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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Creation Science 101 – A Song by Roy Zimmerman

Posted by NT Wrong on December 26, 2008

Posted in Fundamentalism, Humour, Music, Science | 1 Comment »

Hayes Carll – She Left Me For Jesus

Posted by NT Wrong on December 21, 2008

Satirical country music … this is funny stuff:

“I bet he’s a Commie,
Or even worse, yet, a Jew.”

Posted in Humour, Music | 4 Comments »

Nick Cave – There is a Kingdom

Posted by NT Wrong on December 2, 2008

Nick Cave’s song, There is a Kingdom picks up on a number of Gnostic and Christian motifs. There’s the idea of the Kingdom of God being within (and, Nick Cave adds, without). He also sings of the human spark unable to be quenched in the darkness (which parallels a single bird singing up the sun in the darkness of the early morning). Cave also employs the Gnostic idea of the material world as mere appearance — but complicates it by ascribing this quality of false appearances to those signs of transcendence that Kant thought he could rely on. What Cave does seem to affirm, instead, is the ephemeral one-off never-to-return dawning day, in all its materiality and lack of transcendence that we can still love. In this way, the Christian-hymnlike qualities of the song and its mystical Gnostic motifs manage to open up a world which is both more mundane and more spirit-filled than the individual Christian and Gnostic motifs it employs.

It’s also a very nice song to listen to:

Here it is, accompanied by some still pictures by one of the videographers of Youtube (as John Lyons refers to them):

Just like a bird that sings up the sun
In a dawn so very dark
Such is my faith for you
Such is my faith
And all the world’s darkness can’t swallow up
A single spark
Such is my love for you
Such is my love

There is a kingdom
There is a king
And he lives without
And he lives within

The starry heavens above me
The moral law within
So the world appears
So the world appears
This day so sweet
It will never come again
So the world appears
Through this mist of tears

    Gospel of Thomas 3:
    Jesus said, “If your leaders say to you,

    ‘Look, the (Father’s) kingdom is in the sky,’
    then the birds of the sky will precede you.
    If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’
    then the fish will precede you.
    Rather, the (Father’s) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.

    When you know yourselves, then you will be known,
    and you will understand that you are children of the living Father.
    But if you do not know yourselves,
    then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty.”

“Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.”
– Immanuel Kant

Posted in Early Christian literature, Faith, Music | 3 Comments »

Jesus’ Anus Is Key(-Hole) to the Incarnation

Posted by NT Wrong on November 18, 2008

zizek-and-badiouRoland Boer has denied that Jesus and I have even one anus between us. This is blasphemous heresy. Jesus is wholly man; wholly arse. Not only does Jesus have an anus, but the divine anus is the key to the meaning of the Incarnation, in which God becomes his own shit.

The theology of Jesus’ excremental identity is discussed by world-leading theologian Slavoj Žižek, who addresses the divine anus immediately after his discussion of the Johnny Cash song, ‘The Man Comes Around’ (which he describes as “an exemplary articulation of the anxieties contained in Southern Baptist Christianity;” The Parallax View, 186).

According to Žižek, the message of Christian love has its dark underside in the message that “the just remain just and the filthy remain filthy.” It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or who you are, God will fuck you up the arse if he whimsically decides to do so. The “love which suspends the law is necessarily accompanied by the arbitrary cruelty which also suspends the law.” The Christian conception of grace can be less nicely — and much more truthfully — expressed: as arbitrariness, as the law-ignoring, bastard behaviour of divine wankery. And Mankind (to use the theological term) is thus most accurately defined, in light of the Incarnation, as a bunch of little shits:

“Martin Luther directly proposed an excremental identity of man: man is like divine shit, he fell out of God’s anus. We can, of course, pursue the question of the deep crises that pushed Luther toward his new theology; he was caught in a violent debilitating superego cycle: the more he acted, repented, punished, and tortured himself, did good deeds, and so on, the more he felt guilty. This convinced him that good deeds are calculated, dirty, selfish: far from pleasing God, they provoke God’s wrath and lead to damnation. Salvation comes from faith: it is our faith alone, faith in Jesus as savior, which allows us to break out of the superego impasse. This “anal” definition of man, however, cannot be reduced to a result of this superego pressure which pushed Luther toward self-abasement — there is more to it: only within this Protestant logic of man’s excremental identity can the true meaning of the Incarnation be formulated. In Orthodoxy, Christ ultimately loses his exceptional status: his very idealization, elevation to a noble model, reduces him to an ideal image, a figure to be imitated (all men should strive to become God) — imitatio Christi is more an Orthodox than a Catholic formula. In Catholicism, the predominant logic is that of a symbolic exchange: Catholic theologists enjoy long scholastic juridical arguments about how Christ paid the price for our sins, and so on — no wonder Luther reacted to the most contemptible outcome of this logic, the reduction of redemption to something that can be bought from the Church. Protestantism, finally, posits the relationship as real, conceiving Christ as a God who, in his act of Incarnation, freely identified himself with his own shit, with the excremental Real that is man — and it is only at this level that the properly Christian notion of divine love can be apprehended, as love for the miserable excremental entity called “man.” ”
– Slavoj Žižek, The Parallax View, 187

