Monday, July 28, 2008


Colonial Mentality

With his kind of social consciousness and political awareness Fela will continue to write outstanding and relevant lyrics and with his music the world is sure to keep on listening. --Remi Akano, 1976.

I heard Seun Kuti on the radio the other day and it took me back to the 80s when I first heard his late father Fela Kuti's classic song "Colonial Mentality." Fela Kuti was a pioneer of Afrobeat music and a keen political critic.

Below is a long clip of the song (to hear the entire song, click here; for lyrics and translation, click here). At bottom, is an interview with Fela where he talks about colonialism in Nigeria and the "craziness" and "madness" of/about democracy. The song he refers to in the interview is "Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense."

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008


"Detachment" & "Rats and Roaches"

Our system is one of detachment: to keep silenced people from asking questions, to keep the judged from judging, to keep solitary people from joining together, and the soul from putting together its pieces. --Eduardo Galeano, "Divorces"

Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy. --Wendell Berry

Source: Epigraphs to Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor by Paul Farmer.

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Carlin on the "American Dream" & Carpenter on "Our Masters"

The George Carlin bit above is self-explanatory but the montage below from John Carpenter's 1988 film, They Live (THEY = The Hierarchy Enslaving You), could stand a little explanation. The 'sermon' soundtrack is from the opening scenes which feature a Christian minister preaching in a Los Angeles park until the police stop him. Part of the text of his sermon is taken from Paul's epistle to the Romans (3:13-18), which, in turn, hearkens back to Isaiah 59. Here are some of the representative verses from Romans 3: "... they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. ... in their paths are ruin and misery ... There is no fear of God before their eyes."

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Friday, July 04, 2008


آه يا عرب Oh, Arabs

Check this out:

The video speaks for itself.

Translation of the background song, Ah Ya Arab (Oh, Arabs) by Kathim Al-Sahir:
My Arab brother
I am bewildered
What changed the revolutionaries' sword into a cane?
What changed the Arabic tongue into a wooden tongue?
Oh, my people
Oh, Iraq
We didn't sell out Arabs even during the worst of calamities
Hello brothers
Hello friends
The truth is the antidote for crying
We have no bread or medicine
We're hungry and wounded
But we carry our wound with the patience of prophets
Praise be to God
Who honored us with a test of patience in these times of hypocrisy
Thank God always
Inform the United Nations, they might hear me
Convey the voice of love
The voice of my father as he prays
The blood of Iraq's children is in Al-Amriyah Grave
Sleep my dear ones, may your sleep be peaceful

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