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I was just an enthusiastic mountaineer of modest abilities who was willing to work quite hard and had the necessary imagination and determination. I was just an average bloke; it was the media that transformed me into a heroic figure. And try as I did, there was no way to destroy my heroic image. But as I learned through the years, as long as you didn't believe all that rubbish about yourself, you wouldn't come to much harm.
Maybe I'm a media critic with music. But I'm in the business of information myself, and I'm a poet and a singer and I have a platform to sing from. I think sometimes it's necessary to write certain songs. I think that song ["That's The News"] was necessary, and I'm really glad that it's causing the controversy it's caused.
I think, as a politician, [the exiled shah] had realized that the leaders were after their own political interests and they would very much like to establish relations with the [upcoming] regime in the country. But their inhuman behavior was terrifying, along with all the lies that the media would publish. I used to wonder for years, all those who wrote on the [subject] of human rights back then, how did they remain silent after all the inhuman incidents in Iran during the later years? [It was no] coincidence [that] the downfall of the shah [led to an Iran in which] the Iranians no longer had any human rights.
This war in Iraq makes millions of dollars for big corporations, either weapons manufacturers or those working in the reconstruction, such as Halliburton and its sister companies... It is crystal clear who benefits from igniting the fire of this war and this bloodshed: They are the merchants of war, the bloodsuckers who run the policy of the world from behind the scenes. President Bush and his ilk, the media giants, and the U. N... all are a fatal danger to the world, and the Zionist lobby is their most dangerous member. God willing, we will persist in fighting them...
Well, they have the education system. They have the media. They have the capitalist system. What do you think the Tides Foundation was? They infiltrate and they saw under Ronald Reagan that capitalists were not for all of this nonsense, so they infiltrated. Now, they are using failing capitalism to destroy it.
I feel that over the past 15 years, there has been a steady move toward more populist work. I do feel - and of course I'm completely biased - that this year was a return to the better days of the 80s and early 90s. It was a very good short list and a decent jury; it didn't have any stand-up comedians or media celebs on it, and I think that's what the Man Booker prize should be. There are plenty of other rewards for middle-brow fiction. There should be one decent prize for [pause] real books.
I'm in the spotlight, but not the truth. That's hard to accept, but that is unfortunately kind of how the world is and how the media is. Whether it's with Hollywood, whether it's with sports figures, whether it's the president, that's kind of how it works. I'm realistic and I understand that. That's why it's important for me to know who I am, to know I'm living my life the way I want to live, and that I am happy. At the end of the day, I can't really let myself get too angry about outside opinions that are or aren't true.