And the Shooting in Tehran Has Begun

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There are now nine dead, according to BBC Persia reports, and dozens injured.
I am getting notes that police are raiding homes and apartments and not just arresting people but engaged in wanton destruction of property.
Mousavi doubts a positive nod from the Guardian Council.
Hundreds of thousands demonstrated against the election declaration.
I’ll be discussing all of this shortly after 8 pm EST on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

46 comments on “And the Shooting in Tehran Has Begun

  1. questions says:

    My German is non-existent! Thanks for the spelling correction. I knew I had it wrong, but not just how wrong. Oh well. I’ll put German on my list after all the other things on my list…. Summer seems so infinite at first, and it always ends so quickly.
    And if I spend every moment of the day on HuffPo waiting for more updates on the Iranian situation, I’ll never get anything done at all. (Ok, one last check before I pick up Trust and read another chapter. Analytic readings of complex emotions…. Makes me want a poem!)

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    Ha ha!
    — after studying several of POA`s descriptions of, among other acts, what Bush, Cheney and
    Rumsfeld did with Colin Powell and the American people, I think I`m capable of understanding the
    English version of the Verlaine/Rimbaud poem.
    ————–
    “If you want to know the difference between the French and the Americans in a nutshell here it is;
    President Sarkozy proudly proclaims that Rimbaud is his favorite poet. Bill Clinton was ridiculed
    (and impeached) for giving Monica Lewinsky a copy of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.””
    Well said, and I`m afraid the Norwegians in general are closer to the American than the French
    mentality on such issues.
    —————-
    “But Khayyam was a Muslim so drinking a glass of wine in his honor is probably not the best
    tribute.”
    But of course not, WigWag! What I had in mind was a purely symbolic glass of wine, the grape and
    the wine being poetic signs of a higher, spiritual life.
    🙂

    Reply

  3. Paul Norheim says:

    Questions:
    “an eye gone black”?
    In German: “Ein Augenblick” – literally a blinking eye, meaning:
    “a moment”.
    In Norwegian: Et øyeblikk. We use that phrase when we want to
    say: “Just a moment!”
    In the “New Norwegian” (nynorsk), invented 150 years ago in
    Norway as an alternative to the the “language of the colonialists”
    (the Danes):
    “Eit augeblikk”
    Your example seems to be representative of how James Joyce
    thought and wrote – a multilingual way of thinking/writing –
    while creating Finnegans Wake.

    Reply

  4. WigWag says:

    Paul, thanks for the information on Rimbaud. I knew that he spent the last part of his short life in Africa but I didn’t know the details. I believe he left Europe for Africa in despair after his affair with Verlaine ended (Verlaine went back to his wife and children). It’s extraordinary that as prolific as Rimbaud was at such an early age, when he left Europe he gave up the artistic life forever and never wrote another poem.
    If you want to know the difference between the French and the Americans in a nutshell here it is; President Sarkozy proudly proclaims that Rimbaud is his favorite poet. Bill Clinton was ridiculed (and impeached) for giving Monica Lewinsky a copy of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”
    By the way, you don’t need to understand “dirty” words to understand the Verlaine/Rimbaud poem I posted above; you just need a moderately vivid imagination.
    Here’s the English translation (begging Steve Clemons’ pardon for turning the Washington Note into a literary salon and an off-color one at that):
    Sonnet of the Asshole
    Dark and wrinkled like a violet carnation,
    It sighs, humbly nestling in the moss still moist from love
    That follows the descent of sweet white cheeks
    Down to their edge.
    Filaments like tears of milk
    Have wept beneath the cruel south wind
    That drives them back across the little clots of russet clay,
    And disappeared there where the slope has called them.
    My Dream has often kissed its opening;
    My Soul, that envies mortal intercourse
    Has chosen this to be its wild and musky nest of sobs.
    It is the swooning olive and the sweet cajoling flute
    The tube through which celestial creamy pralines tumble down
    Female Promised Land rimmed round with dew!
    You say,
    “When you are cured from, and have entirely forgotten your hangover, WigWag, we should drink a glass of wine for the great Persian poet Omar Khayyam – whom most Iranians love regardless of where they stand in the current conflict.
    Iranians are justifiably proud of the incredible Omar Khayyam. The “Rubaiyat” is actually quite popular in the United States. But Khayyam was a Muslim so drinking a glass of wine in his honor is probably not the best tribute.

