are having very enriching and enlightening artistic, cultural, and personal experiences with other people who, like them, are interested in and involved with Arts and Culture.

So the TRUE point of having the artists here is not political; it is not merely a gesture. It transcends politics. As politics play a role in almost everything human, of course, they are not to be avoided, but to work to create positive change within those political systems and structures is the true aim of cultural exchanges of this type.

This is a kind of outreach effort, a cultural exchange meant to promote mutual understanding between peoples. Clearly, our countries need efforts like these right now, and there are many ways to view it, but I see that very positive experiences and effects will grow from this effort.

The exchange itself is about opening minds and hearts for greater respect and mutual understanding.

Art has the ability to speak above and beyond such issues and differences as arist inevitably in politics; it bridge gaps and connects one heart and mind to another. As the one of the Iranian artists was quoted in the paper as saying, "art is ahead of politics." I agree with that wholeheartedly and hope that you all will find it in your hearts and minds to see that, too. It may not be perfect, but it is a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

Oops, in that last paragraph, I menat to type, "as arise inevitably in politics," not "as artist." Sorry.