Geert Wilders’ two cent video, Fitna, is just a little smoke and mirrors

March 31, 2008

Is The Multiculturalism Project Dead?

Today, I had a chance to see Geert Wilders’ so-called movie, Fitna. Apparently, it came out during my Easter pilgrimage to Bucovina.

If you haven’t seen Fitna, play it below.

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Almost a month ago, I said this about Geert Wilders. That was before Fitna was released. Below is my reflection after the release of Fitna.

Although the short video clip (let’s not call this a movie, shall we!) does not seem as contentious as Wilders’ politically incorrect manner of speaking and writing, Fitna exaggerates problems, misunderstandings and concerns with an oily, underhanded, used-car salesman’s approach – and a very sophisticated mastery of subtle, misleading suggestions.

Background music for your reading pleasure: Radiohead, Creep. Play it below.

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What this video clip (Fitna) provides is a compelling opportunity for plain clothes Europeans (not academics of the ivory towers) to evaluate the tenets of political correctness, multiculturalism, and cultural relativity. Europeans must answer some big questions for themselves. For example, do these ideological constructions (political correctness and multiculturalism) adequately reflect the things needed to further pursue the course of human freedom within the context of European cultural identity and aspirations?

Unlike Americans, Europeans have never been ones to allow their freedom of speech to be regulated by the self-proclaimed, American-imported demagogues of political correctness.

Americans, however, remain bound by a Christian humility and humanism AND a Victorian sense of correctness and virtue. These things derive from our European protestant roots and the English-Victorian influences that came to define the aspirations of the American middle class. In other words, certain forms of social thinking and action are built-in in America and make it difficult for us to succeed in any kind of critical re-examination.

MLK, Jr., for example, would never have moved the European heart. Europeans, in general, would have never have accepted his accusations of complicity to the degree that they would feel personally compelled to overcome their own sense of bigotry and racism. This, however, does not mean that European civilization is somehow inferior to American civilization. What I hope to illustrate by this example is that MLK, Jr. represents a dogma which leads Americans to certain conclusions to which Europeans are not bound. Read the rest of this entry »


moby and me: Easter Pilgrimage To Bucovina (part four)

March 30, 2008

If you missed part one of my Easter Pilgrimage To Bucovina, go here. Part four follows herein.

Last Night

Last night, I tried to get through this recollection, but it didn’t happen. That reminds me…

Last week, you [moby] mentioned that you were going to a seminar where Petr Janata, a cognitive neuroscience professor from UC Davis, was going to be speaking.

moby wrote:

“i’m having a seminar/conversation with neuroscientist petr jenata at the rubin museum in nyc… come down and talk about the brain with us.”

You never mentioned how it went.

I found Petr Jenata’s website. It states there that he uses “music as a model system for studying the neural basis of auditory attention, imagery and memory.”

Some background music: moby, We’re all made of stars.

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Also, I checked out the sxsw spin interview video. Quick impression: another uninspired, interviewer along for the joy ride of kicking it with an unassuming, soft-spoken A list celebrity.

Will you ever find a hardcore interview where the interviewer can actually engage you at your intellectual level?

Again, congrats on the website update. The new homepage is cool. Read the rest of this entry »


moby and me: Easter Pilgrimage To Bucovina (part three)

March 29, 2008

If you missed part one of my Easter Pilgrimage To Bucovina, go here. Part three follows herein.

Last year, about this time, you [moby] did some gigs in Europe. You gonna make the same rounds again anytime soon?

Let me know when you’ll be in Madrid. Hopefully, sooner than later. I’d like a good reason to hang out there. I have some friends there that I’d like to see too.

Below, a little background music: yello, ooooh yeah:

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Easter Sunday

Sunday was a long day. I wasn’t feeling well. Taking pictures of the moon in the freezing night did something to me. Nonetheless, we visited the Romanian orthodox monasteries of Putna and Humorului as well as St. Mary’s in Cacica. We looked forward to a sumptuous feast for dinner. In the morning, Aurelian of Casa Antonio had gone to the shepherds to slaughter and quarter a lamb.

rear of st. mary's church

View of the rear of St. Mary’s church in Cacica

The feast at Casa Antonio would begin with a traditional lamb-based meatloaf. Next came a sour lamb soup thick with lamb fat and garden vegetables. Then, Aurelian brought out the big guns: a massive lamb shank that had been boiled in liters of wine. We ate greedily and made lots of whimpering sounds after we had over-filled our bellies.

