Wednesday, September 26, 2007

News around town

There is a girl outside my dorm window playing her trumpet...its midnight, but I like the music. It makes me feel like I'm in New York City, circa summer 1989, sitting on a stoop, steam rising from a manhole, In my dreams, I'm still young, obsessed with New Kids on the Block and my whole future is ahead of me. Alas, that is not the reality....but its nice to dive into that world for a bit (smile).

As a University student, I have been fascinated with the recent furor over the Iranian president speaking at Columbia - how interesting. Universities are great places to exchange ideas, in a civilized manor. This dilemma rages even at VCU which is currently gripping with the idea of inviting very conservative speakers, speakers with hate messages. While I don't particularly condone or like their views, what is the point of being an insititute of higher learning if we don't actively engage in lively debate? It would certainly be insightful to see why these people think like they do and perhaps dissect them in order to ascertain how to combat such vicious thoughts.

Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia was....enlightening. I giggled when he said, "there are no homosexuals in Iran," really at such a ridiculous statement what else can be done but laugh? However his savoe on pointing at America's double standards for behavior in the Middle East was correct. He did come out of the situation looking like the bigger man than the Columbia president, whose introduction was just plain rude! I do think that Ahmadinjad's speech, coupled with other actions does point out an interesting situation; I get the impression that he really does want to open dialogue with the US. I don't know to what extent, but certainly what harm could it do America? I'm reminded of the expression, we can catch more bee's with honey than vinegar. We've given democracy through violence an opportunity (Iraq war), how about giving freedom via peace a chance?


Blogger Darla D said...

Yeah - remind me never to be a guest speaker at Columbia. I think I'd run off crying after I was introduced! Great points, VA Gal!

10:11 AM  
Blogger mommanator said...

Great blog VA. So insiteful. The leaders of the nations should read the last statement

Horn blowing at midnight!? Were they looking at that moon last night! Was some georgeous! My back porch almost looked like daytime at midnight last night.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I once read an interview with Jimmy Carter's mom where she said they didn't have homosexuals in Georgia. I about died laughing.... same with Ahmadinejad. Denial doesn't make it so.

Too funny to hear him say it,tho.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

freedom via peace a chance? HA! what are you - some sort of freedom-hating non-American?! ;)

i agree with you about universities being forums for exchange. and i think hosting Loco Ahmadinejad was probably fine and a good thing for all involved. however, i wonder sometimes when is it appropriate to host speakers with seriously extreme views? when does hosting them give credence to their POVs? would it be appropriate to have hosted Hitler in the early to mid 30s when the time was ripe for his rise? should a university anywhere give the leader of Aryan Nation a forum to speak? i'm really torn about these. my love for daylight on controversial issues says yes. my loathe for giving credence to controversial issues balks. if someone is going to hate and spread hateful points of view, let them do it on their own time with their own resources. but how better to combat that hate than to address it head on? i really don't know the answer to this. there really is none, i suppose. it's one of those grey areas in life.

one of those grey areas that someone who doesn't recognize the existence of homosexuals never has to deal with!

ultimately - columbia's president's intro aside - i think letting nutcase talk was a good thing for diplomacy. it's opening up communication between enemies. and i have to say, hearing the clips from his speech and the students protesting because he's a holocaust denier, i couldn't help feel some sympathy for iranian citizens. i think we know what it's like to have a leader who insulates himself from other points of view and from facts and who would like a highly political theocracy. it's embarassing.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

sorry for such a log comment. :)

6:29 AM  
Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

Hello my dear friend... the New York fantasy sounds great indeed though I HIGHLY disagree with your take on Ahmadinejad! I don't think a dictator, despot, TOTAL nonentity like him should be given so much attention as it totally feeds his waaay over-inflated narcissistic ego and places too much attention on him when the best strategy would be for him to not get it...

And that is exactly what he is after... he IS a total tyrant, ignorant, homophobe, mysoginist, sadistic shit but he isn't stupid and he is playing us for fools...

The only good that did come out of his talk at Columbia was that the world got a better view at how delusional this moron is... I don't think he made any good points... I cannot and will not even listen to the likes of him with an open mind and don't think anyone should.

Being Iranian I know the mentality of the likes of him well and Loverboy keeps me informed as to how horrible his tyrannical ways manifest themselves in Iran... yeah, there are no gays in Iran because they are all being killed off!

No... peaceful ways do not work with those sadists... sad but true... there is no deal that will ever work when dealing with pure and sheer evil... sad to say but Bush got that little bit right for the Regime and the morons in charge in Iran are just that, pure evil...

*sigh* Yeah, this touched a nerve with me I'm afraid!

11:43 PM  
Blogger CS said...

A gay-free country. That's very funny. I missed the news on this one, ut I can't see why anyone would give a rude introduction for a speaker.

(And I think it's flies you catch with honey - the bees just make the stuff.)

11:25 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Darla - hee hee, I'd run off crying as well.

Mommantor - good point, why does she play at midnight...though I haven't heard her lately, methinks some official type might have stopped her.

Tony - yes denial doesn't make it soo, but it certainly provides insight into these people's thinking, crazy, no? You know what's scary I bet there are some Americans who think the same way.

Molly - I LOVE the long comment, don't apologize. It is a difficult issue to resolve, hence why VCU is going around circles with it. I see you're point of view. I think if VCU was to have someone with hateful messages as a speaker, it should be in a forum with someone rational on the opposite side speaking. I have seen it done in England with Muslim radicals, works really well, they get laughed at, because the other side just totally takes the legs out of their so called arguments. See now look at my equally long response. : )

Miz B - You speak from the heart, especially since you are of Iranian descent, sorry it touched a nerve. I do get torn on this issue because the powers that be did try to talk to Hitler and look where that lead so you have a point. I guess I just see this administration as being very trigger happy and have yet to see any good come from Bush et al, using violence for diplomacy. I agree this guy is nuts and what he and the clerics of Iran are doing are horrible, but I just feel like there must be some way to get democracy or even freedom into that country by means that are non-violent, i.e. South Africa. Maybe we should try that route???

CS - hee hee, it is flies, I'm getting my phrases all mixed up. Sorry, but thanks for making me laugh.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Darla D said...

Molly and I were laughing so hard talking about this last night. We decided that all kinds of things do not exist in our imaginary country. Razor stubble was among them. And envy. There is no envy in our country. I forget what else we came up with. But it was funny! Molly - do you remember? But by the time we were done I was ready to move there!

10:08 PM  

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