Listening to Phil Collins - Take Me Home from No Jacket Required.
The week has been somewhat surreal. Very intense at work. The world beyond too has been intense. There is a very strange seriousness the permeates the air and it seems distant and yet not.
At my age, I've seen my share of graphic pictures and certainly at least since the Vietnam War era graphic media has encroached everyone's life to some degree. Even if it is only regular TV, the news and even much of the programing has perhaps softened us to some degree to the shock of visual brutality, pain, suffering.
I like to think of our nation as one in which dissent is highly regarded. It was largely the basis for the very formation of this nation, but dissent here has been remolded from those early days. We sometimes develop a hardened resistance to any public display of protest that runs counter to our own individual views. While people in this country on occasion are held in the personal contempt of others for expressing themselves on various topics, we don't often find ourselves in the same position those in 1989 were in who met with tanks in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square or as people have this week in the streets of Tehran.
Each day this week I've seen disturbing Tweets out of Tehran as well as video feeds of protesters meeting with not just resistance but the real likely prospect of physical harm and even death. How deep the opposition is to the government in Iran and the ruling Clerics is difficult to judge but it is clearly a significant voice if not a majority. The hope of a better life for the average person in Iran to many seems tied to the nation immerging from the isolation that it has been locked into as a result of the path that it has been on at the hands of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Clerics who have continued to support him against real concerns for credibility in the outcome of the recent Presidential election.
These past few days, what information has seeped through the information wall that the Iranian government has sought to impose shows a very real struggle that is being waged between a massive resistance and the government. A resistance so brutal that some dissenters are paying the price of their lives for the change they believe must come to their homeland. Such change would not come without a tremendous price. How much these people are willing to endure and how long they will continue to expose themselves to the high cost of their dissent will no doubt be a factor in if and when real change comes to Iran. No one, not even the Iranian government or the opposition can predict with any certainty the outcome. What is clear is that each of us is a witness to history in the making as each day passes. I am reminded of the calling of poets to be aware of the world around them. To be witnesses to that world.
Warning: Graphic Video
The Lede - Updating news of the disputed election in Iran