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Showing posts with label Movies Music and Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies Music and Books. Show all posts

18 August 2017

World Music : Spotlight on Zaho, Algerian R&B Singer


Have always thought Algerian music had a moody, exotic, sensual vibe. Right? So tried to sign up at a site (a while back) to listen to Algerian radio stations. Could get other stations from other countries but for some reason could never get to hear music played on Algerian stations. Gave up trying!


Started watching foreign films with my SO (significant other) many moons ago and also began listening to singers from other countries or rather “world music”. You could say he opened up a new world for me; a fantastic point of view. :) But long before we ever met each other, the sound of people speaking in French has always captivated me. Mattered not what they were saying or singing – they could have been cussing at me - if it was in French it sounded way better than in English. Even people who RAP in French sound better!!



 
My SO (significant other) let me listen to this female singer called Zaho. Liked her sound. Did a little extra research on her. 

Zehira Darabid (born on May 10, 1980), known by her artistic name Zaho, is an Algerian R&B singer. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaho
 
Algerian? Yeah. Uh huh. That figures. Oh well! At least access to her videos wasn't cut off from the American audience.


[ Content previously published at Bubblews, Mar 20, 2015. ]

Zaho Music; available in MP3 or Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Music App


YouTube video url


17 August 2017

The Black Girl in Search of God and Some Lesser Tales

The Black Girl in Search of God and Some Lesser Tales


The title piece in this anthology is a parable on the nature of religious belief. When first published in 1932 it caused quite a stir and I wondered whether the intervening 75 years might have rendered it something less of a shocker. I found that, apart from one violation of current political correctness and a few inevitable stylistic issues, the message had lost none of its poignancy and perhaps little of its ability to shock.




"The Black Girl in Search of God" (free eBook) is not a novel or a novella. It is not really a short story either. I choose to describe it as a parable because others have, but equally, it could be classed alongside Plato's symposium as a vehicle for examining a philosophical idea. It's not a discourse, but it could be a meditation, albeit a rather energetic one. The idea in question, of course, is the nature of religious belief.

The Black Girl of the title is only cast as such, I think, to provide Bernard Shaw, the author, with a literary vehicle to convey his otherwise naïve questions about Christianity. To this end, The Black Girl is presented as a "noble savage", and thus a tabula rasa. It is here - and only here - that Shaw violates current correctness. The character could have been cast as a child, but then she could not have threatened to wield her knobkerrie, her weapon, and nor could she have been portrayed as bringing no tradition of her own. We must accept, therefore, that there remains a functionality about the role of this character. She does not represent anything, except her ability to ask the questions she is required to ask.

The Black Girl has been converted to Christianity by a young British woman who has taken delight in amorously jilting a series of vicars. She then becomes a missionary, despite her clearly thin grasp of the subject matter. She is, perhaps, an allegory of colonial expansion. She goes abroad to teach others despite not having achieved fulfillment or knowledge in her own life. It might be important that the teacher and the taught are both women.

When her convert starts asking questions, fundamental questions that the missionary herself has never heard asked, never mind answered, she reverts to invention, not scholarship. Shaw's intention is clear. She invents myth to mystify myth. And this cloak satisfies the curiosity of the average Christian, but not The Black Girl, who thus goes off in search of God.

And, guided by snakes, she finds Him. And not just once, because there is more than one God in the Bible she carries. There is the God of Wrath, who demands the sacrifice of her child. When she cannot comply, He demands she find her father so he can sacrifice her. A good part of the Bible thus disappears from her new-found faith.

She meets an apparent God of Love, but he laughs at Job for being so naively and blindly devout. More of her book blows away.

She meets prophets who, one by one, deliver their different messages, most of which conflict and communicate individual political positions or bigotry rather than personal revelation.

On the way, she belittles Imperial power and male domination. She learns that most "civilized" countries have given up on God and hears a plea that people like her should not be taught things that the mother country no longer believes.

Scientists offer her equally conflicting opinions. They are careful only to describe, never to conclude or interpret. In a way, they are just modern prophets, each with their own interested positions.

There is an amazing episode where a mathematician implores her to consider complex numbers, the square root of minus x, which The Black Girl hears as Myna sex or perhaps its homophone minor sex, and is clearly a reference to feminism. Along with economic power and male dominance, The Black Girl sees guns as the highest achievement of white society. This anticipates the description of colonialism's trinity in Ngugi's Petals of Blood.

