Friday, February 23, 2007

Award for Most Horrific Headline in Quite Some Time

For some, Beverly Hills ballots went too Farsi

Apparently, several overly "pulled" white ladies of a certain age down in 90210 were miffed to receive their election materials with — are you ready for this? — Arabic-Persian script all over them!!!!!!!

People, don't you need to go to some kind of expensive philanthropic luncheon or find some similar better use of your time than giving interviews to the press about this crap?

Apparently, Persians (please do not call them Iranians down in Los Angeles) now make up a good 20% of the population of Beverly Hills. Three of six city council candidates are of Iranian descent, and an Iranian-born councilman is poised to become the city's next mayor. The takeover has begun, folks! Bwahahhahahahha!

I love this bit:
"It was a design error," suggested voter Rose Norton. "It really looked like a menu from a Farsi restaurant with a translation in English." Norton said she found it "offensive" and threw the sample ballot away immediately after she cast her absentee vote.
Please, bitch. You know you've never even eaten fesenjan. And WTF is a "Farsi restaurant"? Is that like an Urdu restaurant or a Bahasa restaurant?

At least I could count on the Times to do its homework and provide some context:

Beverly Hills is not the only city to have more than one language on its standard ballot.

In neighboring West Hollywood, where Russian speakers make up about 12%
of the population, the default ballot is also bilingual, including phonetic
English alongside Cyrillic Russian, said City Clerk Tom West. The federal Voting
Rights Act requires counties only to make election materials available in other
languages, not to send the full translations to all voters.


Some cities have chosen to provide full translations, such as Armenian in Glendale, or Khmer, the Cambodian language, in Long Beach. "It's not a legal requirement, but they do it simply to serve people who speak limited English," said Deborah Wright, executive liaison for the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder. "It's
in the spirit of the law."

This is your typical neighborhood politics tempest in a doogh cup.

Now about that headline writer....

UPDATE: I forgot about this particularly silly bit of the commentary: '"I believe the cover is what shocked the community," said [City Clerk] Pope, ... "I believe it was the Farsi script, with the war going on and all," he said.'

Oh, brother. I can practically hear the gasps up and down Beverly Glen: "When we start putting a modified Arabic alphabet on our election ballots, the terrorists have won!"

2 comments:

Huntington said...

Perhaps you would have preferred "Ballot snafu has BH matrons Tehran their hair out."

Andrew said...

Oh, brother. I can practically hear the gasps up and down Beverly Glen: "When we start putting a modified Arabic alphabet on our election ballots, the terrorists have won!"

This is hilarious. And probably exactly what they are thinking.