One of the last shots of Francesco Rosi's seminal work, Christ Stopped at Eboli (1979), is a shot of a plate of spaghetti in the rain. There is such power in it that it almost encapsulates the essence of the whole three-hour long epic of Rosi. The plate belongs to two exile communist student in a remote part of Italy of Fascist era, where they are not allowed to have any contact, even if they are living in a very small village. Though they cook for each other. One cook put the plate out in the open, the other comes and pick it up. Gian Maria Volonté, sadly observing the scene, remarks that "eating a plate of spaghetti together might endanger the State." How it has a ring of truth in it, you have to be in Iran.
The recent "watergame scandal" in Iran, which is nothing but a bunch of kids going out to a park in a hot July day, and soaking each other, and having a few minutes of laughter with water pistols, reminds me of that plate of spaghetti and how it can endanger the state and the pillars of religion. According to The Economist (20 August 2011), after news of this spontaneous event was broken out, "the mirth was deemed impious" in the official statements. This "shameful act" was condemned by the clergy and a member of parliament has claimed to detect a plot to "distance young people from Islamic values". To prevent the society from further "acts of sabotage", some arrests have been made. In a Youtube parody of "TV Confessions", a routine in Iranian official TV, and originally an invention of Stalin era, a participant of the "outrageous act" confesses that their next task was "playing with snow in the winter." God forbid!
I missed the chance of laughing with other people when I was younger, but I don't think anybody can stop the next generation from laughing out loud.