Academy Awards Night in Tehran

Reprinted from the Tehran Telegraph, February 27, 2011

Not to be outdone by Hollywood, Tehran staged its own Academy Awards which clearly outshone its American counterpart in every respect.  From the very beginning, the two-block-long line of black BMW’s arriving at the city’s auditorium bearing the highest clergymen in the land made Hollywood’s scattering of limos looked amateurish by comparison.  And the slapdash entrance of dizzy American movie stars could not hold a candle to the stately procession of our black-robed notables down the red carpet.  Following the clerics came our government officials each waving happily to the crowd on the street and each demonstrating, in his own inimical fashion, his aversion to neckties.  No sooner had the officials filed into the auditorium, a deafening roar of hundreds of motorcycles filled the air as the leather-jacketed Secret Service cadre rode up and, with a huge amount of noise and backfires,  drove their bikes inside.  And finally the army brass arrived, adding to the excitement by firing volleys from their AK-47’s.

I can’t do better to characterize the opening of the event than did one of the spectators behind the roped divider. “Hollywood can have its glitz, give me our blitz,” he happily observed and was duly rewarded for his cogent witticism with slaps on his back by his pleased companions.

The Telegraph’s entertainment editor can be depended upon to follow up with a full description of the festivities in tomorrow’s paper, but I did want to dash off a few of the highlights in time to catch the next edition so that our readers can at least get a timely glimpse of this milestone in our city’s culture.

To set the evening’s ambiance off on the right track, the ceremony opened with a showing of the winning entry for the Best Short Documentary award, Basil N.’s film, “The Stoning of a Heretic.”  Why it was chosen was soon obvious.  No viewer could fail to appreciate the artistic manner by which the director built up to the climax: the methodical digging of the waist deep hole in which woman was to be buried, the ever-louder anticipatory clicking together of fist-sized stones by the waiting throng, and the cleric’s authorative signal for the action to begin.  There was even a cleverly inserted comical touch when one of the diggers hopped in the hole himself to gage its depth.  Nor is anyone likely to forget the final scenes in which shots filmed in real time alternated with slow motion sequences to achieve the full dramatic effect.

The Deadliest Achievement by a Male Suicide Bomber went to Najid R.  In his acceptance remarks, his brother standin quoted the American, Willie Sutton who famously said he robbed banks because that’s where the money was.  Najid certainly knew where the people were, his brother proudly recalled, at a volleyball match he blew up 105 of them and wounded 100 more.

The Deadliest Achievement by a Female Suicide Bomber Award was given to our darling Abeedah P. who, bless her heart, knew how to make a statement.  She killed more than fifty and wounded over one-hundred worthless destitutes groveling in line at a UN food distribution center.

Supporting Role honors were bestowed jointly on our cousins in Habollah and Hezmas for keeping alive hatred of the infideal at all cost.  Accepting the prize for both organizations, Umar T. declared, “Hatred is like a hungry fire that must be continuously fed.  You won’t find us wasting time and money on the kind of distractions that weaken the will of our spineless enemies.’ The fools talk about improving the lives of their people on earth when every good Muslim knows the only real improvement in life comes at death.”

The Costume Design award went to, who else but, Aafreen S. whose innovations in body explosives has hastened the glorious ascent to heaven for over sixty pious adolescents.  “Girls with big busoms were a problem,” she admitted laughingly. “But with a finagling we managed to send them off with all the others.”

Nor was it any surprise that Azim M. won the Best Direction prize having reached out on the Internet to the far corners of the earth to gain recruits for the defense of Islam against western leaders who are preoccupied day and night with the sole objective of finding ways to destroy us.

Even before his name was announced, a roar of approval went up when the Achievement in Music award came up.  The only candidate for this award was, understandably enough, Dhakir J., who, in Afghanistan, has stifled every talented voice, confiscated every musical instrument, shackled every dancing foot, and imprisoned every performer.

The assembled crowd was not disappointed when the evening arrived at its dramatic climax and the award for the Best Performance by a Male Lead was given to Abdullah F.  Presented with the golden sheathed scimitar, Abdullah flashed his famous grin, raised the weapon above his head with both hands, and rocked it back and forth.  Applauding wildly the entire audience rose to its feet in tribute to the bloodiest hands in the land.

As all can attest, whether as part of the auditorium audience or at home watching on television, it was a night to remember.

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