Despite the ridiculous, absurd roadblocks put up by religious fantasies, we are rapidly becoming a global culture, connected by reason and tolerance and music and art and empathy and food and writing and the NET and computers and smartphones and music and food.
Nothing typifies for me our growing interconnectedness with all humans on the planet as this hauntingly beautiful Arabic version of Grace Slick’s 1967 Jefferson Airplane composition “White Rabbit.”
You can read about Ms. Karaa’s rapid rise to international fame and upcoming debut CD which promises to be an intriguing and powerful mix of rock and Middle Eastern music: Her Bio here.
I first heard this version of the Airplane classic and Mayaa’s beautiful voice nearly a year ago while still teaching at a State University in Kentucky, sitting in on a Life Drawing class run by an old hippie art instructor who played his very eclectic music selections while his students sketched.
White Rabbit was recorded for the album “Surrealistic Pillow.”
Being exposed to a beautiful Lebanese chanteuse singing a psychedelic anthem from the “Summer of Love” in Arabic no less, which was penned by a transplanted San Francisco Midwest girl who was inspired by an English satirist and a French composer, while observing aspiring artists sketch nude models under the direction of one of the last remaining true hippies on earth in the heart of the conservative Bible Belt of the American South… was surrealistic enough for me. And a truly global experience.
In case you live under a rock somewhere, or are just too young for this to be a part of your contemporary cultural experience, here’s Grace Slick’s original version of “White Rabbit.”
It is still a classic.
Oddly enough, I was re-introduced only recently to Ms. Karaa’s captivating rendition on You Tube the same week as I had just finished researching for the blog on the rise of Islamism, and had watched with amazement as Anthony Bourdain of the Food Network visited both Libya and Iran, YES Iran?!, spending as much time interacting refreshingly straightforward and intimately with the locals as he did featuring and sampling their food.
We are fast becoming truly, a global culture. Bourdain and his Food Network counterpart Andrew Zimmern of “Bizarre Foods” both purposely go the extra mile on their shows to let the viewer get to know the culture and people of the lands they visit in search of interesting cuisine. There’s less chance of dehumanizing or hating other groups of human beings when you actually get to know them. Thnx, guys!
It was also in the same week, less than a month ago that while reading the international news magazine The Economist, I came across an article describing the meteoric rise of smartphone use. Internet connection by touchscreen in the palm of your hand is expected to reach over 4 billion people by 2020, with another billion connected to the Net by PC’s, laptops and other devices.
4 billion plus smartphone users in 5 years and over 5 billion of us on the Net, interconnected globally in ways and numbers wholly unprecedented and unimagined but a few years ago. Out of a projected world population of 8 billion by the end of this decade that’s nearly 2/3 of us! All fellow humans on the planet engaged in one gigantic global conversation.
Despite the relgionist’s prodigious attempts to keep us all separated into arbitrary and wholly imaginary groups of “us vs them” based on preposterously fictitious cultural myths, the Internet and its immediate access thru devices like smartphones and the like allow us all to get to know each other from any land, any culture, any religion, any state, any cuisine, any music, any ole bucket and realize we are all the same.
Global culture can help us overcome the needlessly destructive and wasteful divisions of the ideologies of religion and state.
We are one species, we could be one tribe.
Part and parcel of the New Enlightenment movement is to unite us all in our common humanity of reason and tolerance and…
music and food and smartphones…and the Net.