All The More Reason

In the gutter
March 5, 2007, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Azar Nafisi, Iran, Masoud Golsorkhi

‘You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses’, remarks the woman in the Irish folk song, spying a drunk who lies comatose in the street with a pig. Upon hearing this reproach, the wino’s porcine companion gets up and ‘slowly walks away’.

The Guardian newspaper’s tipple of choice seems nowadays to be a rather vile cocktail of moral relativism and anti-Americanism. The strange brew has left it listlessly reeling, unable to tell where it is, or which way it ought to be facing. And its drunken pirouettes have attracted a number of curious beasts to rest alongside it in the gutter. Take Masoud Golsorkhi, who was recently offered the newspaper’s ‘Comment is Free’ blog as a platform from which to rain excrement on Azar Nafisi, Iranian feminist and author of ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’.

As editor of Tank, a London based ‘ fashion, arts and ideas magazine’, Golsorkhi engages daily in a brave underground struggle with the forces of imperialism To use his own words, he is no ‘white collar warrior’: here, for example, we see him ruthlessly battling American hegemony in his defiantly open-necked, grey collar. Each feature on Venezuelan post-punk brings the revolution ever closer.

Golsorkhi’s piece illustrates the sort of moral idiocy that can force supposed progressives into reactionary positions. Secular feminists opposed to theocracy are fine, unless, of course, they call on the United States of America for support. Then they are no longer worthy of our solidarity, only our derision. Or worse: you don’t have to be the editor of an “ideas magazine” to read between the lines of a man who refers to women as ‘sexy…supplicants in the corridors of power…peddling their wares’. That Golsorkhi has the gall to ventriloquize the aspirations of feminists whilst employing such a filthy slur should come as no surprise. This is, after all, the man who speaks for all Iranians when he tells us, from his chrome-finished Shoreditch offices, that we should ignore anyone who is not ‘at the coalface of daily struggle with despotism’. I expect Golsorkhi’s work is a daily struggle, but for rather different reasons.

Michael P


2 Comments so far
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For good measure, Golsorkhi’s original CiF post erroneously claimed that “Reading Lolita in Tehran” is dedicated to Paul Wolfowitz. I expect this came from a reading of ‘What’s Left?’ by Nick Cohen, in which the same mistake is made. Perhaps it was unreasonable to expect Golorkhi to have actually read the work of the woman he criticises.

Comment by Justin M

The latest edition is entitled, “Dior or Die”. I’m glad somebody somewhere is taking this fashion house issue seriously at last.

Comment by MikeH

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