Jackomania: A Gift to Ahmadinejad

Have you noticed how Iran has dropped off the news cycle and the brave protesters in that hideous dictatorship have disappeared into a netherworld we cannot see? One shudders at the fate of the many Iranian champions of democracy who, in the past two weeks, have been dragged off to an unspeakable fate. We stopped knowing about the new Iranian revolution because the world decided to fixate on the death of an imperfect man who, in my estimation, is of little importance in the great scheme of things. Except for those of us keeping in constant touch with Iranian Twitterers and Facebook pals, it is hard to find some real news about what many of us thought would be the stunning ouster of the ayatollahs. After all, in 1979 these ninth-century imams told their people to go forth and multiply and now, thirty years later, the babies who became the millions of young people are revolting against those very same mullahs.

At the recent D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth, I was shocked by the mirth of the young cadets on duty and their hilarity when a visitor asked them if they had been to visit Auschwitz. If our youth today have no political perspective and feel the sum total of life experience should be -- may he rest in peace -- Jackomania, democracy is doomed to a precarious future. Conversely, Twitter and Facebook were introducing the young of the world to a staggering moment in Persian history as June 21, the longest day, passed by. The aforementioned youth of Iran are leading the new revolution and all the media can do is obsess on Michael Jackson.

Yes, some say to me that the spectacular nature of the Jackson demise and the accompanying assemblage of stars, rabbis, preachers, civil rights leaders, psychologists, and spoon-benders is a slap in the face of the medieval Islamic nations that would have long ago slain Michael Jackson. Yes, the hoopla is part of the dynamism of a free society. But I find it unsettling that the media, who can at times change the course of history by concentrating on the right stuff, have been accomplices to hysteria. Ahmadinejad, in my view, is laughing his head off at his terrific luck; he has very likely gleefully removed his bulletproof vest with zest as the world abandons what could have been the people's revolution and the transformation of the region.