Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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Mollydog
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by Mollydog » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:39 am

Maziar Bahari is scheduled tonight on "the Daily Show with Jon Stewart".

http://www.thedailyshow.com/
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ladydi
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by ladydi » Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:05 am

While thoughts of suicide may have entered Mr. Bahari's mind momentarily during his imprisonment, I feel that, especially after having read the entire Newsweek article, the MOST important thing is that he needed to create a parallel universe in order to survive. That universe was the music and the words of Leonard. I don't think one needs to concentrate on the suicide aspect....it is more the survival aspect! Leonard's words helped him survive! This is what is so powerful. In fact, I think this story is perhaps one of the most powerful regarding Leonard's lyrics that I have ever read.

edit...the situation of Mr. Bahari was quite different from those who have been suffering deep depression. In those instances the mind has decided there is no survival...no answer to whatever grief is overwhelming one...there is only blackness and emptiness...nothingness.. no sunshine in the morning...no hope. This is very different from this man who found the "crack" and the "light". This man who was able to visualize his wife's hair on the pillow....and their yet unborn child. Depression is blackness. This ordinary but amazing man, thanks to Leonard, saw the dawn, no matter how bleak the moment seemed.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by lizzytysh » Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:31 am

I agree one hundred percent, Diana. I didn't mean to suggest, either, that it was all about the moments that he considered suicide and then decided he wasn't going to do the job for them, let them do it for themselves. It was about what sustained him in his parallel universe. Somehow, we got sidetracked by the potential suicide, though. He's still around because he endured all he did through the hope and, as you say, the crack, the light, that came as a result of Leonard's lyrics and sustained him, sealed away from his captors's attempts to invade and, most of all, conquer, his psyche. You've expressed it all exceedingly well. It sounds like his actual release was impacted pretty strongly by world pressure.


~ Lizzy

I'm going to have to watch tonight's Daily Show as a rerun because it's going to be an early night for me. I went to the link that Mollydog provided and it doesn't come on until 11 PM. I need to be asleep long before that.
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mirka
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by mirka » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:18 am

IMHO Leonard's music and poetry merely unlocks whatever one has inside, sometimes it's potential to survive, sometimes those are destructive forces.
As far as I remember an early member of the Forum, Sandy Merriman, commited suicide in the period of her life when Leonard's music was very important to her. Leonard dedicated her first version of "A Thousand Kisses Deep".
Who knows what do we carry inside ?

here is the webpage dedicated in Sandy's memoriam (and more links within it):
http://www.judithfitzgerald.ca/sandym.html

ps.
I watched Maziar Bahari on "the Daily Show with Jon Stewart". Very smart guy, with a great sense of humour.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by lizzytysh » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:33 pm

You're right, Mirka, and I was remiss in not including Sandy in those who, tragically, were not saved by Leonard's meaningful and hopeful lyrics. That's a very insightful perspective you've given, Mirka, as to how they release what's locked inside us. Thanks for remembering Sandy, who had overriding physical issues, as well. I remember now that I shifted focus to the suicide issue when you brought it up regarding your country's people during hard times, and my not wanting it to seem that all the people whose lives have been saved through Leonard's lyrics are somehow less important than Maziar and his life. Maziar's situation is immediate and, as I've mentioned, has so many amazing, dramatic, and relevant elements.

I look forward to watching the Jon Stewart segment tonight. I LOVE Jon Stewart to begin with... and you're so right on how smart ~ and how humourous ~ HILARIOUS ~ he is... he's someone of whom a still [photograph] from his show will make me laugh out loud, just because I know the tonal intonation, tilt of the head, look in his eyes, and 'one-off' [but right- on] satirical/sardonic perspective that surround it. He's actually a comedian here, whose role was that of satire, based on truths, of course. He has done so well in his job that many people [particularly, of the younger generations] prefer to watch him to get their news over the mainstream broadcasters. It still comes to them, but with a biting wit... however, the Iranians who seized him would not be so likely to get it [obviously didn't :roll: ]. To think that Maziar could have lost his life as a result of Jon's show is tragic irony to the extreme.

[Forgive me if you already know all that about Jon Stewart... not everyone here is aware of him and his show, so covering the bases, just in case.]


