Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The New Yorker

My Tour of Cranky Old Revolutions

The first thing that struck me during a trip to Cuba this month was how much it reminds me of Iran. Despite divergent ideologies—one Communist, the other Islamic—the aging revolutions emit the same cranky melancholia. Rhetoric is still defiant, but public zealotry has atrophied. The graffiti of rebellion, once vibrant, has faded.

In Old Havana, only part of a popular street painting of Che Guevara, with his long locks and trademark beret, has survived the years; his washed-out mouth and mustache have been filled in with a Sharpie. In Tehran, billboards of the early turbaned revolutionaries are so dull, from the sun and the decades, that they seem ghost-like.
Read on....


  1. I feel this journalist neglected the single most important factor in her comparisons: history itself. One can observe faded billboards and slogans, as well as the "faded graffiti of rebellion," across the globe. This article seems to me have strained to make Iran and Cuba comparable on the most superficial level conceivable: external appearances. What a sad lack of depth. More valuable would have been a close scrutiny of the US role in sabotaging popular aspirations in both countries. The author mentions those aspirations only in passing.