In March, 2003, when the US invaded Iraq, I felt that I had to advocate peace over war, so I started this little web project.
Even though the 100,000-plus Iraqi civilian and the 3,000-plus US military lives lost to date can’t be brought back, I want to keep this project alive and open until the war has ended, until peace comes to Iraq.
The idea is to chain musical pieces from one artist to another, like a chain letter.
The purpose is to musically mark the passage of time that Iraq is in a state of war, to mark the steps to peace, to take each day that there is war and build a musical memorial to the desire for peace as well as to mark off the time of war.
So far 35 artists have contributed their musical pieces, adding on to the existing work vertically as well as horizontally, overlaying or extending the existing creation.
There are no rules how to contribute musically, except that the contributor must not eliminate any of the existing music as he or she adds to it, because the existing music is the result of the artistic contribution of the other artists.
Lovers’ (or Sentimental) Rai is the least studied and least appreciated style of Rai outside of Algeria. It had none of the markers of the other Rai styles that captivated Western audiences and commentators — it was not “traditional,” a “music of protest,” and did not show “World Music eclecticism” — but it was the most popular style of Rai in the ’90s in Algeria.
Lao-Tzu said ‘the five colours make a man blind, the five tones make a man deaf,’ because if you can only see five colours, you’re blind, and if you can only hear five tones in music, you’re deaf. You see, if you force sound into five tones, you force colour into five colours, you’re blind and deaf. The world of colour is infinite, as is the world of sound. And it is only by stopping fixing conceptions on the world of colour and the world of sound that you really begin to hear it and see it.
Alan Watts - Lecture on Zen
Alex loves rape and Beethoven: what do you think that implies?
Stanley Kubrick: I think this suggests the failure of culture to have any morally refining effect on society. Hitler loved good music and many top Nazis were cultured and sophisticated men but it didn’t do them, or anyone else, much good.
There is something I recognize about religion that us evengelical atheists haven’t really grappled with yet, which is that it gives people a chance to surrender. What religion says to you, essentially, is: you’re not in control. Now, that’s a very liberating idea.
Celebrity is like bad sex. Celebrity calls into existence the virtual aspect of our nature, its ability to be something different, something beyond what we expect of our species. The intercourse of public and celebrity draws attention to one thing that breaks the spell: the complete incompatibility of the public’s desire with that of the celebrity. The sordid fact is that both jerk off on the other, but can never come together.
‘I want you to make sure tomorrow’, said Faisal, ‘that the people are told precisely what operation I’m having. The Minister of Health will probably dress it up with long medical words, but I want the announcement to use the words that everyone understands –bawassir , piles.’
Robert Lacey – The Kingdom: Arabia & the House of Saʻud
On the possibility of making contact with extraterrestrials
Perhaps we shouldn’t be so enthusiastic about making contact with intelligent extraterrestrials. Scientists point out that on the earth, there are two types of animals: predators like cats, dogs, and tigers (which have eyes to the front of their face, so they stereoscopically zero in on their target) and prey like rabbits and deer (which have eyes to the side of their face in order to look around 360 degrees for the predators). Typically, predators are more intelligent than prey. Tests show that cats are more intelligent than mice, and foxes are more intelligent than rabbits. Humans, with eyes to the front, are also predators. In our search for intelligent life in the heavens, we should keep in mind that the aliens we meet will probably have evolved from predators.