Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 24, 2020

Happy Christmas

Winter solstice has passed and the days are again getting longer. The dark is receding.

Time for a festivity that is about hope, about the birth of a revolutionary and savior who will make the walls come down. If only symbolically.


Picture courtesy of the Bethlehem Association

In other years I used to visit family for Christmas. This year I decided against doing that. Staying apart makes it more safe for everyone. It also relieves me of three days of cooking. Not that I mind doing that. Not at all.

I will miss the kids' surprise and smiles when they open their presents, their curiosity in trying out all the new stuff. They promised to phone me up and to tell me what they got. I will, as usual, make fun about each piece. They will then fiercely defend their new toys as the best things ever. That exchange is an important part of our ritual.

I wish you all a contemplative, hope- and peaceful Christmas.


Posted by b on December 24, 2020 at 14:43 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Merry Christmas to all. Peace would be really nice too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 24 2020 14:47 utc | 1


Blessings of good health to you.

2020 is passing and a new year, a new season offers new challenges.

Thanks for all the gifts of your work all year long.

Much appreciated.

—Red Ryder

Posted by: Red Ryder | Dec 24 2020 15:06 utc | 2

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year b.
Your work is much appreciated by a fan from Guinea Conakry. Start my day by visiting your wonderful MOA. You are unique in analyzing World events from the right angle.

Posted by: Dioulde Barry | Dec 24 2020 15:37 utc | 3

Merry Christmas and a great new Year to come. Thanks for all that you do Mr B!

Posted by: Bill Ziebell | Dec 24 2020 15:50 utc | 4

Best christmas ever ... Wish we have a better one next year. Without #PCRtest.

Posted by: Gerd Müller | Dec 24 2020 15:53 utc | 5

Shine Jesus Shine
Surprisingly difficult to find a version of this song with just a piano and choir, as rare as finding Christians exuding warmth as they sing, '... flood the nations with grace and mercy'.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 24 2020 16:01 utc | 6

Merry Christmas everyone.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 24 2020 16:09 utc | 7

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.
God bless.

Posted by: Josh | Dec 24 2020 16:45 utc | 8

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you, your loved ones and all the barflies. Thanks again for all your hard work and insight.

Posted by: 4 Corners Bill | Dec 24 2020 16:53 utc | 9

Merry Christmas b!

Posted by: RMY | Dec 24 2020 17:00 utc | 10

Merry Christmas, b.
Thanks for all you do. My annual contribution will soon follow. Hope your Hamburg addy is the same.

Posted by: earthling1 | Dec 24 2020 17:11 utc | 11

Merry Christmas!

Posted by: Idiocrates | Dec 24 2020 17:26 utc | 12

Merry Christmas,

Let's hope that in the upcoming months Covid is driven into the history books and that our four year hiatus from initiating neocolonial-[aka regime-change] wars continues. The world needs more peace.

Peace to all people of good will.

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 24 2020 17:44 utc | 13

Merry Christmas Bernard!

Thanks for being a reliable voice of reason throughout this chaotic year. May you and the world have a better new year.

Posted by: Charles Dunaway | Dec 24 2020 17:49 utc | 14

Season's Greetings, Calm Solstice, and a Happy New Year.

Posted by: IronForge | Dec 24 2020 17:53 utc | 15

Merry Christmas b and all. Wishing peace, harmony, and humanity to the world.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Dec 24 2020 18:14 utc | 16

Merry Christmas from Brasil.
A daily reader

Posted by: jose carlos | Dec 24 2020 18:21 utc | 17

Merry Christmas b as well as all your family. And to all commenters and readers.
If I could give b a presant it would be a Cristal ball.

Stay strong everyone.

Posted by: Mark2 | Dec 24 2020 18:34 utc | 18

Happy Holidays to all and may peace be with you.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 24 2020 18:43 utc | 19

Many thanks for your keeping us company all year, even from afar. Missing our beloved ones, when we know it will not be forever, only makes sweeter the eventual reunion. Returning your beautiful wishes - peace, hope, and reflection. And solidarity.

