Monday, February 11, 2008

300 Less Popular In Iran than actual Americans

I was reading a very fine article in the Travel section of the Sunday New York Times on visiting Iran (the entire is online as well). The author James Vlahos is in fact American, but as a frequent correspondent for National Geographic, one not wholly unfamiliar with inhospitable locales. As it turns out he was welcomed by almost everyone he encountered and said that all he had to do to make a new friend or get invited to tea was stand still for about 30-seconds. I mention this partly because the author stated that the subject that most aggrieved Iranians was less Bush/Cheney's endless saber-rattling which they were basically used to; but rather how the Persians were portrayed in film adaptation of Frank Miller's 300.

The articles ends charmingly enough with the author in a cafe that goes entirely quiet when he reveals to the man beside him that he is American. All eyes turn to him and then the man beside him pats him on the shoulder and says happily "Our governments are bad, but the people are good." Truer words were never spoken.

Of course there's another comics tie in the frequent references to the pre-Islamic ruins of Persepolis for which Marjane Satrapi named her acclaimed graphic novel about growing up in Iran.

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