daybreak in iran

It’s 7:14 a.m. Monday in Tehran. It promises to be a fascinating day.

Over the weekend authorities arrested the daughter and four other relatives of ex-President Hashemi Rafsanjani, still a powerful figure among the ruling class. The backstage struggle between clerics, and even fellow ayatollahs, intensifies — a hopeful sign for reformists.

On Twitter word spreads of a general strike, with citizens told to stock up on medicines and supplies. We’ll know soon if the organizers were successful.

Of course many of them are in jail — some arrested while seeking medical treatment.

Security officers filled the streets of Tehran Sunday, and for the first time in a week no rallies were held. But overnight the sounds of revolution grew louder.

The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen, in Tehran, says many residents of northern Tehran could be heard shouting from the rooftops “death to the dictator” and “Allahu akbar” on Sunday evening.

The chants have become a popular form of protest, and our correspondents say men, women and children joined in and Sunday’s chanting was much louder than on previous days.

humorless gay “celebs” voice concern over bruno

Does anyone give a fuck what one of the contestants from “Project Runway” thinks (about anything)? And as if they’re not annoying enough, these D-Listers were interviewed outside an event honoring Dustin Lance Black. Can’t wait for his take:

sheldon greenbriar’s summer hiatus spectacular

sheldonSheldon, still recovering from his showdown with Leeza Gibbons, is on sabbatical this month. Substituting on The Blurbomat: Sheldon’s close friend, movie reviewer Pete Hammond — the critic celebrities trust most, according to Byron Allen.

  • “The Proposal”: A riotously funny screwball farce is a strong candidate for the year’s best comedy – at least so far.
  • “The Taking of Pelham 123″: Thirty-five years after the pulse-pounding thriller The Taking of Pelham One Two Three was made, this sleek, faster-paced remake not only improves on a good thing, it showcases a much different New York than its pre-9/11 predecessor.
  • “Imagine That”: After the debacle of last summer’s dreadful “Meet Dave”, Eddie is back at his best in his funniest comedy in years, a feel-good winner with something for everyone.
  • “Terminator: Salvation”: Packed with two hours of non-stop action, it delivers everything you could want from a ‘Terminator’ film and more. Much more.
  • “Star Trek”: This brilliant reninvention of the beloved sci-fi franchise boldly (and smartly) goes where no ‘Star Trek’ has ever gone before.

yet another inconsequential, arcane observation

I bet they're really, really concerned about the environment
I bet they're really, really concerned about the environment
Don’t divorcing character actors Bradley Whitford (the overbearingly smug presidential aide on “The West Wing”) and Jane Kaczmarek (the shrill mother from “Malcom in the Middle”) strike you as the sort of couple Larry David’s TV wife would invite to dinner?

the lowdown on the revolution

Worth reading:

Leading opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi isn’t an Iranian Nelson Mandela or a Lech Walesa. He’s not so much leading a revolt as he is skillfully surfing a wave of public displeasure.

Of course he won the election. Iran’s government wouldn’t have shut down the phone system and the Internet if their guy had gotten a majority.

The Iranian people spoke. They told Ahmadinejad and Khamenei to go away.

diagnosing the conservative malady

Leonard Pitts sums it up well:

By contrast, modern conservatism is defined by an Alice-through-the-looking-glass incoherence: small government except when it is growing larger than ever, fiscal restraint except when we are spending like Michael Jackson in a Disney gift shop, foreign policy pragmatism except when we are trying to transform the Middle East.

Indeed, sometimes it feels as if it is no longer defined by principles at all, nor by energy and ideas, but rather, by a limitless ability to feel put upon and slighted.

To be a conservative these days is, or so they would have you believe, like being black in Birmingham in 1952. It is to be the victim of media, culture and law that hate you just for being.

Your first thought is to reason them out of it, but it is notoriously hard to reason people out of victimology because it: a) feels good, b) demands deference, c) relieves them of any responsibility for their own fouled-up condition. Victimology is as addictive as crack —- and as mentally damaging.

For proof, look no further than a man who thinks David Letterman belongs on a list of homophobes, anti-Semites and bigots “because he made a joke about Sarah Palin’s daughter.”

It is an asinine argument but I guess it makes sense to him. After all, he’s a conservative.

And nobody knows the trouble they’ve seen.

An example:

Outspoken Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says she’s so worried that information from next year’s national census will be abused that she will refuse to fill out anything more than the number of people in her household.

the supreme liar speaks

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader sternly warned of a crackdown if protesters continue days of massive street rallies, escalating the government’s showdown with demonstrators demanding a new presidential election.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in his first response to the protests that the country’s disputed presidential vote had not been rigged, siding with hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and offering no concessions to the opposition. He effectively ruled out any chance for a new vote, lauding the June 12 election as an expression of the people’s will.

from the department of unsubstantiated rumors

If a rumor maligns someone you can’t stand, then by all means, spread it. From one of my Hollywood “sources,” re: Dustin Lance Black’s sex tape:

I’m heard from EVERYONE that he released them himself with his publicist and they released the statement right after. I totally believe it. He has something in production and he trying to keep a high profile …

Unfortunately it’s working. Anderson Cooper interviewed DLB last night about Obama’s broken promises to the gay community.

what do ahmadinejad and dobson have in common?

They’re both theocrats who blame the gays for everything.

For good measure [Ahmadinejad] followed up with some more earthy language comparing claims of massive election fraud in last week’s poll to the passions of supporters of a beaten football team after a match.

He then went on to accuse his opponents of “officially recognising thieves, homosexuals and scumbags” in exchange for their votes.

(via Andy)