As some of you know, I'm a lawyer by trade, and a good portion of my work involves writing briefs - think term papers. As you can imagine, writing briefs can be a real pain in the ass, and unfortunately, I'm pretty good at it (so I'm on the first team as far as brief-writing goes). Anyway, I'm writing a brief now, but I need a break and a chance to open up my imagination. So, here are a few things that have caught my eye in the last few days. . .
Iran is burning: Well, Iran has been in turmoil since the June presidential elections, but with the death of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri (liberal cleric who technically outranked the Supreme Leader), all hell has broken loose. A quick read of Juan Cole's website, indicates that the regime is willing to do things that Shah wouldn't dare do.
On one hand, this makes sense, religion and politics, despite being great discussion topics, don't mix. When religion and politics mix, both politics and religion (especially religion), gets dirtier. If anything, the fact that within thirty years of the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the regime is willing to violate all norms of behavior is a great indicator of why religion and politics don't mix.
At the same time, I am almost offended by the amateurish attempts at oppression. Rather than sow fear, Khamenei and Ahmadenijhad have only sown hatred. And make no mistake, when the people hate the regime, that's the end. The only question is what will happen next. Thus far, there hasn't been anyone who's willing to be the face of the protest movement. At the same time, politics abhors a vacuum, and at some point, someone will step up.
Avatar: I liked the movie. Despite a less than weighty script (hello, its "Dances with Wolves"), the characters were somewhat believable, and the effects were amazing. James Cameron didn't make a movie, he created a world unto itself. That's pretty cool. It was definitely worth the $15 to see in IMAX/3D. I probably wouldn't buy the DVD, though.