A Beautiful mess
A few pics from dave9’s Tupelo 2010 set on Flickr. The Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, New Hampshire, was the first gig of the tour and you can see we were concentrating hard:
I like sitting like this. I started doing it last year in June during the solo shows in San Francisco and it is very comfortable.
Michael was concentrating hard as well:
That looks like it could have developed into a smile…
In the spring, cherry blossoms.
in the summer the cuckoo.
In autumn the moon.
In winter the snow, clear, cold.
— Master Dogen
BBC News – California’s Schwarzenegger turns against oil drilling
California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has withdrawn his support for a plan to expand oil exploration off the state’s coast.
He said the spill in the Gulf of Mexico had changed his mind about the safety of oil platforms in the Pacific Ocean.
I think changing one’s mind when faced with new evidence is always a good thing. When the data changes, the result must necessarily change.
Is it impossible to end racism and sexism?
Brent Staples was that rare bird in 70s America: a young black man who was also a gilt-edged success. At 22, he was already on the flightpath to a PhD from the University of Chicago; later he would become a bigshot on the New York Times. To strangers, however, he was just another “black man – a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair . . . indistinguishable from the muggers who occasionally seeped into the area from the surrounding ghetto”.
On seeing him, white people would cross the street. Couples locked arms. Women ran. Staples knew the stats about street crime but, as he wrote in a 1986 essay: “These truths are no solace against the kind of alienation that comes of being ever the suspect, a fearsome entity with whom pedestrians avoid making eye contact.”
To reassure everyone that this African American meant no harm, Staples took to whistling popular classics. “Virtually everybody seems to sense that a mugger wouldn’t be warbling bright, sunny selections from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. It is my equivalent of the cowbell that hikers wear when . . . they are in bear country.” A top student sporting a cowbell: Staples sums up the knottiness of modern prejudice – and the damage it can do.
(Via Guardian Science)
Elton John: a danger to Egypt?
Of course, all societies have rules. In many ways, life in Britain and the rest of Europe is far more regulated than it is in the Arab countries but there is a major difference in the types of things that are regulated. In Arab countries, regulation is still very much focused on “morality” and ensuring compliance with the expected norms of personal behaviour – territory that western societies, on the whole, no longer regard as a legitimate concern of the state. Indeed, far from fearing “discord”, many in the west welcome the colour and diversity that differences bring.
But try building a house in Britain, or employing someone, and you’ll immediately be confronted with a host of regulations – often very complex ones – that simply do not exist in most Arab countries.
(Via Guardian Music)
Interesting. The focus of regulation shifts from morality to practical matters like how to build a safe house. Is that a natural stage in the development of a culture? The article also states:
It was a lack of this type of regulation that contributed to the deaths of more than 150 people when floods swept through Jeddah in Saudi Arabia last November. One important factor was the unregulated construction that had taken place over many years in normally dry river beds.
Me, I much prefer regulation that concerns the building of houses and the safety of cars over regulation that concerns my morality.