You get what you want

Adherents of faith often bemoan the lack of ‘values’ in modern culture. But don’t they secretly enjoy the diversity provided by the secular world? The 85-90% of Americans who say they believe in god participate in and benefit from secular culture all the time. They get to dip in when they feel like it, all the while clucking disapprovingly. But the way they talk, they wish it would all go away. Here’s what happens when the faithful get what they want.

UPDATE: 12.20.05 AP is reporting widespread flouting of Iran’s music ban. It doesn’t appear to have been taken seriously. But even the fact they tried shows the desperation of fundamentalism: they have denied the essentials of human nature, and have nothing to offer in terms of a human cultural experience. They cannot compete on a level playing field. So they have to resort to strong arm tactics. Pathetic.

Comments (4 comments)

Aaron Kinney / December 19th, 2005, 3:42 pm / #1

I read this on CNN earlier today too. I actually dont think it will be all that bad though, and may even work against the new hardliner president more than help him. Heres why:

Western music is a grassroots movement in Iran, especially with the youth. The youth in Iran buy rock and rap CDs from Western artists through a black market where the CDs are pirated copies anyway.

So will the new presidents banning of this music be effective? I bet it will be as effective as America’s prohibition laws were at stopping people from drinking. In other words, it wont do what its intended to do -to stop Iranians from listening to Western music.

And how could it hurt Irans regime? Well, Iranian youth are not likely to agree with the morality or logic behind the ban, regardless of what they think of Bush or other Western political powers. The Iranian youth has little trouble differentiating between Western music and Western politics, and they can -and have- embraced one while condemning the other.

So the Iranian youth will likely groan and wince in displeasure over this new rule, and it will further undermine the regime and stoke anti-fundamentalist sentiments within the youth of the country. Remember that they recently had big college-campus protest action? Those sentiments havent dissapeared within the youth, and those sentiments will only be increased because the youth will feel like their government is trying to control and oppress them more.

Lets just hope the black market and trading of Western music in Iran can withstand a crackdown. I think it easily can. If America cant stop local trading of pirated movies and music, what makes one think that Iran can stop the trading of Western media within its own borders?

Francois Tremblay / December 19th, 2005, 3:59 pm / #2

Once again a classic case of projection. Where are the values in Christianity ? The utilitarian crock of shit of the Ten Commandments ? The exhortation to kill your disobedient children ? Where the fuck are their values ?!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Christians are only moral by imitation. There is no such thing as moral Christianity.

BlackSun / December 19th, 2005, 4:21 pm / #3

Good point, Aaron. I don’t think these zealots will be successful either. But much like the government of the Soviet Union, they can make things miserable and cause millions of people to live in fear for a long time. I’d bet money that once this decree comes into force, harsh jail sentences and worse will be handed down.

I wanted to show an example of the end result of the ‘moral values’ argument in the culture wars. And of course, Francois, they have absolutely no standing. But they won’t stop trying.

They’re trying the same thing in the US with video games:,2101,69851,00.html

Culture is the ultimate tool of subversion of collectivism and statism. It shows what’s possible for an individual to achieve, and is also an irresistable force for setting trends and the popular agenda. But this is why the Soviets controlled even xerox machines, and why the Iranians have to attempt to control western media of all types.

They’re all on the wrong side of history, though.

Aaron Kinney / December 20th, 2005, 4:37 pm / #4

Well summarized there, Blacksun. I think its cool that sometimes the most profound statements on blogs are in the comments sections of profound posts.

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