Watching My Uncompleted Novel Go Down in Flames
Here we have a video of an Iranian paramilitary before and after he fired randomly into a crowd of protestors, killing at least one person. (Well, they did set fire to his building.)
We can see his face. There are people watching this video who probably know where he lives, and who his parents and family are and where they live. I don't think he's got much of a future.
There is a scene just like this in the novel I'm working on. My whole novel is playing itself out before my very eyes. All its specialness and wonderfulness, coolness and invention is curling up and dying in fire, as if one of the incendiaries from Fahrenheit 451 found it before I could even finish it. The Twitter Revolution in Moldova was bad enough, but at least it didn't get a lot of coverage over here, and most Americans never heard of Moldova.
Iran is different.
I feel like all those guys who were working on Cold War novels when the Wall fell.
The parade of demonstrators in Tehran today was nine kilometers long. It's a People Power revolution fired up by social media--- you don't get a crowd that big by sticking up posters on lamp posts.
(Does the use of Twitter in Iran somehow absolve it of totally sucking?)
Hackers are also proving useful, by attacking Iranian government web sites. (But be careful, script kiddies of the world--- you don't want to bring the whole system down.)
If you want to turn your computer into a proxy server to help Iranians avoid government roadblocks, "Austin Heap" provides instructions here. Be sure to read the disclaimers. I'd do this myself, but I have to admit that it's all beyond my competence.
As a final note, I'm startled by the wave of support for Ahmedinejad by American neocons like Marty Peretz ("Maybe the regime fiddled around a bit with the numbers at the polls and after the polling. Still, the outcome had a sense of authenticity.") and Martin Rubin. Maybe if there's regime change, and the Iranians liberate themselves, then the neocons won't get their holy war with Iran, and we won't get to liberate the Iranians by killing zillions of them. A great disappointment, to be sure.
UPDATE: The neocons aren't all speaking with one voice, it seems. Bill Kristol now demands that Obama immediately issue a statement of support to the protestors. Why? Because Hitler invaded Poland in 1939! (No, really! Read it yourself!) Ahmadinejad is Hitler! Obama is Chamberlain! So I guess Kristol's idea is for Obama to support the protestors, Ahmadinejad to denounce them as American puppets and kill them, and then we still get to invade Iran! Yay!