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    From “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” (1048-1123):
    VII.
    Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
    The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
    The Bird of Time has but a little way
    To fly — and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
    VIII.
    Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
    Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
    The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
    The Leaves of Life kep falling one by one.
    IX.
    Morning a thousand Roses brings, you say;
    Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?
    And this first Summer month that brings the Rose
    Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.
    XII.
    A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
    A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, — and Thou
    Beside me singing in the Wilderness —
    Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
    XVI.
    The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
    Turns Ashes — or it prospers; and anon,
    Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face
    Lighting a little Hour or two — is gone.
    XLI.
    Oh, plagued no more with Human or Divine,
    To-morrow’s tangle to itself resign,
    And lose your fingers in the tresses of
    The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine.
    XLII.
    Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
    Of This and That endeavor and dispute;
    Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
    Than sadden after none, or bitter, fruit.
    XLIII.
    You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
    I made a Second Marriage in my house;
    Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
    And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.
    XLIV.
    And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
    Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape
    Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
    He bid me taste of it; and ’twas — the Grape!
    XLVI.
    Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare
    Blaspheme the twisted tendril as Snare?
    A Blessing, we should use it, should we not?
    And if a Curse — why, then, Who set it there?
    XLIX.
    Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
    Before us pass’d the door of Darkness through
    Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
    Which to discover we must travel too.
    L.
    The Revelations of Devout and Learn’d
    Who rose before us, and as Prophets burn’d,
    Are all but Stories, which, awoke from Sleep,
    They told their fellows, and to Sleep return’d.
    LXIV.
    Yesterday This Day’s Madness did prepare;
    To-morrow’s Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
    Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
    Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.
    LXXXIII.
    Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
    Have done my Credit in Men’s Eye much wrong:
    Have drown’d my Honour in a shallow Cup,
    And sold my Reputation for a Song.
    (Translated by Edward FitzGerald, 1859.)

    Reply

  6. questions says:

    Roland McHugh has an (out of print??) annotation of Finnegans Wake. From it, I believe, I learned that “an eye gone black” is also an “eigenblich” (spelling?) or a “blink” in German. That’s it for Finnegans Wake for me, aside from the pun in the title — is it a call for all “Finnegans” to wake up, or the death memorial of all “Finnegans.” My Ulysses summer was a good one! Couple of years before the Don Quixote summer.
    I got the flu several years ago and was CERTAIN I was dying. So I picked up Proust because it needed to be read before my untimely flu-related death. Got through the first couple of volumes (in English, and long after the last vestiges of the flu were gone. I guess I didn’t die! Really beautiful. I have more of it on the shelf, but then a new translation came out, and really, I need to read Russell Hardin this summer….

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    I said: “I know a handful of dirty words in Amharic and
    Norwegian, but that`s it.”
    Sorry, I forgot to mention that I`ve been taking regular English
    lessons (with POA as a teacher) during the last couple of years.

    Reply

  8. Paul Norheim says:

    I`ve spent ten days in Harar, the old Ethiopian muslim town where Rimbaud lived for several years as a
    merchant and explorer – after abandoning literature, Europe and la vie bohemien. The first European
    visiting that town, in the 1850`s, the famous explorer Richard Burton, spent 11 days there – never quite
    sure whether he was a hostage or a guest. He wrote an article about the customs and language spoken
    there (after 11 days!) that is praised to this day among the educated in Harar. Borges often mentions
    Burton`s translation of “Thousand and one night”. He wrote all kinds of stuff, among them a grammar for
    the language of apes. Even Edward Said (in “Orientalism”) praised Burton`s understanding of Islam.
    Rimbaud: People in Harar call him Rambo. They invite tourists to see his house – now a museum. The only
    thing experts agree on, is that he never lived in that house. But it`s good for business.
    There were a handful of westerners in Harar while Rimbaud lived there, among them a certain Father
    Jêrome, a catholic priest. Rimbaud also knew the governor Ras Makonnen, (Ras means “head” or chief), the
    father of a child born after Rimbaud left town who later became known as Ras Tafari, and after that as
    Haile Selassie, the Emperor. Rimbaud`s friend Father Jêrome gave Tafari lessons in French when he was a
    kid.
    “Rastafarianism” comes from this combination of “Ras” and “Tafari” – Haile Selassie`s original name.
    ————————-
    WigWag, thanks for the poem, but I am not capable of understanding homoerotic references in French –
    probably not even in English translations. I know a handful of dirty words in Amharic and Norwegian, but
    that`s it.
    —————————-
    Linda and WigWag,
    regarding the anecdote, I heard it from a Joyce-admirer when I was a student – I can´t confirm that it´s
    true. Here is a quote from finneganswake.org, beside a photo of
    “The famous corc-lined room of Marcel Proust”:
    “Joyce and Proust met on May 18, 1922 but there are a number of conflicting versions of what occurred
    and little evidence of their assessment of each other’s work. “What he envied Proust were his material
    circumstances: ‘Proust can write; he has a comfortable place at the Etoile, floored with cork and with cork
    on the walls to keep it quiet. And, I, writing in this place, people coming in and out. I wonder how I can
    finish Ulysses.” (Ellmann, pg. 509). When Proust died on November 18, 1922, Joyce attended his funeral.
    Furthermore, cork had a special significance for Joyce: his father was from County Cork. Always the
    punster, Joyce once mounted a portrait of his father in a cork frame.”
    —————————-
    And here`s a quote from TIME, under the title “10 most reclusive celebrities: “When Proust met James Joyce
    in 1922, the two literary geniuses barely spoke. “Of course the situation was impossible,” Joyce later said.
    “Proust’s day was just beginning. Mine was at an end.””
    —————————
    Here is a version of the anecdote i told you – different, but perhaps more correct?
    The version comes from a blogger, a certain “westrow” – and I quote it just to amuse you, WigWag,
    struggling with your hangover:
    “Proust and Joyce meet, 18th May 1922
    May 18, 2009 by westrow
    The two greatest novelists of the 20th century met only once. At a supper party at the Hotel Majestic in
    Paris on May 18th 1922 given by the rich Englishman Sydney Schiff and his wife Violet.
    The party, at which Stravinsky and Picasso were also guests, was held to celebrate the first night of
    Stavinsky’s Renard with choreography by Nijinska.
    Unfortunately things did not work out quite as might have been hoped.
    Joyce arrived late, drunk and inappropriately dressed. “Joyce complained of his eyes, Proust of his stomach.
    Did M. Joyce like truffles? He did. Had he met the Duchesse de X? He had not. ‘I regret that I do not know
    M. Joyce’s work,’ remarked Proust. ‘I have never read M. Proust,’ Joyce [lied] … ‘If only we’d been allowed
    to meet and have a talk somewhere,’ remarked Joyce sadly afterwards.”
    In July/August, Sydney Schiff tried to organise for Proust to sit for a portrait drawing by Picasso. Sadly,
    nothing came of the project. Proust died later that year on 18 November 1922, aged 51.”
    Sorry Linda and WigWag, not chocolate, but truffles.
    And Joyce actually liked them.
    ——————————–
    And let me end this post with a couple of different versions – one of them including a taxi:
    “June 16, 2005
    JOYCE AND PROUST AND TRUFFLES
    Joyce met Proust once at a literary dinner, and Proust asked Joyce did he like truffles, and Joyce said yes,
    he did, and I know Joyce was very amused afterwards. He said ” … the two greatest literary figures of our
    time meet and they ask each other if they like truffles.”
    Posted by sheila
    Comments
    There seem to be several variants of the story of the Proust/Joyce meeting. One of my favorites, although
    probably apocryphal, is that Joyce and Proust were sharing a taxi coming home from a party. Joyce was
    drunk, and in his drunkenness loudly told Proust that he had never read a single page of his work. Proust
    angrily returned the complement.”
    Rumors, rumors… but certainly more harmless than those currently transmitted from Tehran.
    When you are cured from, and have entirely forgotten your hangover, WigWag, we should drink a glass of
    wine for the great Persian poet Omar Khayyam – whom most Iranians love regardless of where they stand
    in the current conflict.

