June 30, 2012

"Shahs of Sunset"

I finally got around to watching 15 minutes of the Shahs of Sunset reality show about a bunch of rich Iranians in Beverly Hills who, in the grand tradition of such shows, shop and complain. 

Anyway, I thought it was interesting enough to spend 15 minutes watching because we are frequently told that America must go to war with the New Nazi Germany to halt Tehran's juggernaut of anti-Semitism.

Yet, L.A. is full of complaining and shopping Iranians: some are Muslim, some Jewish, some Bahai, but they all identify as "Persian." There's virtually nothing going on in L.A. that would suggest that Jews are terribly oppressed in Iran. Persian Jews in L.A. are not famous for, say, undergoing combat training to ready themselves for playing a role in the inevitable war. They're more into brunch.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Romney is going to get elected and the neocons/likudniks are going to push hard for a invasion.

Peter said...

Do the Persians in Los Angeles identify themselves as a minority group and accept affirmative action benefits?

Anonymous said...

Just as "The Real Housewives of [x]" don't seem very real or housewife-like, a selection of Muslim/Jewish/whatever people in Beverly Hills and West L.A. isn't representative of Persians. There are larger communities of more-or-less orthodox Iranians in southern Orange County and San Diego. Sailer can't seem to break himself of this elementary mistake but what is a blog for if not the blowhard grandstanding of unexamined prejudices?

Anonymous said...

Do Persian Jews and Muslims look different?

Anonymous said...

I want my country back.

Anonymous said...

Much as I'd like to, I don't see the connection between the Iranian people and their "leadership."

Apples and oranges.

"Romney is going to get elected and the neocons/likudniks are going to push hard for a invasion."

No, in spite of tough talk, we no havie the money.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but this is extremely weak evidence. The Karzai family wasn't undergoing combat training, either, but instead running restaurants.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the Arab world, Iran still has a Jewish community. If they were genocidal anti-Jewish maniacs, they're too incompetent at it for us to worry about it.

The wealthy Iranian Jews left during the Revolution (along with lots of wealthy Iranian Muslims), because well, they're wealthy, and they wanted to stay that way.

Jewish Iranians don't experience oppression at a significantly higher level than Muslim Iranians.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Welcome to Teherangeles. Knew lots of Iranians since the late '60s. Horny little devils, back in the day.

Tscottme said...

I don't see oppression of Jews in Iran listed as a reason for war between US and Iran. The reason is seldom anything more than Iran is a supporter of terrorism and terrorist groups, Iran is hiding it's nuclear development work, and it's gov't is frequently threatening to destroy Isreal or attack US forces in the region.

Anonymous said...

Iranians are hardly fanatical anti-Semites. It's widespread, but not deep. Iranians dislike Jews the same way the French dislike Americans.

The show correctly shows that most Iranians have become, lacking a better word, "soft". Same in Tehran as in LA, that's our national character. Self-obsessed, focused on luxury and social life.

Yes the Iranian leadership is different, but they have to take into account what the public thinks.

Steve Sailer said...

"The Karzai family wasn't undergoing combat training, either, but instead running restaurants."

Indeed.

Anonymous said...

You're looking at the more modern people who fled after the Islamists took over. There are very few and mostly older Jews left there.

Jason said...

Yeah, I have to agree with anonymous up above that this isn't one of Mr. Sailer's finer columns. Obviously Persian immigrants are going to me more mellow than the Iranian regime and the strong minority of Islamists which exist there in Iran. I don't understand why Mr. Sailer can't grasp this obvious distinction.

Let's! said...

"Anyway, I thought it was interesting enough to spend 15 minutes watching because we are frequently told that America must go to war with the New Nazi Germany to halt Tehran's juggernaut of anti-Semitism."

You're trying too hard to connect unrelated topics. What next, are you going to look for insights into the Armenian genocide from the Kartrashians?

Anonymous said...

Yet, L.A. is full of complaining and shopping Iranians: some are Muslim, some Jewish, some Bahai, but they all identify as "Persian."

They're united in their identification as "Persians" and their utter lack of any taste or class.

Anonymous said...

From the flags they display in their shops and offices on Persian New Year, it's obvious that LA Iranians pretty much all monarchists, so you can't really extrapolate anything from them about supporters of the clerical regime.

Davis said...

"Sailer can't seem to break himself of this elementary mistake but what is a blog for if not the blowhard grandstanding of unexamined prejudices?"

I'd stop visiting if I were you. Maybe Reason or Huffington Post is more your speed. I'm sure you were the same poster bitching about the Irish not being white on the Arab AA thread.

Anonymous said...

Isn't "Persian" code for monarchist? (in contrast to "Iranian")

Anonymous said...

You're trying too hard to connect unrelated topics. What next, are you going to look for insights into the Armenian genocide from the Kartrashians?

If they are typical of Armenians then it all becomes a lot more understandable.

