وزارد او دا وستساد
VIZITOR TO THE VESTSIDE
an
American blog of Iranian dissent

Housh Your Daddy?

There's a headline in today's sports pages about Touraj "T.J." Houshmandzadeh, the NFL all-pro receiver, contemplating a trade to Seattle.

As is widely known to most Iranian-Americans except seemingly Housh himself, his father is Persian. The elder H-zadeh hooked up with a black lady in Santa Monica during the late 70s, only to head for the hills of Iran after he was born -- and he hasn't been seen since.

It's probably best to keep that tale on the down-low, unless we're prepared to see Not Without My Daughter II: Sans Padre in Sand I-go-go. Or something like that.

The film adaptation of Betty Mahmoodi's book was a crass movie and lambasted by critics. I remember my mother renting the video from Blockbuster one night for what seemed like the most uncomfortable 110 minutes of my childhood. The only good coming of it was I realized Alfred Molina looks really Persian with a beard, so maybe I might cast him someday.

The movie came out around the time of the first Gulf War, which was an uncomfortable time for all of us Towelheads growing up in America. I was caught in a situation where, on one hand, I couldn't talk to my parents about how I felt, while at the same time dealing with a school system and social hierarchy who's never seen your kind before. I just wanted to feel accepted, be like Johnny Football Hero, and prayed all the bullsh*t would go away and leave us alone. I'd walk home from my middle school drowning out the noise with help of my Sony Walkman headphones, listening to Public Enemy and N.W.A. on cassette, wishing we could all just get along in '91.

An Iranian-Finnish documentarian produced his own film to counter the negative fallout from N.W.M.D. But perhaps a more honest doc is found with this film (thanks, ParsArts) featuring a twentysomething Fresno native who travels to Iran to find the father he has never spoken to.

Another biracial American guy who knows what it's like to have their immigrant father disappear is Barack Obama. But he wears his dorag status on his sleeve, not on his head.

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