Friday, June, 14, 13

Written 14 Dec 2012

Filed under: a moment in my head,letters to emily — theradishpress @ 3:49 pm

I broke myself apart into pieces of each self I knew

I offered definitions descriptions explanations



all the words I could find to say look at me and everything that I am

I am this and I am that and sometimes there and sometimes here

I spread my words across sheets of endless paper,

     this time they will know me.


When they told me I was not who I said I was I told them they were who I knew them to be.

They were thieves and liars and colonizers and rapists and murderers and deniers of every truth that ever met them.


I set myself a space to breathe.

I gathered all those parts of me and held each one close to speak.

Monday, April, 11, 11

Dear France

Filed under: letters to emily — theradishpress @ 4:37 pm

by theradishpress

Dear France,

Way to be racist.


with warm regards and khafeh nashid Inshallah,


Tuesday, January, 4, 11

Dear Jason Bateman

Filed under: cinema,letters to emily — theradishpress @ 11:26 am
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by theradishpress

Dear Jason Bateman,

I applaud you sir. You are a great actor. I recently watched Juno after not having seen it perhaps since I first purchased the DVD. I had seen the movie in the cinema and recall really sympathizing with your character, Mark Loring. I watched the movie at least two, maybe three times, again after buying it, and each time I felt like I could relate to Mark. Mark is trapped in this picture perfect – a fact noted by Juno herself, drawn to them by their photo – suburban life with a home that matches everyone’s, a beautiful wife, a stable career, and squashed musical dreams. You play him with such charm and easy coolness. I felt like Juno, drawn to your musical knowledge and awesomely twisted love of gore. I remember feeling the connection between Mark and Juno, seeing it as an admiration on both parts. Juno views Mark as perhaps an older version of herself, someone who gives her hope that her child will have some cultural upbringing. Mark sees Juno as a reminder of his past and who he could still be. So, when Mark leaves Vanessa – played perfectly by Jennifer Garner – I supported him. It was not that I did not like Vanessa, because I did. And I still do. I just saw their incompatibility and Mark’s need to rediscover his creativity.

When I put Juno in last week I saw Mark in a whole new way. He is creepy and even says to Juno “How do you see me?” when she reprimands him for wanting to leave Vanessa and after sharing an intimate dance. It got me thinking Bateman, thinking about how you are a great actor. I already knew this. Well, I knew you could make me laugh a lot. I have also been re-watching Arrested Development and recently watched Smokin’ Aces. I would say that after Chris Pine you are my favorite character in the latter. That whole scene is out of nowhere and ridiculous in a great what the hell is going on sort of way. I suppose you were playing some alternate universe Barry Zuckerkorn. What I failed to realize is how great you are at subtlety. Part of what makes Mark so creepy and off-putting is that he is also charming, not to mention the already obvious handsome. It really unnerved me watching the exchanges between Juno and Mark, particularly the last one. I felt uneasy in my seat. Juno is so clueless. Despite Brenda’s (Alisson Janney) warning, she continues to visit the Lorings, mainly Mark. She even seeks comfort by calling him from school after a particularly hard day.

What bothered me most of all is not Mark or Juno’s interactions with him, after all, she is innocent and acts realistically. I cannot say that at 16 I would have been any smarter or aware. No, what really bothered me is the fact that I failed to see the creep factor the first 3 or 4 times I watched the movie. What the hell does that say about me? If I can’t get a good read on a movie character, someone whose personality is written out for me as a viewer, then how the hell do I expect to make it through life? So, I need to work on myself…as always, and how I read people. But really, I wanted to say to you, well done Jason Bateman. You fooled me like you fooled Juno.


Thursday, November, 18, 10

Dear TSA

Filed under: letters to emily — theradishpress @ 3:14 pm

by theradishpress

Dear TSA,

As an Iranian-American with a Muslim background I look forward to working with you. It’s not enough to be stopped for random searches or be asked if I speak my language. Never really sure which language you are referring to. It’s not enough to be made an example of or remind companions to make ZERO comments about terrorism and bombs when near me because they are white and will not be taken seriously while I am escorted into a secret room where I will be questioned repeatedly and possibly sent on some permanent vacation to a far away nameless place where I get to wear an orange jumpsuit. No, it is not enough. I want you to scan my body and put all my organs on display. I want you to share with the world if I am on my period and the number of scars I have from surgery or stitches or falls. Will this tell me if I have cancer in addition to causing it? Please let me know. I want you, TSA, to continue to strip me not only of my clothes, but all of my basic human rights.

