I commented before on your/your collective’s writing. Some pieces you write are fine in my book. Like this one, for obvious reasons.
You really need to change that website name, though. Even if you are a diehard radical “dissident” you are better off defining yourself with something that you believe in, rather than a cheap insult thrown at your “opponents.”
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Dear nudimmud. Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it. I have struggled with this naming issue and on any given day I can be persuaded one way or another. My basic thinking is, that
(1) I need something that is different to my own name for obvious professional reasons, but basically, I don’t want a google search by clients to bring up these blogs — even though I stand by every one of them. I can’t use my name.
(2) My fundamental issue is that sometimes the stuff said about Iran in the West is so outlandish, that I find myself responding in favor of “Iran” but it might appear in “favor” of the regime … and my moniker (Ayatoilet) immediately puts a distance there and stops people from accusing me of supporting the Mullahs so it works in a strange way. It also immediately points to an anti-religious bias, which is fundamental to my point of view. I support the separation of church and state. But also, I am not a leftist – pro-free enterprise (unashamedly).
(3) I also feel the need to constantly remind people that the Mullahs are not ‘real’ – and I think calling them that regularly makes the point. Its fundamental to the situation. I mean (a) the revolution in 79 was hijacked, and the mullahs imposed on Iranians by the west, (b) there was ongoing secret dealings with the west throughout the Iran-Iraq war (Iran-Contra is an example) – calling them western toilets sort of says all this without writing out paragraphs of explanation (c) the ayatollahs are not really marja – they are self-appointed in many cases and have no real Islamic credentials, (d) even today, with Rouhani we have a guy whose real surname is Fereydoun, who decided to call himself Rouhani, who has a phony PhD in Islamic studies from wait for it Glasgow Polytechnic, which is like a community college in the American context … I mean he is a total phony who ran Iran’s National Security apparatus (he must be an agent of the west with all this phoniness inside him), and (e) I found it very effective in my TV show to say they (the Mullahs) are sh**ting on Iran, Iranians, Islam (mostaraheh gharby ke mirinan be Iran o Irooniha) … so they are Ayatoilets… I mean the phones would run off the hook. It’s sort of provocative and it forces commentary, and discussion. But on the other hand, I agree it’s sort of cheap and insulting… which I really don’t want – but it’s dramatic and makes a point.
Now, when you are trying to make a point, a little bit of drama helps get an audience’s attention. So, it has ‘worked’. But most importantly, the question I have, is what should I use? What is an appropriate name that serves all these functions. It’s very tough – difficult. I agree with you, but not sure how to achieve the same goals in a different way. In the end, like everything else in life, I think it’s NOT perfect. But does it have to be? It has served its purpose, and I am getting over 100K visitors to my site. My blogs are resonating, and I am now distributing a bunch of cartoon movies using this image and brand.
Until, I find something better, I am sort of forced to use it. But again, I am sympathetic to your view. I use it with reservations. I use it with trepidation. I really don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I have a point to make. The funniest thing about it is, that even though I totally disagree with much of the Mullah’s viewpoints, I would defend theirs’ and others’ right to make their points in a democratic setting. I mean, they can collude with the West or anyone they want to and be Ayatoilets – just not conspire against the people of Iran. Conspiracy is the issue. They must be open about it, AND allow free and fair elections so the people can decide who to vote for. If the people support it, who am I?
So, it’s meant in jest – not in a disrespectful way. But, in politics these types of wedges are useful (it attracts supporters and alienates opposition simultaneously). It adds value, differentiates, positions, creates a useful kind of ‘superlative adjective’ (qualifier) to stick on opposition. The name works…unfortunately!! (But please find me a better one). In an open, free market for ideas, in a free and open country, superlatives serve useful market purpose…. Look at all the advertising around us in the West. Anyway, that’s my two cents. I apologize about any offense the name may have caused. Thanks again for your comment.
I can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way, on this site comments can only be made by registered members because of the huge volume of spam I keep receiving. But anyone is welcome to leave comments.