    Reply

  9. WigWag says:

    “I wish you a quick recovery, WigWag. I know I shouldn’t say this, but as a matter of fact, Proust is nice to read during a hangover…”
    No reason not to say it, I need all the help I can get. I don’t own any Proust, but you’ve motivated me (or is it my aching head that’s motivating me) to acquire “In Search of Lost Time.” The great thing about my kindle is that I can download all seven volumes and carry them with me when I go to the beach or the pool.
    Your musings about Proust put me in mind of two other Frenchmen, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud. Proust was about 20 years younger than these great poets but they were all contemporaries. Like James Joyce, Verlaine and especially Rimbaud were especially bawdy. They had a famous love affair and actually wrote one poem together. I have reproduced it in French because it is quite lurid and I think Steve would feel he had to censor the English translation.
    Sonnet du Trou du Cul
    Obscur et froncé comme un oeillet violet,
    Il respire, humblement tapi parmi la mousse
    Humide encor d’amour qui suit la fuite douce
    Des Fesses blanches jusqu’au coeur de son ourlet.
    Des filaments pareils à des larmes de lait
    Ont pleuré, sous l’autan cruel qui les repousse
    A travers de petits caillots de marne rousse,
    Pour s’aller perdre où la pente les appelait.
    Mon Rêve s’aboucha souvent à sa ventouse;
    Mon âme, du coït matériel jalouse,
    En fit son larmier fauve et son nid de sanglots.
    C’est l’olive pâmée, et la flûte caline
    C’est le tube où descend la céleste praline:
    Chanaan féminin dans les moiteurs enclos!
    While the poem is homoeroticism and Molly Bloom’s soliloquy is “heteroeroticism” somehow they remind me of each other.
    There is a famous painting of Verlaine, Rimbaud, Baudelaire and three other famous French Poets in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Perhaps you have seen it. Alas, I’ve never been to Paris.
    And speaking of Paris, I assume your story about Proust and Joyce in the cab in Paris was apocryphal. At least I hope it was. After all it would be a shame to go to Paris where they make the best chocolate in the world and not try any.
    Don’t you think?

    Reply

  10. Linda says:

    WigWag, Paul,
    Far too many literary of these classics are beyond really understanding–whole English lit courses on them. And most of these guys were probably were very drunk when they wrote them but at the same time somewhat sober or even depressed!
    e.e. said it best when asked about the meaning of “The Wasteland,”: “At the time I wrote it God and I knew; now only God knows.”
    A mutual friend of Steve and mine from DC is a big Beckett/Godot fan and saw current production in NYC last month and didn’t like it at all. Better production and play that is funnier is “Exit the King” by Ionesco that already closed before the Tonys–hadn’t been done in NYC since 1968 when I lived there and saw it.
    Paul, when you mentioned the taxi ride conversation between Joyce and Proust, all I could think of is that I always can understand Hemingway and his great last lines with Brett and Jake in a taxi.
    Brett: “Oh, Jake, we could have had such a damned good time together.”
    Jake: Yes, isn’t it pretty to think so?”
    Wig,it sounds as if you had a good time, and Jake’s line probably is not very comforting for the morning after. But down here we always revert to Margaret Mitchell,”Tomorrow is another day” Feel better.

