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Sunday, February 28, 2010

What I did this weekend

Photographer: Francesco Marino

This weekend was very busy for me and a bit tiring. I’ve been taking an online course with Gary Goldstein titled Scaling the Wall of Hollywood. There are about 2 dozen or so people in our group. So on Thursday, when Gary asked those of us living in Los Angeles if we were interested in taking a workshop at the Writers Guild on how to make a short film, most of us dropped everything we had planned earlier and jumped at the opportunity. I know what you’re thinking…That I’m a novelist; why would I be taking a course in film. But it’s all tied in. Many authors want to promote their books to Hollywood and so the more we all learn about the industry the better. So, here I was, the only person in the group who had never written a script or had ever made a short film.

But I’m glad I did it because I learned a lot. Basically, Gary’s course which I will be part of for the next 7 weeks and the workshop I took were all teaching the mistakes many make when they write a script or direct a short film. So, Saturday was an information overload day for me and I was really exhausted, especially since I have no film background and I really needed to focus in order to grasp all the great information. By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was to have dinner, watch a little TV and sleep.

My day on Sunday was more relaxing. It was my friend’s birthday and I had invited her to have brunch at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, about a 45-minute ride from Los Angeles. Afterwords, we went to the Aquarium in downtown Long Beach and later walked around for an hour. It was late by the time we got back. Here are a few pictures I took with my iPhone while there. I hope you’ll enjoy them.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Weekend

Photographer: graur razvan ionut - love is in the air

Iran's Green Movement is unstoppable

CNN reported that 100s of thousands of people came out in support of Iran's government, but according to many Iranian sources, majority of these people were uneducated villagers picked up in bus loads by Iran’s current regime and brought into the cities. They were poor and paid off by the government in terms of money or food, some so desperate that they were content with a sack of potatoes. The rest who showed up in favor of the current regime either worked for the Iranian government, were families of those who worked for Iran’s government or were benefiting from the current regime. CNN went on to report that only a few hundred protesters showed up in the capital, Tehran. In another interview, Ted Rowland of CNN told Bijan Khalili that he must be disappointed since the protest wasn’t as large as expected. He then went on and interviewed Pooya Dayanim who said SMS, Google, Twitter, Gmail, Facebook and all the main sources of communications were cut off by the Iranian government. Add to that all the major streets blocked off by the basiji, the protesters had difficulties coordinating their efforts. I found it interesting that Ted Rowland of CNN kept repeating the word “disappointment.” What Ted Rowland and other reporters need to understand is that the green movement is now unstoppable even without the backing of foreign governments.

History has proven that we cannot trust most governments or politicians and should always question their motives. Oftentimes these governments create an illusion that they disapprove of a regime when at the same time they make deals with them under the table as this anonymous person interviewed on CNN video explained. And if you don’t believe him, have a look at the Iran-contra affair where arms were sold to Iran by the Reagan Administration while the Reagan administration openly disapproved of Iran. Politicians from all countries have been doing this for centuries, and so, no one knows for sure who is in favor of the current Iran's government and who is in favor of the reformists unless one has insider information. But we do know “people” from all over the world are in favor of Iran’ s green movement as they come out and speak out. In people we trust, in governments…well, that’s another story.

Of course it’s important to note that had Iran’s government provided for their people and took less profit for themselves, it would have been possible for Iran to make changes through reform. But when people cannot feed their families, when there are no jobs and the majority of the youth who are bored to death are either druggies or are seeking a way to escape to another country and when the gap between the haves and the have-nots are so huge that the haves burn money and the have-nots have to sell their daughters and wives into prostitution, problems ensue. For Iranians there was no hope for the future and add to that a faux election….oh vow!

Today, there is one thing clear to all Iranians. Iran will never be the same as the Iran of the Islamic Revolution. Had Iran had a stable economy and low unemployment and had they bought themselves some extra time to negotiate with Mousavi by agreeing at the beginning of the election to recount the votes and create an “illusion of recount” as did the Bush Administration when they stole the presidency from Al Gore, perhaps things would’ve turned out differently. The current Iranian government could have just claimed that they counted the votes and Ahamdinejad won and asked Mousavi to remain quiet in order to prevent chaos as the US did when Al Gore stepped aside. But when Iran refused to even create an “illusion of recount”, they lost their hold on the Iranian population. And now it is too late to turn back. And it doesn’t matter what any media says. After many arrests, tortures, rapes and murders, the Iranian movement cannot be stopped and at some point a change will take place.

Link: ABC's Diane Sawyer chats w/ Mehdi Saharkhiz – the man behind the videos