When I started this site, my idea was that I would use it to write the occasional post that had nothing to do with cars. Time to dig into the Ephemera file, which happens to contain a nice 1980 Happy New Year card that the Iranian Ministry of National Guidance sent me when I was 14 years old. 
Not every 14-year-old gets such personal attention from the Iranian Ministry of National Guidance (now named the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance), especially when the Iranian government has its hands full with holding a bunch of US Embassy employees hostage, but I spent my adolescence obsessed with Brezhnev Era Cold War madness in general and government propaganda in particular. Back in those days, just about every country on the planet had its own shortwave propaganda station broadcasting in English and beaming the signal at North America (Radio Moscow cranked out so many watts that their signal would come in stronger than most local AM radio broadcasts), and so I saved the money I made delivering the San Francisco Chronicle (remember when newspapers were delivered by boys on bicycles?) and bought a shortwave radio to listen to The Voice Of South Africa, Radio Vilnius, and so on (this radio, which I haven’t used for decades, is now up for sale, which is what inspired me to dig up my Iranian Revolutionary New Year’s Greeting card). All those stations wanted to know how their signal was coming through, so if you sent a postcard they’d send you QSL cards and often a bunch of weird/cool stuff. Naturally, I preferred the stations of scary dictatorships, Warsaw Pact client states, and pariah states in general, and so I tuned in to Radio Tehran’s apeshit-crazy rants, sent them a card saying that said apeshit rants were coming in loud and clear, and got this great card in return. Thanks, Ministry of National Guidance! Glad you were able to take a break from stoning adulteresses to send me a card!

7 Responses to “The Red Flowers Growing On The Graves Of Our Martyrs Fill The Air With The Fragrance Of Freedom!”

  1. mechimike

    This is very cool. On a somewhat tangentially related note, I just dug my old globe out of the basement- it has no date that I can find on it, but the countries are all there- East German, West Germany, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics…

  2. theeastbaykid

    So…how’d you get on THAT mailing list?

  3. Champion

    I also enjoyed trolling around the shortwave bands around then, though with a much tinier, simpler radio. I recently powered up my shortwave radio at home and was disappointed to find that I could only pick up one station (a religious broadcaster) on the entire band that day.

  4. DoctorNine

    Weird. I did this shortwave stuff too. Put up a longwave antenna 12ft above and parallel to the crest of the roof on my house, and drank too much Jagermeister late winter nights. I liked Lithuania and Estonia the best. No QSL cards to beat that though…

  5. voodoojoo

    I get a wonderful shadow-government feeling when I wonder how this sort of thing would go down today with modern contemporaries. Getting care packages from Axis of Evil types might go less unnoticed.

  6. Bozoer Rebbe

    Things have changed in 30 years. Notice how the signs are all in Farsi? Now, when there’s some kind of demonstration in a Muslim country the signs are all in English so that we can tell how much they really hate us. That’s why I made Ummat Is’rail Hayyah (Am Yisrael Chai, The Nation of Israel Lives, an old Jewish saying) Arabic shirts and hats.

  7. josh

    me, too although i had nothing as cool as your rig. i spent some time learning morse code, too, but i never got my ham license. murilee, if your phone internet weren’t on the nsa’s record and archive list, i’m sure it is now!

Murilee Martin Home

Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Creative Commons License