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Monday, October 15, 2007

Eid Mubarak, and other things

Here in my adopted home of Pakistan it's been Eid for the past two days. So Happy Eid, or as we say around here, Eid Mubarak. This is the two-day holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the month spent fasting and not smoking cigarettes or having sex or generally indulging in anything that falls under the category of "having a good time." You're also supposed to give money to the poor and, you know, stop lying and so on. Or at least do it less. Uzee and I have been spending the last couple days visiting people and having a nice sociable time catching up, etc. It's all terribly wholesome.

My ma tells me that the Empire State Building, which has for years been lit up on holidays--green white & orange for St Patrick's Day, green and red for Christmas, red white & blue for the 4th of July and so on--was this year, for the first time ever, lit up green for Eid. What a hoot! I must say I'm all for it. Anything for, you know, inclusion and fellowship as opposed to, say, exclusion and ostracization. Right on.

In other exciting news, the New England Patriots yesterday hosed the the previously unbeaten but now thoroughly beaten Dallas Cowboys. Yes, "America's so-called team" experienced a thrashing on Sunday afternoon, and it's becomingly increasingly possible that the Pats will be unbeaten this season. I don't think so; they may well lose to the Colts in Indianapolis in early November, and probably one other game--a shocker to someone unexpected like Washington or Baltimore. But it must be said, that getting past the Cowboys as easily as they did, bodes well for the future.

Current musical obsession, not that you've asked: I've been listening without relent to The Brian Jonestown Massacre for lo these past few weeks with no sign of letup. They are one of the bands featured in the documentary Dig!, along with the Dandy Warhols. They're kind of retro-60s, except that they don't give the impression of a band that's gone back to that era so much as one that never left in the first place. Lots of twangy droning guitar with plenty of effects like phase-shifting and distortion, seasoned with bits of organ and sitar, built around simple 3- or 4-chord progressions and trippy-hippy-dippy lyrics. The singing isn't the greatest but the whole thing is wrapped around such a groove that it's well-nigh irresistible. For me anyway. Every so often you get this, like, folky guitar-strummy thing and you start thinking, "God, please don't let this last more than two minutes," and happily, it usually doesn't.

The other great thing is you can download all their records as zipped .rar files for free, and play them on your computer. (If you have WinZip or something like it.) That's pretty generous... Nicer than us cheapskate writers who want you to actually go buy our books or something, eh?

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