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September 10, 2005

Everyone Connected To Everything

There's an extremely interesting post on Jonathan "Hugo Zoom" Versen's site about his mother Nezhat. Try not to read between the lines about the effect stupid, cruel politicians must have had on her life, because it would make you rip out your hair in anger.

Among the highlights:

• she left Iraq at seventeen by herself in 1951 to come to the US to go to college
• she hosted an Iraqi children's TV show in the late fifties
• she liked to sing "Over the Rainbow" to Jonathan V. over the phone

Read the whole thing.

Posted at September 10, 2005 06:54 PM | TrackBack

First of all, thanks again for your words of advice and your supportiveness. But Jon-- don't rip your hair out in anger either. The difficulties my mother experienced from '65--2004 were quite tangible, but she was not a political refugee by any means.

Although we wandered around Europe and the middle east from '65-'74, my mother lived in San Antonio since 1974,moving well before the 1990-2003 US/Brit embargo, the Iran/Iraq war of the '80s, etc.

The values I was brought up with simply will not allow me to be a Susie Madrak or (MUCH farther down that continuum) an Eminem, talking about virtually every little nook and cranny of my life or that of my family's. And I'm not putting Susie and Eminem down either-- that's their road.

I'm still trying to figure out my sense of "blog distance". Somewhere between Xymphora and Susie, but that's a pretty broad spectrum! My friend and fellow Dentonite Arvin Hill asked me why I felt compelled to reveal myself, why I didn't consider embarking on IraqDoc '07 simply as Hugo Zoom. (Don Binz of the Fiat Blog! pointed out that with Zoom as in lens as my "last name" I had a pseudonym that was tailor-made for becoming a mysterious filmmaker.) But that didn't feel right either.

I hate to admit that Alan Hale,Jr as the Skipper pretending to be a singing Polonius to his "son" Dawn Wells introduced me to the dictum,
when I was 11 or 12 and dreamed of growing up to marry Tina Louise, but Sherwood Schwartz and Shakespeare were right--

to thine own self be true.

Posted by: Jonathan versen at September 10, 2005 08:32 PM

Ha! You know, this is a perfect example of the problem with communication that I previously spoke of.

The thing is, I didn't actually mean here that your mother was a political refugeee. In my mind, I was just trying to express that the US policies toward the Middle East and Iraq in particular (certainly beginning with our support for the 63 and 68 coups) would negatively impact anyone from Iraq, refugee or not... if only because it prevented the US from developing normal, friendly ties with the mideast.

But as I say, that was just in my mind. For people who do not live inside my mind, my meaning was hard to discern.

Also—I too struggle with the right level of blargh distance. It's a conundrum.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at September 16, 2005 03:51 AM

Well, there you go then. And thanks for not scolding me for not finding Dawn Wells hotter.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at September 16, 2005 08:07 AM

I would never scold you for that. Your inexplicable Tina Louise fixation only leaves more Mary Ann for me.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at September 16, 2005 08:13 AM