Monday, July 16, 2007


I managed to work myself into a bit of a tizzy about the brutal stoning of Jaffar Kiani. I think that nothing since the Nazis, or the Catholic Inquisition, matches the Iranian state for savagery and barbarism, if not efficiency. They are disgusting.

But the post I have been trying to construct will not quite come together. It has far too much anger ... state murder enrages me more than I can explain ... and my editorial endeavors at MRU are at a fever pitch right now. There is not enough time to write myself through the problems.

The attempt did lead to a long ramble through the pages of Jean Genet who, more than any writer, grasps the sublimed erotic character of state murder. I read Genet when I was 19, 20. I read a good chunk of Funeral Rites on an island in the middle of a lake on the shores of which my father had a summer job as a chef one summer as he transitioned from headhunter to nightclub manager. I had borrowed a boat and rowed out to this lonely place to consume this eerily erotic book that was certainly deeper than I could fully grok at that point ... but there would never be a point in my life where I could feel it as deeply as I did then.

It is in Miracle of the Rose that Genet is in raptures about the condemned Harcamone, not to mention sundry other doomed thugs and lovers. Perhaps I need to find a metaphorical island, silent and uninhabited, to re-encounter the raw innocent eroticism that is Genet, and to extract from it the horrors from which he recoils and which yet he simultaneously embraces.

So I have to give up on this first attempt to blog the nightmare of capital punishment ... but I thank blogging for giving me two nights of wandering through an old friend, Jean Genet. There will be more executions ... perhaps none as brutal as the Iranian stoning ... and I can take up this subject again. Because I did the research ... there is a stark and horrifying picture here of some workmen burying a young woman before her stoning, and the entire law is here, insane and chilling in its detail and matter-of-factness and savagery.

Meanwhile, still working 11 hours a day, 6 days a week on my course catalog ... two weeks and six days to go till I go to press.

Click here for other posts I have written about Jaffar Kiani.

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