It's amazing to watch the videos pouring out of Iran this weekend of the massive demonstrations and rioting over the rigged presidential election. Notice how this video is set to a pretty good Iranian rap tune.
The weakness of President Jimmy Carter caused a monstrous religious dictatorship to arise in Iran, and we can only hope that now it is finally going to be overthrown. Despite all attempts by Iran to suppress outside reporting of the unrest, no government controls YouTube or Blogger.com or the internet itself, so the dictators of the world can on longer impose a wall of silence behind which they do their evil deeds. The internet helps to ensure free speech, so no oppressive regime can long endure because the internet is a medium that transends all political control. That is why it is the most revolutionary political tool ever devised - and since people never choose to be oppressed, it works only for the cause of liberty.
Here are two videos worth watching dealing with recebt events. Here's the first interview with the brave young patriot Ian Barry, who smoked pot in front of his entire high school.
Hadley had a big parade this weekend for its 350th birthday. Amherst writer Mary Carey took this video of a truck called the Hatfield Hellion doing tricks in the middle of Route Nine.
Mike Franco sends along this photo of Northampton's Dr. Jay Fleitman speaking at a Flag Day event in Belchertown. Fleitman is challenging incumbent Congressman Richard Neal in 2010.
By all accounts the Doctor came across as very impressive.
Land of the Lost
Yesterday I was cutting across Amherst College when I noticed some filming going on of some kids dressed as detectives.
Of course I had to check it out. Turns out they were PBS cameramen filming for a future episode of Fetch! Here's the cartoon host and the actors.
I'm completely out of touch with kid-TV, but I'm told there are young fans who would kill to meet those child stars, whose names I don't even know.
The filming was going on in front of Amherst College's new Natural History Museum. Since it was open and free of charge, I decided to pop in, although I've visited many times including back when it was in its funky old location. It's full of ancient bones of extinct creatures.
Good grief, this place has more skeletons than a politician's closet.
With skulls the size of Volkswagons, Tyranasaurus Rex and a Triceratops are displayed side by side.
In real life the only way those two monsters would have gotten that close together was if they were engaged in a battle to the death.
The real gems of the collection however are these dinosaur tracks discovered right here in the Pioneer Valley, most of them in the Hadley area. How strange to think that dinosaurs once walked where humans now roam through malls.
Those footprints are the oldest known artifacts of local history. If you are a Pioneer Valley history buff, that room is the holy grail - you can't go back any further.
Here is a giant painting of our Valley with a display of the various types of stones to be found beneath our feet.
Darth Vader guards the porch of this Fearing Street partyhouse in Amherst.
Nearby is this house where I used to attend parties when I was a UMass student. I think it was a frathouse in my day.
Anyway, a friend of mine has the job of cleaning it out now that the students have left for the summer, and he let me come in for a few minutes and poke around. I was pleased to see that it hasn't changed much, and the old antique fireplace is still more or less intact.
Some of the students moved out leaving their wall posters behind, as you can see from this photo of a UMass party animal, now retired.
Someone sent me this pic of drummer Bill Kreutzmann mixing with the crowd before a Grateful Dead concert in Springfield.
Amherst's Dinosaur Jr. has a new album coming out June 23 called "Farm." Here's the video of the first single, and it sounds like it has real hit potential. It's a song telling you to do whatever you want to do no matter how old you are and to ignore the evil assholes who tell you to conform to the so-called "proper" ways to behave. Greg Saulmon dug up this quote from the video's director: "At what point are you supposed to be over doing stuff that you enjoy-- like skating or playing ear-splitting music -- just because society says it's uncool to do it? My answer: Never."
A tune after my own heart.