    Reply

  11. Paul Norheim says:

    Dear WigWag,
    I think you honored James Joyce in a much more proper way by
    drinking whisky in a pub than by staying at home twittering.
    I read most of Ulysses in a Danish translation (and parts in
    English simultaneously) perhaps 15 years ago. Later a
    Norwegian translation was published – they say it`s good… Of
    course you have to be a writer yourself, to be very creative, and
    often invent new words (and nonsense syllables) in the language
    you are translating to; an “exact” translation of Ulysses would be
    impossible.
    I once owned Finnegans Wake. I have never read it. To my
    excuse (as if I needed one!), I borrowed it to a friend of mine,
    Steffen Kverneland, who is an artist. He made – believe it or not
    – a wonderful cartoon based on a handful of paragraphs in the
    book – and I am still waiting for him to give it back to me. In an
    interview, he said that he`ve never read the whole book himself,
    just some pages here and there that seemed interesting or
    funny.
    I guess that`s the best approach to such books – a certain
    amount of disrespect or frivolity. Steffen published the cartoon
    in a literary magazine where I worked at the time. Tried in vain
    to find a rendering of it on the internet last night.
    BTW, I can`t imagine that it would make any sense to translate
    Finnegans Wake – from which language? To which language?
    BTW, have you heard that Joyce and Proust once met in Paris?
    They were sitting in the backseat of a taxi together. As far as I
    remember, they were mostly silent.
    Only once the silence was broken: one of the literary giants
    asked the other if he liked chocolate? No, said the other one.
    And that was it.
    I wish you a quick recovery, WigWag. I know I shouldn`t say
    this, but as a matter of fact, Proust is nice to read during a
    hangover…

    Reply

  12. WigWag says:

    Dear Linda and Paul:
    So here’s what I learned about Ulysses in the pub last night: (1) The book is generally considered to be the best English language novel of the 20th century; (2) it was the basis of a landmark obscenity case in the 1930’s in New York Federal District Court; (3) The Molly Boom soliloquy that ends the book is made up of 24,012 words divided into only eight sentences.
    At the moment, celebrating Bloomsday on Twitter seems like a remarkably good idea to me. Had I stayed home and twittered last evening instead of visiting the pub, this morning might eyes would be less blurry, my skin would be less clammy, my joints would be less creaky and my general appearance would be more comely than is currently the case.
    I have rediscovered the inevitable but discouraging aspect of physiology that ensures that states of inebriation that in youth could only be achieved when the number of drinks approached the high single digits, with advanced age are reached when the number of drinks is in the low single digits or even the very low single digits.
    Suffice it to say that like the Iranian students putting twitter to such good use, next Bloomsday I plan to acquaint myself with this new social networking technology (or whatever it’s called.)
    One thing I can say for sure. I won’t be jousting at the Washington Note for a day or two; I simply don’t have the strength.
    Linda, I’m reminded of an old Pete Seeger song that you might be familiar with. The chorus goes something like this:
    What do I do now that my youth is all spent
    My get up and go, has got up and went.
    But in spite of it all, I’m able to grin
    Just thinking about where my get up has been
    Because I am sure that the state of your “get-up” is completely intact, Linda, you should find an excuse to fly up to New York and see the “Waiting for Godot” currently running on Broadway. It stars Nathan Lane, John Goodman, Bill Irwin and Danny Glover. People say it is one of the best versions ever produced in the United States. I saw the play about 10 years ago with John Turturro, Tony Shalhoub and Christopher Lloyd. I didn’t love it. People say that if it’s performed correctly it’s supposed to be very funny but when I saw it, I guess I was too dimwitted to see the humor.
    I did hear the actors in the current revival interviewed by Terry Gross (Fresh Air) on NPR and learned some interesting tidbits abut the play. Apparently the play is still in copyright but the copyright finally expires in about five years when the play will go into the public domain. Terry mentioned that several producers had approached the copyright holder to suggest a professional production of the play with an all female cast. When he was alive Beckett was also approached with this suggestion and turned it down; a female professional production has never been sanctioned since. When the copyright terminates, several all female productions are contemplated.
    Paul, as a polyglot you posses a special access to literature that few of us have and I envy you. The only classic work for which I feel I my reading prowess may equal yours is for Finnegan’s Wake. After all, it’s indecipherable in any language. Of course being a native English speaker gives me no special advantage because the book isn’t really written in English, is it? I know that you do translation. I can’t even imagine how anyone would begin to attempt a translation of either Finnegan’s Wake or Ulysses.
    Ulysses I’ve plowed through (in fact I’ve recently downloaded a copy to my kindle). Finnegan’s Wake might as well be in Norwegian or in American Sign Language; I can’t even get past the first page.
    So much for Bloomsday. Now I’m off to find a cool, dark room.
    With best regards,
    WigWag

    Reply

  13. Linda says:

    Paul,
    A twitter is a twitter is a tritter is a twitter.

