From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Ah, good stuff. American icon Studs Terkel will receive a lifetime achievement prize from the National Book Critics Circle and my man Bill Vollmann has been nominated for a National Book Award. I haven’t read the entirety of his Rising Up and Rising Down but based on the excerpts I’ve read I’d have to say it’s more than deserving. You’ve got to admire a guy who seems to write more stuff in a year than most people read.

Also, Israeli newspaper Maariv has launched an English website.

Update: This is cute, or something:

"[Popular] singer Sha'ban Abd Al-Rahim is making headlines again with his announcement that he has put the final touches on his latest album Mahibish Al Karasi (I Don't Like the Chairs) — possibly referring to political positions as opposed to furniture. The new album includes a new ditty about the U.S., Israel, and the road map.

"'Kharittat Al Tariq' (Road Map) is the name of the song which gives voice to widespread views in the Egyptian street regarding the September 11th events and the U.S. - Iraq standoff. The song talks about the road map and includes quotes from U.S. President George W. Bush about the plan's implementation. The song goes on to describe how America is the spitting image of Israel and it carries out its desires, making the world into a 'jungle.' But it does not stop at that point. Abd Al-Rahim goes on to boldly sing that the USA is the perpetrator of the September 11th attacks.

"'Hey people it was only a tower and I swear by God that they are the ones who pulled it down.' Abd Al-Rahim further sings that they purposely did it to make people think that Arabs and Muslims are terrorists and were behind that disaster.
Now the U.S. can do what it pleases to the Arab world since everyone thinks they are to blame.

"The rest of the song includes lines like 'sometimes he [Bush] says Iran and sometimes he says Syria,' and 'he shortens his speech if someone says Korea.'

"The song is written by Abd Al-Rahim's long-time collaborator, songwriter Islam Khalil , an Arabic teacher at a primary school in Al Qanater in the Al-Qalyoubiya governorate. Khalil wrote earlier Abdel Rahim's hits like 'I Hate Israel' and 'Striking Iraq.'

My, how progressive, albeit rather lacking in originality, creativity, and intelligence. Incidentally, Egypt has received billions of dollars in aid from the United States in recent years, and this is the sort of hate and garbage we get in return. But, gee, let’s boycott and divest from that nasty little Israel. That’ll show ‘em!

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