That was an attempt to be funny btw.

Anonymous said...

When I lived and worked in nice parts of LA I often encountered Jewish or Baha'i Persians, but never a Muslim.

I also heard comments from euro-American jews that Persian and to a lesser extent Russian immigrant jews are gauche and déclassé, and not acceptable marriage partners. A big issue is they focus on high wage low status occupations and flaunt the money.

SS's comment about gearing up to save the Jews of Iran makes little sense as there are almost none left.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of Persians qualifying for any sort of AA in California. They more likely suffer from mild reverse AA like Asians in California.

Gringo said...

There's virtually nothing going on in L.A. that would suggest that Jews are terribly oppressed in Iran. Persian Jews in L.A. are not famous for, say, undergoing combat training to ready themselves for playing a role in the inevitable war.

Because they are in LA, not in Iran under DinnerJacket's thumb.

guest007 said...

Steve,

A question that no one seems to ask is whether the Persians, Chinese, Koreans, Armenians who make such a display of consumption actually have any wealth outside of their consumption.

How many of the immigrants own stocks, have 401Ks, have a will, are covered by life insurance. How do all of the Wall Street types expect to keep making money when the number of people interest in basic estate planning is decreasing?

Anonymous said...

As a "Persian" I attest for SS. Obviously not all Iranians are like that - there are hard-core eliments around the regime - but most are. 2/3 of Iranians are now urban, and middle class values have spread since 1979. Going to war to kill jews is a bizare idea to a typical guy in Tehran, which I imagine is may not the case in Gaza or Yemen. The show tells you the jew thing is not a big deal.

(going to war for our "honor" against the U.S is more likely to stirr up the young).

Iranians call themselves Persian because it sounds more exotic and has less negative political connetations for Americans. Young Iranians are not monarchists, they are either apolitical or Liberal Democrats with a chip on their shoulders. Perhaps 20% are Republican.

around 1/3 of Iranians in the U.S arrived since 1999, thanks to chain migration and student Visas. The Iranian-American culture you see (in exagerated form) iin the show is fairly current.

Iranians HATE the show by the way, for obvious reason.



I am
Iranians hate the show by the way

Whiskey said...

Iranian exiles in LA are to the IRGC and Mullahs in Iran as say, Albert Einstein and Fritz Lang were to Adolf Hitler and the SS.

The conflict between the US and the other parts of the West, and Iran and Russia on the other hand, is about OIL. Specifically the price of it. The FT estimates Putin NOW needs the price of oil to be around $117 a barrel to break even on his budget. His future plans for spending need oil at $145. Iran probably with its spending (thug regimes are not cheap) oil around that latter figure.

I know and like many Iranians. Their women are fairly hot (Sarah Shahi is by no means unusual). Most are nice, gracious, and decidedly non-religious. That's not the conflict. The conflict is the world price of oil, to our favor or Russia and Iran's (with China tagging along figuring they are the stronger ones not us).

Anonymous said...

"The conflict between the US and the other parts of the West, and Iran and Russia on the other hand, is about OIL."

Whiskey is so funny.

"The FT estimates Putin NOW needs the price of oil to be around $117 a barrel to break even on his budget."

In contrast, the forces that could permit the US or most of the EU to produce break-even budgets belong squarely to the realm of science fiction.

"thug regimes are not cheap"

Whiskey, are you calling Western governments "thug regimes"? It doesn't take Russia, China or Iran much effort to pay for their own spending. The countries that have shown an inability to do so are the US, Japan and members of the EU.

Anonymous said...

LA Persians were the Shah's ruling class, merchants, and intelligentsia (secret police). I believe ~400,000 came as refugees around the same time as the big Cuban wave hit Miami. The press was full of stories on the latter and silent on the former.

The Shah ran a nasty gangster regime and a lot of the people who magically appeared in SoCal and bought up the gas stations were Shah cronies who did it with money they looted out of Iran. But no media ever spelled it out for the American public.

Anonymous said...

"thug regimes are not cheap"

I think that Whiskey's hunch that honest government tends to be cheap government is correct. What should be discarded is Whiskey's opinions about which governments are more honest than others. Putin's Russia is paying its bills while its Western neighbors are drowning in debt.

avery said...

"Do Persian Jews and Muslims look different?"

I knew a lot of Iranian Bahai's, who include people of Muslim, Jewish and Zoroastrian background. I did usually notice differences. I remember one Iranian Baha'i from a Jewish background who really did sound like a Jewish gal from Brooklyn. Something in the tone, the accent (in spite of it being Persian. The ones of Jewish background tended to be more westernized, though Baha'is, by definition, were vastly more progressive in most ways than Muslims, and most came from Muslim lineage. None of them make much over the ethnic descent though, and married among themselves, or to Americans.

ATBOTL said...

What percent of "white" people in LA are not European?