Ah! Don’t those canny continental theologians (such as Žižek, Badiou, Agamben) make that other bunch — those puritanical guardians of dogma — appear just as unpalatable as shit on a plate?

Posted in Biblical interpretation, Evil, God, Jesus & Christ, Music, Paul, Soteriology, Violence | 2 Comments »

Two 9/11s a Day: The War on Poverty That Never Was

Posted by NT Wrong on November 5, 2008

Bono, lead singer of U2:

“Right now there is the biggest pandemic in the history of civilization, happening in the world now with AIDS. It’s bigger than the Black Death, which took a third of Europe in the Middle Ages. Sixty-five hundred Africans are dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease. And it is not a priority for the West: two 9/11s a day, eighteen jumbo jets of fathers, mothers, families falling out of the sky. No tears, no letters of condolence, no fifty-one-gun salutes. Why? Because we don’t put the same value on African life as we put on a European or an American life. God will not let us get away with this, history certainly won’t let us get away with our excuses. We say we can’t get these antiretroviral drugs to the farthest reaches of Africa, but we can get them our cold fizzy drinks. The tiniest village, you can find a bottle of Coke. Look, if we really thought that an African life was equal in value to an English, a French, or an Irish life, we wouldn’t let two and a half million Africans die every year for the stupidest of reasons: money. We just wouldn’t. And a very prominent head of state said to me: “It’s true. If these people weren’t Africans, we just couldn’t let it happen.” We don’t really deep down believe in their equality.” (Michka Assayas and Bono, Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas with a Foreword by Bono. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2005: 81.)

Bono is then asked by the interviewer whether poverty is simply the fault of Africa itself for not addressing these issues, and if Africa is just behind Europe in terms of ‘civilization’:

“This is a fifteen-year-old’s geography textbook. I was looking at this today, and it tells about it exactly. [Eventually finds the passage and proceeds to read out] “Income gap. Two hundred years ago, it appears that very little difference existed in living standards between the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. Today, a very wide income gap exists: the North is many times richer than the South. What brought about this gap? The answer seems to lie in colonialism, trade, and debt.” They’re explaining to this fifteen-year-old kid how the reason why Africa is still in the Middle Age is largely to do with us, and our exploitation through French and British colonialism, but also in their present exploitation of unfair trade agreements, or old debts. You can’t fix every problem. But the ones you can, you must. To the degree we are responsible, we must fix. When you ask me to just accept that civilizations are just at a different level, there is a reason why they are. That is my answer.” (82-83)

And here’s a video of what could have been in poor, black New Orleans. Call me an old romantic, but this is a beautiful vision:

Posted in Justice, Music, Poverty, Racism, War | Comments Off on Two 9/11s a Day: The War on Poverty That Never Was

Nov 4

Posted by NT Wrong on November 4, 2008

publicenemyfearofablackplanetCause I’m Black and I’m proud
I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped
Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps
Sample a look back you look and find
Nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check

In the end, Obama may just be a little less right-wing than McCain. When people say ‘He’s not the Messiah’ they are correct to this extent. But what is the Messianic but some small, apparently insignificant shift of perspective that, nonetheless, constitutes an event after which nothing is the same again? The problem with the protest ‘He’s not the Messiah’ is not that the protestor is not hopeful enough, but that his level of hope is measured against an unrealistic vision of what we are capable of attaining.

