Friday, May 23, 2014

Fullbore Friday

It is easy to forget in our sheltered republic that we are an experiment in self-government designed by people who knew two things:

1. The natural condition of civilization is one of oppression, tyranny, and the few who use the power of the state to strengthen their position on top of the consumed liberty of others.

2. The natural condition of mankind is freedom of person and mind.

In full knowledge of this conflict and how it has waxed and waned through recorded history, they tried to put together a system that, if properly maintained, will maximize personal liberty inside a functional government.

Always a work in progress. Let's see ... how did they put it, in part?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
We take so much from granted.

I many parts of the world, just a little, simple act will get you thrown in jail.

The Iranian people deserve so much. Their government is evil, but the people are inherently good - if they are just given the chance. Heck, I not only grew up with Iranians ... I have them as neighbors today.

As I like to point out, one of the largest Iranian cities is Tehrangeles, depending on where you define its boundaries and count noses, it has a population somewhere around a half-million, and it is located in the USA. 

Didn't know that? Don't hear a lot about radical terrorists from there? No, of course you don't. There you go.

True, a large number of them are Iranian Jews, and in many ways they reflect a similar intellectual demographic as Florida Cubans; intellectuals, professionals, and freedom loving personalities who could not or would not bend to the yoke of the new system - but still, as a body they have become exceptional Americans.

Anyway, why is this topic on Fullbore Friday? Simple - some acts of courage are doing things simply out of a feeling of being happy - in an environment where being happy, especially a happy woman, can get you arrested.

What risk have you taken to make a statement about securing your basic right to liberty? What petty tyranny have you stood up to in your life?
Tehran's police chief was deeply offended. "It's obscene," he declared, and promptly arrested six young men and women who made a joyful fan video, dancing and lip-synching to the sound of Pharrell Williams' huge hit, "Happy."
The six Iranians, wearing colorful clothes, stylish sun shades and bright bandanas, dared to dance to the beat of "Happy." The women did not cover their heads with the required hijab. At times, the men and women danced together, which is forbidden and punishable under the law. But elsewhere -- when the police aren't looking -- Iranian men and women dance together and see nothing wrong with it.

But the police found it offensive. Iran state media called it "vulgar."

The backlash against the arrests was forceful, and before long, the police released the dancers, although the director of the video apparently remains in custody.

The group describes itself as "Tehran Pharell Williams Fans," which may strike the oversensitive authorities in the Islamic Republic as a highly subversive political affiliation. The nefarious motivation for making the video was revealed at the end of the clip, which reads, "'Happy' was an excuse to be happy. We enjoyed every second of making it. Hope it puts a smile on your face."

As the opposition National Iranian American Council noted, "The irony that the Iranian youth were arrested for dancing to a song called 'Happy' seems to be lost on the Iranian authorities. The Iranian people cannot be forced to live in a world where (nuclear) enrichment is a right, but happiness is not."

More than 100,000 people have viewed the Iranian version of "Happy," which stirred up a bizarre political storm. Tehran Police Chief Hossein Sajedinia boasted of taking less than six hours to round up the evildoers and lock them up, but not before parading them before the television cameras, a stern warning to other young people who might be getting any crazy ideas in their heads; no telling what may lurk in the minds of youngsters listening to Williams' lyrics.
They know where they live. What they did in this funny little video of an overexposed and insipid song is in the finest traditions of what is the natural state of mankind, in the face of a version of its worst totalitarian tendencies. 


Hug your American passport a bit - and if the Green Revolution rises again, ask why we don't at least provide a bit more moral support than we did before.

Oh, and be happy - it's your birthright.

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