Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
As you may know, I write for Crowndozen and I just posted my top 12 on the site. Top 12 of what?!
Short and sweet list of my top twelve favorite voices or singers, if you will. They are in no particular order and I know that I may be leaving some real great ones out, but at Crown Dozen it's about the twelves! So, without further adieu, here goes:
1. Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins)
2. Johnny Cash
3. Dax Riggs (Acid Bath/Agents of Oblivion)
4. Abner Jay
5. Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse)
6. David Bowie
7. Jack White (White Stripes)
8. Lou Reed (Velvet Underground)
9. Warren Zevon
10. Cat Stevens
11. Dose one and Why? (Anticon)
12. Khaela Maricich (The Blow)
Yeah, just as I suspected, there are ton more that I can think of right now that I really wish I could add. For the time being though these will do.
Now Rouz! It's the Persian New Year! A friend of mine is Persian and she has dropped a little knowledge about the culture and what not. This is a re-post of something she posted and I thought it was interesting. Check it out:
All Iranians, whatever their religious beliefs, language or origins and wherever they live, are strongly attached to Now Rouz, meaning New Year.
This festival, which does not feature in the Islamic lunar calendar, begins the solar year at the spring equinox, 21 March. Lasting around two weeks, it is the longest of all Iranian feasts and its rites are the richest in symbolism. The ceremonial includes customs from pre-Islamic festivals and rites introduced by people of non-Iranian origin, such as the Jews, and even borrowings from rites practised elsewhere.
The "spring cleaning", or khaneh takani, done before New Year, is more than just a cleaning operation
Two weeks before Now Rouz, each household traditionally grows a plate of sprouts of wheat, barley or lentils as omens of a good harvest or as tokens of fruitfulness in the future.
This significant ritual is followed by two important celebrations which mark the closing days of the year and prepare for Now Rouz proper. At nightfall on "Ember Wednesday", or chahar shambeh souri, meaning the Wednesday festivities, a bonfire of brambles and other dry plants is lit. Men and women, old and young leap over the flames shouting "Fire that burns! Fire! Fire! May your red come to me and my yellow go to you!" The light of the flames symbolizes the Sun. By challenging the setting Sun to shine more brightly and to compete with the fire, they urge it to throw off its winter torpor.
Once the fire has gone out, earthenware pots and vases filled with water, and a variety of other objects, are hurled from the top of the house to shouts of "dard-o bala! dard-o bala!" ("Pain and unhappiness!"). Wednesday being traditionally considered as a day of ill-omen, in this way misfortune is averted and unhappiness symbolically banished from the house.
On the same day, people try to foresee the future. The omens are read in various ways. Women who want a child, girls who have not yet found a husband, men who are hoping to conclude a successful business deal or even to get married, go out into the streets or stay behind closed doors eavesdropping on conversations between people they do not know. They interpret the words they overhear as omens of the future and make wishes and pray to try to ward off misfortune. Another custom is for women and children in disguise, their faces hidden, to go out into the streets at twilight carrying an empty receptacle and bang on doors with a spoon. They say nothing but go on knocking until someone opens a door and gives them a present.
The second end-of-year celebration, the "Day of Reckoning" (rouz-e barat) is the Iranian day of the dead. On the last Thursday of the year alms and gifts are distributed at the cemetery: money, food, halva or new clothes are given so that the poor can celebrate the feast. The house is cleaned from top to bottom-this is a vestige of a pre-Islamic festival. In this way the living seek to pay their debts to the departed and attract the benevolence of their ancestors.
The "spring cleaning" (khaneh takani), done before New Year, is more than just a cleaning operation. From cellar to attic, from carpets to bedding, everything must be made as good as new. A new life is dawning and the house must be symbolically purified and thoroughly cleansed as if it were a human body, by being carefully washed and by wearing new clothes.
