Is Iran just USSR 2.0? And if so, does she have a real shot at a film career?
With only a relatively small arsenal compared to the creaky, liver-spotted but still very butch super-powers, Iran is the new face of the redoubtable and more manageable Cold War Threat. She carries all the credentials on her CV: foreign (most important), swarthy, hates America, hates Israel, is mean to its women (i.e., makes them wear unflattering outfits), prays in a tongue unfathomable to our American ears and generally loathes all things We consider good and nice.
Plan to see sleeker, taller, whip-thin-and-mean Prada-clad representations of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the next James Bond movie doing battle with the overtly sociopathic but still goddam sexy MI-6 super-agent, as the latest über-villain (bearing a small, parasitic twin growing from his abdomen whom he calls "Farrokh") tries to aim a nuclear, dirty, IED coated in lead based red paint (courtesy of evil Chinese toy manufacturers) at the newly completed Halliburton Headquarters in Dubai. But not before an opening credit sequence featuring silhouetted gyrating girls in burkhas.
Bond infiltrates, copulates, decapitates, amalgamates and United-States everyone and everything. Kicking that Axis's ax-ass! I'll have my doogh shaken, not stirred.
While even the most mundane patterns repeat endlessly, people still cannot conceive of the lessons provided by such repetition, maybe in fact possessing a chromosome that makes them hardwired for thickskulled gullibility. Iran is gearing up to be the latest in a long line of foes who stand there and wield what seem like credible and terrifying threats to All We Hold Dear. We don't respond well to thousands of tiny little ayatollahs and sheikhs and jihadists crawling over our body biting us everywhere and driving us nuts. We need a bully as big as us: a Hitler, a Stalin, a Mao, standing out where we can see him, sleeves rolled up and ready to abide by the Marques of Queensbury.
By all means have Iran build itself up to become a massive nuclear threat to our own righteously destructive capabilities. That is far more manageable psychologically than the elusive, confidence-shaking conflict being waged these past years by small guerillas fleeting through the night, chipping away at our military resources, our resolve and our nerve to wage the one money earner we have left: war.
Sure, there are some wild cards here and there: a skull-trepanning booby trap set by the mother of a collaterally damaged child; a suicide bombing by a religious zealot intent on finding paradise in death from the hell into which he was born. But something impressive needs to slap torpid Westerners back into an awareness that makes 'em feel like winners again. A good, dusky, moustache twirling, medal-bedazzled fatwa-cat embodying all our anxieties and terrors. Gosh, remember the Cold War? So heady and sweet, those days. We must not become slaves to niche marketing and buy into all the piddly intra-sect conflicts and historical minutiae that threaten to flood the market and our simplistic consciousnesses. Instead, learn from history: the bigger the threat, the more people will buy tickets.
Shhh. Here come the trailers.
Follow Steven Weber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheStevenWeber