A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 26, 2013
Persiastroika (Persia + perestroika)

"Persiastroika” (Persia + perestroika) was used by Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show on September 26, 2013. Stewart was describing Iran (Persia) and its new attempts at peace negotiations with the United States. “Perestroika” (Russian for “restructuring") was used by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, just before its collapse.

“Jon Stewart’s ‘Persiastroika’ joke about Iran was funny, but it was also wrong” was published in the Washington (DC) Post the following day. Writer Max Fisher disputed that Iran was undergoing any restructurng.

The word “Persiastroika” had been used earlier. “The rial-ity of Persia-stroika” by David Keohane and Izabella Kaminska appeared on the Financial Times’ Alphaville blog on October 9. 2012.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
per·e·stroi·ka noun \ˌper-ə-ˈstrȯi-kə\
Definition of PERESTROIKA
:  the policy of economic and governmental reform instituted by Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union during the mid-1980s
Russian perestroĭka, literally, restructuring
First Known Use: 1986

FT Alphaville
The rial-ity of Persia-stroika
By David Keohane and Izabella Kaminska
Oct 09 2012 09:55
Hyperinflation or not. Immediate collapse of the regime or not. This situation is scary if what is coming out of Iran is accurate.
Only time will tell whether war is coming, the status quo is maintained or whether we might just see some form of perestroika in the Middle East.

Miriam Elder
Jon Stewart coins Persiastroika. Let’s go with that.
8:03 PM - 26 Sep 13

Jon Stewart was not the first to use #Persiastroika
9:08 PM - 26 Sep 13

Washington (DC) Post
Jon Stewart’s ‘Persiastroika’ joke about Iran was funny, but it was also wrong
By Max Fisher, Published: September 27 at 11:47 am
My recent writings on “The Daily Show” Middle East coverage, which I normally love, have probably gotten me banned from the show for life. So, I may as well continue with a nit-picky but significant point about host Jon Stewart’s otherwise very funny segment from Thursday night on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s effort to find detente with the United States.

Stewart, in perhaps the segment’s funniest moment, coins a great new word to describe Rouhani’s outreach: “Persiastroika.” It’s a clever play off of Perestroika, the world-changing 1980s Soviet policy of opening and reform. The only problem, as Al-Monitor’s Arash Karami pointed out to me, is that what Iran is doing right now is actually totally different from Perestroika, and in some ways the exact opposite.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Thursday, September 26, 2013 • Permalink