“There is a well-known parable about the kingdom of the Messiah that Walter Benjamin (who heard it from Gershom Scholem) recounted one evening to Ernst Bloch, who in turn transcribed it in Spuren: “A rabbi, a real cabalist, once said that in order to establish the kingdom of peace it is not necessary to destroy everything nor to begin a completely new world. It is sufficient to displace this cup or this bush or this stone just a little, and thus everything. But this displacement is so difficult to achieve and its measure is so difficult to find that, with regard to the world, humans are incapable of it and it is necessary that the messiah come.” Benjamin’s version of the story goes like this: “The Hassidim tell a story about the world to come that says everything there will be just as it is here. Just as our room is now, so it will be in the world to come; where our baby sleeps now, there too it will sleep in the other world. And the clothes we wear in this world, those too we will wear there. Everything will be as it is now, just a little different.””
– Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community (1993): 53.

Posted in Justice, Music, Politics, Violence | Comments Off on Nov 4

Gospel Music Greats – Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Posted by NT Wrong on October 27, 2008

Sister Rosetta Tharpe plays ‘Up Above My Head (I hear music in the air)’ on her Gibson Les Paul SG custom with the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church Choir on TV Gospel Time, sometime in the 1960s.

Posted in Music | Comments Off on Gospel Music Greats – Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Great Gospel Music – ‘The Hand of the Almighty’

Posted by NT Wrong on October 10, 2008

There’s nothing I like more than traditional Country-Gospel singing with male harmony. One of my all-time favorite singer-songwriters is Country-Gospel Great, John R. Butler.

His breakthrough song, “The Hand of the Almighty” has been played on radio stations throughout the country and has become an underground hit among progressive clergy, divinity students and church janitors.

    The Hand of the Almighty (Have a listen here)

    Oh, sinner, do not stray
    From the straight and narrow way
    For the Lord is surely watching what you do
    If you approach the Devil’s den
    Turn ’round don’t enter in
    Lest the hand of the almighty fall on you.

    He’ll fuck you up (he’ll fuck you up)
    Yes, God will fuck you up
    If you dare to disobey his stern command.
    He’ll fuck you up (he’ll fuck you up)
    Don’t you know he’ll fuck you up
    So you better do some prayin’ while you can.

    Long ago a man named Lot
    Had a wife he thought was hot
    But she could not stop her black and sinful ways.
    You know it was her own damn fault
    When God turned that bitch to salt.
    That’s the way he used to work back in those days:

    He fucked ’em up (he fucked ’em up)
    He really fucked ’em up
    When the people went and turned their backs on him
    He can fuck you up (he’ll fuck you up)
    No shit he’ll fuck you up
    Just like he fucked the people up back then.

    I used to have a friend named Ray
    Who walked that evil way
    He cursed and drank and broke his neighbor’s fence
    You know Ray was full aware
    That some sheep were over there
    And he knew them in the Biblical sense.

    God fucked him up (he fucked him up)
    He went and fucked Ray up
    Went and paid him back for all his wicked sins.
    He fucked him up (he fucked him up)
    Fucked that boy completely up
    Now he’s married to a Presbyterian

Yee-haaarrrr, now that’s preaching the true Gospel message of The Damnation of The Many. You can purchase this high quality Country-Gospel music here.

Posted in Humour, Music | 3 Comments »

America: Those You’ve Robbed Will Plunder You – Jeff Simmonds – ‘So You Say’ – An Anti-Prosperity-Gospel Prophecy for the Financial Meltdown

Posted by NT Wrong on October 10, 2008

    So, you say God loves you
    That’s why you live in prosperity
    God blesses you and wants you wealthy
    Somehow I don’t think that’s true
    Neither should you

    You’re only rich because someone else is poor
    Someone has to pay for your luxury
    It’s not God’s blessing, it’s inequity
    That makes your cup overflow
    And the Third World die

    You built your house with slavery
    You maintain your household with inequality
    One day you’ll fall and I won’t cry for you
    Those you’ve robbed will plunder you
    They’ll plunder you

Posted in Capitalism, Justice, Music | 2 Comments »

Bono and U2 on Revolution and The Terror, Liberation Theology, The Bible and Marxism

Posted by NT Wrong on October 2, 2008

    And in leather, lace and chains we stake our claim.
    Revolution once again
    No I won’t, I won’t wear it on my sleeve.
    I can see through this expression and you know I don’t believe…
    And we love to wear a badge, a uniform
    And we love to fly a flag
    But I won’t let others live in hell
    As we divide against each other
    And we fight amongst ourselves
    – U2, Like A Song

From a conversation between Bono and Michka Assayas:

