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Good Night Until the Next Crisis
Behnam B. Marandi
2010-August

The summer heat in Tehran is not a novelty. Every year in this season we have to "sweat it," but we do so only when it comes around, making ample use of the nag medicine to alleviate its symptoms, which come in different colors -- sniffing out the culprit, rapping the accused, offering solutions to the crisis, comparing our city with that of advanced nations and the way they deal with such crisis, becoming judgmental and rude to those around us, and other some such essences and preservatives.

All these are very compelling indeed and I can write volumes on it. But another aspect of any single crisis that befalls us is the course that it takes before it is over. The course is pretty familiar and -- in the case of heat -- is as follows:

1/ Denial: From the time the crisis hits until it become epidemic, everyone, especially those who must take some responsibility towards it, try to deny its very existence. We (I wanted to say "them" but realized that I am also part of the process) deny the fact that there is a crisis until it turns pandemic.

2/ Deprecation: When the crisis gets from bad to worst and denial is no longer possible, we accept the existence of the problem but we pretend that "it's nothing important" or "it's not as bad as they say" or "despite all the pessimism and gloom surrounding the issue…".

3/ Prevarication: As the crisis progresses, we realize that our efforts in belittling the problem has backfired and we try to present the problem in a different way so that its injuries -- or actually the injuries that we estimate will reduce our responsibility in the crisis -- can be reduced to a minimum.

4/ Projection: It is only natural that the problem is too acute for its consequences to be ignored easily. We find ourselves in a situation that we not only have to admit to the existence of the crisis but we need to take responsibility for all its consequences. At this point an all-too-familiar solution presents itself -- projection. According to this solution the whole world is responsible for the problem from the time of dinosaurs to the age of mobile phones, and we are only victims with absolutely no role in the shaping of the problem and therefore no responsibility to allay it; even more, we are the ones who have suffered from this injustice and we are not even sorry for it.

5/ Forgetfulness: In any case, problems and crises are bound to happen and they are also bound to take leave of our lives. So, while the problem persists, we will do at least something, and no one knows about tomorrow. So, good night until the next crisis.