9:31 PM Comment0 Comments

Its that time again. My [tentative] finale MMoM post. Well technically I've never done this before, as the last M stands for month, and I've just begun doing monthly musicians, so really its the first time. BUT NEVERMIND THAT! This is the [possible] finale, so we'll go back to the beginning. I started with his most recent single "We Fall" a shining example of his newer work. Then you heard his earliest single "Gua" a raw beat with heavy African influence. You also heard his little-known song "50 Cent" which is another shiny example of his new work. Finally, you'll hear one of his earlier break-out singles "Warchild." This song is less hip hop and more spoken word poetry. The words are chilling, the beat chaotic. The effect is obviously light years short of the transient (non-existent) peace and happiness experienced by a Sudanese child soldier, but Emmanuel Jal effectively disturbs and concerns listeners with this song."I believe I’ve survived for a reason … to tell my story to touch lives."

Emmanuel Jal- Warchild.

Aha, I'm kinda feeling this might not be the finale... I might squeeze another in tomorrow. There's so much I realized I've missed!

9:41 PM Comment0 Comments

Today's blog is about... cats. They only like you for your warmth! Its true, for all their "affection" and "kindness" they only stick around if you're warm and cuddly like a teddy bear in the campfire. Did you ever hear about that psychic cat that lived in an old-folks home? Yeah, it apparently always sat on the beds of patients that were about to kick the bucket. What no one realized is that these people either had an extremely high fever or they were under a heat-blanket because they were wasting away. So the cat naturally gravitated towards the warmest possible place which happened to be the beds of folks looking towards greener pastures. Nothing Satanic or Demonic, just cold, calculating instinct and self-preservation. My cat sits on me, when I'm warm, but he'll lie on the rough metal heat duct over me any day of the week if the furnace is burning. Don't get me wrong, I love cats like I like painfully forced metaphors. But the reason is, I have great respect for their independence. They don't need love they just need a nice sun-beam, some litter, some nasty food and the occasional cracknip. Dogs have loyalty, but who cares, cats are the ultimate in self-serving survivers!

PS started the tentative final edition of my three blogs, the Deserted Diviner on which I posted a nice review about the movie "The Road." Readers will love how I completely missed the major points of the movie and took it at face value.

12:49 AM Comment0 Comments

That at this moment in time, I do not care about anything worldly or political. I'm too tired. My brain is shutting down. All I think of, if anything is frivolity. I feel like... 50 cent. Like I could glorify the ghetto. That is if I'd ever even been in the ghetto, much less experienced the gangster life. Anyway, this is my excuse to play this song by Emmanuel Jal. Its a shout out to 50 cent and like-minded rappers to change their ways. Its a condemnation of the modern hip hop scene and all that corporate stuff. Not that I care, as I said before. Really, its just a mildly catchy song, with no important meaning especially to me.

"50 Cent" Emmanuel Jal.

10:37 PM Comment0 Comments

Its true. Girls don't like space. And I'm not talking emotional space, ones personal bubble. I'm talking outer space. The final frontier. Take a poll of all the women you know, chances are if they are under 30, 99% don't have any interest in space whatsoever. Female: space is boring, empty and space travel a pointless and unexciting endeavor. Now that's not to say that all men and boys love space, but the number of boys who grow up idolizing astronauts is markedly higher than the number of girls. What is it about the male psyche that draws them to outer space? A cold, inhospitable, desolate void where nothing can logically survive without mechanical life support (even this point is argued against by Star Trek. See, space whales). What is the appeal? Is it the science, or is it the adventure? Or some combination thereof? In the 1500s did the boys all rave about the New World, adventures and untold riches while the girls scoffed at them and played hopscotch? Who's to know? Of course, there are female astronauts, female space enthusiasts, it just seems they are quite rare, especially in this time of space stagnation. And truly my interest in space was only sparked after going to the Kennedy Space Center and seeing the Shuttle launch in the third grade. Somewhere along the way I forgot my dream of being an astronaut though. I could have been on my way to the moon or Mars, isolated from the bulk of humanity for years at a time. So yeah, there are some downs, but I can't see how you can't recognize the excitement of the adventure. The prospect of doing something completely new and untried. Of breaking the limits of human exploration and forging new and exciting goals. In the end, this post has nothing to do with gender, just a growing disinterest in space exploration in today's world. My friend wrote it much better; it sounds much less sexist than my own. Here it is: Classic Renaissance: The Space Age (Warning: May contain painfully forced metaphors and pedantic douchebaggery.)

