me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Iranian democracy rally

Back from NYC rally in support of democracy and the opposition in Iran. I've spent 40 years in what's loosely called the Movement, have been going to rallies/demonstrations/political events since I was in red diapers. This was an interesting one: totally amateur. Confused, disorganized. In the end, the green balloons went up, which was the point -- similar rallies all over the world tonight, with green balloons. (Go to Keith Snyder's Facebook page to see photos; I've been defeated in my attempt to post them here.) But the chanting? "The people/united/will never be defeated." What happened to "Allah o akbar?" That's what they're shouting from the rooftops of Tehran. Shouldn't we have been shouting with them, in solidarity?

But is it an entirely bad thing, this amateurism? No. In the end, no. It's a fascinatng reflection of the whole opposition movement. After 9/11 I remember a long sad discussion with a friend about how evil is so much more nimble than good is. Well, I might have to reconsider that. The Iranian opposition is exciting because it's something new: as close as anything we've seen to non-hierarchical, non-linear, horizontal, web-and-node political organization. This is a Twitter, Facebook, Bluetooth revolution. And the grassroots opposition is better at it. The government, that big ponderous thing, can only react, and can only react with a sledgehammer to attacks with a thousand pinpricks.

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