July 10, 2018

"Iranian officials have grown increasingly exercised by the online behavior of their fellow citizens."

"In the 'Wrong Path' [TV] program, a justice official said that many people online suffer from 'inferiority complexes' and are only interested in getting as many likes as possible. Talking to one of those arrested, the official, Farid Najafnia, said he was shocked. 'I asked, Did you have no shame, no modesty,' he said in an interview for the TV program. 'You published publicly the most private things that should be protected by personal privacy. She said: I recognize cyberspace as a totally private space. Private, in a way that for instance 8,000 people would come and like it? Is this real? Is this true?'"

From "Iran’s Shaming of Young Dancer Draws Backlash" (NYT). The story begins with a focus on one teenage girl, Maedeh Hojabri, who put up a video on YouTube of herself dancing in her bedroom. She was arrested and, later, she turned up on the show "Wrong Path," crying and saying that dancing is crime. She has supporters who have protested by putting up videos of themselves dancing.

The Iranian government looks so awful in its criminalization of dancing, arrest of teenagers who post videos on YouTube, and putting individual citizens through televised shaming, but the fretting about the effect of social media and wondering what the government should do doesn't sound so alien.
Last week the judiciary warned that Instagram, which has 24 million users in Iran, might be closed because of its “unwanted content.” Ms. Hojabri, and other internet celebrities like her are called “antlers” by hard-liners for the way they stand out on Instagram....
Antlers! I guess that's Iranian slang denoting things that stick out. Maybe there's an Iranian "Urban Dictionary" out there, but I thought our own beloved Urban Dictionary might have picked up the Iranian slang. The top definition works well enough:
Anything that sticks out from anything else... oh man, I think my pants antler just leaked.
ADDED: The question whether "cyberspace as a totally private space" is especially important because Iranians are allowed to dance in their private spaces, just not in public. The teenager was in her bedroom, obviously a private space, but she put video up on YouTube. Does that constitute dancing in public? An American-style answer to that question is that the government ought to at least be forced to make a clear statement outlawing publicly sharing video of dancing done in private.

74 comments:

rehajm said...

Farsi Footloose

tim in vermont said...

She was arrested and, later, she turned up on the show “Wrong Path," crying and saying that dancing is crime.

There there,honey. It could have been worse. You could have voted against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Ralph L said...

They should do the Antler Dance.

gilbar said...

Farsi Footloose
old joke remodeled for today's brave new world:
Know why it is that Persians won't make love standing up?
They don't want Allah to think they're dancing

rehajm said...

She wasn't in her bedroom when someone else watched it somewhere else.

-Primitive Man

David Begley said...

And let’s not forget that Barack, Hillary and Val propped up the Iranian government when it was on the verge of collapse. Twice.

There’s a special place in hell....

gilbar said...

I heard that these Iranians are such closed minded prudes that they are going to REMOVE the swimsuit competition from The Miss Persia Pageant!!!
Think of it! They are SO SHAMED of Women; that they took the swimsuit competition out of a swimsuit competition!!!

Ralph L said...

Private Antler Dance.
What a cheesy video.

Bob Boyd said...

An American style answer would be to secretly task the heads of internet companies to come up with algorithms for gradually purging all unapproved dancing from the internet.

mccullough said...

The American answer is to revolt. Get rid of those Mullahs. They are corrupt old men.

Oso Negro said...

When you start arresting teenagers for dancing, you are on the wrong side of the arc of history.

traditionalguy said...

A legalistic culture indeed. Dancing in private is OK. But dancing in public is a crime. The whole system is based on a religious pride which must never be offended or we will destroy you.

You can smell the same political correctness religious pride in today's anti free speech rioters.

tim in vermont said...

When you see a woman in a burkha scrolling on her smartphone, you have to figure that within a couple of generations, Islam is going to be something completely different.

Ralph L said...

Do they have private clubs for dancing? That's how parts of the South got around the old likker laws.

traditionalguy said...

Radio Free Iran needs to start broadcasting 1950's rock and roll 24/7. The Mullahs will fall.

John Tuffnell said...

Should have done the Safety Dance -- where we can leave your friends behind, cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance, well they're are no friends of mine. That was Men Without Hats, which might also be illegal in Iran and get you sent to Wrong Path for public shaming.

tim in vermont said...

Blogger Ralph L said...
Private Antler Dance.
What a cheesy video.


The first one was better.

gilbar said...

if they're going to do Men Without Hats; they'd be kind obligated to do Flock of Seagulls too: IRAN IRAN SO FAR AWAY

Robert Cook said...

"The American answer is to revolt. Get rid of those Mullahs. They are corrupt old men."

