Intrepid imahd.ca contributor Viz Bartolemy caught up with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad outside a movie theatre in downtown Tehran as he left a private screening of the 3D Hollywood mega-blockbuster, Avatar.
image: Rubeh Jadidoleslam/AP; link: Guardian.co.uk
imahd.ca: Mr. President, how did you like the movie?
M.A.: I am bound by a fatwa of the Imam not to enjoy such trivial pursuits, but only to study them, like a scientist who dissects small animals.
imahd.ca: I’m sorry to hear that. Was there at least something in the film that you didn’t find offensive or objectionable?
M.A.: I appreciated very much the way that a man–even a severely damaged man–can control not only the thoughts of another, but also that person’s actions. I am very familiar with this concept, but I felt that the director fell short of what he could have achieved. Imagine if one man could do this with a whole country — or even the world.
imahd.ca: How’s that?
M.A.: Um, nothing.
imahd.ca: Okay… well, what about the 3D effects? You often talk about the importance of scientific progress, so you must have found that aspect of the film interesting, from an engineering perspective.
M.A.: It is nothing. In Iran, everything is already in 3D. Look at this tree.
imahd.ca: Are you feeling okay, Mr. President? You look a little feverish. Too much popcorn?
M.A.: Popcorn is an American invention designed to sell more Coca-Cola beverages.
imahd.ca: No argument there, but tell me, is there a fatwa against snacking while watching forbidden films?
M.A.: Not at all. I myself had some delicious mushrooms that one of the young people was only too happy to share with me. That is the way of things in Iran — everyone is friendly. I don’t know why people keep asking me about human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic. We don’t have that. I don’t know who keeps saying that we do.
imahd.ca: Very well, sir. Do you mind if I ask just a few more questions? Umm… Mr. President?
M.A.: Seriously, did you look at this tree? It’s like a hand with a million fingers reaching up to the sky…
imahd.ca: And a million more reaching down into the ground.
M.A.: Oh, whoa… man…
imahd.ca: Are you sure you’re okay, Mr. President? I mean, I can’t help but wonder if those mushrooms you had were strictly, you know… halal?
M.A.: Let me tell you something. Come close… shhh… [looks around] dude, they were the halalest!
imahd.ca: I see… Well, since you’re in such a fine mood, sir, how about a few more questions?
M.A.: Of course! We are friends. Everyone is our friend and we are everyone’s friend.
imahd.ca: Super. What about…
M.A.: Except for the Zionist Entity!
imahd.ca: Of course. Now, about that…
M.A.: And the United States of America! The Great Satan!!
imahd.ca: Certainly. Your position with respect to both of these countries has been made abundantly clear over the years. Is it true that three years ago you forecast the coming of the Mahdi within two years?
M.A.: This is a very common misperception you bring up because you, as an infidel–no offense–do not understand the way in which Mahdi-time works. Obviously, there is nothing to be gained by explaining it to you.
imahd.ca: Uh-huh… Would you care to comment on the anti-government protests that took place yesterday on Revolution Day?
M.A.: Again, I do not understand where you are obtaining such bad information… Hold on, please.
[Aside in Farsi]: Sayeed, go and see if you can find that boy who was sitting near us and ask him where his mother shops for vegetables.
Excuse me. You may continue.
imahd.ca: So, what about Israel? Isn’t it true that the renowned ancient Emperor of Iran, Cyrus the Great, not only gave leave to the Jews of his kingdom to rebuild their temple at Jerusalem, but that he also funded the venture?
M.A. [distracted]: Who? What? … Excuse me once more, please.
[Aside in Farsi]: Hafez! You look like a reject from the Syrian Olympic swim team. Take off those goggles immediately! And stop giggling–at once!
imahd.ca: Cyrus the Great…? The first Persian Emperor…? Okay… How about Darius the Great, Emperor of Persia at its historical apex, did he not affirm the decree of Cyrus with regard to the Jews, Jerusalem and their temple?
M.A.: Hafez, dude, you are so right! When I wear these outside I can see in 4D!
Hafez: Whoa… that must mean that you…can…
M.A.: …that I can…see…through time! [Visibly excited. High fives all ’round.]
Entourage [in unison]: Dude!
imahd.ca: Thanks, Mr. President, for your time. And, in case you’re interested, there’s a great dolma place right around the corner.
M.A.: Dolma! Yes! Everyone, goggles on… and march! Robotically!
imahd.ca: This is Viz Bartolemy reporting for imahd.ca.
M.A.: Are we not men?!
Entourage: We are Devo!!