Posted by: Spyros Marchetos | Dec 24 2020 18:51 utc | 20

Merry, Happy, Joy to the World!

Posted by: gottlieb | Dec 24 2020 18:53 utc | 21

thanks bernhard! especially that personal note on the ritual - fun!

merry christmas to everyone at MOA!

here are a few tracks from some musician friends from here on vancouver island

Posted by: james | Dec 24 2020 19:04 utc | 22

Somehow, after watching a few Southern/Appalachian folk dance (Buckdance/Flat-foot/clogging) YT clips,

the YouTube algorithms decided to show me these Cote D'Ivore folk dances (Zahouli ?) that I had never heard of before and I thought were quite amazing --

joyful high energy and fitting/lifting to Holiday spirits. (to me, anyway) (mix of 50 Zahouli clips)

Posted by: gm | Dec 24 2020 19:05 utc | 23

A Happy Christmas and a safe and peaceful New Year in 2021 to B and all MoA barflies and readers!

Posted by: Jen | Dec 24 2020 19:08 utc | 24

Hi B. Very happy Solstice to you. We, too, are staying distanced from the children-- though having a food exchange with one of their families.

I don't think I've ever shared this before. It's a way of telling the Christmas story that I have always hoped could work for all my grandkids. The photo at the top is of a creche set given to the spouse and me in 1987, by the director of the East Jerusalem (that is, Palestinian) YWCA. The little figures and their clothes were all made by young women in their programs. I like it not only for the traditional Palestinian tatreez, but also because Mary has the support of three wise women. (Just when she would have needed it.)

Anyway, I haven't done as much of my own writing this year as I should have. I got waylaid by some other worthwhile projects. Read about them here.

Anyway, coming back periodically to read MoonOfA on my newsfeed has helped keep me sane this year. You stay well!!!

Posted by: Helena | Dec 24 2020 19:23 utc | 25

Merry Christmas b thanks for your good work. Merry Christmas and thanks to barflies for the interesting comments and links.

I hope the worlds so called christians find the inner courage to stand up and take real action to liberate what was once called the Holy Land particularly the birthplace of Christ.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 24 2020 19:27 utc | 26

@ 23 gm... that top link dancing is amazing... the music sucks, but the dancing is amazing! too bad they couldn't find the actual music to go with it...

Posted by: james | Dec 24 2020 19:30 utc | 27

james | Dec 24 2020 19:30 utc | 27

Guess they are trying hook into a wider audience with the techno/house (?) sound track. The original is still there if you click around a bit

Posted by: gm | Dec 24 2020 19:43 utc | 28

Merry Christmas beautiful people

Posted by: DG | Dec 24 2020 20:04 utc | 29

merry christmas

Posted by: bevin | Dec 24 2020 21:10 utc | 30

How could I forget ... Happy Festivus ! ! !

(R.I.P. Jerry Stiller)

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 24 2020 21:29 utc | 31

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Thanks for all your productive hard work b. Got to have my daily fix.
One of the sites still with instructive commentators.

Posted by: MOA addict | Dec 24 2020 21:40 utc | 32

Sorry to over-post, I just wanted to recommend GM's youtube link below.

"joyful high energy and fitting/lifting to Holiday spirits. (to me, anyway)

Posted by: gm | Dec 24 2020 19:05 utc | 23"

That was interesting. It reminded me of Irish step dancing because there is no upper body movement but it's different. It's more stationary but a lot more leg movement. It looks like the man's feet are hovering. It's cool (I'm from the 70's I can say cool).

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 24 2020 21:43 utc | 33

Merry Christmas B - and let Tronald go finally.

Posted by: pnyx | Dec 24 2020 21:55 utc | 34

Posted by: Gerd Müller | Dec 24 2020 15:53 utc | 5

It’s Christmas Eve and you are thinking about the covid PCR test?? Why? There are far more important and serious things that affect global humanity. Oh well, to each their own.

