This Is How Immigration SHOULD Work…And Look! Sometimes, It Does!

Although its tone is unfair and though it’s subject has fallen right into lock-step with the enemies—yes, “enemies” is fair at this point—of the President and the democracy he represents—the New York Times has a revealing story about the kind of immigrant the nation should welcome and pronounce exemplars for the process.

Nasrin Sheykhi is a 29-year-old  Muslim woman who was able to come to the U.S. despite the travel ban because she earned what is known informally as an “Einstein visa,” the EB-1A visa, the government will issue to foreign citizens have “extraordinary ability” in such fields as science, education and the arts, and who want to come here. Sheykhi is a political cartoonist and satirical artist, and before her green card was dry, began mocking President Trump and insulting Melania. I don’t think that’s a particularly shrewd course from a supply and demand perspective, but never mind: she’s welcome here, and enhances the nation, as does any immigrant who come legally and has something to contribute.

It is interesting that the so-called travel ban didn’t stop Sheykhi , which is as it should be. From the Times story:

As a student, she acquired a following outside Iran thanks to social media and competitions in other countries that she entered online. When she applied for the EB-1A, her lawyer, Joseph E. Best, submitted 700 pages of material, including testimonials from other artists. Among them was one from Steve Brodner, whose work has appeared in major publications since the 1970s and who has taught at the School of Visual Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Of Sheykhi, he said, “There has never been a portraitist who has so successfully combined collage and caricature in the interest of commentary.”

Illustrator Jason Seiler said he had been so impressed that he showed her work to art directors at The New Yorker. “The business I am in is very competitive, so I rarely will do something like that,” he said.

Her lawyer, Best, said he had argued that her recognition beyond Iran “and the potential political value of her resisting the theocratic interests of the government in Iran” were in the United States’ national interest.

Among her U.S.-produced works is a Trump caricature , “Donald Trump No. 4.”  It consists of a tiny image surrounded by a big white frame.

[The Times notes that her Janis Joplin painting is much larger. “She was more important,” Sheykhi told the them. A Sixties rocker who killed herself with booze and drugs before she was 30, whose iconic hit was written by someone else, and whom the average American under 40 would be challenged to name? Sure she was. Well, if Sheykhi is as smart as we think she is, she’ll learn. Unlike the people who have lived here all their lives, she has an excuse for making silly statements like that .]

In explaining her Trump piece, she says that a president should be as big as the frame, and that the frame symbolizes the White House. “He is not matched by the place where he is as president,” she said.

Somebody pull her aside and gently explain that when a nation makes your life and future infinitely better, the proper words for the leader of that nation is, “Thank you.”

30 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Character, Citizenship, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire

30 responses to “This Is How Immigration SHOULD Work…And Look! Sometimes, It Does!

  1. adimagejim

    It’s still a free country. If she’s as talented as promised, she’ll figure it out. Welcome.

  2. With a mouth like that, I am surprised she survived so long in Iran. I wonder if she was more circumspect over there?

    If so, there is hope for her yet: she is teachable, and this little spat might be her way of getting on the radar. Controversy sells, and in her business being anti-Trump is a necessity, when starting out.

    I am betting she is not really as progressive as this story implies.

  3. dragin_dragon

    I’d make the same bet.

  4. Somebody pull her aside and gently explain that when a nation makes your life and future infinitely better, the proper words for the leader people of that nation are, “Thank you.”

    Fixed that for you.

    Welcome to America, Nasrin. Here we don’t have to kowtow to the people in charge. If they’re jerks, you can call them jerks.

    • And the President, elected by the People, is the People’s Representative.

      • Orin T.

        Shouldn’t that be the President, elected by the Electorial College, is the Electorial College’s Representative. After all the majority of the people’s votes went to “Crooked” Hillary.

        • Kyjo

          The people of each state vote for their Electors on the basis of the Electors’ pledge to vote for a particular candidate. Since the Electors are elected by the people based on the candidate they’re pledged to, whichever candidate wins the Electoral College is rightly regarded as the representative of the people.

        • Hillary did not receive the majority of the popular vote.

        • Shouldn’t that be the President, elected by the Electorial College, is the Electorial College’s Representative. After all the majority of the people’s votes went to “Crooked” Hillary.

          Once elected, the above does not matter. You are splitting hairs that came from a dead horse. POTUS represents the People of the USA, full stop.

          • Orin’s comment was too desperate and silly to argue with. Self-rebutting. My sock drawer beckoned…

            • No, no, no… Jack, allowing this sort of sloppy thinking is how we descended to this sorry state. For decades conservatives ‘live and let live’ policy allowed the left to set the narrative, and we all see the results.

              Just because you want to believe it does not make it so. That applies to russian collusion, 57 varieties of gender, and ‘whether pigs have wings.’

  5. Chris Marschner_

    Actually, I believe the office if the presidency should dwarf any human that we elect to temporarily occupy that position. If we suggest that any person is equal to the power of the office then that person is saying the president must never be humble to the electorate.

    • Great observation, and absolutely true.
      Unless Janice Joplin is President, of course…

      • Chris Marschner_

        Her commentary suggests she does not understand much of our rich history.

        I tried finding some of her works in which she takes on the theocratic regime she fled but I found nothing. Funny how she decided to come to the U.S. when Europe was so close. Maybe she knows something that Europhiles do not and is unwilling to express it.