For the New Year ceremonial, the plate of sprouting grain and the tray of “haft sin”, meaning seven sins, --from the Iranian letter “S”-- must be placed on the Now Rouz cloth in front of a mirror lit by as many candles as there are members of the household, a copy of the Qor'an, the Muslim’s holly book, a bowl of milk, a bowl of yoghurt, and gifts of coins.
The tray of the "seven sin" contains seven products whose names in Persian, Turkish or Arabic begin with the letter sin, the initial letter of the Persian words for green (sabz) and white (sefid), colours which symbolize respectively the renewal of springtime and the purity that wards off demons. Today the tradition has changed: everyone can choose seven symbols representing renewal, creation, abundance and wealth. The number 7 is a sacred number, as it was for the Babylonians and the ancient Hebrews, linked to the idea of creation which runs through all the symbolism of Now Rouz.
While they are waiting for the New Year to begin, the parents and other older people pray that the year will be propitious and recite the Qor'an to bring blessings and happiness to the family. Immediately afterwards, sweetmeats are eaten. Their taste presages a happy year.
On the Sizdah bedar, or “thirteenth day outside”, the mount of the demon of cold is driven from the city.
On New Year's Eve, fireworks are set off in the courtyard of the house or on the terrace. They symbolize the combat between dark, gloomy winter and bright, joyful spring; the victory of fire over darkness, a re-enactment of the moment when the world of shadows is attacked by the world of light, the moment of Creation.
On the morning of the Big Day the children are given gold coins, cakes and hard-boiled eggs that have been painted, decorated and wrapped as gifts. They have been cooked in a brew of onion peel, walnut shells or straw so that they are coloured green, brown or yellow. They symbolize the renewal of the world and they are a pledge of fruitfulness.
The first thirteen days of the year are a time of rejoicing. Children think only of play and adults of visiting each other. The real purpose of these joyful days is to rediscover an original state of purity and equality. Relations with friends and neighbours begin anew. People visit everyone, the mighty and the humble.
The period of mourning for those who died the previous year is ended. The straightjacket of convention is broken, though indulgence in licentiousness is not encouraged. Distances due to social rank are abolished. Everyone, rich and poor, enjoys the same kind of food and recreations and wears brightly coloured new clothes. Work stops in fields and factories. All the rites performed at this time look back to a lost paradise, the original earthly paradise in which the divine breath infuses humankind with a feeling of spiritual fraternity and equality.
On the Sizdah bedar, or thirteenth day outside, the mount of the demon of cold is driven from the city. The cereals that have sprouted in the plate are thrown into the river after being examined by the elders in an attempt to predict the weather during the coming year.
This day inaugurates a happy New Year. Friends and neighbours usually organize a picnic in the countryside at which noodle soup or dishes of rice in sauce are eaten. People go and see the streams and rivers swollen with melted snow. The young play traditional games and sports, and the girls weave together fresh herbs, singing as they do so in a low voice: Sizdah bedar - sal-e degar - khaneye shouhar - bacheh be baqal, meaning The thirteenth day, next year, at the husband's house, a baby in my arms!". No conflict should be initiated on that day.
In all the rites of Now Rouz, whatever their origin, there is one constantly recurring feature: the conflict between light and darkness, in keeping with the old Zoroastrian dualism. It is no coincidence that legend should attribute the invention of this feast to Jamshid or Feridun, legendary kings and divine heroes who triumphed over the forces of darkness.
But if Islam has kept up this Zoroastrian feast, it is because of the role it plays in the stabilization of the fiscal year and also because of its jovial and lively ceremonies which were highly esteemed at the courts of the caliphs and the sultans.
The singing and music which always mark Now Rouz explain why the sufis are interested in this festival.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Been slacking as of late. Spring break and all that jazz. I did read an interesting article that brought me some joy though recently. Check it out, as quoted from the AP:
Rep. Stark applauded for atheist outlook
WASHINGTON - The American Humanist Association applauded Rep. Pete Stark for publicly acknowledging he does not believe in a supreme being. The declaration, it said, makes him the highest-ranking elected official — and first congressman — to proclaim to be an atheist. The organization took out an ad in Tuesday's Washington Post, congratulating the California Democrat for his stance.
