Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Late-BREAKING News



Bad news! I broke my left elbow this weekend. Examine this PRIMARY SOURCE DOCUMENT [an excerpt from an e-mail I wrote to Wes Man] to learn more:

"i broke my arm on saturday night. andrei and i were riding back from brooklyn. we were on the west side bike path and my gears kept slipping. my foot got caught in something and i flipped over. i hit my head (was wearing helmet) and all four limbs. i went to the hospital the next morning and they said my left elbow was fractured but not too badly. i probably won't need a cast. right now it's in a sling. i have to go see an orthapedist next week. it doesn't hurt too bad but sometimes it spazzes out and tightens and that kills."

Anyway, typing isn't as fun as it used to be, but there are still so many important VIBES to explore...

At a party this weekend I was talking to Carrie "rock the" Babcock, an ambiguously ethnic college student whose ancestors CAME OVER ON DA MAYFLOWER. We were talking about her dark features and how when she visited Morocco she was told she looked like a genuine Fez-Lady.



This conversation piqued my interest for a variety of reasons. First of all, did you know that Spain and Morocco share a border??? I was reading an article about Moroccans sneaking over the border into Spain last week and thought to myself, "WTF!?!?? I knew the Strait of Gibraltar was narrow but..."

Turns out Spain still holds some small territories on Morroco's Northern Coast. My mind was further blown when I learned that Spain doesn't even own the European side of the Strait of Gibraltar. THE UK DOES!



BTW, I hope they make this. Then we could roadtrip from France to Senegal quick-fast.

Earlier this month I also realized that Singapore is actually a City-State/Island with a population of only 3 Million. I'm not sure what I used to think it was but this still surprised me.

I used to love geography when I was a kid. What happened?




ANYWAY...

my conversation with Carrie made me think of something Bono said when he interviewed Bob Dylan in 1984:

Bono: There's another group called De Dannan. The name De Dannan has something to do with with the lost tribes of Dan. You heard of the disappearing tribe of Dan? They say they came from Ireland.

Dylan: Yeah, I've heard that, I've heard that.

Bono: I'm not a musicologist or expert in this area, but it would appear that this is true. Also, you know they say the Irish musical scale has no roots in Europe whatsoever, rather it comes from Africa and India. The Cartesian people, the Egyptian people, what gave them supremacy in the Middle East was the sail they developed. I forget what they call it, I forget the name of the sail, but this sail allowed them to become successful sea farers and traders and they dominated as a result of their reading, and that same sail which was used on those boats, is used on the West of Ireland.

Dylan: Is that right?

Bono: Bob Quinn made a film called Atlanteans in which this theory was elaborated. He suggests that the book of Kells, which is a manuscript, part of it has it's roots in Coptic script, not in Europe. It's not a European thing at all - it's linked from Africa, Spain, Brittany and Ireland, because that was a sea route. I'm not an expert. I shouldn't be talking about it really. But it's of interest when you think of it.

Dylan: Sure it is.

First of all, isn't it funny how Bono overtalks Dylan even though Dylan is the subject of the interview?

Second of all, Irish/Asian vibes!

I've always felt a strong affinity with the Irish. I vividly remember going to see "The Secret of Roan Inish" at the Angelika when I was 10. My family went with the Connolly-Sheehans who probably also had an impact on my predisposition towards the Irish. Once Noreen Connolly, the mom of the clan who has curly red hair, baked some Irish Easter Bread which was the best thing I'd ever tasted. Also, when their family came back from a trip to Ireland, Matt Sheehan gave me a very beautiful and mysterious letter opener inscribed with my name in Celtic or something.



I also remember finishing Leon Uris' Trinity in the Hoboken Train Station. The novel ends with some really deep and sentimental line about the sad history of the Irish. Right as I closed the book, an Irish dude came up to me and was like "Great book, huh?" Dude read my mind!

MUSIC TIME:

I can't verify Bono's claims about the Irish musical scale, but I have been struck by the Irish-ness of a record I bought at a yard sale in Montclair called "FOLK MUSIC OF AFGHANISTAN: Vol. 2". I have to limit my comparison to two mp3's, but maybe I'll post more in the future:

If you close your eyes when you click on these links, you can guess which recording is Irish and which is Afghan. Maybe it will be obvious, but still, aren't they more similar than you expected?

MP3 #1

MP3#2

I don't want to get into amateur genetics/ethnograpy here so let's not push this Irish/Afghanistan connection too far. However, I would like to note that Afghanistan occupies a certain place in the Western mind which complements the notion of Ireland's "Asian-ness".

In Rudyard Kipling's "The Man Who Would Be King", a pair of English jokers try to take over an Afghan tribe. One of them says:

"These men aren't niggers; they're English! Look at their eyes--look at their mouths. Look at the way they stand up. They sit on chairs in their own houses. They're the Lost Tribes, or something like it, and they've grown to be English."

Certainly, much has been made of the whiteness of Afghans. For example, the National Geographic cover featuring the "haunted eyes of an Afghan refugee's fears" has just been picked as the 1oth best magazine cover of the last 40 years by the American Society of Magazine Editors.




People have always been obsessed with this cover. Sure her eyes seem haunted but I think a major component of the fascination is the "That's what Afghans look like???"-factor.

Does any of this Lost Tribes stuff mean anything? Who knows? Maybe the musical connection has more to do with the ARABIC SINGING DIASPORA. Check the MELISMATIC STYLEZ on the Irish MP3.



I saw this in an exhibit at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford this summer. A bunch of British intellectual heavyweights were asked to make a chalkboard diagram explaining a concept of their choice. This was Brian Eno's.

SO MUCH INFORMATION TO PROCESS. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF IT ALL?


4 Comments:

Anonymous a lake said...

WE ARE ALL MADE OF STARSZ

11:50 AM  
Blogger Rostam B said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello pitchfork

1:12 AM  
OpenID gabfrab.com said...

PRIMARY SOURCE DOCUMENT #2
Dancing with a broken elbow at an outdoor Vampire Weekend show:

In the darkness hundreds of glowsticks streaked the air like tracer shots in war. Giant inflatables bounced over dozens of light sabers pointed skyward. Stuffed animals impaled on sticks danced above the hot crowds, puppeted by someone just given ecstasy by a friend made seconds before. The animal extending from me hung crooked in accordance with the broke-down cow bone holding the halves of my arm together.

My vista through the glow gave sight to Ezra. Into a mic half-swallowed he uttered the refrain "Art is not cum. Art is not cum. Art is not cum." I thought of that secretion's binding powers.

I licked my finger pads and touched them to first knob and then elbow. Soon my animal clicked its hooves and trotted among the others. And all the while Ezra chanted with a guttural wetness "Art is not cum. Art is not cum. Art is not cum."

4:43 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home