Posted by: Dork | Dec 24 2020 22:03 utc | 35

merry xmas b and all. We're having a quiet xmas here too, no one wants to go through the 2 weeks guarded quarantine that is mandatory for all overseas arrivals, which is fine by me except it cuts both ways and my daughter was due to have her first child on the 23rd, so it will be any time soon. She's in Australia and it would be great to be there but currently not possible, much phoning, skyping & zooming instead.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 24 2020 22:27 utc | 36

Reflect on an Australian eyewitness account about contemporary occupied Bethlehem:

Palestinian Christians established the Kairos justice movement years ago but Palestinian Christians and the pan-christian Kairos movement are air-brushed from the media narrative as if they don't exist. Have the 'christians' from the west forgotten the central christian message, peace, love and joy? The worlds oldest christian community has been abandoned in favour of evil land hungry Talmudists.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 24 2020 22:44 utc | 37

Ciao from Sicily

Posted by: Sam | Dec 24 2020 22:46 utc | 38

Landless peasants!


This year's ritual abstinence will only add to our unquenchable faith in destiny manifest.

Salvation in desire. Certitude in compliance. I want to be told what I want.

Sacred toddler idol Jeebus, mystical undead hippy rebel, eternal promise of blissful gullibility, I invoke thy holiest of chants: Gimme gimme gimme thy heavenly delights!

I'll do anything to cover it up with hollow fairy tales of opportune incidental communion with alienated fleshbags that evoke distraught emotions of traumatic longing. Whatever it takes. Gimme now. Or maybe gimme tomorrow, Or maybe please perhaps the day after tomorrow, Or anytime. Just please gimme gimme. Gimme.

The pains that I feel are there every day the same, but still they keep telling me that only this is truly the time and who am I to not feel alike, think alike and speak alike. I will not endanger my chances to this delicate bait. Gimme gimme, oh lord, gimme.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 24 2020 23:08 utc | 39

For james...

Zaouli De Manfra...with drums and horns

Posted by: gm | Dec 24 2020 23:22 utc | 40

Merry Christmas Shopping Festival and Happy New Year to all barflies, lurkers and trolls at MoA. And special thanks to b for keeping a close watch on the multi-faceted pseudo-Christian Clown Show.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 24 2020 23:30 utc | 41

I know that the MSM launches a heavy mist and fob on all of us.
God bless you for all your daily and sometimes painfull effort to get us informed, put light on our confusion or simply open us required paths for our own conclusions.
YOur work has been of pretty much invaluable importance.
And merry Christmas!

Posted by: augusto | Dec 24 2020 23:35 utc | 42

Glück und Erfolg im neuen Jahr!

Posted by: donten | Dec 24 2020 23:42 utc | 43

Merry Xmas to Everyone.

Posted by: Peter Schmidt | Dec 24 2020 23:46 utc | 44

Best wishes to you all.

Posted by: Ruben | Dec 25 2020 0:00 utc | 45

I didn’t know you were a Brit

Maseru Christmas

Posted by: Rodney | Dec 25 2020 0:12 utc | 46

@bevin | Dec 24 2020 21:10 utc | 30

Fascinating article. Thanks for posting. I read the book 'Zealot' not long ago. I think this is more to the point rather than the book.

Posted by: Ruben | Dec 25 2020 0:21 utc | 47

Merry Christmas to old cynics.

Posted by: S.O. | Dec 25 2020 0:44 utc | 48

Posted by: bevin | Dec 24 2020 21:10 utc | 30

Interesting read. Thanks.

Merry Christmas all.


I noticed an error in the essay, whether typo or misunderstanding, i dunno.

The author wrote,

“Jesus and the apostles came from artisan families; Jesus was a carpenter, working with lumber imported from Lebanon and many of the apostles were fishermen, owning their own boats. We know from other sources that the fishing industry was thriving in Galilee at the time and there was investment in pickles for use in exporting fish.”

Fish were processed in several ways. Pickling using salt for processing was common. But packing fish in pickled cucumbers ? That would be an inedible rotten mess before too long.