Then, in a strange section, an Arab discusses belief with a conjuror. These appear to be a pair of major prophets in thin disguise. But their discussions merely confuse the girl and their words skirt her questions.

And so she meets an Irishman, marries and settles down. She devotes herself to him, their coffee-colored children and the fruits of their garden. Note that she does not devote herself to herself. She projects out, does not analyze within. And in this utterly humanist universe she finds not only personal happiness, but also fulfillment and, with that, answers to her own metaphysical questions that religion per se could not even address.

And so, as the parable closes, we ponder whether the Irishman she marries is Shaw, and whether The Black Girl is the questioning, non-racist, non-sexist, socialist and humanist vision of the future he has personally espoused.

And as for the Lesser Tales, they are generally lesser. Don Giovanni explaining himself was fun and the Death of an Old Revolutionary Hero was prescient of the role of the Socialist Workers' Party adopted in maintaining Margaret Thatcher in power in the 1980s. A great, historical and fundamentally contemporary read.



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Author Bio
Philip Spires
Author of "Mission", an African novel set in Kenya
www.philipspires.co.uk

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content


01 August 2017

Witchcraft and Witch Hunting : Past and Present

There was a dark period in the history of mankind when witch-hunting was the order of the day. It began with an official approval from Pope Innocent VII in 1484, and continued until around the 17th century, when it reached its climax in England, Scotland and America. 

But it’s the 2st century. We’re all much more civilized and intelligent than those people were back then. Aren’t we? Nobody is going to whip us up into frenzied mania and have us pointing a finger of accusation at someone, torturing a confession out of them, and still putting them to death for being a witch!




The past is in the past. Fortunately, my only exposure to witches and witchcraft was and is wearing a costume on Halloween or watching the Wizard of Oz. These days, most people like me limit themselves to adding collectibles like the reproductions pictured below of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North to their wish list; or sitting at home and watching The Wizard of Oz on DVD or Amazon Instant Video. Can you believe it has been 75 years? The movie was released in 1939. Listening to Judy Garland sing “Over the Rainbow” never gets old. Might be a good idea to plan an afternoon or evening watching the original movie classic; the Walt Disney prequel, Oz The Great and Powerful; and The Wiz, starring Diana Ross and the late Michael Jackson.


Saturday Afternoon at the Movies!
A Triple Feature! Starts at Noon. BYOP! (Bring Your Own Popcorn!)



The Wizard of Oz:75th Anniversary Edition


Oz The Great and Powerful(Mila Kunis; Rachel Weisz)


The Wiz:30th Anniversary


Amazon Best Sellers in Witch & Wizard Mysteries


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War Movie Classics: The Dirty Dozen

Some say the movie “Inglorious Basterds” was inspired by "The Dirty Dozen". This classic starred some of my favorite actors: Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Telly Savalas and Jim Brown, to name a few.  Bad guys turned Patriots?  You really wanted these "dirty" guys to survive.

The Dirty Dozen, Clint Walker, Telly Savalas, Jim Brown, Trini Lopez, et al, 1967 Allposters.com








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26 July 2017

Vintage Moments in Entertainment History : Sophia Loren and Charles Aznavour

I collect vintage stuff.  That's why I joined this awesome online community.  Find more gems like the one below in Vintage, Posters &.. - Google+. They don't just share entertainment, celebrities pics, etc. They share really rare moments in history via vintage photographs you probably won't see anywhere else. Not all the photos are black and white, but the ones that are really add to that "moment in time" often captured by an unknown talented photographer.



Why do I like this photo so much?  For one thing, I'm loyal Sophia Loren fan.  I did a Top Ten List in one of my previous posts and included her in my collection of Iconic Female Celebrities.  Eh! Everybody knows Sophia Loren.  But the fact is, if it weren't for "The Truth About Charlie" movie* with Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton, I may have never known who Charles Aznavour was.  But I'm thankful.  His music is great for a romantic evening.  😍


* FYI.  That Wahlberg/Newton film was a remake of a classic old movie, "Charade", a 1963 flick which starred two of my favorite actors from back in the day - Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, which did not include songs by this popular French singer.  So the film remake actually added a nice touch!  Audrey Hepburn (1929 – 1993) is also on my list of Iconic Female Celebrities.  Love her too! 💟






14 July 2017

Asian Cinema : Movie Review : The King of Masks (1999)

The theatrical masks of Chinese opera were promoted by emperors and high court officials. As a result, they became a traditional art form and along with this tradition, came other traditions. 



