Is Beverly Hills going too Farsi? Chris Ayres of The Times has penned this tongue-in-cheek piece about the Persian invasion of California. 300 is now on our cinema screens, an Iranian-Jewish mayor has been elected and those faux palaces beloved of some Iranian Jews are mushrooming all over the place. (With thanks: Lily)
"So there is a conspiracy theory doing the rounds in the Middle East that 300, the new blood-soaked movie about the Ancient Greeks walloping the Persians back in 480BC, is actually neoconservative propaganda for a military strike on Iran.
"Now, as much as I hate to spoil a bout of nuclear paranoia, I suspect that the real explanation for 300 may be rather more boring than a plot to raze Tehran. In fact, it may have a little more to do with the recent elections in Beverly Hills; the city to which many of the Hollywood executives responsible for such big-budget movies such as 300 go home at night.
"Consider this, for example: about 8,000 of the 35,000 residents of Beverly Hills are Persians. On the whole they've done very well for themselves (and their community); you can see them cruising around in their two-tone Maybach 57s between the flashier restaurants and their sprawling faux palaces on Beverly Drive. And before you get any ideas about sleeper cells, I should point out that most of these Persians are Jews who fled Iran in the 1970s after the fall of the Shah."
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