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Hop to the Shah
Dreamed 2010/5/18 by Wayan
The peace negotiations in Europe are dragging on. But what war are they trying to end, exactly? I'm not sure. The Old World, certainly. But Pakistan, or Iran? Many of the diplomats are cynical, think there's no hope of peace now.
One even tells a couple of Green Party representatives who are pagan anarchists "Save your witchcraft for the next war, with China." Great, they're already expecting a second war? Isn't this pessimism a bit self-fulfilling? They're not even trying.
I decide direct action is the only antidote for all this cynical talk.
So I fly to Pakistan, and bound down the main street of Peshawar that runs west out of town--all the way to Tehran!
When I said I bound, I meant bound. I'm better than a steroid kangaroo: 50 meters high, and nearly 100 meters west. The Spiderman of hop! Over houses and little shops, between decorated trucks and dusty busses. Each bounce brings me closer to the Persian border.
Yes, it's called Persia again. There's a new Shah in the palace in Tehran. The more things change...
I try not to squash people or cars as I bounce; a dance, really. But a potentially deadly dance. My shamanic powers make me so formidable I may stop this war yet! I plan to threaten the Shah first. But not the last! Whoever it takes.
I hop the border in one long arc. The eastern desert bounces by. Endless flats, alkali lakes, snowy peaks floating on the dusty horizon... I love the long view!
At sixteen hops a mile, I'm as fast as a light plane; it's a surprisingly brief journey through the long valleys under the Zagros Mountains. Hop, hop. Pastures, farms, towns. Slowly it grows greener...
Late in the day, as the light blushes rose, the outskirts of Tehran leap by. The new palace looms--so pretentious it's hard to miss! An oily diet often makes the body politic break out in gilded executive pimples.
I pause outside, under a freeway cloverleaf. The neighborhood looks so scruffy! This could almost be a run-down part of Los Angeles.
Though is that bad? On the sidewalk, a couple kisses. A generation ago, they'd have been beaten up.
Despite this rich, crass, bellicose king and the trash in the streets, at least the brutal shadow of theocracy is gone. Am I so sure this is a dysfunctional alternate world? Maybe it's just a generation in our future.
I mean... one hop at a time!
NOTES IN THE MORNING
- Seems I'm "hopping mad" about the world's dithering over Iran's nuclear program. American Democrats waffle on intervention, but the Republicans are unthinking thugs. Still, European diplomacy gets dissed here too. My dreams urge preventive intervention now. To hell with sovereignty. To hell with the political cost. War costs, and nuclear war costs everything.
- Bouncing like Flubber: probably a second pun. I'm a jingoist American shaman: I practice gumboot diplomacy!
- Is the dream literal, urging a raid on Iran's nuclear facilities? I doubt it; this wasn't our Iran. Besides, if diplomacy fails everyone knows the Israelis will do it--no need for me to hop the border in a raid of one. Strange image.
- Magic powers: dreaming, I often have odd abilities like the powers of a lucid dreamer, without ever asking myself "Am I dreaming?" I just go ahead and do the impossible and see what happens. (Try it! Awake, too. You never know whose war you'll stop.)
- Those desert horizons: my mom died six weeks ago. She named me executor and I'm still settling her estate; my home is jammed with old furniture and paperwork. So despite the dust and danger, I liked those far horizons, big leaps... direct actions.
- The Shah: I have a thing about shahs, ever since the ancient King of Persia took over my bedroom and wouldn't clean up his messes...
- Hop: hope? My dreams do like this pun: see Clay and Hop for example. What do I hope for here? One possibility is...
- Post-theocratic Iran! After reading Persian Mirrors and Lipstick Jihad and seeing Women's Prison, I've wondered how long the regime has left. How long, in the broader view, fundamentalism (of any flavor) has left. Not that I think another Shah is the answer--sorry, royalists!
- Tonight I saw Life on Mars, a British show about a detective who wakes up to find it's 1970 again! Bizarre events make him suspect he’s in a coma, hallucinating it all. But he feels alive, and in this racist, sexist, corrupt time he can make a difference. When at last he wakes in the present he feels numb--literally. Cuts himself and feels no pain. Is this the dream? He jumps off the roof, hoping to land in 1970--or a coma. Choose your dream!
- Like the detective, Iran returns to the past. Like the detective, I long to make a difference via direct action. And so, like the detective, I jump...
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