Rock Star with Ball

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Floyd star switches concert venue

So, Roger Waters has the balls to play Israel, but is perhaps meek enough to be swayed by Palestinian claims of being “oppressed”. Technically, his music is banned in most of the Arab world, and the ruling Hamas party of the Palestinian territories officially considers British nationals like Waters enemies of Islam and Palestinians. Ergo, is Waters promoting peace by changing the venue for his concert to a place where Arabs and Israelis cohabit peacefully? After all, it is not the Palestinian inhabitants of this peaceful city that requested the change of venue. It was the party that wants Israel wiped out. Hmmmm….

It is clear that Waters is not trying to take sides in the matter, and his courage to play in Israel at all is admirable and commendable. (Madonna, the material and Cabalah girl has yet to announce any tour dates in Israel.) But, is Waters aware of the tangled web he weaves when he plays politics?

Your Next Sitter: Tinkerbell or Zyprexa?

Study: More children on antipsychotics – The Boston Globe

Forget about setting your kids before the latest Disney DVD. Just give them some antipsychotics. Attention deficit, schmattention deficit… What the hell was I saying?

No Bodies, No Civil War

Even The Wall Street Journal is now in the business of reporting how all news coming out of Iraq is deliberately skewed. According to this article, the Iraqi authorities define criteria for reporting casualties in a way that reduces the number of deaths that are attributed to the aftermath of the Samarra Mosque bombing in February.

Here is the link to the scanned article.

By most criteria, Iraq is already in the grips of a civil war. So why the hassle?

No Adsense

Web ads like this one make one wonder if it is wise to trust computers with advertising. At least, Albert Brooks should be thinking why his movie distributor allowed this ad to end up on this particular news page. Looking for humor in the Arab world? It might be just as hard to find in the Jewish world these days.

Obviously, this gaffe is not the reason the movie bombed, but it could not have helped.

Unintended Joke

Prague and Berlin

Berlin is a short distance from Prague: only four and a half hours on a standard train. Yet, the two cities could not be more different. Languages are as those from different planets. one still looks as it did a thousand years ago, World War II and communism notwithstanding, and the other is a great cultural mecca slowly mending the severe wounds it sustained at the hands of fascism and communism. The pictures show only part of the story. A great deal of European history is told in these two cities. A scant 6 days are not enough to capture any significant fraction of this history, but they are just enough to instill an appreciation of the stories.

Click here for the pics.

Cologne: Dom City

What makes Münster tolerable is the great access it offers to so many European cities. Düsseldorf and Köln (Cologne) are two very nice cities in Germany. Cologne is the largest city in this region of Germany, and it is by far the most fun to visit for a weekend because one can go to many museums, walk along the river, have great food, listen to great, cutting-edge music, and drink until morning every night. The proximity to Cologne has helped a great deal in preserving my sanity.

The biggest highlight of the city is the famous cathedral (the Dom). It is massive, gigantic and detailed beyond description. Click here for the pictures. Cologne need not be your primary destination in Germany, but it is such a nice place to visit and live.

Signs of Maturity in the U.S.A.

Maturity is a quality that remains absent–at least, elusive–in American culture. Some time ago, people were shocked by a covered nipple. Consequently, they were protected from vulgar wit this year.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Stones ‘agreed song censorship’

According to this article, a few lyrics from “Start Me up” and “Rough Justice” were cut from the Rolling Stones’ Superbowl halftime performance. The censorship proceeded according to an agreement between the NFL and the band.

Inside sources provided a glimpse of this agreement. Apparently, it limited the lyrical content of the Stones’ performance, but it provided them with unlimited smack, coke and hookers backstage.

Jagger hinted to this provision in a press conference before the game. (NYTimes article) “America [is] almost unrecognizable and it’s very hard to imagine what the United States was like 40 years ago…Hopefully, though, both of us still have our core values intact.”

Indubitably. Certainly, ticket sales for the current Stones tour was not stellar. This article delineates the Stones’ motivation for doing the show and agreeing to censorship: ticket sales.

The core values of America and the Rolling Stones are indeed still the same.