"With Stark's courageous public announcement of his nontheism, it is our hope that he will become an inspiration for others who have hidden their conclusions for far too long," executive director Roy Speckhardt said in a statement.
Stark's beliefs garnered attention after the Secular Coalition for America offered a $1,000 prize to the person who could identify the "highest level atheist, agnostic, humanist or any other kind of nontheist currently holding elected public office in the United States."
Associate director Ron Millar told the Los Angeles Times that the group wanted to highlight the difficulty that politicians have declaring they don't believe in God.
A member of American Atheists California nominated Stark.
"We didn't think we'd have any member of Congress come forward," Millar said.
Stark, whose district is in the San Francisco Bay-area town of Fremont, confirmed his belief in a statement to The Associated Press late Monday. He said he was "a Unitarian who does not believe in a supreme being."
"I look forward to working with the Secular Coalition to stop the promotion of narrow religious beliefs in science, marriage contracts, the military and the provision of social services," he wrote.
Unitarian Universalism describes itself as creedless, allowing members to shape their beliefs based on personal experience rather than an authoritative statement of religious belief. Some members believe in God, but not all do.
Stark has represented Fremont in Congress since 1973 and chairs the health subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee.
This is really great because there are probably almost no known politicians, that I can think of at least, that have done something like this. In a society where it is the norm to say "God Bless", or "God Bless America" or "one nation under God" etc, it's very refreshing to see something like this. Remember that thing called separation of church and state? What a wild and crazy idea! When did it become the rule of thumb to bless god after a speech Mr. President? Do you do that so that you can make yourself feel better about the shit storms you start everywhere? I think you do it to quell your fears of feeling guilty. Is that it, or is it that all of your constituents more or less require you to say things like that because that's the "true spirit of America"? It's a farce. Saying things does not necessarily make you a good person; you actually have to be good and do good things. Ah, what's the point, that's too hard. America-fuck yeah!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Well here is my first podcast, check it out, it's got a lot of good music on it, including, but not limited to, Abner Jay (a musical gem you probably have never heard of, and if you have then you're special), Esham, Joakim etc. Just listen and like it. Podcast # 1 listen!
freight of the day
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Saturday, March 03, 2007
does it offend you, yeah? - we are rockstars justice - wathers of nazareth (john reeden remix) kavinsky - testarrossa autodrive (sebastiAn remix) goodbooks - leni (kissy sell out remix) moulinex - salt xinobi - turbonegro’s lesson justice - let there be light (dj discrete mix) trashtalk - tankgirl hystereo - validity revision franz & shape - countach digitalism - zdarlight (paranoid asteroid) depeche mode - never let me down again (digitalism remix) yuksek - composer vitalic - candy passions - emergency toxic avenger - kissing the remix
The second one is Duggadut's Crash Boom Bang mix. He reps Norway. Keen!
Jamie T – Calm Down Dearest
DJ Mehdi – Signatune (Thomas Bangalter edit)
Magik Johnson – Scanning For Viruses (Claude vonStroke Coffee on your Motherboard Mix)
P. Diddy Feat. Christian Aguilera – Tell Me (Switch Remix)
Hi Jack – Hi Jackin’ (Herve’s Fuck Fuck Mix) Vs. Simian – Never Be Alone (Duggadut edit)
Unklejam – Love Ya (Herve Remix)
Chemical Brothers – Electronic Battle Weapons 8
The Sounds – Tony the Beat (Rex the Dog Remix)
Crookers – Massive
Justice – Let There Be Light (Dj Funk’s Bounce Dat Ass Remix)
TTC – Une Bande des Mecs Sympas
Zongamin vs. Spice Girls – Spice up Your Bongo Song
Both of these were found via Slutty Fringe.
I've done a decent but small update on For The Love Of Freights. Check it out.
freight of the day