11:26 PM Comment0 Comments

So, now that I'm doing Movement Musician of the Month I'll be doing little features on other non-MMoM artists, in between, because a month is a long time to wait if I find a cool song. So here's the first little mini-feature; "Haiti". This is a song by a Canadian Band called the Arcade Fire. This song was written by one of their vocalists, Régine Chassagne, as a tribute to her home-country Haiti. The song is upbeat, while Régines voice is haunting and beautiful in French. She sings about the regime of Duvalier who was responsible for the deaths of many in her home country and speaks of her lost relatives. Throughout the song little shreds of hope are offered, specifically when she sings about rebirth. But enough of my feeble interpretation, enjoy it for yourself, take your own meaning from it.

I feel like its worth it to post the lyrics hear.

Haïti, mon pays,
wounded mother I'll never see.
Ma famille set me free.
Throw my ashes into the sea.

Mes cousins jamais nés
hantent les nuits de Duvalier.
Rien n'arrete nos esprits.
Guns can't kill what soldiers can't see.

In the forest we lie hiding,
unmarked graves where flowers grow.
Hear the soldiers angry yelling,
in the river we will go.

Tous les morts-nés forment une armée,
soon we will reclaim the earth.
All the tears and all the bodies
bring about our second birth.

Haïti, never free,
n'aie pas peur de sonner l'alarme.
Tes enfants sont partis,
In those days their blood was still warm

10:01 PM Comment0 Comments

The hit single "Gua" by Emmanuel Jal, is a song that expresses his people's will be be independent, at peace and happy in their land. The word "gua" means peace in his native Nuer and power in Arabic. This song is not your average hip hop tune. It has strong African and tribal roots like much of his music. In this song, Emmanuel Jal speaks out for the freedom of his people, "my people will plant seed in the land."

Emmanuel Jal's song "Gua" has parallels to Haiti's situation. Haiti is an economically depressed nation much like Sudan. The people of both Sudan and Haiti suffer homelessness, poverty, and violence. They are forced out of work, unable to farm their land and displaced from their homes in times of disaster. The thing that is truly profound about the situation in Haiti is that when we open our eyes we realize how close we are to abject poverty, that the conditions that make Africa so impoverished exist on our own backstep. It seems the government blinds us to Haiti. Why? Because what would happen if we realized the extent of the poverty in Haiti, and did something about it? Would we then we would have the moral obligation to do something about the poverty in Africa as well?

With no further adieu, Gua.

3:33 PM Comment0 Comments

As some of you may have heard, there was a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake in Haiti. Its old news for more than one reason, A) I'm a couple days late so my news source is basically irrelevant and B) Every other week disaster strikes there and the masses averts their eyes from the squalid world of Haiti. As earlier predicted, relief agencies have stated that the death-toll in Haiti could be up to 100,000 and growing. So far the world has pledged 330 million in aid and the UN is making an emergency appeal for 550 million. The United States has moved 10 000 troops into and around Haiti to help deliver emergency aid. With some 300,000 left homeless and hungry things aren't looking good.

So what can you do? Spread the word, pledge donations to online or local charities that are supporting the cause in Haiti. You can even text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate 10$ which will be put on your phone bill. The convenience of the electronic age. Don't just look at the horrific pictures coming out of Haiti and say, "Oh that's awful, someone should do something about it!" They are there to guilt you, and maybe we should feel guilty. I'm thinking of going in depth, on my other blog "the Curious Chronicler," about the issues in Haiti that have made this disaster so serious.

Update: I completed my meager analysis on why Haiti is the way it is. Here it is:
Haiti: A History

US sending 10,000 troops to earthquake-hit Haiti
Red Cross Canada

Later, I'll be posting another song by Emmanuel Jal, hopefully that will fit the situation in Haiti. Any ideas? To all those, approximately zero people who read this blog, not to mention who also listen to Emmanuel Jal, I challenge you to donate to the Haiti cause.

7:57 PM Comment0 Comments

Born in Sudan and forced into the military at a young age, Emmanuel Jal was forced to fight for the Sudanese People's Liberation Army. He was eventually rescued and brought to school in Ethiopia. He has taken a long journey from fighting as a Warchild to being an internationally renowned musician and activist. Emmanuel Jal is probably one of the most well-rounded Movement Musicians advocating peace and happiness as a means to an end rather than violence and vengeance as some other artists seem to suggest. Emmanuel Jal combines happiness, realism and truth in his music when necessary to convey his message. His music is written in a variety of languages from English and Sudanese Arabic to the Southern Sudanese language of Nuer. Emmanuel Jal is a representative of many international groups for abolition of child soldiers and he has maintained a "One Meal Per Day" fast to raise money for schools in Sudan.