7. The fishing trade also entailed the processing of fish. During the Hellenistic era processed fish had become a food staple throughout the Mediterranean, in city and village alike. The result was the development of trade distinctions between those who caught fish, those who processed fish, and those who marketed fish. But as the Ephesus stele demonstrates, fishers and fish-sellers might work cooperatively. The distribution of the catch was also controlled by government approved wholesalers. While fish processors are not explicitly referred to in the gospels, processed fish is mentioned (John 6:9 11; also Tob 2:2).

Fish were processed for preservation and transportation as cured and pickled or dried and salted (e.g., m. Ned. 6.4); and wine could be mixed in with fish brine (m. Ter. 11.1).

Posted by: suzan | Dec 25 2020 2:31 utc | 49

Merry Christmas b, and all wonderful commenters, happy Solstice (now it's spring!) and peace to everyone contributing, good fellowship to all!

It's a summertime, nearly virus free Christmas in my home country, but wherever we are we are blessed to celebrate it. It was old calendar Saint Nicholas Day here in the US on the 19th, and will be old calendar Christmas January 6/7, which actually comes just the day after the western'12 days of Christmas' end so a very full season's greetings with Olde Lange Syne right in the middle! And because it is such a long spell, I only put up decorations on the 18th of December. The North Star hangs always right above my front gate, so its replica is attached there to welcome the magi, except not at night but each dawn with the returning sun.

Joy to the world!

Posted by: juliania | Dec 25 2020 2:36 utc | 50

Best wishes for all of our barflies. May the coming of Christ bring us to more christian behaviour.

Posted by: CarlD | Dec 25 2020 3:04 utc | 51

@40 gm.... that is the cats ass! thanks for that... he is the same guy on the tale end of the first video you shared, but the music is way more engaging here.. thanks!

i get this off ivory coast music via wikipedia - "Music of Ivory Coast
Each of the ethnic groups in Ivory Coast has its own music genres, most showing strong vocal polyphony. Talking drums are also common, especially among the Appolo, and polyrhythms, another African characteristic, are found throughout Ivory Coast and are especially common in the southwest.

Popular music genres from Ivory Coast include zoblazo, zouglou, and Coupé-Décalé. A few Ivorian artists who have known international success are Magic Système, Alpha Blondy, Meiway, Dobet Gnahoré, Tiken Jah Fakoly, DJ Arafat, Serge Beynaud and Christina Goh, of Ivorian descent."

the more recent styles are technobeat type stuff which seems to have replaced more traditional music styles from the past... is this a feature of the french influence?? i find that music very lame!

Posted by: james | Dec 25 2020 6:24 utc | 52

Thanks b for all you do. I don’t always agree with you, but that’s ok, we all have our unique viewpoints of the world as we understand it. Merry Chistmas!

Posted by: Clifton | Dec 25 2020 6:37 utc | 53

Seasons Greetings MOA barflies and especially B! I come here pretty much daily and it’s one the few websites where I read comments, such is the lively nature of discussion here.

James, thnx 4 the Xmas ska tunes, loved it, will look to catch em in Vic nxt yr when I return to BC after 20+ years overseas. Used to be a ska/punk man myself back in the day in van...

And to all, a good night...

Posted by: Bluesguy | Dec 25 2020 6:45 utc | 54

A belated Merry Christmas from Sweden. Well it has been a rather unusual one this year, being completely alone, not being able to see my kids and family ( All in Denmark) due to Covid-19.
But nevertheless, I went through the usual process, making a proper Christmas meal, just for my self. But it was a bit lonely :(
But who I am I to complain on such details?
My thoughts go to those who have lost relatives in this crisis or who have relatives affected by it...
A merry Christmas everyone !

Posted by: Den lille abe | Dec 25 2020 6:54 utc | 55

A happy and peaceful Christmas to you B and all here. Thank you for your trojan work throughout the year.