Yeah, sure. You're probably one of those who thinks protestors are offensive.

BTW, our government is mostly corrupt old men, too, and some women.

tim in vermont said...

BTW, our government is mostly corrupt old men, too, and some women.

And Fidel Castro became a warlord king in all but name and died one of the richest men in the world.

tim in vermont said...

BTW, Robert, how is the little experiment in Venezuela going? Or is that another, and I know you guys aren’t going to believe this, but it’s true, it’s one more case where real socialism hasn’t been tried.

You see, socialism works great in Norway, where they are sitting on a lake of oil that has produced 12 trillion and counting dollars in oil revenue, mostly sold to other countries for hard cash, but Venezuela can’t even get that right!

tim in vermont said...

The difference between Castro and the worst robber baron you can name is that Castro personally killed many of his enemies, so that makes him “authentic.”

Fernandistein said...

Iranian officials have grown increasingly exercised by dancing, ha ha I get it. Those Iranian officials sure are a laff riot.

BTW, Coyne's blog can brag "Banned in Pakistan" because of a comic strip.

Big Mike said...

The Iranian mullahs are dyslexic — they think it’s the 12th century and not the 21st.

tcrosse said...

BTW, our government is mostly corrupt old men, too, and some women.

Let's replace them with some corrupt young men and women.

Michael K said...

"You're probably one of those who thinks protestors are offensive."

No, only the ones who scream to people in bookstores and attack them at rallies where the people are just trying to get back to their cars, like Chicago, San Jose and all those other lefty run cities.

Especially the ones who say, "I know where you live."

Fernandistein said...

gilbar said...
The Miss Persia Pageant!!!


I voted for Niloofar but she wouldn't "put out", at least not voluntarily.

walter said...

Google Farid Najafnia (the shaming official)and see what internet privacy looks like.
I bet these officials have gone frame by frame through the girl's videos.
https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-child-marraige/28123820.html

Robert Cook said...

"And Fidel Castro became a warlord king in all but name and died one of the richest men in the world."

That's not pertinent to our country.

Robert Cook said...

"The difference between Castro and the worst robber baron you can name is that Castro personally killed many of his enemies, so that makes him 'authentic.'”

But the concerted efforts of all the corporate barons together have killed or impoverished far more people than were ever harmed by Castro. Again, though, Castro is not pertinent to our country.

Robert Cook said...

BTW...how many people do you know that Castro killed "personally?" Not that it minimizes the crimes if the deaths under Castro were killed only on his orders or as a result of his policies, rather than by his own hand, but...since you raised the issue: how many people do you know he personally killed?

Big Mike said...

But the concerted efforts of all the corporate barons together have killed or impoverished far more people than were ever harmed by Castro.

Prove it! I say that it's a lie and you're a liar.

Again, though, Castro is not pertinent to our country.

Also untrue.

tim in vermont said...

That’s not pertinent to our country.

You tell me why, almost every single time it’s tried, except perhaps in Scandinavia, where there was cultural and racial uniformity, and, as I said, trillions of dollars worth of oil, why it is that “socialism” keeps. throwing up these all powerful despots?

You explain how you solve that problem for me. How do you prevent another Kim, as happened in North Korea when, once again, a detour from the shining path to a workers’ paradise was taken. But you won’t answer this question, you would rather discuss trivia than the latest experiment in socialism, which, one would think, would be of intense interest to you.

Castro sent snipers to Venezuela to take out the leaders of demonstrations against Chavez there. One would think you might be as horrified as I would be if I found out one of my own children were a violent thug, but “that is not pertinent to our country” is your answer, I guess.

But the concerted efforts of all the corporate barons together have killed or impoverished far more people than were ever harmed by Castro.

OK, I guess I should have thrown in Mao and Stalin. There are some numbers that are hard to beat. Pol Pot...

narciso said...

as fall of heaven points out, the shah's regime, wasn't perfect by any means, it had corruption like any of it's brethren, but it was nothing like the legend mossadeq dead ender bani sadr portrayed to gullible fools like Rouleau, randall, salinger, true, Khamenei was a guest of evin prison, like dzerzinski was of the czars prisons, Ahmadinejad was later a warden in that facility,

however the precursor regime offered liberty for women, as much as it's neighbor Pakistan, before Mawdudi's pupil zia took it over, somewhat like what young prince salman is offering in the kingdom,

tim in vermont said...

orporate barons together have killed or impoverished

impoverished compared to what? Their condition prior to the rise of capitalism? I don’t think so. Even the ChiComs abandoned communism. They converted to fascism so fast, just like Russia did, that it almost looks like all that is needed to change between the two systems is a change of letterhead.

