The lag time of western culture to reach mid western Asia is glacial. The summer of 2004 brought the halcyon days of 1989 to Iran and the liberating music of David Hasselhoff. At present day, the region is now stuck in the turbulent early 1990’s. The radio station of Tehran would be blasting “Jump Around“, and Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” had the government not outlawed all western music. In fact, the government of Iran has been spending a lot of time sifting through its entertainment imports, banning hip tunes. On all levels of media, content is being censored, over dubbed, and re-cut to show a singular message as approved by the mullahs.
At first, the censorship was brushed aside as xenophobic nationalism. Now aided by the budding film studios of “Sotron”, a Jewish community in southwest Tehran, The Internal Ministry of Iran has taken censoring to the next level; re-shooting several scenes from popular 90s sitcoms that would be otherwise un-viewable. Aaron Spelling’s masterpiece, Beverly Hills 90210 has become Chaleh Meydan 80211. The show loosely followers the plot lines of the original series but in moments of intimacy, dancing, singing or “periods of obscene gluttony”, the Iranian made re-shoots are cut in. These cut scenes often show an afternoon prayer or Berka clad teens buying rugs, or visiting Tehran’s famous rug museum.
Not limited to television shows, movies are also starting to get retooled. “Homeward Bound”, the enduring tale of how the love for a family can guide three loyal pets home, has been reproduced to fit the media mold. Released as “Homeland Bound”, the movie is a tale of three pets that travel across a rugged wilderness to conduct terror attacks on simple unsuspecting mountain folk of the Sierras using additional footage, CGI effects and clever editing. Sassy the cat has become (ironically) Saleema, a fully robed suicide bomber that does not speak at all during the movie until the climatic final scene, when the Himalayan cat, finally united with her target “owner”, screamed and detonated armaments hidden under her clothing. The other animals make reappearance as well. Shadow, the elderly dog, has become a wise religious leader, and Chance has become embittered towards America after a US lead air strike destroyed his kennel.
In resolution 238c, The Axis of Stevil established its opinion that all regions of the world should encourage the production of local programming and community togetherness; reducing the need for an imperialistic global media presence.
Contributors: Dick (Featured image), Stevil (Copywriting), Graham (Copywriting)
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