February 9, 2005

let's have a smile for an old engine driver

* Sistani's vision for democratic Iraq has cricket but no chess. excerpt:

"Cricket is allowed but chess is 'absolutely forbidden.' Women may not shake hands with men. Music is permitted but only if it is not for enjoyment. Men cannot pray when wearing earrings.

"These are the views of the most powerful man in Iraq. After the US invasion, various American officials and generals believed they occupied this position. They turned out to be wrong. As the election victory of the Shias has confirmed, the most influential figure in Iraq, dressed in tattered grey robe and black turban, is Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani."
"Iraq could be on the verge of seeing the greatest setback to women's rights in the Middle East since Ayatollah Khomeini took power in Iran in 1979. Laws on marriage, divorce and inheritance could be changed in favour of men. Under Islamic law, daughters inherit less than the sons.

"The views of Ayatollah Sistani on chess, cricket, music, earrings and almost any other topic can be found on his highly professional website (Sistani.org). They show tolerance of other religions. Last year he was swift to condemn attacks on Christian churches in Baghdad as 'abhorrent crimes.' He counselled restraint when Shia leaders demanded retaliation after the bloody bombings of Shia shrines and processions."

* "In the first place, capitalism is a purely cultic religion, perhaps the most extreme that ever existed. In capitalism, things have a meaning only in their relation to the cult; capitalism has no specific body of dogma, no theology."
-- Walter Benjamin

* Who knew? Dean Wareham has a kid. excerpt:

Q: So, it's not about internal strife...

Wareham: There's some internal strife…I don't think you can be in bands together for twelve years and not have internal strife…

Q: But that's not the impetus for the breakup, then?

Wareham: It's not out of control…Like any kind of relationship there are ups and downs. I don't know…being in a band is different…when you turn forty it's all different...

Q: Is it a question of youth or of maturity, perhaps?

Wareham: Well, I'd say that some things are not as much fun at age forty as they are at twenty-five…life becomes more complicated ya know? I have a kid, it's just...I think that there's a reason that the lifestyle suits people more when they're twenty-two and don't have a care in the world. They can do whatever they want. They can go on a long tour and maybe not make any money…

Q: But things change when you gain more responsibility...

Wareham: That's true. It doesn't make it impossible, but it makes it more of a juggling act. Personally, I'm just tired of organizing my entire life around a rock 'n roll band. Making all the decisions as a committee of four. It kind of wears on you. There are great things about being in a band, too. Especially when it comes to playing live where you can depend on each other. It makes that aspect a lot easier. I've heard other people say this, too. Little things like picking a photo or a title or something.


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