Yet here you are advocated that we change to an economic system that has failed over and over again. All socialist revolutions have ever accomplished is to replace the ruling class with a new one that has far more power to crush dissent. See Russia, China, etc...

Original Mike said...

”Iranians are allowed to dance in their private spaces”

Courteous of the Iranian “moderates,” no doubt.

narciso said...

there are apocryphal accounts that Khamenei attended Patrice Lumumba university, in the 50s, he was trained in soviet tactics, much like ramirez sanchez, or the Hezbollah doctor who
trained under abu nidal, and went on to torture William buckley to death.


the previous regime fell, because it angered both the bazaaris (merchants) and the mullahs as mossadeq had done 25 years before,

tim in vermont said...

I guess that evolutionary forces mean that eventually all governments will be either satrapies of the major powers, fought over in proxy wars, or dominated by small oligarchies, as in Russia, Cuba, China, Venezuela, that will brook no dissent.

“A government more totalitarian than which cannot be conceived” God as the state. That’s the future that you are advocating for, and it is probably inevitable. But it won’t come from the libertarian free market capitalists.

rehajm said...

But the concerted efforts of all the corporate barons together have killed or impoverished far more people than were ever harmed by Castro.

This is just stupid.

Michael K said...


"The difference between Castro and the worst robber baron you can name is that Castro personally killed many of his enemies, so that makes him 'authentic.'”

But the concerted efforts of all the corporate barons together have killed or impoverished far more people than were ever harmed by Castro.


Cookie once in a while lets the communist peek out.

Bob Boyd said...

"Again, though, Castro is not pertinent to our country."

It always comes down to the same old argument, "The right people haven't tried it yet."

Robert Cook said...

"Yet here you are advocated that we change to an economic system that has failed over and over again."

Really? When? Where?

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie once in a while lets the communist peek out."

In your fantasies, perhaps.

narciso said...

Zawahiri, a fellow we don't here that much about, is of a similar mindset, he unlike bin laden, did suffer as a member of the istambouli cell, against sadat, imprisoned in the citadel, like syed qutb, somewhat like his associate tarek zamour he rages against the Egyptian regime of al sisi, who managed to dispatch the salafi morsi, out of bounds,

this is the thing, these chieftains, warlords believe unto death, what do we use to rally in contrast,

narciso said...

fidel was very 'hands on' in the early days,

http://www.thecubanhistory.com/2013/08/a-man-named-emilio-tro-rivero-photos-un-hombre-que-se-llamo-emilio-tro-rivero-fotos/

he learned to delegate later, if you spot any parallels with Madison and missou it's no accident,

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Who cares what the Iranian theocracy does to a young woman dancing? Don't you know that Roseanne compared Valerie Jarrett to a movie?

Get some perspective people.

narciso said...

unlike bill ayers who delegated the direct action to others, he was more about speechifying and planning, as he's done with the educational system for 30 some years,

narciso said...

but he was trained by the Cuban spymaster, manuel pineiro who was a Columbia university grad whose stepson is the posts nick miroff,

narciso said...

although the day to day operations were handled by fabian escalante and the late jose abrahantes, who were they, they were trained in minsk around the time Oswald was a guest there, he pushed the kennedy assassination narrative, of cia plots, and the other fellow was executed in the Ochoa purge of 1989

Howard said...

Castro and Che are evil while Batista is a hero of the American Dream. It is a moral failure to be on the wrong side of the United Fruit Company

narciso said...

the front runner in the election of 1952, was an Annapolis trained engineer, carlos hevia, if he had won, fidel would have been most assuredly against him as well,

narciso said...

you get some notion here:


https://www.nytimes.com/1964/04/04/archives/carlos-hevia-president-of-cuba-for-three-days-in-1934-dead.html

Sebastian said...

"The Iranian government looks so awful in its criminalization of dancing, arrest of teenagers who post videos on YouTube, and putting individual citizens through televised shaming.

But hey, they've promised not to develop any nuclear weapons, so they are really quite nice.

Michael K said...

Blogger Howard said...
Castro and Che are evil while Batista is a hero of the American Dream. It is a moral failure to be on the wrong side of the United Fruit Company


What no one of the left will mention is that Batista was black, at least as black as Obama is.

narciso said...

