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Diary Of An Iranian Teacher
  
 
 
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جمعه 14 اسفند‌ماه سال 1383
Fred letter
You certainly have some very bright students. Their responses are
right on target. Yes, I've  seen "Taxi Driver" and it is a brilliant film.
I think this was Scorcese's high point as his succeeding films, to me at
least, are uninteresting. Also, the young Robert DeNiro was brilliant in
this film and in "The Godfather" too. Lately he's all over the place in a
collection of brain-dead comedies that prove he's money-crazy. Two books
that I can heartily recommend are "Revolt of The Masses" by Jose Ortega Y
gasset (an ancient classic) and "The Coming Anarchy" by Robert Kaplan. My
reading is a bit scattered but in the past several years I've drifted
towards geo-political stuff simply because the world, as we know it, is in
the midst of convulsive change and I'm trying to make sense of it. Robert
Kaplan, a modern writer, travels throughout the former Russian Empire,
Africa and the middle east and has much to tell us. I'm a bit uncertain of
how available books and magazines etc. are available to you. Are your
libraries good and can you order material that might not be in tune with
your gov't? Another book you should read is Daniel Yergin's treatise about
the great oil companies and how they drained the middle east. I'm suddenly
unable to recall the title but I'm sure you can find it. Finally, you
described life in Iran as "soul-breaking", a very provocative description.
Please try to detail for me some of the difficulties you are coping with.
I'll close with one last observation. Freedom is a double-edged sword.
It's advantages are obvious but they come at a very steep price. For
example, here in the U.S. we are saddled with a very corrupt pop culture
simply because there are no strict guidelines regarding dress, music,
literature and behavior. Moronically banal tv talk shows and sitcoms fill
the air as this is what the masses demand. After all, they have huge
buying power so the advertisers aim everthing at this jungle mentality.
When Muslim's call us "The Great Satin", I can't really blame them. As the
great Winston Churchill once said, "democracy is the worst system in the
world.......except for all the others. FRED

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