Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Sponge Bob

I have a confession to make, I love the cartoon Sponge Bob Square Pants. I especially love Sandy the squirrel. She is such an amazing character, with her little aqua suit and her treadmill. So it is with no disrespect meant when I say that many of the mosques in Iran remind me of characters from the cartoon. Imagine the central dome like the head of an octopus with two skinny arms raised to the sky for the hazzans. I can't help but think that the mosques are alive.

Khomeini's tomb, on the other hand, feels like it was designed by Disney for the live action version of Aladdin. It is huge and gold.

Compared to the dusty, drab architecture of most of Iran, the mosques are a welcome diversion. They have such vivid colors and dramatic shapes and style. If it were not for the mosques, Iran would be an architectural wasteland of yellow brick and marble façade boxes. Architects! Iran needs you.

3 days to Freedom

There is this guy in America with his own television show who claims that he is bringing 50 planes to Iran on Friday in order to bestow freedom on this fine land.

How are Iranians responding? For them it is like the opening 5 minutes of Saturday Night Live. They think it's funny. Everyone I speak to is amused by the whole idea. Today I heard people joking about it. One claimed that it was a plot by the mullahs.

First of all, it is a logistical nightmare. Anyone who has ever landed in Iran's international airport would understand that. I guess he could land in Iraq and then bus the passengers of the 50 planes in, but that seems a bit silly as well.

They could parachute into the country.

They could all get visas and wait their turn on one of the airlines that flies into the country.

I guess we'll all know the outcome 3 days from now.

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