Organizations Emmanuel Jal represents:
Make Poverty History
Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers
Control Arms
Emmanuel Jal

We Fall - Emmanuel Jal
A single off of Emmanuel Jal's upcoming album.

10:17 PM Comment0 Comments

It was a day, a long one. From dawn... er... noon, until now. I put the finishing touches on my new blog "The Curious Chronicler," I made some minor headway on my data management project, and I killed the white on my painting. Quite an accomplished day, right? Well I don't feel accomplished. I've failed a friend. Not been there for them, and now they're in trouble. I just hope they'll listen to me now. I hope its not too late. Thought, its a powerful, and dangerous tool. Using thought, you can justify just about anything. Rational or irrational. What's most dangerous is not when someone is completely rational, or when someone is completely irrational, its when someone can pick and choose. When you can use both logic, and intuition to come to a conclusion, that's when you most thoroughly believe your outcome. Look at me, breaking down human thought and emotion. Into simple categories, as though I know something and can change the way people think, well I can't and pretending to know something won't help. Let's just hope my irrationality wins out this time

Also I'm thinking of changing to Movement Musician of the Month, so I don't run out and so I can profile more songs from each artist, and if I find anything neat outside of the MMotM I'll just do a little profile on it one day.

Tomorrow I'll introduce Emmanuel Jal. Januarys MMotM.

8:29 PM Comment0 Comments

Ponder that phrase for a second. One Mississippi. For a set of instructions off of your average shampoo bottle, it has a lot of meaning. If you consider for a second the phrasing Step 1: Lather, Step 2: Rinse and Step 3: Repeat, it doesn't specify to simply repeat steps 1 & 2, so in theory, you should continue in an endless cycle. It kind of defines or consumer society, not solely because shampoo CEOs added the repeat in order to sell more shampoo, but also, because we all live this robotic life. Our day is a step by step guide, and when its done we repeat. Every once in a while there's something different thrown in, but still week by week, month by month, year by year, we lather, rinse and repeat.

Movement Musician of the Week: Rise Against "Re-Education (Through Labour)"

12:44 AM Comment0 Comments

Its a New Year, and a New Decade, time for reception, reflection and resolution. And in some places in the world its time for rioting for reform. In Canadian government its time for a temporary recess. Okay, I'll stop with the R-litteration. It's simply my way of making fun of more serious situations, I mean, its the new year right, I shouldn't be fuming about world issues and governments and shit, I should be making statements of hope at least. But when the Stephen Harper prorogues government to avoid scandal surrounding torture in Afghanistan and backlash over the Copenhagen talks its ridiculous, especially when you consider he did so just before New Years when no one would pay attention, and parliament resumes after the Olympics when we'll all be too proud of our athletes to care. So his little act of dishonesty will strategically put Afghan detainees and climate off the table for the months ahead and prolong his inevitable fall from grace. Aside from that, we have rioting in Iran again. Some people claim the reformers are going to take power. I just think that the reformers are going to get their lights knocked out. Sorry, that's my New Years soapbox. Amongst all the holiday celebration we can easily lose sight of reality. While we should be happy and hopeful we have to remember what the reason to be hopeful for is. We can't just hope things will get better without knowing what is wrong in the first place. The holidays aren't a time to ignore our problems they are a time to remedy them. Let us hope for the new year, and the new decade, that the Copenhagen Accord, is followed up with an actual legally binding treaty come next December in Mexico City. Let us hope that violence in Iran and other countries stricken by authoritarian government is relieved and freedoms encouraged. And let us hope that governments world-wide will be held accountable for their corruption and dishonesty towards the public. Let us just hope to live in a happier, but not falsely so, world come 2020.

Movement Musician of the Week:
I'm going to continue with Rise Against, as I only got one, mediocre post in about them last week, unfortunately I was busy, and lazy, and ignoring the important things in life. I couldn't do them justice in just one shit-tastic post. So here it is, possibly their most well known songs. A soft one, but it packs a punch. Those who don't know the story, pay attention to the flag. "Hero of War"

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