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    Who would have guessed that a social networking format that
    seemed best suited to aphorisms and celebrity trivia would
    become relevant in a political drama in the Middle East?

    Reply

  15. Paul Norheim says:

    Well, due to the 140 characters limit, I`m afraid not many
    sentences from Proust`s novel would survive at Twitter. Beckett
    would do fine, however.
    Seems to be a funny experiment. One could easily imagine
    Hemingway fitting into this. And what about Gertrude Stein?

    Reply

  16. Linda says:

    Paul WigWag,
    Actually we have a James Joyce Irish Pub in Atlanta where folks will be celebrating tonight.
    But the most modern high-tech fun is this from AP:
    “On Bloomsday, `Ulysses’ meets Twitter
    9 hours ago
    NEW YORK (AP) — Forget about Ashton Kutcher. James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” one of the most difficult novels in English, is on Twitter.
    Two devotees of “Ulysses” have adapted its 10th chapter to Twitter, which limits users to 140 characters per post. Called “Wandering Rocks,” the chapter is especially well-suited to Twitter because it follows 19 Dubliners going about their daily business.
    For three years now, Ian Bogost, a Georgia Tech professor, and a friend, Ian McCarthy, have commemorated “Bloomsday” on Twitter on June 16. That date in 1904 is when the entirety of “Ulysses” takes place, chronicling the experiences of a man named Leopold Bloom.”
    So we’ve come full circle as apparently the best way to get news out of Iran right now is twitter.

    Reply

  17. WigWag says:

    Evelyn, Bloomsday is celebrated all over the world in many different ways. Of course the Mecca for Bloomsday celebrations is Dublin where it is a major event celebrated with poetry readings, acting out the characters in costume, eating the foods the characters in the novel ate and, of course, pub crawling.
    There’s also a huge celebration in Spokane, Washington where there’s an annual Bloomsday Run that several thousand runners participate in.
    There’s also an annual celebration in New York City each year at the “Symphony Space” theater on the upper west side of Manhattan. My granddaughter took me to last year’s event at the Symphony Space which featured performances by Stephen Colbert, Frank McCourt (author of Angela’s Ashes) Malachy McCourt (a New York radio personality), Francis Sternhagen (Cliff Clavin’s mother on the TV show, “Cheers”) and others. The show lasted from about 7:00 pm until 2:00 am and concluded with a recitation of Molly Bloom’s famous soliloquy which is the last chapter in Ulysses. It is famously bawdy.
    In case you are interested there’s a radio station in New York City on the Pacifica Radio Network called WBAI that will be broadcasting this year’s event from Symphony Space starting at 7:00 pm. You can listen to a live streamed version at http://www.wbai.org. This year’s event features Alec Baldwin, Ann Meara and many others.
    Most people just celebrate by visiting their local pub with a well worn copy of the novel that gets passed around for everyone to read aloud. It may sound boring, but after a few shots or Irish whiskey, it can be quite alot of fun.
    Happy Bloomsday, Evelyn!

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    Evelyn:
    “Bloomsday is a commemoration observed annually on 16 June
    in Dublin and elsewhere to celebrate the life of Irish writer
    James Joyce and relive the events in his novel Ulysses, all of
    which took place on the same day in Dublin in 1904. The name
    derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses. 16 June
    was the date of Joyce’s first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora
    Barnacle, when they walked to the Dublin urban village of
    Ringsend.” (Wikipedia)
    Linda:
    Joyce took regular lessons in Norwegian, his teacher was a poet,
    Olaf Bull. Life is short, and I think you made a wise choice.
    Beside demographics, there are of course also literary reasons
    to learn Spanish. I hope I`ll be able to read Cervantes, Unamuno
    and Borges in Spanish before I die.

    Reply

  19. Evelyn says:

    I hate to sound stupid but what is Bloomsday?
    Evelyn

    Reply

  20. Linda says:

    Paul,
    You got me at Ibsen. I seriously considered taking Norwegian in undergrad school to be able to read him in the original–but decided Spanish was more practical–guess that was wise decision considering change in demographics in US in the past half-century.
    I don’t think we have to pick and choose in a global economy but need to celebrate all good things more.
    So tomorrow everybody in LA gets to celebrate the Lakers and their star, Kobe Bryant who was named after city and beef in Japan and lived in Italy as a child when his father left NBA to play basketball there. Kobe speaks Italian and Spanish fluently.
    Time to quit as I’ve just insulted the Celtics up north!

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    Linda,
    my vote goes to Beckett as well. And BTW, he is a suitable go-
    between; he admired Joyce insanely in his youth, but also wrote a
    book on Proust.
    And there is no reason to exclude the French on behalf of
    Irishness: Beckett ended up writing his books in French; and
    Finnegans Wake – would you call that English, that “ibsensque
    nansens”?

    Reply

  22. Linda says:

    Wigwag,
    Good call–not a day for the French!
    But all of you up in Boston, have at last one Sam Adams tonight for Irish Sam Beckett too!
    Down here in Atlanta, the celebrations are bigger for Juneteenth and it’s TGIF too this year!

