Palestinian hip-hop trio DAM, above, wield the power of hip-hop as a force against the Israeli occupation of their homeland—the world’s longest—and their minds as well.
Formed in 1998 by brothers Suhell and Tamer Nafar, center and right (friend Mahmoud Jreri, left, was added later), they initially sought to make party records that would earn them cool points with peers and the ladies. Then it was still “just for fun,” says Tamer. They completed a six-track EP titled Stop Selling Drugs, the first time any Palestinian had ever recorded rap music.
Reportedly, John Lennon was actually not an atheist, as many think, but instead a person strongly against organized religion. However, the opening lyrics to his 1971 classic, “Imagine,” above, have often been cited as a straightforward summary of the nontheistic conceit. The lyrics urge human beings to conceive a world in which our species ha rid itself of the divisiveness faith often seems to drive, coming together in peace, instead, through mutually shared need, common destiny, and brotherhood.
With a focus on the positive, he highlights humanity’s potential for goodness and the ways in which Humanists lead lives of purpose and compassion. Humanism can offer the sense of community we want and often need in good times and bad, as we celebrate marriages and the birth of our children, and as we care for those who are elderly or sick. In short, Humanism teaches us that we can lead good and moral lives without supernaturalism, without higher powers…without God.
Greg M. Epstein the guest today on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, March 26, at 2 pm ET.
You can hear his ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our live stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.
I’m endlessly fascinated by how even the most theologically moderate religious sects often confirm their beliefs through truly stark, often freaky, architecture.
This structure, in Ontario, Canada, the Sharon Temple, was build by a Quaker offshoot in the 19th century. Made 60 x 60 feet square, its three levels are affixed with twelve “tabernacles,” or lanterns, on each corner. Inside, right, columns support the roofs and let in sunbeams from the highest level, feathering it with an ethereal glow, symbolic of the Quaker faith’s concept of “Inner Light.”
Though services have not been held at the site in over 120 years, it is open to visitors, and looks like just the place to spend some quiet time, getting closer to the Creator…and the light inside.
It’s one of the most gratifying bylines I’ve ever received. Admittedly, I’m not sure how compelling this news, or the document, will be to people who are not Adventists, nor interested in exegetical critiques of SDA theology.
For those who are, though—one, the other, or both—it should prove provocative reading.
As a composer and arranger of Christmas carols, London-born John Rutter, right, works within what is arguably one of the most beloved, and oldest, forms of Western music, with a template laid down during the European Middle Ages.
It’s to his credit, then, that, whether re-interpreting long-cherished classics, or creating new ones, his works all shine with a lively and audacious sparkle. As sung by his much-beloved Cambridge Singers, favorites such as “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” or “Deck the Halls” unfold as though they were spirited, new, open-sea sailing anthems. Meanwhile, his own signature works are burnished with the passionate soulfulness of deeply reflected Christian faith and tradition.
I discovered Rutter’s portfolio when I came upon his own masterpiece, “What Sweeter Music,” wafting from a Volvo commercial, of all places. It is, without question, one of the most profoundly gorgeous pieces of hymnody I have ever heard.
John Rutter is the guest on the last edition, this year, of my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, airing this Christmas afternoon, Friday, December 25th, at 2 pm ET. Today’s is a special, holiday edition of the broadcast that we’ve aired once a year for about seven years now.
On this show, John will talk about, among other topics, his upbringing; spirituality in music; why he started his own label, Collegium; and the reasons that writing a carol is harder than writing a symphony, all between selections from his 2002 release, The John Rutter Christmas Album.
You can hear this thoughtful artist’s ideas by tuning in at 2 pm ET. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.
The over 400,000 women, ages 18-24, in the U.S. and Canada who practice Islam have been dutifully represented, bimonthly since 2007, by Muslim Girl magazine, the only beauty and lifestyle publication that targets young females of the faith.
Unfortunately, the mag has not published an issue since this one, above, in the spring of 2008. As Ausma Khan, editor-in-chief, noted in a letter to readers on the Girl‘s web site, the causes are “the current state of the economy and the overall decline in the print industry,” but, also, uniquely, “an advertising industry that is risk-averse to our name and audience.”
I’m personally hoping that Muslim Girl will revive and thrive. Though neither a Muslim nor a girl, I found it an exciting, thought-provoking, and colorful read. Normally, this is the part where most would also probably say something about hoping we can one day live in a country where all people are respected, no matter what their religion, skin color, etc. However, I’m Black.
Magazine or no magazine, Ausma Khan is a smart and analytical thinker on many issues, and especially one ones muslim girls face. That’s why she’s a guest today on this repeat edition of my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, June 19, 2 pm ET.
You can hear Ausma Khan’s and Janna Levin’s ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state area, you can check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, fly over to our archives for up to 90 days after the broadcast.
Living in Harlem, I’ve been seeing Asian tourists coming uptown for years, and that would little suprise most people. What might get their attention, though, is that many of these sojourners don’t come here just to eat at Sylvia’s, or merely to sit in the back of Abyssinian Baptist Church and hear its choir’s masterful singing.
Over the last two years, hundreds of Japanese, primarily women, have trekked to Memorial Baptist for the Saturday workshop where veteran black gospel music instructors like Mr. [Terrance] Kennedy lead them in a crash course of clapping, stomping, singing and swaying. Tommy Tomita, who is Japanese and a longtime Harlem resident, started the workshop in 1998 to give friends a look at one of the oldest forms of black music. When the friends demanded more, he persuaded the church to teach them how to sing. Now the workshop is advertised in Japanese stores and community centers in New York, as well as throughout Japan.
I’m not clear on the cause of this optical effect, but talk about subliminal messaging.
That is, was it just me, or, when you look at this completely unretouched video still of Amy Goodman, above, host of news show Democracy Now, from yesterday’s broadcast, does she have a halo encircling her head?
Its noble ends? “The Great Schlep aims to have Jewish grandchildren visit their grandparents in Florida, educate them about Obama, and therefore swing the crucial Florida vote in his favor.”
(Schlep, for non-Yiddish speakers, means to carry, or drag. So, the idea, as the stylish logo, right, may indicate, is that young Jews from across the nation—moving by plane, train, and automobile—congregate en masse in Florida, between now and Election Day, and persuade their oldest living ancestors to vote for Obama.)
This is the strangest thing I’ve ever heard.
I mean, first of all, why Florida, as opposed to any other state, and why does the geriatric Sephardic demographic require a special effort, of this unique kind: one made by, of all people, their own grandkids?