We went out to do some night photography, again. And there was a light rain. Unfortunately, there was no moon in the early evening. The temperature was near freezing (5 degrees celsius) and I think I pushed my luck. Perhaps, there was too much cloud cover for a moon when we went out. Finally, I did see a moon from the window in my room about 4am.

Around 2am, I decided to go for another bowl of sour lamb soup. Aurelian wasn’t sleeping and he was glad to warm up the ciorba for us. That was a bad idea. I loaded it with sour cream and fresh, crushed garlic paste. And I ate it with bread smothered with sour cream and garlic paste. The garlic put an unstoppable fire in my belly. And not just mine.
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moby and me: Easter Pilgrimage To Bucovina (part two)

March 29, 2008

If you missed part one of my Easter Pilgrimage To Bucovina, go here. Part two follows herein.

moby writes:

“oh, we’ve also put up the new album [Last Night] in its entirety on my myspace page (and it might be elsewhere on myspace, i’m not sure).”

Hear Last Night here (warning: product may contain peanuts, based on Schrödinger’s paradoxical thought experiments using quantum superposition).

Thanks, moby. Have a great weekend in Miami!

BTW, I think removing the forums was a great idea. Don’t cave to the mob of angry trolls. Comments to your journal should be sufficient to keep your website personalized and almost Web 2.0ish.

Below, a little background music: moby, Whispering Wind:

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St. Mary’s Church in Cacica

In a small Romanian village, I stood in an old church in the freezing cold. I stood shoulder to shoulder with the villagers. They were strangers to me. These people spoke another language, they worried about things which I did not worry about, and given the opportunity on any other occasion – most of them would be trying to sell me a square meter in their village for a preposterous amount – like nothing less than a million dollars.

Maybe, I exaggerate. But not by much. Been there. Done that.

And, yet, here we were in the same place and time, contemporaries, doing the same thing and not trying to get the better of each other. We were expressing by our very presence in that church, a desire (more or less) to be involved in something bigger than ourselves, bigger than our worries and everyday concerns, and bigger than our differences and our personal self-interest.

Standing there, I felt a strange community with these strangers as I reflected on the resurrection of Christ and anticipated a hot bowl of sour soup.
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moby and me: Easter Pilgrimage To Bucovina (part one)

March 28, 2008

Below, a little background music: moby, One of These Mornings:

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Easter Vigil in Bucovina

After an eight hour drive, I arrived at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Cacica (Kaczyka in Polish) just as the Easter Vigil service was getting started. Having fasted, I was looking forward to the late night supper waiting for me at Casa Antonio’s hostel-pension in Solca: ciorba radeautian– a traditional Northern Romanian soup. And since it was so cold (3 degrees Celsius), I hoped to find a warm bed too.

Yes, there is a website for the church in Romanian, Italian and Polish. Go here– if you can read any of these languages.

altar in st. mary's catholic church

Preparation of Holy Communion during the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Mary’s in Cacica Read the rest of this entry »


moby and me: good friday and happy easter

March 22, 2008

Good Friday and Happy Easter

Below, my humble, fleeting gift to you: a listen to Enya, We are free now

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Good Friday

moby writes:

“This weekend in acapulco, i’ll be dj’ing, not playing live. just want to make that clear. same thing is true in miami. at some point in the next few months i might play live again, but for now i’m happy to just be a bald beer drinking dj.”

For some, today is Good, Holy or Great Friday- the day to remember Christ dying on the cross. Today is the day that the Roman Catholic Church has designated the anniversary of the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The date of Good Friday changes every year. But I don’t know how they pick the date. Anyway, I stopped at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Bucharest. There were long lines to the confessionals.
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She Saw History in the Making: Number sixty four

March 20, 2008

District of Columbia v. Heller

A friend shared a story with me that made me deeply feel the significance and importance of the oral arguments that I reviewed regarding District of Columbia v. Heller. I had to share it with you. Fortunate for us… the kind author, Victoria Lloyd, gave me permission. I’ll admit this: I was so excited about this personal story that I waited eight hours to find out who the author was and how to get in touch.

Below, a little patriotic clip, in case, you can’t continue without video.

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Or, background music from Janis Joplin and Woodstock (Try)… for your reading:

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Number Sixty Four
by Victoria F. Lloyd

It was six o’clock in the evening on the Seventeenth of March when I drove by the United States Supreme Court to scout the line of people that had gathered on the sidewalk. They were strewn about in an unkempt line starting at the base of the marble steps of the court. I could see several people dining on Armand’s pizza and a delivery man with bags of Chinese food being paid by a young man bundled in a sweatshirt, jeans, and a North Face jacket. It was clear that these people were in for the long haul.
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