Saturday, April 29, 2006

I have decided

It is a gloriously sunny Saturday morning, and I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secret... No, wait. That's not what I decided. That's what the other decider (clearly a false prophet trying to usurp my authority) decided. What I decided is there are some things you my dear reading public (yes, I mean all three of you) should know about.

Back at the end of March, someone not only bought me tickets to see the Cirque du Soleil's Varekai, but she also sent me a link to a documentary called Loose Change. At the time we still had dial-up, which left me somewhat disinclined to spend the 4500 hours required to load a 1:21 movie, so I just saved the link, but never really did anything with it. Now that I've watched it, I can proclaim that it has something for everyone - political junkies, conspiracy theorists, people who don't believe the official version of 911, and general Bush bashers alike.

While I'm not saying that I buy into everything presented in the movie, I am saying that it raises some interesting questions. One review I read of the movie suggested that all it got right was the date of the event, but I think there is more than that. They got the year right too. Also, while I'm not sure that Loose Change's answers are all the right ones, I can get behind the acknowledgement that not everything is as clear as the administration or the media (which is increasingly just an arm of the administration) has admitted, and the movie definitely presents enough evidence to merit further study. It's a stark contrast to the also controversial (but for different reasons), new United 93 movie, which opened to mixed reviews this weekend. Either way, you can view Loose Change by going here.

But life is not all about accusations of manipulation of the facts leading up to the war with Iraq. It is also about accusations of mismanagement of FEMA and the 2005 Katrina disaster in the gulf coast. Recovery efforts continue to this day. In hopes raise money in support of recovery, there will be a performance of the Missa Luba in Portland on May 20th, benefitting Hope Shall Bloom, the UCC's continuing recovery efforts in Mississippi and Louisiana. I bring this up not only because it is a good cause, but it marks my re-entry into the music world. Yes, after a 15 year retirement (judging by the Behind the Blow special devoted to my early years, the music world has sorely missed me), I have joined Bridgeport UCC's joint venture with other churches and choirs in performing an African Mass in pure Congolese style.

The piece originated when Belgian missionary, Father Guido Haazen, who came to the Congo in the early 50's, formed Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin, a choir of 45 boys and 15 teachers from the Kamina Central School. The mass, which is a combination of traditional Latin liturgy and traditional Congolese rhythm and melody, was first recorded in 1963. However one views the history of colonialism and cultural empiralism from whence (that's right, I said from whence) it came, there is no denying the beauty of the Missa Luba. I like to hope that something so lovely embraces Felá Sówándé's plea to "Respect the culture and the religions of my people, too. Teach, if you will, but do not impose. Even better, let us learn from one another."

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Analyse This!

I was enrolled in an Idol style singing competition where I was doing double duty performing and assigning everyone a song. This is apparently not a conflict of interest when I am the one doing it. Even though I had scrawled the song choices on the back of a folded up piece of brown paper bag, I couldn't figure out who had been assigned what (and most importantly what my own song would be). Ever ready to intervene and micromanage, my boss showed up. She then took my paper away from me and reassigned them all, giving me that awful Mariah Carey Hero song. This did not please me one bit and not only because I don't know the words to Hero, even if I have been unable to escape its lesson that a hero does indeed lie in me. Luckily, I miraculously remembered my original plan and changed everything back, so I'd be singing Bob Wills' Drunkard's Blues as performed by Kelly Hogan on the Pine Valley Cosmonauts Salute to the Majesty of Bob Wills, which is only true and proper.

Happy with my final choice, I headed off to the school cafeteria as an excuse to look for David Boreanaz at the salad bar. He had been flirting with me earlier outside, so it seemed the sensible thing to do. So, I toddled off to the salad bar to feign the inability to eat, because I was so nervous about my performance. This would allow me to be delicate AND advertise that I'd be singing without directly asking him to come. Unfortunately, when I tried to bump into him line, I learned that he would not be able to attend the competition. Undaunted, I offered to sing for him there. He declined, claiming he had work to do.

Apparently he was investigating a girl, who was turning into a demon and had to go to her room (probably to look at her etchings). In the end, as is so often the case, she exploded and then I was on a bus looking for her residence hall (and David Boreanaz). I never did find him, but her remains (the shredded plastic of an exploded blow up doll) were indeed scattered about her boudior.

After that, I hopped back on the bus and headed over to the campus information desk, which was made of bales of hay. The two information officers were very friendly, so I talked to them for a bit while I waited for my friends to arrive. They asked me if I knew anything about the anti-war rally on the 19th, so I gave them a poster sized flyer out of my purse.

Poster distributed, it was time to adjourn to the Underworld with my mom, a guy from church, and a small Chinese woman from work. First, though, we had to find a meeting room. We parted ways when Churchy went off up the stairs to look for it, while we looked in our area. It was then that I noticed a door to outside and immediately to the right of it, a door back to the inside. We took it, and ended up in a long hall that lead to a dimly lit sanctuary filled with demons with white, scaley skin. We walked down a long walkway between the pews they were sitting in, ignoring them, but afraid they would try to grab us. Then we went around another corner and into another even darker cavern that had rickety, rotting wooden ladders, over a pit of fire. When we got to the bottom, there was a narrow path between the coals, leading forward.

After that, we were in a very small movie theater alone. Strange beings kept coming in. The others were afraid, but for some reason I was not. Because I am apparently a hippie in my dreams, I told the others that all they had to do was medidate on the word "Peace". This would give us time to determine what to do and also protect us from the demons. My coworker (whom I actually DO like in real life) kept jabbering and interrupting the necessary quiet with her incessant prattle. I kept meditating and trying to ignore her as a group of spooky looking hooded beings in black came in. I tried not to focus on them and kept focusing on the word "Peace", they turned into black men in nicely tailored pin-striped suits, who asked if they could sit with us. I was just contemplating inviting everyone to join me in using one of the exits to the front of the theater, when I was rudely awakened by the alarm clock, which is a shame, because I suspect John Wesley Harding was waiting outside to fly us all to safety in his magic bus.