Sunday, May 31, 2009

a tribe called quest w/ common: the remedy

Here's an old Tribe track from the Get on the Bus soundtrack.

Planet Grenada: whatever happened to q-tip?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

scientology on islam

After hearing yesterday about how Scientology is on trial in France, it made me want to find out a little bit more about the faith/philosophy/organization.

Here are some of the confused/confusing claims of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, on Muhammad and Islam.

Hubbard : "It's an enormous stone hanging suspended in the middle of a room, this is an incident called the Emanator by the way, and this thing is by the way the source of the Mohammedan Lodestone that they have hanging down there, that, eh, when Mohammed decided to be a good small-town booster in eh Kansas, Middle-East, or something of the sort.

"By the way, the only reason he mocked that thing up, is the trade wasn't good in his hometown. That's right. You read the life of Mohammed. And he's got a black one and it sort of hung between the ceiling and the floor, I don't know, maybe they call it the Casbah or something or... Anyway, anyway, that thing is a mockup of the Emanator! The Emanator is bright, not black.

"And so, your volunteer, who insists on a sightseeing trip, goes in and this thing is standing in the middle of the room, and it's going 'wong wong wong wong wong' and he says: "Isn't that pretty?". It sure is, and then he says "Mmmgrmrm ponk" Why, I'll tell you, they cart him from there, and they take him in and they do a transposition of beingness."

see also:
nothing unreal exists
"goodbye children"

new crusades?

Some frightening pieces about the extent to which military policy under President Bush was shaped and informed by a particular reading of Biblical doctrine:

Alternet: Bush's Shocking Biblical Prophecy Emerges: God Wants to "Erase" Mid-East Enemies "Before a New Age Begins"
CommonDreams: War Room is No Place for Bible Study

see also:
onward christian soldiers
more on evangelicals at the air force academy

Sunday, May 17, 2009

love is stronger than death

A few days ago a Christian friend of mine asked me to help translate a Bible verse into Spanish for him. He wanted to have a phrase from the Song of Songs (aka Song of Solomon aka Canticles) engraved on the inside of his wedding rings.

For those who don't know, the book is essentially a love poem. Some view it as a model of romantic love between a man and a woman while others view it allegorically as being about the relationship between God and Israel or God and the Church.

In any case, in the process of looking at different English translations I ended up reading different statements about the Song of Songs from a range of perspectives. For a while now I've had the general impression that the Song of Songs' status in the Biblical canon was questionable. For example, an uncle of mine who is a pastor once said something to the effect that that it wasn't fully the word of God (obviously due to the sensual content).

On the other hand I was intrigued and surprised by a comment made by Rabbi Akiva, a first century C.E. Jewish scholar: "Heaven forbid that any man in Israel ever disputed that the Song of Songs is holy. For the whole world is not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel, for all the Writings are holy and the Song of Songs is holy of holies." In other words, the Song of Songs is not just the neglected stepchild of the Bible but an essential central text. It is reminiscent of the prominent role that love poetry has for Sufis such as Rumi and Hafeez.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

starting to twitter

I'm just starting to use twitter but I'm not sure I see the fascination. 140 characters seems too small for substantial or complex thoughts. And if messages are going to be that short, it seems better to have the immediacy of a chatroom. By the way, I'm talibanana (Hanafi, soft and sweet).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

obama: white house correspondents; dinner

Rahm Emanuel isn't used to saying "Day" after "Mother"
Dick Cheney's memoirs are tentatively titled: "How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate People."

and finally:
"You know, we [Hillary Clinton and I] had been rivals during the campaign, but these days we could not be closer. In fact, the second she got back from Mexico she pulled into a hug and gave me a big kiss. (Laughter.) Told me I'd better get down there myself."

wanda sykes: white house correspondents' dinner

Saturday, May 02, 2009

azizah: a work in progress.

I've recently been listening to Sha-Key's 1994 album, a head nadda's journey to adidi skizm in my car and it's made me wonder what Sha-Key (aka Hanifah Walidah) has been up to lately. One of her more interesting projects in the works is a documentary film named Azizah ("my powerful beloved") which looks at the lives of Black American lesbians who were raised as Muslims. Definitely food for thought.