In the Persian language social media, we are witnessing that Iran’s people are joking about everything and sometimes it seems that the people are facing no problems and difficulties and their lives are progressing peacefully. But then constantly we are facing the people’s protests which according to the officials is converting from rallies for livelihood demands to protest and revolts against the government, which is signally against the happy and problem-free depiction of Iran’s society.
Romain Rolland, a French writer, believes that 90 percent of all jokes are covering a serious desire, so serious that they have worn the cloth of a joke. This statement shows that not every joke is a sign of humor and ridicule, and these jokes express the truth that they are now presented in different clothes.
When the state media does not reflect the words and opinions of the citizens as it should, when the gap between the policymakers and the citizens widens, it shows itself in the high volume of jokes with every phenomenon. The primary reason for this behavior by citizens should be attributed to the fact that they have no choice but to psychologically evacuate with jokes and ridicule everything.
A government that is just thinking about its authority and security, for which it is sacrificing the people’s freedom and livelihood should not expect something else other than this.
As Stefan Zweig, an Austrian novelist, once said: “Freedom is not possible without authority – otherwise it would turn into chaos and authority is not possible without freedom – otherwise it would turn into tyranny.”
That is true that every nation and government needs authority but the path that this regime has taken over the last four decades, especially after contracting the government and filtering all the elements of its so-called reformist faction from the government has led to tyranny.
A tyranny that is representing its worst elements to the people, from its president Ebrahim Raisi to its new chief of judiciary Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei; a tyranny that has decided to cut off the people’s connection with the world with a so-called “protection of cyberspace users” bill; a tyranny that has executed more people in the first six months of this year than the entire last year.
On the other hand, the humorous encounter of citizens with social issues cannot be interpreted and related to their indifference to society. In the sense that we cannot consider this kind of confrontation as a reason for the increasing indifference of society. These creative shows happen to show the social affiliation of citizens; an affiliation that, of course, is in the final stages and more than 90 percent of Iran’s does not trust this regime anymore and are denying their connection with the regime’s ‘Republic.’ A republic that is not representing the people’s will.
In the sense that jokes are the last step in people’s sense of belonging to their community. Ignoring this kind of people’s confrontation with the government and its officials and joking about it will provoke the people’s fury as we are witnessing in the increasing protests.