The interpretation of original Islamic texts paints a far liberal and feminist picture than what is made of it in the centuries to follow. What we see in today’s Islamic world is a lot of injustice to women. Women are oppressed under the false pretense of upholding Islamic virtue. The present system “keeps people locked in roles that stunt their growth and unjustly penalizes women who would exercise their rights”. Indeed, if true Islam were to be implemented many injustices against women could be prevented – rapists won’t go free, victims . . . Read More
One of the predominant themes in African music is the close relationship between music and language. For instance,
“African tone languages, with their inter-syllabic relational pitch structure, manifest a musical aspect that in turn constrains melodic contour. Second, the popular and popularizing phenomenon of talking drums, the idea that drums (and other speech surrogates) “speak” and are understood in the way that one understands spoken language–this phenomenon has at its core a configuration involving music and language. And third, the words that enable song, the poet’s emergent music that is eventually colonized by the composer’s music–these song words raise a host of interesting questions about how language is articulated in song, to what extent song displays autonomous structure, and ways in which meaning is transferred from text to music and vice versa.” . . . Read More
The modern human history is studded with technological advancements and economic growth. But, does this overall betterment in standards and conditions of living made human beings a happier lot? The answer is “no”. Surveys after surveys have pointed that beyond basic necessities, more affluence does not translate into more well-being. In this context, it is important to inquire into the true nature of happiness and grooming people toward longing for more enduring and sustainable values.
What ails humanity at present and what are the remedies?
David R. Myers, a renowned social psychologist offers a theory of human happiness that emphasizes the significance of the sociological aspects of people’s lifestyles. Myers also points how “materialism” and “consumerist culture” can never provide lasting peace for its pursuers. Myers asserts that . . . Read More
Mythologies as Information Dispensers:
In the ancient world as is so in the modern world, myths have been an essential component of religion. In ancient societies, word of mouth stories were very significant because they explicated human and divine nature. In an era when the written script was not yet invented, this was a valuable method of information. The myths, packaged into stories, communicated history and preserved the past. Elements of intrigue and exaggeration were deliberately induced to make the assimilation and transmission more interesting. In other words, it could be asserted, that the Greek Mythology was the forebear for all subsequent performance arts. In the primitive world, mythology served as a primitive form of theatre. But this is only one side of the truth. Myths were cleverly used by the religious leaders to impose their authority on the unsuspecting masses. This was . . . Read More
The youngest of the Marx Brothers trio, Julius “Groucho” Marx, was also the most popular and versatile of the siblings. Groucho Marx’s place in the American comedy canon is undisputed and he is regarded second only to Charlie Chaplin in terms of his status in the comedian fraternity. While most comedians of his generation were stuck to one particular medium, Groucho was most remarkable for his adaptability and mastery of any new medium of entertainment that would appear at the time. For example, long after his brothers faded into retirement, Groucho was still holding stage in radio and Television. By studying the career of Groucho Marx in detail, much about the history of popular culture could be learned. Marx, having lived and performed in the first half of the twentieth century, bore witness to the advances in the way entertainment will be produced and delivered. Hence, Marx’s progress as a performer is . . . Read More
Parent’s education level which is a reasonable measure of their SES is found to influence language proficiency of their children. Substance abusing parents from low SES tend to be negligent of their children, which affects their language development. Ethnic and racial minorities, especially whose first language is different from the dominant language of the region, have historically found social mobility difficult. Parents under mental stress tend to be poor caregivers and this affects the language acquisition of their children – most such adults are from lower SES.
Research indicates that of all the parent-child activities, reading to children has a major influence on the subsequent language development of the child. This is so, because the other verbal interactions between . . . Read More
The most common themes of Reggae music include poverty, politics and Rastafarianism (which is a set of spiritual and cultural beliefs with wide ranging interpretations). Other subjects like love, sex and socializing also find mention in the lyrics although social criticism is the predominant theme. The music is also known for criticism of materialism, political awareness and rebellion against orthodox religious dogma (Clements).
Reggae as a Vehicle of Political Message:
Clancy Eccles was openly supportive of Michael Manley and his People’s National Party (PNP) during the 1970’s. Manley, the ever shrewd politician, understood the power of Reggae to draw voters. So during the run-up to the elections, he arranged concerts where Eccles’ performed politically loaded numbers. The other Reggae groups that were also supportive of Manley were Dennis Brown, the Chosen Few . . . Read More
Euthanasia is deliberate killing of a seriously or terminally ill human being, apparently for his/her benefit. The important word here is “deliberate”, meaning, to act upon a conscious decision. Euthanasia is also referred to as “mercy killing”. Euthanasia can be either voluntary or involuntary. Euthanasia is usually applied for terminal patient cases where there is no or little chance of recovery. Unfortunately, the recent times had seen euthanasia being interpreted in various and confusing ways, not all of which are agreeable to ethical codes of life.
Euthanasia is applicable for “terminally ill” patients, who have no scope of recovery and the rest of their life is bound to be full of suffering. However, in some conditions like comatose where there is a possibility of recovery, the decision to terminate life is not straight forward. So, it is argued, . . . Read More
Landmines have profound social and economic consequences to civilians. Although landmines are meant to curb enemy access to terrain, they affect the local civilian populations quite severely. They depopulate entire regions of the country, get in the way of agricultural production and interfere with transportation. They also bring down the economic infrastructure and kill/maim several innocent civilians. Landmines are at times deployed as a means of sabotage – they make useless strategic commercial structures and cripple the economy (Giannou 1997). Also, when surface transportation is hampered, farmers can no longer transit their produce to marketplaces. This results in inflation and soaring of commodity prices. Mined roads make the effects of famine and drought more severe by hampering food relief and restricting movement of supplies.
Disastrous results follow when mines are . . . Read More
Several studies indicate a correlation between music videos and violent behavior of adolescents. The findings also show a connection between the imagery displayed in the videos and inappropriate sexual attitudes and conduct. The lyrics tend to have a significant corrupting influence on the youth. Particular genres such as hip-hop, gangsta rap and heavy metal are found to be more damaging to youth than the rest. The racial attitudes and interpersonal relations of teenagers can be influenced by the music they watch.
Music Videos have defined contemporary culture the last 50 years. The mass appeal of the art form brings with it both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, it inspires, entertains and stimulates, . . . Read More