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by indy » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:32 am

Wow, what an amazing story. I heard an interview with Mr. Bahari on NPR over the weekend, but he did not mention Leonard Cohen or the Sisters of Mercy. I'm glad to learn about this now. Recently on another board, in a discussion about Sylvia Plath, I said that I wished she had run into Leonard Cohen's Sisters of Mercy while she was alive. Thanks to those who have pointed out it might not have been enough to save her. How wonderful though that Mr. Bahari was saved.
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by scorp » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:16 am

hydriot wrote:
lizzytysh wrote:As Mirka has noted, some have been deeply depressed and near suicide and Leonard's songs have saved them.
But sadly not Daphne Richardson, nor I suspect many others who we do not hear of.
re Daphne [and LC]...some interesting comments here:

http://agirlwithkaleidoscopeeyes.blogsp ... ation.html
ladydi
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by ladydi » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:41 am

Wow....very moving. Obviously Daphne was a woman who was passionate.....however, she also hurt passionately, to the point of desperation, and she could see no tomorrow. She should be remembered and respected for that incredible level of passion, but not emulated. Sadly, she sort of reminds me of Edith, from Beautiful Losers.

Once...only once...I brushed close to this moment, but as Leonard has said, the happiness kept breaking through!

Leonard's affirmations are full of joy, even though he acknowledges the ordinary, everyday hurts/loves/hates/desperations/isolations/rejections/pain of this very ordinary world.

My heart goes out to the Daphnes.....
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Sasha K
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by Sasha K » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:58 am

I am so happy that Leonard is FINALLY getting some specific, well-deserved, and very public validation as to the healing and sustaining power of his work.

After those idiot , unseeing comments about "music to slit your wrists to " in earlier days.

It is good that this has happened in his lifetime.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:19 pm

I am so happy that Leonard is FINALLY getting some specific, well-deserved, and very public validation as to the healing and sustaining power of his work.

After those idiot , unseeing comments about "music to slit your wrists to " in earlier days.

It is good that this has happened in his lifetime.
8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

EXACTLY, Sasha!! I am SO glad you said that and SO COMPLETELY. Exactly.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by GinaDCG » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:07 pm

The Maziar Bahari interview with CBC struck a deep chord within me. I felt inspired, gratified and relieved. Yes, I like Leonard Cohen too and yes, it was gratifying to hear Bahari echo my appreciation, and yes, it was a uplifting story with a happy ending.

But there was something else, which I will try to articulate here:

Reading the Newsweek article and seeing the interviews, I feel I have met Mr. Rosewater. No, I have not met him personally. But I have encountered his intentionally stupid view of the world many times: on news clips, at school athletic competitions, the screaming sound from the pulpit of “Repent! Repent!” (which in their terminology, translates to “Submit to what I think you should do!” or “Submit to what I say my religion orders you to do!” )

From all of these mouths come these messages -- stated or implied:

--that reason and thought are extraneous,or even impediments to, becoming the person G-d wants you to be;

--that the “best” and “strongest” among us are those who reject independent thought as vain and sinful and who reflexively carry out the will of our political or religious superiors;

--that education and reason should be valued only for what they accomplish “for” the state or the football team, or the church/mosque/temple;

-- that we should “Love people who agree with us; hate those who do not. But, no, let’s not use the phrase ‘hate people;’ instead lets say we hate ‘certain actions,’ and if we kill or torture or humiliate him so that he is broken and repents those actions, then the torture, death or humiliation will have been justified, you see -- for his own salvation.”

The soldier who follows orders, without question . . . the football hero who deliberately injures his counterpart on the other team . . . the pious who preaches exclusively of sin and fear -these are things we see and hear extolled every day.

They claim that their unexamined passion will bring victory through G-d; often, they get the victory but I’m not sure G-d is as pleased with these short-term winners as they think He is. They are trying to return to the Garden, to the days when we did not know right from wrong and were not required to think and choose. (But those days are gone. To deny our responsibility to think and choose --our heritage from Eden -- is to deny our very humanity, and IMHO, to turn from the path to Him which G-d has laid for each of us to follow.)

Opposite this pious “big guy,” “Mr. Rosewater” is Maziar Bahari - bereft of friends, family, comfort and any glimpse of life beyond the controlled prison environment. Bahari drew upon his education and his experiences to stand with himself against Mr. Rosewater and the thuggery of that regime. Bahari kept his sanity because he had woven his mind into the fabric of our shared searchings and questionings. It’s called “The life of the mind,” and many of us avidly value and pursue this life. With every book and article he read, with every person he interviewed, with every song he heard, Bahari deepened his knowledge and understanding. Bahari knew he needed a secret refuge universe of wisdom and compassion and so he used the lyrics of Leonard Cohen to construct a framework for that universe. He also drew upon his knowledge of physiology to maintain an exercise regime which he knew would strengthen his mind and spirit as well as his body. He drew upon his knowledge of history and current affairs to construct functional answers for his interrogator. Even now our new hero remains objective about his situation and compassionate to the peoples of Iran who live -- either by careful choice or by confused or enforced submission -- under this brutal regime. And he drew upon the spirituality at the core of every questioning mind to feel the love and support coming across distances to his lonely room from his wife, concerned colleagues and strangers around the globe, and from “the peace of G-d which passeth all understanding.”

