Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Iranian Rambo

Authorities in authoritarian Iran have determined the latest threat to the Islamic Republic: squirt guns.
Agents of the regime fanned out across Tehran late last month to question toy store owners about whether the fake guns had been imported from America. Nope: made right in Iran or imported from China.
Why all this fuss? A water fight among playful youth at a water park.
After heeding a call on Facebook, a group of nearly 800 young men and women were among those who showed up at the park. They were surprised to find others there eager to drench anyone in sight.
They chased strangers around a giant water fountain, screaming and laughing as they splashed each other with water from toy guns, bottles and plastic bags.
"We had a blast. It was a rare chance for boys and girls to hang out in a public place and have fun," said Shaghayegh, a participant who did not want her last name to be used.
Among Iranian authorities, the fun and games triggered a different reaction. Police raided the park, engaging in a four-hour cat-and-mouse game with the youth, who turned their squirt guns on the cops and threw plastic bags full of water on the policemen's heads, according to participants and media reports.
Finally, park authorities cut off the water, rounded up dozens of young men and women, and dragged them to jail. Tehran's police chief vowed to crack down and warned that similar water-war events were planned in other cities….
"These events are a disgrace to our revolution. Our security forces and judiciary must stop the spreading of these morally corrupt actions," said conservative lawmaker Hossein Ibrahimi, according to official media.

As a daily reader of the Wall Street Journal, a story about Iran oppressing dissidents is nothing to raise eyebrows.  Iran throws dude in jail for tweeting, yadda yadda yadda.  Flays soles of feet for eating a big mac, yadda yadda yadda.  Electrocutes mother of three for taking a picture of a cloud, etc etc etc.  But even to a hardened veteran of these stories like me, this one caught my attention.
            At first I thought nothing of it because it was in that bottom center section of the cover page, which is usually reserved for some useless feel good story about protecting hamster breeding grounds or something.  But then, as I flipped the inconveniently large page, elbowing the young business lady next to me on the train in the face, the picture above caught my eye.  Some lady in full Muslim garb blasting off at the hip with a water gun like she’s fucking Rambo.  It took me a second to realize it, and I had to flip back to the cover (elbowing the business lady again.  Side note: WSJ—if you are reading this—please shrink your page size to normal human standards.  Are you planning to display a full military map of Asia on this bad boy?  Let’s save this woman a bloody nose and years of therapy for sitting next to me and cut this thing down to size).
            I had to read the whole article twice to even believe it.  Like…they are talking about water guns, right?  Water guns?  Like, little plastic toys?  Are we serious?  They got arrested for playing WITH WATER GUNS?  In America, we have heated debates over whether or not a dude should be able to carry an AK in his pocket and these kids are being treated like terrorists because they have water guns??  American lawmakers try to make laws that limit people to buying one gun a month…and we are talking real guns here, ones with bullets…and we are all up in the Supreme Court like, “But Your Honor, what about Christmas?!?!”
            Listen Iran, it is every kids Allah-given right to semi drown his buddy with a Supersoaker 7000 with a telescopic laser scope and heat seeking water missiles.  No revolutionary guard or secret police can stop this. 
            I would have loved to see this lawmaker make that speech too.  Can he have possibly said that with a straight face?  No way there wasn’t a room of his buddies laughing their asses off as he tried to make a bunch of kids playing with water guns sound like Children of the Corn.  I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
            All of you who were worried about Iran gaining influence in the Middle East and acquiring nukes and building a navy in the Persian Gulf…stop.  If there kids can’t even use water guns, they don’t stand a chance.  Between Supersoakers, Nerf, and xBox, American kids are practically trained assassins by the age of 13.  I spent four years in the Army and I meet toddlers who know more about weapon specs than me from playing Call of Duty.  Instead of air strikes we should just air drop in loads of Nerf guns and let the place tear itself apart from the inside. 

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