Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected President of Iran after serving only two years as mayor of Tehran following four years as a provinical governor, making him Iran’s equivalent of Sarah Palin. We here at Bollocks! are peace-loving folks and we like to do what we can to improve international relations. So, when a copy of Iran’s Dissolver album crossed my desk last month, I decided that it would be a unique opportunity to extend an olive branch to the nation of Iran and discuss this album with none other than the President himself, Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Bollocks!: Welcome to the Imaginary Office, President Ahmadinejad. I hope you’re ready to have a respectful dialogue with us about Iran’s Dissolver album.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “Our nation is ready to hold talks based on mutual respect and in a fair atmosphere.”
B: Well, in as much as I’m familiar with Iran’s music scene, I must say I respect it. And I think the Imaginary Office is a perfectly fair atmosphere.
MA: “How can you prove you’re not a bad person? You can’t prove that.”
B: Fair enough. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea?
B: Which one? Coffee?
MA: “We want to have the right to peaceful…energy.”
B: Coffee it is, then. No energy more peaceful than that, eh, Mr. President? I’ll have my imaginary secretary put a pot on. Now, have you listened to Iran’s Dissolver album?
MA: “Last night – while I was spending time with my family, I had the opportunity…”
B: You listened to it with your family? That’s awesome. I mostly listened to it in my car. What are your initial impressions?
MA: “I will tell you what I have to say: by…utilizing… the gifts of intellect and human nature, they are guided in the right path.”
B: I can dig that. Yeah, it seems like Aaron Aites is a pretty smart dude, very into the technology. Some of the songs are straight rock tunes, but they wander into folk and soul, like on “Airport ’79” and “Baby, Let’s Get High One Last Time.” But do you think some of the songs are a little too self-indulgent?
MA: “Unfortunately, during the history, some egoistic and tryant individuals have…stood against the convocations and sermons of the Divine Prophets. And these tyrants…were the causation…of…animosities.”
B: Well, with all due respect, President Ahmadinejad, I think that’s a bit harsh. Wait. You must be talking about “Digital Clock and Phone.”
B: Oh. Well, yeah, that “song” pissed me off too. I mean, it’s not even a song. I hate that shit.
MA: “Frankly, if Jesus Christ – the Messiah (Peace be upon Him) was present today, how would he react?”
B: I honestly don’t know. But I’m glad you share my strong feelings against masturbatory blips and bleeps in songs. The rest of the album is pretty good, yeah? It’s definitely grown on me, and I like the Dave Sitek-Kyp Malone connection; those two guys have a good ear for unconventional song structures.
MA: “They are frontiers in righteousness.”
B: Word! So you must like TV on the Radio too, huh? I’d heard all this stuff about how your government wasn’t too keen on the music and dancing and whatnot.
MA: “Then, there would have been little urgency to have a dialogue with you.”
B: Good. We have a religious fundamentalist problem here in the U.S., but it’s by no means representative of all of our religious peoples. I thought you guys might have a similar thing going on. Anyway, back to Iran…uh… the band, not, you know, your country. As a whole, the album kinda washes over me, it’s never quite blowing my mind or anything, but each song has its little melodic moments and I dig the squirrelly guitar bits in the background of songs like “Can I Feel What?” and “Where I’m Going.”
MA: “I had a feeling of joy.”
B: So overall, Dissolver is pleasing to you?
MA: “I believe that I am an academic, myself. So I speak with you from an academic point of view.”
B: That’s fine. People approach music differently. I think Iran is a really interesting band, for instance, but I don’t see myself listening to this album over and over again, you know? I really dig one or two songs, but I’m not coming back for, say, “Buddy” or its obnoxious reprise.
MA: “A lot of time was taken from me.”
B: I know what you mean. For a ten song album, Dissolver can feel a bit long.
MA: “For 30 years, we’ve faced these problems…”
B: Wow. You have pretentious music in Iran too? Although, I have to say, I feel like Iran’s – uh, again, the band– I feel like their pretensions are somewhat organic, if that makes any sense. Like Aites is just making the music he has to make, and I can respect that.
MA: “Whatever they choose… everybody should accept and respect.”
B: Right on, Mr. President. So let’s summarize for the folks at home: Dissolver is a complex album, with some moments of real beauty, like “Airport ’79” and “Evil Summer”, but its pretensions and indulgences might be a bit much for some people. Is that a fair assessment of our two opinions?
MA: “What I’m saying, I’m saying with full clarity.”
B: I’ll assume that’s a yes. You know, President Ahmadinejad, I think this has been a useful diplomatic moment between our two nations and I’d like to thank you for stopping by today.
MA: “Well, thank you for your cooperation.”
B: You’re most welcome. Anything you’d like to say in closing?
MA: “The ultimate goal is to achieve God’s approval and satisfaction in the way of serving His servants, implementing justice and expanding spirituality. This goal cannot be achieved unless fully devoting yourself to Almighty God, and thus even sacrificing your life and reputation for its achievement becomes sweet.”
B: That’s nice, I suppose. But we here at Bollocks! are secular humanists. Is that okay?
MA: “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals, like in your country.”
B: I didn’t say “homosexuals,” Mr. President. I said “secular humanists.”
MA: “We don’t have that in our country.”
We here at Bollocks! would like to thank Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his thoughts on Iran’s Dissolver album. We do not endorse President Ahmadinejad’s opinions on anything, although we seem to have come to some agreement about Dissolver.
You can read President Ahmadinejad’s blog at http://www.ahmadinejad.ir