While I was away, I fully expected my readership to drop substantially, and drop it did. But it didn't drop nearly as far as I thought it would. In fact, it picked up all of a sudden. Looking at the stats, I see an interesting story: I'm getting a huge number of hits for my piece on the Mahmoodies. It doesn't appear that anyone has linked to me. Instead, it's a whole bunch of search engine hits. Someone (presumably many people, since it's a lot of hits for one person for the same query) keeps asking about Betty Mahmoody and Mahtob Mahmoody and Sayeed Mahmoody and "what happened to ..."
What gives? Is there a summer English class or something with an assignment on Not Without My Daughter? Or is it just an inherently popular topic? And why haven't any of these people left a comment?
Anyway, Internet friends verbatim and skdadl left comments each, and skdadl complained (privately) that I didn't give her any feed, so here goes:
Politblogo: Without his daughter - skdadl: The summary of her book in that Speakers' Bureau link -- "tour of terror" -- certainly sounds like hype and opportunistic demonizing.
I also remember hearing about both the book and the Sally Field movie, so I'm grateful for this follow-up. Our reactions (including the Canadian reaction) to the revolution were clumsy from the start -- I also remember, eg, Kate Millett flying into Tehran briefly and lecturing Iranian women on how backward they were, then swanning off. More nuance has long been needed.
I admit that I didn't really look at the summary, since I was already kind of flabbergasted at the fact that she was pimping her story on a speaker's bureau web site. Admittedly, this may not be fair: a lot of people I support go on speaker's bureaus, and I don't begrudge them this way of paying the bills. And she wrote a book and made a movie, so why I am I surprised at all? But still, I am a bit queasy about it. It just feels...cheap. Oh well.