Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Good Riddance?

riddance, noun
the action of getting rid of a troublesome or unwanted person or thing.

Go to home page and try to find a story about the post-election fall out in Iran. SO GLAD all of that is over. I was getting really tired of having that Peace In Iran image as my profile picture on Facebook, I was tired of seeing people get beaten, and I was tired of fearing for the continued oppression of the Iranian people. I mean, I've been having a rough couple of weeks. I can finally sleep soundly now because the streets aren't crowded with marching feet and voices, and people are back in their homes. Peace.

But the trouble is, I can't sleep. I tossed and turned all night. I kicked the comforter off, I took a sip of water, I tried wrapping the sheet around me, I tried adjusting my pillows this way and that. I couldn't sleep, and not just because it was warm. I'm bothered.

I know there is not peace in Iran. I know that the election officials are standing by the original results, and that there is still plenty of punishment to be handed out on the heads of the protestors. I know that those who took to the streets in black and green, even those with broken bones and still-tender wounds, have yet to feel the real wrath of their leaders. And I sit here and try to wrap my head around all of it. Try to be rational with myself, as I have for the past few weeks and ask, what can I do? I mean, really, get on a plane? Call my congressman? And though I know it probably isn't true, though I accept that the losses of Michael and Farrah swooped in with pitch-perfect sound, a resounding distraction from "all of that," I can't help but wonder if it's because the boiler plate got a little too hot. That the accusations from inside Iranian leadership got to be a bit too sharp of a sword to swallow. How could they turn "meddling" into "instigating" and "infiltrating?" How could the repition of the headline "Ahmadinejad likens Obama's meddling to Bush antics," work its way into the American mind and screw things up?

We backed off. The world did, maybe. BBC states that Ahmadinejad cancelled a trip to Africa, 3 More British Journalists were released, and that Iran is standing by the original election results. Everything seems so quiet. So still. But is it? Or could it be that with all the noise and headlines--more than 10 on CNN's homepage on "Michael's legacy" or life-- it gets difficult to hear anything other than the noise we generate. Are they still chanting over there? Are they still asking, crying out, "where's my vote?" Is there no longer a reason (a way) to march?

This is growing up, though I don't mean to make this about me. It isn't. This accepting that well enough has a right to be left alone. (That it may be the ONLY right it has.) This acknowledging that things are not right there, they may never be, but the risk of us getting our hands dirty is more than we can wager. This admitting that we have to keep our best interests at heart. This is growing up. Just like my argument last night, over dinner, that it is better for a big company to come into a tiny foreign city and employ 200 workers, even though it puts a local Mom-and-Pop shop, that only employed 10, out of business. Am I really saying this? I thought as I argued. Do I really believe what I'm saying? That the employment there is what must prevail, that disposable income in that small community is more important than the preservation of that community's very culture? When does it stop being "about that?" When does one accept it enough to turn to the person who is arguing that side and scoff something to the effect of "Perhaps you'll understand when you're a bit older, when you have a family of your own...when you have to think and provide for someone other than just yourself."

Is there really just nothing we can do about it? Why is "sell all my worldly possessions and move to a hut in Tanzania" more like a joke, followed by laughter, than something moving? Something heartfelt. An admission that brings you to tears. I can't even make up an answer. To any of the questions that I'm asking, and perhaps that makes it all the more ridiculous and infantile. But I'm still asking, and I'm still losing sleep, and I'm still hoping that I'll never understand.

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