Many films are gems that get lost or buried. Even award-winning films like The King of Masks. It's a foreign movie: Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles.

Time period is the 1930s. A master of an ancient Chinese art is growing old. He must pass on his skills to an heir. A male heir.
It's tradition!

Unfortunately, he's childless. In a desperate effort to honor the custom and maintain the trade and the tradition, he buys a young child. In China, poor children are often sold via a black market. He and the child develop a close relationship, however, a “complication” also develops.


"The King of Masks

is a wonderful and touching story. 









08 July 2017

Book Suggestion: The Acacia Trilogy

American novelist, David Anthony Durham is the author of a trilogy, which is an epic fantasy; and the name he chose for the empire in this mythical land built on conquest, slaves and drug trade is called Acacia. Even though the name of this writer did not have a familiar ring for me, it so happens his novels have been translated into eight foreign languages, and he is the recipient of ALA awards (American Library Association), and has had his books recognized as New York Times Notable Books


  • In Acacia: The Acacia Trilogy, Book One - Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, dies, but not before ensuring the safety of his beloved children, in order that they might pursue their own destinies. Against their will, the siblings become separated and must learn to survive on their own, forging their own paths.

  • And of course, The Other Lands: The Acacia Trilogy, Book Two, is a tale of their travels to other lands, which are tantamount to eye-opening and amazing discoveries of new worlds, even though it was never their plan to set out on a mission of exploration. Yes, yes, yes! There is an evil wicked Queen.










The Death Game: Book Review by Chris Longmuir

Found the link below because it was shared in a Writers, Readers, Researchers & Reviewers Group on Facebook.  I prefer historical romance novels myself but the reviewer seemed to be really enthusiastic about this historical mystery.  It has peaked my interest in exploring other historical mysteries.

The Death Game by Chris Longmuir | wendyhjones





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30 June 2017

Do You Love Reading Children's Books?

The little kid in me enjoys reading and also listening to children's books.


Commercials make fun of adults who won't be seen enjoying their favorite kid's cereal, but what if they were caught reading a children's book?


Do you enjoy reading books for children? Not reading children's books to children for their education, entertainment and enjoyment. But do you - the adult - like reading them?



Several years back, my spouse and I contemplated the idea of writing books for children. We even had ourselves tested to see if we had the necessary skills and aptitude. We were looking for a means of earning income, while working from home and caring for our young children and thought this might be a viable solution. The test results were persuasive, so we decided on this path to pursue our financial goals. We will never know if we would have been as successful as the author of the Harry Potter books. After a few manuscript rejections by various publishers, we turned our efforts to more practical, more immediate, income earning opportunities.

Although no longer interested in writing books for children, I discovered something about myself that I did not know. I thoroughly enjoy immersing myself in children's books. Not reading them to my children or to children; but I like reading them for myself. Yes. It's an indulgence.


Many books written for children, adolescents or young adults are about 100 to 250 pages: a quick read. Those marvelous children's picture books with their exquisite illustrations are even shorter reads; about 25 pages, pictures included. But what a wonderful distraction they are from the daily grind of work, housework, grocery shopping and other mundane chores. They're so adventurous and other-worldly. Reading children's books actually refreshes and energizes me.


During the course of our failed attempt at becoming children's book authors, I found numerous writers in this field that I wish I had been introduced to when I myself was a child. I had never heard of many of them and yet they were award-winning, outstanding, notable, respected authors. Laurence Yep, Katherine Paterson, Madeleine L'Engle and Jane Yolen are four such writers.

So, if you're wondering what would be a guilt-free indulgence to set yourself free from your daily routine for just a few moments, try reading a children's book. Choose books by the authors mentioned above, or if you don't know where to begin, visit Al's Book Club for Kids. Oprah also publishes a Kids' Reading List. Although these lists were created with children in mind, they are perfect for those of us who want to indulge our inner child.



References:

Suggested link: Children who have published books and have made an impact on the world of literature. Click this link to read Literary History: Children Authors. It's fascinating!



( NOTE: Full article previously published a YAHOO Voices.  YCN website shut down.  Portions of republished various places around the web. )


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