Sunday, June 28, 2009

Did the Pasdaran kill Michael Jackson?

Since the disputed Iranian election on June 12th, every major English and French news network available in Canada has been dominated by the story, with hourly, if not quarter-hourly updates on the protests and the government's responses.

If you've been wondering why I haven't weighed in on the subject (and I assume that you have been wondering exactly that), it's partly because I have little to say that isn't already being said. That fantastic British journalist Robert Fisk has been in Iran, and I recommend his columns in the Independent for some analysis that cuts through the jungle of Twitters and the forest of TV news coverage.

Thursday night, however, something happened that pushed the Iranian story from the main headline to the second or third story on the news - Michael Jackson had died. Ever since, it's all that English broadcasters seem interested in (although, as usual, French media seem to offer just a bit more depth).

Rather convenient for the Iranians, eh? In fact, suspiciously convenient . . .

Seriously speaking, it really says something about our culture, when an ongoing crisis with profound implications for the geopolitics of the Middle East and the fates of millions of people is displaced in our consciousness by a man who was famous for singing some catchy tunes, dressing up in funny clothes, building a small theme park, molesting some children, and having a heart attack at the age of 50.

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