Wednesday, August 3, 1983

Shaheen is cool

I signed on in the morning and on the way back, Dad and I stopped to wander down past Cardigan Park. The white walls of the ground were quiet and smelled of dereliction. At one end of the ground a demolished wall let us see into the ‘stadium’ (ha ha) and out across the weed-strewn Easterby End and onto the luxuriously green pitch. “Shaheen is cool,” says the graffiti on the wall.

In the afternoon, Andrew and I went to see Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life at the Farnshaw Odeon. It was OK, not as funny as their efforts of old, and as to solving the riddle of life's meaning, I suppose they got quite close: sex, food and death, with a lot of pointless bits in between.

After tea, we watched a programme on Beeb 2, Iran: The Revolution Betrayed. The overthrow of the tyranny of the Shah’s regime was followed by the usual in-fighting between the various factions, resulting in the ascendancy of the Mullahs, Iran's most powerful authoritarian group, who now exert a more terrible power than the Shah ever did. We sat in our comfortable armchairs and watched an interview with an imprisoned and tearful sixteen-year old, a victim of rape. Two hours after the filming, he was shot.

The Iranian revolution rolls on with the fanaticism and blindness from which it sprang. Just as in Russia, the conspiratorial, elitist subversion of a revolution creates a conspiratorial, elitist and authoritarian state. ‘My Party Right or Wrong.’ Look and learn, RCP! (but look at me! Sitting on my complacent bourgeois backside and patronising a world’s revolutions in one breath!).

I sometimes think there's something wrong with me. I’ll turn into a bitter old crank one day. The TV fills me with disgust at adverts and programmes alike, raging against grey-suited newsmen, government officials, everything, anyone. . . . “You’ll never become a Buddhist,” says Andrew, half-smiling, half-serious, after one of my regular tirades against all and sundry, tirades which start as a joke but which always have a grain of sincerity to them.

Peace of mind is far away.

[Audio version]

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