Knowledge, compassion, wisdom -- all these things strengthened Bahari and strengthen all of us. I guess I feel that not enough voices are raised to defend knowledge, compassion, and wisdom. After all -- since when did these “wussy” attributes help you win a football game? or bring new converts to the church? or defeat a revolution? or win votes for your political party? or “break” someone in an interrogation room?

Leonard Cohen’s is one such voice raised in defense of these virtues and of the life of the mind. I’m glad Bahari -- and all of us -- are able to use Cohen’s, and other, voices to construct our own frameworks of knowledge, compassion and wisdom.
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by ladydi » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:47 pm

Dear Gina,

All I can say is bravo...and awesome. So well worded, and so true. I agree with you totally and you spoke beautifully. Thank you.

Diana
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by st theresa » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:07 am

Wow some of the responses in this thread are so articulate and beautifully written. Thank you for putting into words what some of us can only feel. A child of the 60's, I remember only too well the voices that were raised at that time, by so many and so well against war, racism, and inhumanity in all its forms. Leonard's was one of many, my favourite it's true, but he was definitely a reflection of the time in which we lived. The fact that he is still attracting and bringing strength to those who oppose hatred and love humanity, gives so much hope. He is not alone in this effort --there is a whole new generation emerging of young people who are raising their own prophets. As oldsters we may not be aware of them, but if you meet and talk to the young Cohen fans, you will know that love is still alive. magic is afoot.
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by holydove » Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:48 pm

Just found time to view this story today (OMG!), and just wanted to say this; a couple of weeks ago I was telling my sister and her partner that Leonard Cohen is a sage, and a saint, and a true mystic and a guru (in a pointless effort to explain why I've gone to see him so many times). They both looked at me silently, and I could see in their eyes, that they wondered if this time I had gone insane; they could not fathom where I was coming from. But I've been thinking alot about how Leonard, through his music, poetry, voice, etc., does something to me that no other artist has ever done (or probably ever will): when I listen to him, something happens/changes in my mind, or heart, or wherever (hard to pinpoint a location), and it is ultimately a very mystical experience, such that there is really no language with which to describe it (which is probably why I feel like I'm babbling right now). I can't say how it happens, or what exactly is happening, but I know many of us have felt it, I am not unique. Leonard gives some very high, mystical teachings & experiences through his very unique and exquisite art, and there is a transmission of energy that takes place, that produces an indescribable transformation. I agree with mirka, also, that there is a level of (beneficent) hynosis involved.

And when I heard Mr. Bahari refer to Mr. Cohen as his "savior", a big YES arose in my heart, and I am so grateful that Mr. Bahari was able to receive and experience the very holy power of Leonard Cohen, at a time when his need was so great, and only such a being as Leonard Cohen could help him or save him.

On a selfish note, I also see this as proof that I am not insane, no matter who or how many may think so.
I thank Mr. Bahari, Dr.HGuy, and all on the forum who have shared. And most of all I thank our savior, Leonard Cohen.
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Re: Iranian Canadian Journalist saved by L. Cohen

Post by wakeupmartin » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:23 pm

holydove wrote:I can't say how it happens, or what exactly is happening, but I know many of us have felt it, I am not unique. Leonard gives some very high, mystical teachings & experiences through his very unique and exquisite art, and there is a transmission of energy that takes place, that produces an indescribable transformation.
Yes, something else is happening that's not just the music. I felt this especially on the first O2 concert last year in London. It was like yes the music was good, great actually, but there was something else going on, something else was being communicated. Almost as if the music was just a beautiful cosmic disguise to get us all to gather together and listen.
I don't believe this is engineered or choreographed by Leonard, or even conscious on his part. It just happens.
I felt a similar experience at a Buddhist retreat a couple of years ago. Our teacher, David Smith, was giving one of his usual talks and I got a strong sense that the words and instructions were all very good and interesting, but something else was being communicated that was infinitely important than the words. In fact, at the time I remember thinking that he could have been talking about dog sh*t and it would have made no difference, I would have still been as inspired.
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