To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Friday, April 28, 2006

'Hack-Ptooey' on Your Poll

The BBC is posting results from a little poll put out by The Media Center on peoples' attitudes toward various institutions (media, government, etc.). The poll -- like most polls -- isn't very intersting to take, but this one has some demographically sortable results that are quite worth a look.

Out of more than 1,300 Persian-language responses to the question, Who do you trust the most to work in the best interests of society?, it turns out
  • Only 13% trust information from their government (compared to 36% for English-language respondents);
  • 30% trust their national media;
  • Just 6% trust their own religious leaders (compared to 43% for Arabic respondents and 22% for English-language respondents);
  • 14% trust business leaders; and
  • A whopping 38% most trust entertainers (compared to 10% for English-language respondents).
  • Admittedly there's no way I can tell if the Persian respondents are in Iran, say, or in London. But the poll does show that this reasonable sample of Persian-language respondents is as unhappy with its political and religious leaders as it is happy with its entertainers. And who could blame them?

    Certainly not me, if Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri is representative of the group as a whole. Though his name may not strike you as immediately familiar, his nickname should: he's better known as former WWF star The Iron Sheik.

    I met him a decade ago when he was wrestling on a minor circuit that came to a bar in Alexandria. Dressed in a Pittsburgh Steelers cap and game jersey, he worked the crowd and chatted it up a bit, even. He seemed like a damn nice guy, and was -- as always -- a consumate showman. (Bam Bam Bigelow was there, too. He was an asshole.)

    But it was only after I saw this YouTube video of The Sheik calmly (yet totally) losing his shit during a interview (he repeatedly threatens to break another wrestler's back and then fuck him in the ass) that I realized just how great a showman he is, and why -- I assume -- Persians so love their entertainers.