I want you, TSA, to bring Big Brother to life. To instill more and more and more fear into everyone’s minds. I want you to turn us into true zombies, feeding on our own flesh. I want you to make me scared, no longer just scary. I want you to make me doubt myself, to make my paranoia rise to such great heights that I asphyxiate on my panic and the panic of others. I want you to make every single person who comes into contact with you afraid to ever look another human being in the eyes. I want you to make us all cower at the site of humanity. I want you to make us forget what it was like before there were borders and forget what it was like to wait at the gate and forget who we are. I want you to keep me from traveling and seeing the world.

I thank you TSA for helping lead us into a new world order of fear and propaganda and loathing and anger and more and more and more hatred. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.


Friday, September, 3, 10

“The Carriage”

Filed under: images,letters to emily — theradishpress @ 12:10 pm
Tags: , ,

by theradishpress

Seems appropriate, considering my love for Dickinson and violence.

Made by xkcd.

[via tdw]

Friday, August, 20, 10

Dear Hollywood

Filed under: cinema,letters to emily — theradishpress @ 8:33 pm
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by theradishpress

Dear Hollywood,

Please stop.

With the most sincerest of regards,


/Film and other film blogs are reporting that, with The Social Network – you know, that movie about rich white kids who make a website lacking integrity and have boring rich white people problems? – expected to do well and already receiving stellar reviews, Hollywood is planning their next start-up movie: Googled.

I stated in a previous post that there are folks hating on Inception. I am not one of those people. Want to know one of my many reasons for that? It is original. Yes, I know, it draws from existing myths and no story is purely original, but it’s not Battleship (what asshole thought making a movie based on that boring game was a good idea?) or Little Fockers (I did not see Meet the Fockers because Meet the Parents was painful enough.) or a remake of some 80’s movie that kids these days should just watch instead of thinking the remake starring Zac Efron is the first ever! No! It is not. Go eat some vegetables, get off your cell phone you should not have anyway, and watch The Breakfast Club. Learn a thing or two why don’t you?

Hollywood needs to hire me to punch idiots with no original ideas in the face and give them some good ideas. In fact, why not make a movie about a concerned citizen who attacks Hollwood “thinkers” and “idea” people because they suck so bad? There, I gave you an idea. Don’t let John Woo direct it. It will be told entirely in slow motion and we don’t need that. Don’t let Tom Cruise play my part either. I want Emile Hirsch for that.

Sunday, March, 28, 10

Dear Amu Hossein

Filed under: letters to emily — theradishpress @ 2:52 pm

by theradishpress

Dear Amu Hossein,

I know I have said it before, but I think about you every day. Even when you are not at the forefront of my thoughts, you are there. I see you everywhere in this city, in every face, and every new experience I have.

I wonder what life would be like with you here, especially now that I am in your city and in your world.

I will come visit you back home soon.


Monday, July, 20, 09

Dear Jake Gyllenhaal

by theradishpress


Dear Jake Gyllenhaal,

You are not Iranian. You are not Persian either, which you may have mistaken for some different race or ethnicity, totally understandable! but it’s the same.

And I know you have really thick eyebrows and dark hair and a somewhat larger nose, but you remain white. I realize that Rodrigo Santoro played Xerxes in 300, and sure, he’s a person of color, but he’s not Iranian either. And that was wrong of him to do. It was wrong of him to be cast as Xerxes. I wonder if he found it annoying that his dark features landed him that role…? And sure, you could argue that you were just given this role to play, and there are larger powers here, like Disney, who need to be held accountable, but you do too. And let’s face it, Disney has a lot they need to fix, not just their racism.

Do you feel guilty or weird about playing an Iranian? I guess all the Iranian actors were busy playing terrorists in other movies.

Did Andy Samberg’s love song to Ahmadinejad confuse you into thinking you are Iranian?