  6. Chris Marschner_

    I read the piece and the headline was outright dishonest. She did not “elude the travel ban”. In fact her arrival suggests that it was not a muslim ban at all.

    • I got distracted: that was what first attracted me to the story. But I have more than enough “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias” posts and I could post more more than one every day. Yes, that headline was a lie.

  7. Wayne

    Well, she’s quite pretty and apparently is well educated and talented in her field. However having escaped a repressive regime, one would that she could put her art to work satirizing the Mullahs and thugs that rule Iran.

  8. Her artwork is interesting. But I think a more critical response is necessary. Afterall, we live in an Age of Illusion and people dupe themselves at every turn about what is important. It is a time of crises of values.

    The Times article reads:

    “To listen to Sheykhi is to hear another account of women in a country where the government has relentlessly tightened its grip on both women and freedom of expression. It is also to hear about someone who says she was “a noisy girl with infinite energy” when she was a child. Now she seems to have infinite fearlessness.

    This may be true, but it is also true that America, and the Americanopolis represent a powerful and unstoppable current of hyper-liberalism that rushes forward and destroys cultures, hierarchical values, institutions, traditions, neighborhoods, and — according to some analysis — the very soul itself. So, while Iran has a rigid clerical class and does indeed seek to control people — and surely one major focus of religious traditionalism is in controlling unfettered sexual expression (and thus the Americanopolis spreads filth and decadence through MTV, through pornography, and a profound general license — there is also the issue of preserving social structure and hierarchy. But the *value* of the West (the pseudo-value really) holds up an unmoderated, excited, rebellious child revolutionary spirit as something ‘positive’ and forward-reaching.

    But it more often than not leads to dissolution and, sadly, lack of freedom. See Libido Dominandi by E Michael Jones. We have done an excellent job knocking down the institutions and the social mores that respected hierarchy and traditional (moral) values and we also seem to demand that others submit to the same processes.

    ‘Noisy children with infinite energy’, can also mean unfettered energy set in the direction of ever-revolutionary projects. Thus she will likely fit in to a forward-racing and rebellious *feminism* and certainly ‘anti-patriarchialism’, quite common these days, and has evidently allied herself with the American Progressive crowd. And in this sense she will fit into a postwar radicalism which, truth be told, has severely infected America. In fact it is that strange, distorted, unfettered radicalism that has swept through art, the universities, the philosophical world and the intellectual world and races forward, blindly, toward ends never really pre-visualized but rather one’s that are *felt* and sentimental. Usually, this does not turn out well. Though living in a racy matrix is often *fun*.

    Her subjects of her illustration art-caricatures, like her personal inclinations I guess, are toward just those sorts of people who have been on the cutting edge of decadent projects. Those decadent projects that Robert Bork mercilessly cut down to size in Slouching Toward Gomorrah. It is the most easy thing in the world to align oneself with creative-destruction and far more difficult to constructively and intelligently build.

    No surprise that the Times coddles, flatters and lionizes her.

    The Times says: “Her lawyer, Best, said he had argued that her recognition beyond Iran “and the potential political value of her resisting the theocratic interests of the government in Iran” were in the United States’ national interest.

    This is telling, because there are on-going projects to seek to undermine traditional moral values and a good deal of what is referred to in the loaded word ‘theocratic interests’. Theocratic, theological, traditional, related to the form and foundation of our own civilization; but also having to do with non-contingent modes of defining life and existence: the machinery that rolls over and destroys time-honored institutional structures is a blind child. Similar perhaps to the ‘noisy girl with infinite energy’. The present regime of the US feels quite justified in knocking over established hierarchy and, in fact, this has become part of its destructive forward thrust. But it does this as a willful child and often does not understand what it so flagrantly topples.

  9. The Shadow

    What I found, in an admittedly short amount of searching, is that she is not a political cartoonist in the traditional sense. It seems more that she creates art (cartoons?) that depict political figures ( https://www.nasrinsheykhiart.com/politicians ).

    I’m culturally backward, but I fail to see the genius in this art. Putting a “Made in Russia” stamp on the Donald Trump No. 4 piece seems sophomoric instead of sophisticated commentary.

    I am glad she can now live a freer life thanks to our Bill of Rights. Maybe some day she will grow to appreciate what those freedoms really mean.

    • Chris Marschner_

      Shadow, thanks for the link. My original search was fruitless. Call me a rube but much of her work appears to be derivitive of Nedobeck or the illustrators that developed the animations in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.

      I wonder if the grand recommendations provided on her H1B application did so more to assist her entry than admiration for her capabilities. Don’t know and don’t care she is here legally.

      • dragin_dragon

        I have some difficulty defining this as ‘art’. It is VERY primitive, and reminiscent of grade school pictures. Perhaps her “talent” will develop as she ages.

    • Once again, the snooty elites decide something is art, and the rest of us are too… something… to appreciate it.

      This woman’s word is garbage that my two year old could replicate. But I feel the same about Jackson Pollock, so your mileage may vary.

  10. Do not her cartoons constitute interference in the election?

    How can we stand for foreigners interfering in the election? What right do foreigners have in interfering with American elections anyway?

  11. JutGory

    Interesting art.
    But, she also felt the need to take a swipe at Melania.
    I guess obnoxious jerks can create interesting things (though some would say being an obnoxious jerk is required).
    -Jut

  12. Kyjo

    Hi Jack, I had left a separate comment with my thoughts on this story, but maybe it got caught in the spam box?

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