Saturday, February 13, 2010

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that I, James, am back, presumably for good.

The bad news is that Drona is gone and probably will be for a very long time.

Why is that bad news, you ask? Let me tell you a story.

At about the same time anti-Drona protests were rocking this blog, the government of Iran, where Drona has been writing from, was bracing for anti-government protests marking the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Protests have been taken particularly seriously in Iran since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election last summer, and the government has been constantly looking for ways to calm people down before the pepper spray runs out.

Their most recent tactical innovation, announced last week, was banning gmail and encouraging people to sign up for a new state-sponsored email system.

For many people, of course, this will be extremely convenient. Having too much email is a widespread symptom of modern life, and it's comforting to think there are places in the world where even when you don't have time to read your own email, someone in the government just might be reading it for you.

Without access to his gmail account, though, Drona also can't access Blogger. Unless Iran lifts its permanent ban, Drona may have forever disappeared.

Alanis Morissette: please pay belated attention. Unlike many things mentioned in your popular 1996 song, this actually is ironic. A crackdown on protests on the other side of the world has given victory with unexpected swiftness to protests here. We are freed from virtual tyranny, indirectly, by very real tyrants.

So why do I feel so sad?


  1. I would far rather that Iran had been freed from real tyranny by our virtual dictator.

    That would be an irony to celebrate.

  2. Amen to that. Compared to real-life oppressors, our Drona seems downright beneficent.

  3. I wonder if that's where Big Sister went too?

    I'll miss Drona's rigid standards about writing. My students probably see me as a bit of a Drona, to tell you the truth.

  4. I'm glad we don't have to deal with Drona....but I agree, the liberation of Iranians would be better than the liberation of one blogger.


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