    Reply

  23. The Molly Bloom of Boston University says:

    Some BU students at the Center for International Relations would be happy to join in the fun over in Cambridge. Which drinking establishments does Buck Mulligan have in mind?

    Reply

  24. WigWag says:

    To Paul Norheim,
    Norheim, you must be overdosed on gravlaks if you think Proust is better than Joyce!
    To say that on this of all days is sacrilege!

    Reply

  25. The Buck Mulligan of Harvard says:

    At the Kennedy School, we’re planning some big time partying for tonight.
    Everyone is welcome to join us. We will be hitting every Irish Pub in Cambridge and a few in Boston too.
    Happy Bloomsday wigwag, Paul Norheim, SusanP. and Linda.

    Reply

  26. Linda says:

    Wigwag,
    Happy Bloomsday! And for the diversion from Iran mess. I’ve not commented because I’m following health care reform and only reading TWN.
    Also coming up this week on the 19th is Juneteenth and then the summer solstice.
    But my vote goes to Sam Beckett and a few quotes from “Waiting for Godot.”
    “Let’s go. Yes, let’s go. (They do not move).”
    “Nothing to be done.”
    “The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh. Let us not then speak ill of our generation, it is not any unhappier than its predecessors. Let us not speak well of it either. Let us not speak of it at all. It is true the population has increased.”

    Reply

  27. Curious says:

    They will probably admit to some errors in the count; pull back the
    total to something more probable; but still have MA the winner.
    Just a guess, obviously.

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    Some commenters at TWN have asked for the exact results by provinces in the Iranian election. The
    Guardian (UK) have provided the official results from the Ministry of the Interior – you can read about
    and study them here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/jun/15/iran1

    Reply

  29. SusanP. says:

    I haven’t thought about Bloomsday in years. Thanks wig so much for reminding me. Bloomsday brings back many happy memories. When I read your comment I called my husband on his cell and told him that we’re going out to the pub tonight.
    Happy Bloomsday, wigwag.

    Reply

  30. Paul Norheim says:

    Happy Bloomsday, WigWag, but as a reader, I have to admit that I
    prefer Proust. I guess it`s a question of temperament.

    Reply

  31. WigWag says:

    Off topic and in a lighter vain,
    To the great Steve Clemons and all my fellow Washington Note devotees, Happy Bloomsday!
    Tonight, during my annual Bloomsday pilgrimage to my favorite Irish Pub, Maguire’s Hill 16 in Ft. Lauderdale, I’ll lift a pint of Guinness to all the great posters and wonderful commenters who congregate at this provocative blog.
    “History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”
    Ulysses
    James Joyce, 1918

    Reply

  32. Paul Norheim says:

    Ok, here`s the latest: breaking news from BBC this morning, (European time):
    “Iran’s powerful Guardian Council says it is ready to hold a recount of disputed votes in Friday’s presidential election.”
    Last night they signaled that the election results were “provisional”. The latest statement is obviously a result of
    Ayatollah Khamenei (who initially welcomed the result of the vote) calling on the Guardian Council to “investigate
    thoroughly” the claims of vote rigging.
    Time to get a bit sober now, isn`t it?
    Personally I am glad that the White House has been cautious until now – in contrast to a lot of newspapers, bloggers,
    and commenters on blogs.
    In our little corner, especially WigWag immediately drew some very drastic conclusions (among them: Iran = Pakistan),
    and also exhibited a high degree of fictional “ambivalence” (that reminded me of the “ambivalence” he expressed
    during the US presidential election: should he vote for senile and ignorant McCain/Palin or the unexperienced Barack
    Obama when his favorite, Hillary Clinton, lost the race?
    This time he`s been obsessed by the question: aren´t there more convincing arguments for a US attack on Iran now,
    than against it?
    The Obama administration is certainly not contemplating an attack on Iran right now – the ambivalence exists nowhere
    else than in WigWag`s head. (The Israelis certainly want to attack Iran any time – there is no ambivalence in their
    heads).
    I certainly don`t like the current Iranian regime. Ahmadinejad may have stolen the election, he may have won it, or he
    may have won it AND stolen it – who really knows? Maybe we`ll know more later – and maybe not. IF he actually won,
    nobody within the Iranian opposition or abroad may believe the Guardian Council if they say so.
    But perhaps the Guardian Council will conclude that there was a certain element of fraud, or “mistakes” comitted during
    the voting process? Obviously, Ayatollah Khamenei`s credibility is at stake here – and the spiritual leader may not wish
    to be seen as a blatant liar himself (after his premature congratulations of “the winner”).
    Except for the neocons, the Israelis and Kotzabasis, I think the rest of us should wait a bit before getting into an
    apocalyptic, war mongering mood. Nobody can yet predict the outcome of the events unfolding in Iran.

    Reply

  33. Franklin says:

    Correction: “Mayor of Mexico” should read “Mayor of Mexico City”.
    While Obrador DIDN’T return to his original post — he can still run for office in the future.