So, did you learn Farsi, or are you taking the Oliver Stone Alexander speak jibberish route? Or did you just come up with an awesome Iranian accent? Remember, it is “up estairs” and “dats a good von!”

Since you are already in this and the movie is listed as being in post-production, I do have a word of advice for you: next time consult my dear friend Rob Schneider. His Filipino background, which I for one have never heard him speak openly about, has afforded him the right to play Middle Easterners, Latinos, Asians, and all kinds of races and ethnicities. (Interestingly enough, when Mel Gibson went all crazy and spewed hatred towards Jews, Schneider stated he would never work with Gibson. I guess Schneider can be prejudiced, but no one else can.) Schneider is really great at really milking stereotypes too. Next time you are met with the challenge of portraying a different race or ethnicity you should call him up. OR! Robert Downey Jr…he got an Oscar nomination for wearing black face.

I know it takes a lot of courage to do what you are doing. And I am sure that you will represent my people with great dignity. No Iranian could play the Prince of Persia as well as a white A-list Hollywood actor!

I hope a movie is soon made about Ahmadinejad and Mike Myers plays him. He is really awesome too.

Now that you are an honorary Iranian here are some tips:

-refer to yourself as Persian, it makes people less suspicious and does not conjure images of crazies with guns and hatred for the US

-move to LA if you do not already live there

-get a BMW or Merceds…BMW is cooler though

-wear Armani Exchange

-change your name to Ali or Mahdi or Farzad

-get stopped by airport security

-let that uni-brow grow in

-get yourself a pair of slippers for the bathroom, one for the kitchen, and another for the rest of the house

– drink a lot of tea, and perfect holding a sugar cube between your teeth while sipping it

-get some Persian rugs…and cats

-invite me to your house for NoRooz

-smoke ghalyun, or hookah

-visit your family back home

Well, those are just some few pointers I wanted to share. We are, afterall, family now.

Khoda negahdar,


p.s. I am really glad Alfred Molina worked with you on this movie. His performance in Not Without My Daughter was the best portrayal of an Iranian…until now, I am sure.

Wednesday, January, 14, 09

Dear Clint Eastwood

by theradishpress


I laughed when I first saw the preview for Gran Torino. It looks like a bad made for TV movie (assuming that there are any good made for TV movies). I half expected Patty Duke to walk on set. Then again, Patty Duke tends to have better taste…even if it is of the cheesy variety.

How many more stories do we need about noble whitey saving the poor people of color? Some people, well, one person, who will remain nameless, has faith in you. This person seems to think that you are not that shallow and that there will be something deeper, some underlying message that proves you are deserving of the praise constantly showered on you.

I can see where the movie is going. You help these kids out, not because you are a good person, but because you don’t want any low-life gangsters hanging around your perfectly kept lawn…or even worse! your beautiful car. But you get to know this family, their struggles, maybe you even learn you have commonalities, and you learn that being a racist isn’t so cool, and only makes you a lonely bitter person. I bet one of those kids dies. Oh god, even better, maybe your character dies and the whole community comes to your funeral to show their love! That would be a way better ending. Kind of like that waste of space, Pay it Forward.

I know you have made a career partially based solely on that gravely voice. And hey, I am a fan. But all those Christian Bale Batman haters…where are they? How come Bale gets crap for doing something completely sane like changing his obviously distinguishable voice into one that no one can place – after all, being a caped crusader means going unrecognized! – yet no one seems to care that you use your harsh tones to try and create a more powerful impact? Maybe the voice thing is natural. I don’t know. I have only ever heard you speak in a movie role. Maybe I am taking my annoyance a little far. Really, it was an excuse to call out the Batman haters.

Well Clint, Mr. Eastwood. whatever…I hope I am wrong. I doubt it. Honestly, even if there is some deeper message, some twist away from the formula, the fact remains that you are telling a story with a tired theme. This is why I did not want to see Iron Man. While that movie was not exactly what I had expected, it kept true to that basic idea, everyone needs the white saviour. Go on with your badass Dirty Harry self and maintain the status quo.

Monday, July, 14, 08

Dear New York

Filed under: letters to emily — theradishpress @ 3:59 pm

by theradishpress

Dear New York,

I know what you are trying to do. You don’t know me well.


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