Recent Posts

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"140 Characters are a Novel When You're Being Shot At" -- Anonandon's Blog on Iran

Excerpt from Anonandon's blog:

As I write this, Marlo D. Cruz just tweeted that the Iranian Army has moved into Tehran. It’s about11.27pm over there. By the time I’ve finished writing this post, we might know whether his source in Iran was bona fide or not but it’s unlikely. News is haemhorraging out of Iran but it’s difficult to find trustworthy reports.

Alireza Sedaghat confirmed that there’s no Google or Yahoo accesible in Iran. The women’s rights lawyer Shiva Nazar-Ahari has been arrested and there’s news floating of atrocities and shortage of blood and another peaceful pro-Mousavi meeting is being planned for Wednesday June 17. Frombloody pictures to secondhand reports, it’s all here on the internet. There are also tweets reporting that protesters are being taken to Evin, a high security prison. BBC painted its website green in support of the protesters in Iran and America’s State Department requested Twitter to reschedule its downtime because of how important Twitter had suddenly become to protesters in Iran. Thousands of people have added a green tint to their profile pictures and gone to the Settings button and changed their details to show they are in Tehran ever since came out with its Cyberwar Guide for Beginners.

There’s gushing reports in every possible media about the role that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have played to ensure that what is happening in Tehran and other parts of Iran are remembered, even as the evidence of these incidents are destroyed in fires and by bullets. Meanwhile, on Twitter, there’s a different battle being waged between a boy who has picked for himself the handle “Change_for_Iran” and two other Twitterers in particular, Justin Hart and someone else who calls themselves Jazzapplejuice. “Change_for_Iran” has earned quite a following for himself in the past few days and today his tweets were quoted on Sky News. His tweets tell us he’s been through tear gas and narrowly escaped the Basij. His friends haven’t been as lucky. One’s laptop has been smashed and another is dead. For those familiar with Bollywood, his Twitter reads like the end of “Rang de Basanti“. Except for the fact that he hasn’t gone about killing people in a weird and crazed re-enactment of an attempted assassination from the past. Also, the random Iranian men in the photographs and YouTube videos are way hotter than our actors and the Basij in their regular clothes are much more menacing than the bored extras pretending to be commandos in “Rang de Basanti”.

In the time that it has taken me to write these two paragraphs and pee once, Tabriz University has asked students to vacate the premises tomorrow for their own safety. State television has warned people to not go outside in Tehran. According to the state channels, it’s not possible for the election results to be wrong because the difference is of about 10 million. One student has died as a result of the violence in the University of Isfahan. Foreign journalists are not allowed to leave their offices. Cellphone networks are down and apparently, police are confiscating and smashing cameras. There was at least one explosion in Tehran, within hearing distance of the posh Shahrak-e-Gharb, and there are reportedly thousands of people out on their balconies chanting slogans. YouTube is apparently taking down videos showing dead protesters because it’s some sort of violation of its terms and that’s got lots of people’s knickers in a twist. Lisa Johnson has given “Change_for_Iran” a virtual hug. Justin Hart and Jazzapplejuice would probably snort and say they’re willing to bet that the hug is going to be one of the reasons “Change_for_Iran” remembers June 16, 2009. Because they don’t think “Change_for_Iran” is for real.


Post a Comment