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Iran vs. Hollywood

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Xerxes: awesome?

So anyway, apparently the Mullahs of Iran are not scary theocrats after all. They’re actually tender petals with exquisitely sensitive feelings. In fact, I hear they silently weep into their beards when nobody is looking.

No, really: according to The Guardian, the regime has just hired a French lawyer named Isabelle Coutant-Peyre to take the directors and producers of Hollywood to court for something they call “Iranophobia.” Speaking this Monday at the intriguingly titled “The Hoax of Hollywood” conference, Coutant-Peyre said: “I’ll be defending Iran against films that have been made by Hollywood to distort the country’s image, such as ‘Argo.’”

Other movies the Iranian authorities find offensive include “The Wrestler,” where Mickey Rourke plays a fat old wrestler, and “300,” where the ancient Persians are portrayed as scary ninjas in cool masks, while their king is a superhuman giant. Is that so bad? Would they like to have been the Greeks – a bunch of sweaty, naked young swains heavily into male bonding? I doubt it.

Anyway, The Guardian’s report continues: “A statement at the end of Monday’s meeting condemned ‘Argo’ as a ‘violation of international cultural norms’ and said that the award was a ‘propaganda attack against our nation and entire humanity.’”

Wow, they really hate Ben Affleck, don’t they? Well, OK, so maybe it’s irritating to always find yourself being portrayed as the baddie. But it’s not as if the Iranians do a lot to help themselves in that regard. “Argo” is based on a hostage crisis because…well, it actually happened.

Meanwhile, an accurate portrayal of what the regime is up to these days would be much more offensive – shooting unarmed female protestors, hanging gays, dispatching a scruffy little man to the UN to spout anti-Semitic rubbish or ramble on about an ethereal light, chucking monkeys into space…the list just goes on and on.

That being the case, is it really worth getting worked up about Ben Affleck’s movies?

Apparently, yes.

Still, even if you do think that Hollywood is unfair to Iranians, then what about the

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Daniel Kalder is an author and journalist originally from Scotland, who currently resides in Texas after a ten year stint in the former USSR. Visit him online at www.danielkalder.com
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