Saturday, September 18, 2004

Elections & Locusts

I wrote a long boring review of the events of the summer and decided not to post it. Suffice to say that the Olympics are way cool. That's all I have to say. I am no longer an Olympics cynic. I can't, however, help hating the opening and closing ceremonies (not the parade of nations, mind you.). Speaking of the parade of nations, didn't it seem like half the countries represented were wearing the KLM flight attendant uniform?

Okay, jump to the present. Two things: elections and locusts.

While the rest of the world might be worrying about whether or not Iran is about to become a nuclear power, (Iranians actually think that the earthquake in Bam was the result of an underground nuclear test.) Iran is worried about locusts. Every night on the news we see footage of the locusts in Africa. There is a very real danger that they might make their way to Iran. These locusts are truly a plague of Biblical proportions.

To all my Iranian conspiracy theorist friends: underground nuclear tests can be detected. An article on the Lawrence Livermore Labs website ( tells how the radiation finds its way to the surface through fissures and, yes, faults.

Iranians are all asking me about the US elections. "Kerry was up in the polls," an Iranian friend says.

"That was yesterday," I told him. "Today it's Bush."

"My God," another friend said, "Can't Americans make up their minds?"

There was a discussion of which candidate to support. Half of the table was pro-Kerry and the other half was pro-Bush. "Bush is much better for Iran," the initiator of the conversation said.

"Who will win?" They ask me. (I have noticed that Iranians never ask me who I think will win. They always ask me: "Who will win?" Maybe it's an artifact of the language itself. Maybe it is representative of the conspiratorial mindset of Iranians.)

"Bush," I answer.

"No, Kerry will win," says another.

"If the world votes, Kerry will win." (Which is precisely Kerry's problem, I think. Americans really rankle at being subjected to world opinion. Perhaps it's an irrational response.)

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