Bono: “When I visited Nicaragua, I was shocked to see how much the people’s religion had inspired their revolt. Here was revolution rooted in something other than materialism. There was a spiritual coefficient. The reason the Nicaraguan revolution had to be put down was because it had caught fire. That was terrifying for the Americas. It could have spread all through Mexico, and up north. There was one church I remember going to, where they had these murals all around the walls of the church, of scenes from the Holy Scriptures, like “The Children of Israel escaping from Pharaoh.” But Pharaoh would have Ronald Reagan’s head on him! [laughs]… I remember just being amazed at how the populace were being taught revolution through Bible stories. All over they were being taught that Jesus preached the Gospels for the poor, which he did. But Jesus did not take up arms… I saw it as a disappointing outcome of the reading of the Scriptures. But I was inspired by the application of the Scriptures into people’s real life… remember saying to the minister [of culture, Ernesto Cardenal]: “But there’s nothing glorious about people losing their lives, and bloodletting.” You may be able to argue for it, facing no other escape route, but it’s never glorious. In Irish folklore, even Yeats talked about “the rose that is made red by the blood of the martyrs, that’s dripped to the ground.” I hate all that stuff.”

Michka Assayas: “I think it’s nineteenth-century Europe, actually. As a teenager in France in the seventies, I was marked by that mythology. We had the insurrection of May 1968 and what they called the “leftist movement” thereafter: a fanatical bunch of young people, often the bravest and most ambitious of their generation, who devoted themselves to the idea of revolution. It certainly was glamorous. It went back to the glorious army of the French Revolution, the nineteenth-century insurrections, and then, of course, the Bolsheviks, the Trotskyist uprising, the Maoist Guerrilla, up to the guerrillas in Cuba and Vietnam. It occurred at a sort of junction of Romanticism and Revolution. I realized that the so-called heroic People’s Guerrillas were mostly glorified on an aesthetic and idealistic basis, that their supporters had deliberately turned a blind eye to planned starvation and concentration camps in Russia and China, not to mention the massacres in Kampuchea by Pol Pot. The whole point was anti-Americanism, which made perfect sense in Europe. But those causes were excuses and fantasies. Dismal fantasies, actually.”

Bono: “It’s not that I couldn’t understand where the Provisional Army were coming from, and it’s not that I don’t understand violence myself, personally. I was just trying to figure out: was there ever any reason to take up arms? On the one hand, you had Martin Luther King saying “Never,” Gandhi saying “Never,’ Jesus Christ, both their inspirations in this, saying “Never.” On the other hand, here were the Sandinistas saying “We have to look after the poor, we have to defend the poor.” That position had to be studied from my point of view, even if I didn’t buy it. I wanted to know more about liberation theology and the Sandinistas. I was very moved by them when I was there. They suffered a lot. Their revolution was very costly, and it didn’t turn out their way in the end. Same with the French Revolution. Ironically, it was the French Revolution that inspired America.”

Michka Assayas: “We have all heard that dreadful phrase: “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.””

Bono: “I know. In the end, ideas are not worth as much as people. Whenever you meet a philosophy where that is not true, and where ideas are worth more than people, you have to be on your guard. A dangerous idea that almost makes sense is a very compelling thing. In a way, when the devil gets it right, it’s usually not a wrong fighting with a right, it’s usually two half-truths fighting it out. It’ll do the most damage. Marxism-Leninism was an extraordinary idea to lead mankind out of its squalor. It was a dangerous idea that almost made sense. There are many.”

(Michka Assayas and Bono, Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas with a Foreword by Bono. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2005.)

“And let me tell you somethin’. I’ve had enough of Irish Americans who haven’t been back to their country in twenty or thirty years come up to me and talk about the resistance, the revolution back home…and the glory of the revolution…and the glory of dying for the revolution. Fuck the revolution! They don’t talk about the glory of killing for the revolution. What’s the glory in taking a man from his bed and gunning him down in front of his wife and his children? Where’s the glory in that? Where’s the glory in bombing a Remembrance Day parade of old age pensioners, their medals taken out and polished up for the day. Where’s the glory in that? To leave them dying or crippled for life or dead under the rubble of the revolution, that the majority of the people in my country don’t want. No more!”
– Bono, in the middle of Sunday Bloody Sunday, 8 November 1987, after the IRA exploded a bomb at the War Memorial in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, killing thirteen innocent people, including Gordon Wilson’s daughter, Marie, who died holding his hand and telling him she loved him.

Posted in Music, Religion & Society | Comments Off on Bono and U2 on Revolution and The Terror, Liberation Theology, The Bible and Marxism