Monday, August 16, 2010

Iran's W, folksy Ahmadinejad

Last week in Iran, the country's "elected President" (yeah, right) Mahmud Ahmadinejad used the phrase (link here): "The bogeyman snatched the boob" ( مایه ترس ووحشت ربوده ممه ) - in regards to the United States, and how (in his opinion) the US 'needs to just stop threatening Iran and move on', in the same way the lowest class of any Iranian mother might tell her child, when she is weaning the toddler, that the bogeyman has taken the mother's breast away. It's a crude phrase, and most speakers of Farsi, including all diplomats, would never utter such a base, guttural phrase. But Ahmadinejad likes to follow in Bush's footsteps, and is trying to be folksy with his nation. Also, he got a round of laughter from his audience, and really wanted to ham it up. Using the Farsi word "ممه " ("mameh") is a lower class slang than using "tit" or "teet" or "knocker" or the anatomically correct "breast". Mahmud Ahmadinejad has studied Palin and Bush closely - he doesn't want to appear "elitist" or bother with all that book learnin - naw, he want's to be folksy, and relate to the common man "Joe Six Pack" (in Farsi "جو شش بسته").

He followed up with this phrase later in his diatribe with:
"Pour the water where it burns," he said, "why are you wetting other parts?", in regards to the United States being angry and having "burning asses" or "سوزش باسن". More rounds of laughter erupted. (See video here).

In Farsi, slang for 'breast' is "mameh". But it is not often uttered publicly in a country where words and expressions of even the slightest sexual nature are considered taboo and commonly censored in books and publications. Like his counterpart W, rules apparently don't apply. Like other demagogues (Scott Brown, Palin, Joe Arpaio, Michele Bachmann), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (محمود احمدی‌نژاد) has realized that many less intelligent constituents are easily motivated by fear and rhetoric, and getting down to their folksy level - and Never sounding Elitist or Educated! - helps the masses to relate. For a complete list of folksy Bushisms, see this helpful and comprehensive Slate link (here). If any of our Persian visitors know of a similar list for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (محمود احمدی‌نژاد) folksy expressions, please leave a comment here! =)


  1. Actually, unlike Bush (or even Palin), Ahmadinejad is lower-class. That's why the basiji rushed to his defense last year -- they're from the same background.

  2. He's got a PhD in civil engineering. Yes, his family was lower class (father was blue collar) but Mahmud IS an elitist. Palin's a weather girl / beauty pageant winner / professional victim. Bush, a spoiled rich kid. It's not "where they came from" - I put no credence into 'blood line' other than to say that 'blue bloods' are inherently inbred and weaker - it is "where they are going" and "where they see themselves".

    Bush was born with a platinum spoon in his mouth, did coke and drank, and then found Jesus[TM], and adopted a brush clearing folksiness that dumb Americans love. Palin was always stupid, remains stupid, and plays the folksy victim better than anyone.

    Mahmud Ahmadinejad utters such phrases in a society where people who utter such things, or print them, are flogged, imprisoned, suppressed by the state. But for the revered leader (who was not elected, but re-installed) to say them, get's laughs and is considered "awesome".

    I was not comparing W & Palin & Mahmud's bloodlines... no... I don't give a damn about blood lines and upper or lower class, old money or new money, it's immaterial to me. I was comparing each of their embraces of folksiness.

  3. Rick, I do see your point about the Basiji being rural, mostly illiterate, easily manipulated, tools of the ruling oligarchs. Iran's "tea partyers" or "border militia" somewhat (if one can imagine a Right Wing Libertarian Executive installed), or akin to the Wahhabi Deobandi's who brought the Saud royal family to power in the Arabian peninsula. Using the violent force of the mob to enforce state policy is not new. Mahmud is savvy enough (crazy, but not stupid) to play to his base of violent supporters, and increase his demagogue appeal with them.

    Where these "leaders" came from originally (their families), is not as important as what they are doing now, and how they are manipulating the mobs who are their power base.


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