Thursday, August 03, 2006

Weird but true...

In fact, I'd say that the violence and misogyeny in rap make it a good music form for (militant) Islam. --Seeker

In February 2004, a new rap music video created a stir on both sides of the Atlantic. The video, entitled “Dirty Kuffar” (kuffar being the Arabic term for non-believers), was performed by the British group Sheikh Terra and the Soul Salah Crew.[i] The video begins with (clearly doctored) film footage of U.S. troops in Iraq cheering as they purportedly shoot an injured Iraqi civilian, then proceeds through a whirlwind of equally politically tinged imagery. This imagery includes a sniper’s crosshairs honing in on a U.S. soldier standing guard in a tower, U.S. troops shepherding along an orange-jumpsuited Guantanamo Bay detainee with his head hung low, the phrase “Kill the Crusaders” flashing across the screen as a supply truck is blown up by a land mine, and chilling footage of Chechen mujahideen pumping several bullets into a captured Russian soldier lying prone on the ground. The quick cuts and slick editing are evidence of professional-quality production. The viewer can even watch several human beings morph into animals; bin Laden’s right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, morphs into a roaring lion early in the video, and later Israel’s Ariel Sharon turns into a pig with a tiny Star of David on its forehead.

As the pro-Islamist images roll across the screen, a rapper in military fatigues and a ski mask rhythmically weaves back and forth before the camera while clutching a Qur’an in one hand and a pistol in the other. His lyrics, voiced in a reggae/rap hybrid style in the mold of popular artist Sean Paul, amount to a condemnation of the war on terrorism and, beyond that, a condemnation of all things Western:
The Ronald Reagan was a dirty kuffar

The Mr. Tony Blair is a dirty kuffar

The one Mr. Bush is a dirty kuffar …

Throw them in the fire

[Fortunately for Clinton he was clean, clean!]

“Dirty Kuffar” finally grinds to a halt with the lyrics “Peace to Hamas and the Hezbollah/ OBL [Osama bin Laden] crew be like a shining star/ like the way we destroy them two towers, ha ha.” The rappers’ laughter can be heard as footage rolls of United Flight 175 slamming into the World Trade Center’s south tower, followed by further footage of the Twin Towers’ billowing collapse.
Since the emergence of “Dirty Kuffar,” there has been a definable trend toward jihadi rap music: music that indulges in Islamist paranoia, that is anti-American in tone and substance, and that is intended to win sympathy – and perhaps recruits – for the jihadists’ cause. One rap group that clearly falls into the jihadi camp is Mujahideen Team, consisting of Puerto Rican Muslims from Brooklyn and Boston.
Like Sheikh Terra and the Soul Salah Crew, Mujahideen Team refers triumphantly to the September 11 attacks: “Thirteen tribes blood suckers of the poor/ Holding their heads up high, standing tall/ Like the Twin Towers I’m gonna watch them fall.”

Apparently jihadist rappers haven't heard that jihadists were not responsible for the Twin Towers, something they would know if they listened to the arguments of American kooks: "There was some sort of conspiracy to blow up the Towers so that Bush could become Dictator of America! It's because he doesn't like Americans having civil liberties or somethin'. So you know, if things are left up to Bush we won't have any civil liberties left." Etc. Too bad that isn't much of a satire of some of the most politically active Democrats these days. It gets to the point that even moderate Democrats seem to be so busy blaming Bush based on whatever the latest "blame Bush" script happens to be given them by the Old Press that they have little remaining time, knowledge or moral energy to apply to some people that are fairly blameworthy for things, like the jihadists.

On the topic of music, there is a great diversity to art and music that makes it virtually impossible to isolate a specific spirit or meaning to a mode or genre of music unless there are specified lyrics to define the artist's meaning with. (Whether it is "hip hop" or "rock" or anything else.) However, the mode of music itself can more easily lend itself to one specific spirit or meaning than another and so in most good music there is usually a marriage between the mode of the music and lyrics that is meant to touch the harmonies typical to the soul in some way. I think it is impossible to isolate a pattern or mode of music which is somehow "bad" in itself morally, just as you cannot say that one modulation of your voice is morally superior and another inherently inferior. Of course, you should not yell all the time and your "angry voice" is only moral to use in certain contexts. I'd argue that modes of music are the same way and so on but I've heard various scholars argue that if heavy metal as a mode of music were around in Hitler's day then the Nazis would have used it instead of patriotic marches. They seem to be implying that heavy metal is inherently evil. It's curious that there is evidence that they are correct in some sense given that neo-Nazis use heavy metal as their preferred medium these days. E.g. some of the titles of their songs: Laws of Blood, Divine Arms of Hate, etc. The genre of "extreme heavy metal" and the mode of music itself does generally lend itself to hate and anger, so one could say that when it comes to heavy metal it lends itself to and is modulated by "This is my angry voice!" Yet there's nothing necessarily wrong with an angry voice. There are plenty of things worth hating or being angry about, it is just that in an age where the very word "hate" is a buzzword that is equated with evil by those who are ruled by their feeelings, modes of music that lend themselves to hate will be considered vaguely evil as well. It doesn't help when many artists that use a specific mode of music like that impression of evil and intend to create it. But I meander...

One scholar defined Nazism as the practical and violent resistance to transcendence, so perhaps on the other hand Islamism can be defined as the practical and violent resistance to immanence. Neither manifests much art, let alone good art worth analyzing, as both Nazism and Islamism seem to tend to shut down the creative process necessary for it. In contrast, Americanism has always included the belief that transcendence and immanence can be married and left people free to try to achieve such a marriage for themselves, so it would seem that the American Empire will continue to entertain the world with its art while trying to manage things with its technology until it falls into scientism. At that point art will probably be censored by healthcare professionals working for the State for the sake of our "mental health" and so on, for free though...because we'll have free healthcare for all and all that.

I say that America will fall into scientism because there is evidence that the Weimar Republic is similar to the American. And for all the paranoia among Leftists about the Right and "religion" it is much more likely that Americans will come to believe in the myth of a scientifically organized State that is capable of total/totalitarian management to keep everyone healthy and safe than that there will be an "American Taliban" that comes to power to impose a theocracy from on high. The evidence can already be compiled even now about what pattern people are falling into, it is and will be the doctor or the scientist who has the power to take away your liberty in the American Republic and not some cleric or religious leader.

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