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Here is a poem composed by Shah Isma’il the first king (shah) of the Safavid Empire. His poetry is very interesting, I will be interested to see what everyone thinks of it. I should also note that despite what you are about to read Isma’il was not crazy.
Adun Shah Isma’il haqqun siriyam
Shah Isma’il is my name, I am the mystery of Truth
Of all of these Ghazis I am the commander
Fatima is my mother, ‘Ali is my father
Of the twelve Imams I am the Pir
Upon Yazid I revenged my father’s blood
Know well that I am the coin of Haydar
The living Khidr and Jesus son of Mary
The Alexander of the people of the afe
Behold Yazid and the polytheist and the dammed!
Quit am I of the Qibla of the hypocrites
With me is Prophethood and the secret of Sanctity
Successor am I to Muhammad Mustafa
With my sword have I subdued the world
I am the Qanbar (menial slave) of ‘Ali Murtada
Safi is my grandfather, Haydar is my father
Of the people of courage, truly I am Ja’far
Husayni am I-my curse upon Yazid
Khata’i am I, a servant of the Shah
I was going to post an review of Iron Man but I figure there are already 6 million reviews all over the web so I will spare you my account. I might however, post something in the future as I am going to see it again this Saturday at my theater. On a related movie note I also caught Persepolis last weekend. Being a fan of the book/graphic novel I enjoyed the movie for the most part. My only points of contention are with the soundtrack which was a horrible French/Persian-esque monster that with the exception of a few moments got in the way of the film. I also would have liked to see Persian (go ahead mock away) used as the language of the film as opposed to French which like the soundtrack just didn’t seem to fit. In general the animation and the voice work where excellent make for a very enjoyable experience.
I have a little free time this evening so I thought I would add some reviews of media that I have recently consumed. The first item up for review is the book Reading Loita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. Overall I really enjoyed this book which is probably not surprising as I am interested in the study of Middle Eastern affairs, with a particular soft spot for Iran. I also am a fan a literature and enjoyed Professor Nafisi’s use of literary classics as a way to provide context for events in her life and country. I especially enjoyed the section that alluded to The Great Gatsby as a sort of metaphor for post-revolution Iran. I also thought that Professor Nafisi did a nice job of explaining the significance of the veil in Islamic society and how the revolution by making the wearing of the veil mandatory in many ways took away its significance. I think that Reading Loita in Tehran would be a very enjoyable book for anyone who enjoys literature and a chance to learn about the lives of people in a country that is at least in the U.S. often mentioned in a negative fashion.
The next item up for review is the film In Bruges. I really enjoyed In Bruges as it has that wonderful mixture of dark comedy and violence that I so covet in a film. This is not to say that In Bruges is a surreal hit-man wonderfilm a la Pulp Fiction (which I love) but it offers more realism and dare I say a touch of heart. I thought the script was well written with the bulk of the lines being delivered by co-stars Colin Farrell and Brendon Gleeson. I must also admit that I was smitten with the performance of Clemence Poesy who played the lead female role. Being a music nerd I must comment on the music which I liked but I almost jumped out of my seat and clapped when I heard the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor by J.S. Bach used in a scene. My only real regret about this movie is that fact that I had to see it on a tiny art house screen in a theater which has little in the way of leg room. It is sad that such a great movie is relegated to a handful of theaters while most theaters get four prints of crap like 10,000 BC.
I hope everyone is prepared for some celebrating! I will be celebrating by hitting the town tomorrow night with some folks employed in the movie business.
