contra conservatism

and so after much contemplation i have concluded that the most bitter enemy of progress in this country is not, as has been variously alleged, its geography, or its neighbors, or its religion or its lack of reason or its diversity or its prevalent illiteracy or… but rather, the factor that underpins them all: traditionalism, rural culture, and the deep-seated conservative soul of the nation.

the country is in the grip of a most poisonous and obstructionist of spirits -that of villagerism and sacred kind of backwardism. to these people, all hallmarks of modernity and urbanism is unholy and heathen, and all that is clean and beautiful and neat -and smells good- is by definition guilty and sinful.

for a hundred years now since the first time a young and european-minded monarch was ousted because the villagers all over the land did not approve of his queen’s luscious arms seen in public (and probably experienced a guilty sensation at the sight of a young black-eyed beauty) and young girls seen in summer hats boarding a plane for studying in turkey, every succeeding regime has tried to appease and bend over backwards for the traditionalists.

and still they have failed to fully appease and please them. until the traditionalists finally took over the country and made uncouteness and shabbiness and dirtiness and backwardness the official law of the land (it was not islam, it was a sacred belief in backwardness, but of course they could not profess to that), and made it illegal for women to wear heals and use perfume, and for men to shave their beards and appear neat. and still, still to this very day, even after that gang of villagers has been routed, their ideology of backwardism and sacred villagerism remains dominant and this government is going to painful and awkward lengths to make itself fit those standards -with even more painful failures.

that won’t get the country anywhere. the solution is not, as has been pursued by various regimes, constant appeasement of traditionalists, and bending over backwards for them. rather, it is an extreme brand of kemalism. it is shock-therapy. it involves instituting a not-so-benign tyranny of the liberals and progressives and hedonist-philosophers. it involves instituting a strict code of public behavior and morality that would make san fransisco and amsterdam appear conservative backwaters -and not just in the realm of ‘negative freedoms’ (as in the government does not have the right to kill a journalist for printing stuff off the internet), but rather positive enforcement as in wearing the traditional piraan-tanban is and outlawed, punishable offence and everyone who does not partake in a ritual intercourse during officially mandated ‘national sex days’ will have to pay heavy fines and face separation from their spouses (because persumably something is seriously wrong with that sort of relationship.) and people who engage in love marriages will be given prizes, and people who bring forth children out of wedlock will be given even bigger prizes (a house, anyone?) and on every square and park and crossroad, public art and sculptures of a most provocative and erotic nature would be displayed; and celebrations of nawrouz will be particularly vigorous and will be accompanied by thirteen days of revelry and bacchanalia of the sort that preceeded the slave morality that took over and bastardized this ancient feast of fertility; and nietzsche and bacchus will be our patron saints and madonna our minister of culture; and no more will death be seen as holy and sacred, but rather life will be the holiest of holies, and this youth bulge that we have, of an astounding percentage of the population (close to 60%?) below the age of 25 will give us just the right sort of constituency to play this message to, and whoever does not subscribe to this dionysian faith will face hard labor and eventually deportation to, respectively, either peshawar or qom where they can have the time of their life if they want amid other likeminded traditionalists and they can call us all sorts of name that they want to from heathen to hedonistic and maybe then we can have some hope for change and if not at least we would have tried just about every option and maybe then, if still it does not work, we can finally lay the issue to rest and pack our gear and leave.

[file under madness, hedonism, depressive mania]


~ by safrang on July 15, 2008.

8 Responses to “contra conservatism”

  1. all in. with a minor suggestion: pamela anderson will make a better minister of culture.

    on a less serious note, i hope you are well.

  2. i guess one could argue that pamela anderson brings certain attributes of her own to the post, but they are just a couple, and in my view outweighed by the material girl’s sophistication… so i’m sticking with my choice. not to say that there won’t be other vacancies in this dream cabinet of the future… so pam anderson need not despair. indeed if it is shock-therapy of the traditionalists we’re after, she would provide great ammunition…

    i’m doing well, my friend. hope all is fine and dandy on your side too.

  3. “Villagerism” is a great term.

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