Saturday, July 12, 2003

Canadian journalist dies, apparently of injuries inflicted by Iranian police. (I read it first at hoder.) Remember all the stories about how it's Arab mercenaries who are beating up Iranians, not Iranians themselves? Usually when terrible things happen they can be blamed on the "other" be it Ansar or Arabs (or before the revolution, Israelis). (The police sometimes join in, as on 18 Tir.) The third-person plural pronoun is always used: they will beat you up if you go to the protests, they have arrested the student leaders. It's often used as a way of deflecting any sort of responsibility for what happens, or feeling better about oneself - it's "them" who did it, not me or us. Self-criticism entails that Iranians accept some sort of collective responsibility for the things this awful government does.

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