My fever broke today. I was on the phone with a client. Who I knew was going to call at 10:30. And who I knew I had to be up for. Last night, the (I hope) final stretch of this flue spread its wings and covered me. And I sank in the midst of sweaty sheets, aches, meninginal headache and eyeache, and visions that took me from one hell to another. The hells were very William Blake-ish, and they were interrupted, each time, by an awakening that would end in an unstoppable cough - one of those coughs gets out its shovel and digs into your throat - surely there's a treasure here somewhere!
Otherwise, I would have written today - well, I would have written a review that is now past due. And I would have written about Iran. Nothing earthshaking, just an affirmation of this blogs support for the reformers, for the democratic process, and against the gravediggers and ghouls who think that, because Ahmadinejad appeared in a photo op with Chavez, he is some kind of groovy third world leftist. Virtue by association - is that sweet or what?
Well, I think it stinks. There is only one question, really, which is: why, if Iran has developed a miracle vote counting machine that can go through 16 million paper ballots in two hours, they haven't put it on the world market?
This has little to do, and should have little to do, with American foreign policy. The U.S. should recognize Iran and pull down the sanctions regime. That has long been evident. But it does have to do with Iran's democracy. Like the U.S. democracy, with its longstanding legacy institutions that represent the power of slavery and apartheid (notably the Senate and the Electoral College), Iran's democracy is curbed by what the revolution left behind. I've always thought that, through a long, slow process, those structures will be changed. It disturbed me that Iranians I knew and respected felt the last election was boycottable - once you let a skunk sit on the throne, you won't get out the stink.
So, I'm hoping that the demonstrators in Teheran are not mindlessly and brutally massacred. And I wish them good luck in finding the answer to their question: where is their vote?
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