Well readers I think I will brighten your day with a re-telling of a dream I had last night. My dream began with Daybringer Ross and I hanging out in my house in Dayton. Daybringer was playing some video game and Ross was playing guitar while I fiddled around on my bass. I asked Ross if he wanted to learn about the modes and he agreed that it was time. All I heard from Daybringer was a sarcastic “great”. So Ross and I moved upstairs and I started talking about the modes and I oddly started with the locrian mode (which would normally be the last one discussed). Ross was not deterred and seemed to understand what I was talking about be he suggested that we use his organ (as in the keyboard instrument sickos) to play some modal music. The next thing I know Ross and I are in the produce section of a grocery store that when touched makes different organ sounds. I immediately search out and find what would be the pedal and started improvising some bass lines while Ross played some modal lines in the soprano. Then somehow I am back in Athens in front of the school of music and I remember groaning and asking “why am I here” at which point I here a voice behind me say because you need to be. So I turn around and its John only the best way to describe it would be to say it was future John in the vein of future Hiro (from the show Heroes…I know I am nerd even in my dreams). John was wearing some Matrix-esque trench coat and had a shaved head and a goatee and naturally had his katanna strapped to his back. Future John (thats what I am going to call him) told me to get my bass and go to Dr. James office because I was needed. So I go into the music building and a lot of people look at me and ask me what I am doing and I have to tell them that I don’t really know but I need my bass. So I get to the bass room and sure enough my bass is there so I get it and proceed to Dr. James office. On my way down the 5th floor hallway toward Dr. James’s office I see Amanda only shes older looking and looks very freaked out to see me as she exclaimed “Jon what are you doing here?” I remember that I tried to explain that I thought I was trapped in a LOST episode and I vaguely remember saying that this was probably the work of the island or something. Then I hear a very loud “NO!” followed by a punch to the face. As my vision returns I see Future John standing over me saying “Sorry about that but this has nothing to do TV shows” and I remember thinking about asking him why he reminds me of future Hiro but I thought better of saying anything. Anyway when Amanda sees Future John she freaks out, and when I say she freaked out I mean batshit super hysterical crazy and then runs away while Future John laughs in his typical maniacal fashion. So I pick my bass up and continue on my journey to Dr. James office. Upon my arrival I see 3 people standing outside Dr. James office 2 of which I recognize. The 2 humans that I recognize are Mike and Aaron which makes sense as with the addition of myself we form a jazz rhythm section. The 3rd human was a female with bright blue eyes and brown hair (with feathers in it-weird I know) holding an alto saxophone and who introduced herself and Magdalena and added that everyone called her “Mags”. Now I know some of you are reading this and thinking “Magdalena what the fuck?” but it actually makes perfect sense if you are me as J.S. Bach’s second wife name was Ann Magdalena.
-I asked Mags what she was doing here and she explained that she was applying to OU for grad school and this was her audition. At this point Dr. James came out of his office and invited us in. We got set up and Mags said that we were going to play But not for me (one of my favorite jazz standards). All I really recall about us playing was that Mags could somehow sing the lyrics to the song and play sax at the same time. After the audition was over Mags asked me if I wanted to get lunch and as it turns out I must have agreed because the next thing I remember we were walking uptown. This is when things get odd as in the process of walking to uptown Athens we end up at the Greene in Beavercreek eating at the Panera Bread Co. I remember telling her that I have a couple friends who live not far from the Greene and that we should stop by. Mags replied to this by telling me that my friends didn’t live there any more except for Tendie he was around but not in the way I remember. Mags went on to say that Tendie controlled that which is uncontrollable. I remember thinking “his hatred he finally mastered it”. I seemed to except this (probably based on my experiences with future John). So then I ask her what this is really about why I seem to be moving between the past and the future and Athens and Dayton and why she has feathers in her hair. Her response was “In what distant deeps or skies burnt the fire in thine eyes?”.
-Then I woke up.
Well I hope this provides a glimpse into my crazy mind. Thanks for reading.
-update! I now remember where Mags last line come from. It from a poem by William Blake that I memorized a few years back enjoy!
TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
Well faithful readers it has been far to long since I have posted or responded to anything on this blog. This inactivity is due first to the generally busy schedule that I keep which doesn’t leave me much energy for blogging. The second reason for my lack of posts can be blamed on my trepidation in regard to the posting of certain content, largely because most of it is inane and is really only interesting to myself. So if any of my readers really want to see/read posts about bass/music nerd stuff or thoughts on Middle Eastern Affairs/History let me know and I am sure I can come up with many posts on these subjects.
As many of you nerd I a am openly a nerd so it will be hard for me to not interject my thoughts on various topics that are near and dear to me (namely music/double bass/Middle Eastern History/Biology/Genetics) so don’t think that I have thrown everything to the wayside in the name of the blog-o-sphere. Nevertheless I am going to try and focus more on media critique (movies, music, tv, books etc..) and so of the planning aspects of my Masters program which I will begin in the fall. I may also include some aspects of my interest in cycling which I have due to the improved weather been able to devote a increasing amount of time to.
Finally, I need to update my blogroll/links with a number of new cyberspace points of interest. Most of the new additions are webcomics which I have found enjoyable through the snowy and wet Athens winter. The news blogroll adds will include (but are in no way limited to) the web comics Questionable content, Voids and the Perry Bible Fellowship. I will also be adding Gordon McAlpin’s (creator of the excellent webcomic Multiplex!) movie new/reviews blog Movie Make-out. I hope you visit and enjoy these sites and come back to ole Passacaglia and Blues for new and exciting content.