    Reply

  34. Franklin says:

    Great post jjkyle.
    JohnH,
    The differences that I cite — an open political process, independent monitors, a legal appeals process, a free media — are essential to a democratic process.
    Obrador might have been robbed in a close contest (although I suspect his people probably purchased votes too), but, in the end, he returned to a lucrative position as the mayor of Mexico, and he could very well run for election as president in the future and win. I remember the election contest in 2006. The international community was also involved in the process as well. Maybe the EU monitors didn’t produce a result that you find satisfying, but the EU did investigate the election after the fact. I sincerely doubt that the Mexicans would have wanted the Bush administration taking a greater interest in their election.
    In Iran, the opposition candidates are risking their lives to protest an election that was fundamentally flawed. As jjkyle points out there is something truly significant happening in Iran that puts this event in a different category than the typical contested election.

    Reply

  35. jjkyle says:

    I haven’t looked at all the facebook postings, circulated emails
    or twitters of the last few days emanating out of Iran. Nor have I
    pored over blogs that much. Basically, in following the events of
    the election and its aftermath, i have done my usual tour of
    rawstory, the BBC, thewashingtonnote, antiwar.com, the
    Guardian, (reluctantly) the NYT, the Independent and after a long
    hiatus Juan Cole’s informedcomment. Today I threw in the
    Franfurter Rundschau just to get a German voice in the whole
    thing. I am subject to a Western media filter.
    Still, filters or not, the less than one hundred hours that have
    passed since the election was held seem to contain a
    remarkable burst of energy in Iran. It is as if deprived of the
    nuclear bomb they supposedly have an ardor for, the people, up
    and down the society, have decided to start fission and fusion
    reactions instead, using themselves as the material.
    From the accounts I have read, particularly Robert Fisk’s, the
    massive rally today in Teheran in support of Mousavi no longer
    fit the pissed-off loser hooliganistic spree template of Saturday
    and Sunday. Suddenly, there was deep heat, not just flash and
    fury.
    The ironic thing is, Ahmadinejad, Al Khamenei, their state
    institutions and the Leveretts might well be right: he did win
    with 62 and some percent of the vote. But he lost the narrative
    focus: he isn’t the man whom the book is about anymore. It
    seems unlikely that Mousavi will be the replacement hero,
    either, this stunned old warhorse from another era.
    It looks like it points to what the undercurrent chatter is
    about: Khamenei himself is the problem, the Supreme Leader.
    His political instincts have taken a fatal dive. He called things
    too fast, failed when it counted (Saturday) to have as much
    authority as the situation required and now he’s back-pedalling.
    I think the Iranians want a fresh and amazing Supreme Leader;
    they want to fall in love again with the person who really calls
    the shots.

    Reply

  36. ... says:

    rich, johnh and poa – thanks for the links and comments… rich your post in particular strikes a nerve and one wonders what steve has to say in response…

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Interesting seeing motive being discussed in regards to the apparent blatant nature of the “irregularities”. As Dan points out, the theft of this election is not well served by the blatancy of the act. However, the blatancy does well serve those entities engaged in the demonization of the current Iranian regime.
    Food for thought. This whole thing is too pat.

    Reply

  38. JohnH says:

    Franklin–let’s not exaggerate. Despite the differences you cite, the final result boiled down to a court loaded with PAN appointees deciding in favor of the PAN candidate. Exactly the same thing could happen in Iran.
    Ultimately, the “open democracy, multi-party system, and independent media” made no difference. When push came to shove it was an insider’s game.
    Yes, the PRD and the government were careful not to push the issue to the point of violence, probably because the PRD did not have the armed might to challenge the government. The question is whether Moussavi does have enough power.
    Bottom line is that no one outside Mexico gave a whit whether an election in a presumed open democracy got thrown or not. But everyone seems to care a lot about whether an election in marginally democratic country gets corrupted in pretty much the same manner.

    Reply

  39. Franklin says:

    “Apart from the violence” is a huge distinction.
    There are other significant difference in the political structure too.
    Mexico: a secular state with an open democracy; multi-party system and independent, privately owned media. A contest in which each party is allowed to have independent monitors oversee the vote tally during the counting of ballots at each precinct. It took two days to count the ballots. When one of the candidates disputed the election results he was able to able to appeal to the courts who granted a partial recount in reference to only the contested ballots — the others were not contested and were not part of the re-count. After a two month legal process and recount, the court certified the election result.
    Iran: a closed political system where the media is state controlled, and where only candidates approved by the state are allowed to run. The first results from paper ballots, which were allegedly hand-counted, were supposedly counted in less than 12 hours (e.g. over 40 million ballots). The count was not open to independent monitoring by the other candidates. In response to the contested election result, in which three of the four candidates contested the election result, the matter was referred to a legal body controlled by the a group of partisans aligned with the incumbent.

    Reply

  40. JohnH says:

    Apart from the violence, this is sounding more and more like a rerun of Mexico’s 2006 election. Anybody remember the contested Mexican election? Of course not! It didn’t merit nay news coverage. But Iran’s sure does!!!
    http://www.narconews.com/Issue42/article1972.html
    In Mexico, the leftist opposition staged massive protests for months–to no avail. The electoral commission refused to examine any evidence of fraud and certified the results for the pro-business, pro-US Calderon. Will Iran’s do the same Khamenei? Not if the Western media have any say!
    More irony–the Mexican and Iranian flags are very similar–red, white and green bars. The Mexican bars are vertical, the Iranian ones horizontal.

