LOS ANGELES, CA – It started as an Iranian national scare when Najib Halabi, Iran’s Chief of Photoshop Corrections, suddenly disappeared. Iran accused Israel of assassinating him and having proof. Israel refused to confirm or deny any involvement. After weeks of high tensions between the two middle-east nations, Halabi reappeared in Los Angeles playing guitar for the Alternative Metal band, Alice’s Drone.
A neighbor, unaware of Halabi’s past, has listened in on the band’s practice sessions and said this, “Lousy chord progressions, man. Yeah, they seem to know what a guitar is, but they got no artistic talent, you know? It’s like they only know music from a computer game.”
Once the pride of geekdom, and second only to the US fashion industry for quality, Iran’s Photoshop Corrections Ministry has backslid badly in recent years. This decline has been attributed to Halabi. “It’s not that people don’t know about touching photos up, it’s about not being caught at it,” said touch-up artist Jaimie Prather, a widely respected Photoshop consultant. “People do this in the fashion industry all the time and everyone knows. At least we tacitly admit to it. On the other hand, Iran actually thought they were fooling people. ”
Experts believe the list of Iran’s Photoshop gaffes led to the unexpected retirement of Halabi. After the “Missile Too Many” oops in 2008, the “New Iranian Drone” blunder followed in November 2012, and continued with the “Fake Fying Stealth Fighter” fiasco in February 2013. The string of horrific humiliations for Halabi apparently became too much for the 17-year old ministry chief. US intelligence specialists say Halabi forged a fake passport with Photoshop and successfully fled the country.
Upon entering the US, Halabi’s Photoshop touch-up work was immediately spotted by customs agents. “It was embarrassing, really,” said Customs Agent Paul Greaves. “We knew right away that the passport was doctored. I kind of felt sorry for the kid to be honest. We’ve seen better from 15-year olds.” FBI intelligence operatives directed customs to let him pass. Later, they followed Halabi to Los Angeles and monitored his movements for any terrorist activity. Once he joined a band, got hooked on Meth, and slept with a number of loose rocker girls, the FBI cleared him of any anti-American intentions.
The effect upon Iran is profound. Halabi was the nation’s leading expert on Photoshop. Terri Hatterly, a technologist who consults for the Pentagon said, “With Halabi at the helm of Iran’s Corrections Ministry, their aerospace industry really took off. They had missiles that actually launched, unmanned drones, and stealth fighters that could actually fly. Without Photoshop, Iran’s arms industry has come to a screaming halt.”
While visiting at the Pentagon, officials introduced us to Thorn83. Yes, that’s his real name, following in the new fashion of having real names that are like Facebook user names. Thorn83 is one of the Pentagon’s newest breed of analysts examining photos from foreign governments. At 15 years, he represents a trend of analysts who understand the latest software far better than their middle-aged peers. He walked into the press room wearing a faded Nirvana tee-shirt, so worn because it’s “retro.” We introduce ourselves. Thorn83 responded by dropping his skateboard and picking his nose. Grateful that he isn’t trained to shake hands, we began the interview. “Oh yeah, Halabi,” grunts Thorn83. “What a loser! That old man is way behind the times. He couldn’t [unintelligible idiom]. He can [unprintable/unintelligible idiom] because he [it sounds like English but we’re not sure]. Basically, he sucks.”
We conclude with the site “boingboing.net” where Thorn83 shows how Iran’s Corrections Ministry is being publicly humiliated. The site shows what Iran could have done with a little more imagination. The original article is here.
More plausible than what Iran attempted
They could have earned some advertising money, had they been thinking.
The humiliation just gets worse