He had his flaws, allowed the communists in the 30s, even gave them a ministry or two, this led to to the very statist 'living constitution' of 1940, was a strong ally with the us against the Nazis, some hard men like faget, Piedra, et al, kept order in that era, salas canizares and rey piernas, in the subsequent era, but he was despised by what in panama were called 'the white butts' they wanted someone more articulate, they got themselves a lenin,

narciso said...

how bad a constitution, it was based on Weimar, and the 1931 Spanish one, but cuba abided by it for 12 years, in opposition to what robert Jackson said about the American constitution,

narciso said...

it's a perspective, Stephen hunter or the late phillip kerr, and paul vidich, nephew of frank olson, doesn't even consider, why would they it gets in the way of the story,

Howard said...

Blogger Michael K said...

Blogger Howard said...
Castro and Che are evil while Batista is a hero of the American Dream. It is a moral failure to be on the wrong side of the United Fruit Company

What no one of the left will mention is that Batista was black, at least as black as Obama is.


This reminds me of when former Clippers owner Donald Sterling had to sell the team because of racist remarks. Bill Burr said give him a pass. He's not racist, he's just old.

Rusty said...

Bill Burr
Funny guy.
I doubt he'd play well in Iran.

tim in vermont said...

Really? When? Where?

Socialism. Most recent failure, Venezuela. Or are you not a socialist? Is that your claim? Or are you claiming that socialism hasn’t. failed over and over and over.

BTW, I don’t think that The United Fruit Company ever turned Cuba into a prison island, a place where people are so happy that they are forbidden to leave. A place where free expression is not allowed. I don’t remember the United Fruit Company enslaving whole countries like that.

If that murderous duo is on the right side of history, that is a tragedy for the human race.

tim in vermont said...

Let’s contact some Cubans via the internet and see how they are doing! Maybe you know. some good Cuban websites we can go on and freely comment, we can ask them about how great it is to be on the “right side of history.” These are just suggestions, I am sure you can think of some. We could invite some over to speak to us, randomly chosen from the happy socialist nation.

But you know, they are probably so happy, none would leave the island, greedy bastards, keeping all of that joy for themselves.

Seriously, what do you guys see in Cuba and Castro? Complete loss of freedom is the cost of universal health care? I will take my chances, thank you? The price of universal literacy is that the population is only allowed to read approved propaganda? Castro can be a multi billionaire as long as he doesn’t actually produce anything of value to others?

tim in vermont said...

"Gold taken by force is better than gold earned by labor,” the Conquistador’s motto.

tim in vermont said...

Cuba has snipers to shoot any swimmers who try to make Guantanamo. “Shot! Vile tryink to escape!”

narciso said...

well wifi is expensive and heavily censored:

https://babalublog.com/2018/07/10/cubas-castro-dictatorship-unleashes-a-wave-of-repression-against-the-cubadecide-campaign/

tim in vermont said...

Aymara Nieto mother of three girls remains in prison without charge, after a brutal beating. In the early hours of May 6 Aymara was assaulted at her house and beaten by of agents of the political police. Aymara is a promoter of the Cuba Decide Campaign and a member of UNPACU and the Ladies in White movements. Two of her companions, the ladies, Yolanda Santana and Nieves Matamoros have been sentenced to prison by the dictatorship.

Well, she should expect a brutal beating given that she is on the “wrong side of history.”

tim in vermont said...

That’s how it works, right?

narciso said...

that's about the size of it, yoani sanchez gets the plaudits, because she is at least willing to admit that the regime is a problem, however, unlike maria cruz varela, who was forced to eat her words, Osvaldo paya who was killed in what appeared to be a car accident, his Spanish parliamentarian associate was silenced,

Michael K said...

This reminds me of when former Clippers owner Donald Sterling had to sell the team because of racist remarks. Bill Burr said give him a pass. He's not racist, he's just old

Why ?

Milwaukie Guy said...

Older people can say odd things. I'm old.

The key thing is Sterling was forced to sell his business because of wrongthink.

Milwaukie Guy said...

First they came for the team owners....

Big Mike said...

Young Maedeh Hojabri is still better off than Neda Agha-Soltan nine years ago.

RichardJohnson said...

narisco:
but he was trained by the Cuban spymaster, manuel pineiro who was a Columbia university grad whose stepson is the posts nick miroff...

Google Advanced Search: Nick Miroff @ Babalu blog Nick Miroff sounds like the son-in-law of Red Beard a.k.a. Manuel Pineiro.

It doesn't speak well for the Post to employ someone with Cuban apparatchik ties- especially ties to the former head of Cuban intelligence.

narciso said...

A correction is in order, the front runner in 1952 elections was Roberto Agramonte an academic and member of the authentic party who rose to that position when a popular radio commentator shot himself

mikee said...

Will the citizens of Iran figure out to kill the mullahs first for their crimes against humanity, or will they be indiscriminate in their revolution against the government and their religious leadership?