    Reply

  41. rich says:

    Forgot to include the title of Flynt & Hillary Mann Leverett’s article in Politico.
    Headline reads:
    Ahmadinejad won. Get over it.
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23745.html
    Just a for-what-it’s-worth.

    Reply

  42. rich says:

    Ok, no one is happy about the chaos, confrontation or the resulting clampdown in Iran.
    But did no one at TWN, with Steve’s instant access to those who know, get a load of Flynt Leverett & Hilary Mann Leverett’s article in Politico? (of all places)?
    The Leveretts begin thus:
    “Without any evidence, many U.S. politicians and ‘Iran experts’ have dismissed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection Friday, with 62.6 percent of the vote, as fraud.
    “They ignore the fact that Ahmadinejad’s 62.6 percent of the vote in this year’s election is essentially the same as the 61.69 percent he received in the final count of the 2005 presidential election, when he trounced former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The shock of the “Iran experts” over Friday’s results is entirely self-generated, based on their preferred assumptions and wishful thinking.”
    “Like much of the Western media, most American “Iran experts” overstated Mir Hossein Mousavi’s “surge” over the campaign’s final weeks. More important, they were oblivious — as in 2005 — to Ahmadinejad’s effectiveness as a populist politician and campaigner.”
    “…after the debates, the same aides concluded that Ahmadinejad’s provocatively impressive performance and Mousavi’s desultory one had boosted the incumbent’s standing.”
    _______________
    The Leveretts include standard caveats about manipulative engineering. But they call into question the media meme and what passes for political intelligence — and that should worry anyone as the U.S. begins to work to alleviate tensions with Iran.
    The pundits who concluded that Ahmadinejad ‘stole’ the election were wrong, according to the Leveretts, and it’s time to question their motivations. He didn’t have to.
    Worse, we all-too readily believed the hue and cry of fraud. We’ve learned too well the propaganda—and for all Iran’s faults, it is propaganda—that fraud rather than political skill was required to win the election.
    Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett—whom Steve admires—describe this phenomena as “The shock of the “Iran experts” over Friday’s results is entirely self-generated, based on their preferred assumptions and wishful thinking.”
    Our rush to cry ‘election fraud’ and ‘right-wing coup’ rised directly out of having been taught to fear the worst and believe the worst. The smoke hasn’t yet cleared. But when even Steve so readily believes the ‘stolen election’ hypothesis, something’s wrong.
    Both Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett disagree with The Washington Note’s conclusion of a coup, and dispute the claim of fraudulent results.
    It’s right to cover unfolding events and the ensuing repression. I do not defend Iran’s heavy-handed regime. But perhaps we should have the facts in hand before our headlines read coup and fraud.
    And perhaps we should do a better job of puncturing the prevailing media slant, exposing our own covert ops (esp those designed to destabilize regimes that don’t knuckle under to Uncle Sam); and try harder to challenge the generally poor analysis that combines with constant demonization to destabilize our own foreign policy decisions.
    The hue and cry comes just as Obama seeks a reasonable relationship, and I don’t find that a coincidence. Obviously the smoke hasn’t cleared, but if the Leveretts are right, our own foreign policy establishment is blowing some smoke of its own in an area we can least afford any conclusion. Mucking up our vision in this manner is irresponsible.
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23745.html

    Reply

  43. basheert says:

    Very much enjoying your “note” today. This is a huge story receiving token coverage on the MSM especially CNN who appears to actually be resenting having to cover this story.
    Please keep up the great work. Love watching you on Olbermann.

    Reply

  44. Spunkmeyer says:

    Twitter is changing their maintenance schedule!!!
    http://blog.twitter.com/2009/06/down-time-rescheduled.html
    A critical network upgrade must be performed to ensure
    continued operation of Twitter. In coordination with Twitter, our
    network host had planned this upgrade for tonight. However,
    our network partners at NTT America recognize the role Twitter
    is currently playing as an important communication tool in Iran.
    Tonight’s planned maintenance has been rescheduled to
    tomorrow between 2-3p PST (1:30a in Iran).
    Our partners are taking a huge risk not just for Twitter but also
    the other services they support worldwide—we commend them
    for being flexible in what is essentially an inflexible situation. We
    chose NTT America Enterprise Hosting Services early last year
    specifically because of their impeccable history of reliability and
    global perspective. Today’s decision and actions continue to
    prove why NTT America is such a powerful partner for Twitter.
    POSTED BY @BIZ AT 4:17 PM

    Reply

  45. ... says:

    twn as advertising site for the above poster.. hopefully steve finds time to block the ip address..
    quote from another poster elsewhere… “Congress gave the Shadow Warriors $400 Million dollars to play “regime change” in Iran not too long ago. Who is to say that the intel community isn’t currently playing their “color revolution” game in Iran?”

    Reply

  46. Spunkmeyer says:

    Lots of info available on Twitter, which has unfortunately scheduled
    maintenance starting at 9:30 PST this evening. Very bad timing for
    the protesters in Iran that have been using it as a resource!

    Reply

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