When the Orchestra Goes Green

The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra has been around for more than 10 years, performing on instruments made solely from fresh vegetables. And no, the musicians are not all vegetarians.


More information:

Vienna Vegetable Orchestra

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A Joyous Sound: Hava Nagila, Texas Style

A Canadian friend, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, married to a New Zealander, who now lives in the United States, sent me this video. She describes it as “a hoot, hootenanny style.” The email she forwarded to me with the link included this anonymous comment:

WE CAN CELEBRATE EACH OTHER’S CULTURE, EACH OTHER’S ACHIEVEMENT, NO MATTER IF WE AGREE WITH THE PERSON’S POLITICS OR NOT. WHERE ELSE YOU CAN HAVE AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT, A LATINA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, AN AUSTRIAN IMMIGRANT BODY BUILDER FOR GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA, OR A TEXAS CHRISTIAN CHURCH SINGING “HAVA NAGILA” WHILE DISPLAYING BOTH THE AMERICAN AND ISRAELI FLAGS? GOD BLESS THE USA.”

Here is the rendition of Hava Nagila by the CUFI Cornerstone Singers, performed at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.

Cornerstone Church was founded in 1975 by Pastor John Hagee. Under his leadership, the congregation has grown from 1,000 members to over 19,000. Pastor Hagee is also the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI).

The statement on the CUFI web site reads, in part:

During the Holocaust, too many Christians were silent, and we were left to mourn the slaughter of 6 million Jews. Today, Bible-believing Christians must speak up and stand up for Israel. We must act to do whatever we can to protect Israel’s 6 million Jews from the second Holocaust. We must get it right this time. Our faith demands it. The times require it. Silence is not an option.”

Obama Joker Artist Revealed – Part 1

Obama JokerWe now know that the portrait of President Barack Obama painted as the Joker from the Batman film The Dark Night was the handiwork of a 20-year old Chicagoan, Firas Alkhateeb. Mr. Alkhateeb is an American of Palestinian descent, who is a senior at the University of Illinois.

With some free time, boredom and Adobe Photoshop, Mr. Alkhateeb created the Time Magazine cover featuring Obama-as-the-Joker and uploaded it to the photo-sharing website Flickr.

SOCIALISMAn as yet anonymous prankster in the Los Angeles AREA apparently downloaded the photo, removed the distinguishing characteristics of the Time Magazine cover and added the banner label “SOCIALISM” to the bottom of the portrait.

Dozens of the Obama-SOCIALISM posters were plastered around the city of Claremont in Southern California. Police are investigating.

As for Mr. Alkhateeb, apparently he finds President Obama to be too conservative. He told the Los Angeles Times that he did not vote in the 2008 election, but would have supported Dennis Kucinich.

And Mr. Alkhateeb is no fan of the president’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. On his Flickr page, Mr. Alkhateeb posted a photograph of Mr. Emanuel labled “EPIC FAIL,” and wrote, “Emanuel is a fervent anti-Islam voice in Washington. A Zionist, he takes a hard line stance against the Palestinian cause, and shows a clear anti-Muslim racism.”

40 Years On: From Abbey Road to Woodstock

Saturday, August 7, 2009, marked 40 years since the 1969 photo shoot for the Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road album cover. In commemoration of the event, hundreds of Beatles fans from across the universe had come together at the famous zebra crossing. Those who could not be there were able to watch on their computer monitors thanks to a live web cam, something not possible when the Beatles crossed that street 40 years ago. Oh the times, they are a-changin’.

The year 1969 was pivotal in the evolution of popular culture. Promoters of a festival billed as “three days of peace and music” sold 186,000 tickets to the August 15-17, 1969, event at Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York. Over half a million people showed up. Heavy traffic caused as many as a million more to turn back and miss the event known as Woodstock. The rain and mud-soaked attendees were entertained by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Ravi Shankar, Joan Baez, Mountain, The Band, Richie Havens, and a break-out performance of the Beatles’ hit With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker.

The Daily Mail takes an amusing look back in, Forty far-out facts you never knew about Woodstock. One of my personal favorite facts is this one:

23. Off-duty police officers were banned from providing security, so a New Mexico commune known as the Hog Farm were hired to form a ‘Please Force.’ The Hog Farmers were led by Wavy Gravy, a toothless former beatnik comic, who put on a Smokey-the-Bear suit and warned troublemakers they would be doused in fizzy water or hit with custard pies.

In 1990, I met Wavy Gravy in a coffee store in Berkeley, California. He was running for Berkeley City Council (he lost), and he gave me a silk-screened campaign poster! His campaign slogan was “Let’s elect a real clown for a change.” Hmmm. Change we can believe in?

(Not) MY Private Concert…from Paul McCartney

My Private Concert…from Paul McCartney « FOX News Sunday.

Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, has posted on his blog a moving and insightful essay about his experiences with Sir Paul McCartney.

On Saturday, August 1, 2009, Mr. Wallace was one in a crowd of about 20 people watching Paul McCartney do a “sound check” in a huge stadium, in preparation for a concert in Washington DC.

Mr. Wallace also met Sir Paul a couple of years back on a beach in Jamaica, and describes the thrill he felt at meeting a rock and roll idol from his youth. (When was the last time you were on vacation and met a former Beatle? Guess you should re-think your itinerary for next time.)

Mr. Wallace stirs up some sweet memories for those of us who grew up with the music and excitement of Beatlemania.