Posted by: Daithí | Dec 25 2020 11:01 utc | 56

Fröhliche Weihnachten -- und ein noch besserer Silwester!
Hoffe nur, dass der russischen "Grandfather Frost" will deep-freeze all those Western war-mongers with his "Sibiriscen Källte"!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Dec 25 2020 13:40 utc | 57

happy Christmas, Bernhard, and sorry for possibly having misread/misunderstood/misrepresented you at times in space. By not paying enough attention? ...

The very, very best to you and your family.

Posted by: L | Dec 25 2020 16:27 utc | 58

-james | Dec 25 2020 6:24 utc | 52 /27

And here is the first (long version w/ drums & horns) part of the Zaouli dance video minus the techno/house dubbed sound.

Just Amazing [I don't how anyone could move like that for even thirty seconds, much less for almost 3 minutes]:

Posted by: gm | Dec 25 2020 17:07 utc | 59

GM @ 39:

I have seen Youtube videos of Russian women folk dancers, in long dresses covering their feet, dancing with their feet moving constantly in similar tippy-toe style. When the women move and turn around in circles, they look as if they are rolling on wheels or on a conveyor belt.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 25 2020 19:37 utc | 60

Bernard, all the best to you. It seemed to be a hard year for you too, and you stood your ground, to your belief and principle. You did not swim with the current in the so called alternative media, and for that i admire you even more than before.
Those here who did disagree with you on Covid, and then left this blog with a tantrum because it was not the echo chamber they hoped for, i would have wished them to just accept that we all have differences, at least if we are individuals and not mindless drones. Instead a significant part of the commenters attacked you personally and even called you a pharma, goverment, whatever shill. After over a decade of nearly daily activism.
But here we are. The blog is still going strong, i would say even in a renewed form, with some recent pieces right up there with the best of all imho.
It was and still is a trying time. But you are needed, in 2021 even more than before, and you and this blog will become stronger through every challenge it faces, just like always.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Dec 25 2020 19:44 utc | 61

My comment @ 60 should have been addressed to GM @ 59. Sorry for the typo.

The videos I refer to are of the Beryozka Dance Ensemble which formed in 1948 and has been ongoing since. There is even a short video of the women in rehearsal, showing a little of how they dance on the balls of their feet.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 25 2020 19:57 utc | 62

Merry Merry for those fortunate to be so blessed.

Please remember the many millions who have nothing while you're drinking down your wine and eating your feast. And over the weekend, take a moment to stop by your local Homeless shelter and donate!

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 25 2020 20:21 utc | 63

James @ 52:

Techno, hiphop and similar styles seem to be very popular in a lot of African countries now.

I have some CDs from the Buda Musique label's long-running Ethiopiques series that feature 1970s Ethiopian jazz and traditional Ethiopian folk music genres. As far as I know, the guy who runs the label has been adamant about NOT releasing any Ethiopian techno or hiphop/rap-influenced music. Those genres probably are popular enough among young people in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian diaspora that the music will be served by specialist labels. Plus artists can release music directly to the Bandcamp database.

If you are keen on African music in which acts maintain their own musical identities and use Western technology, and are not heavily influenced by overseas genres and trends, you can try listening to Congolese bands like Konono No 1 and Kasai Allstars. These bands and other Congolese bands rely on the music scene in Kinshasa (capital of the DRC, huge city of some 9 or 10 million) to sustain them. Probably other large cities in Africa (Nigeria perhaps) sustain their own music scenes where bands use Western technologies and trends to create and sustain their own fusion styles without the pressure to go "urban" (US commercial music industry style) or appeal to a Western World Music crowd.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 25 2020 20:24 utc | 64

@ Bluesguy | Dec 25 2020 6:45 utc | 54... thanks! ska is hip, but we all have our particular music tastes.. they are a bunch of younger players doing some creative stuff..

@ gm | Dec 25 2020 17:07 utc | 59... thanks! i wonder why they always have some other cat standing close by?? what would alan lomax think of this? LOLOL!

here is a link to what @62 jen refers to - beryozka dance ensemble.. how they do this is amazing.. thanks jen.. is that their real hair?? they all have long ponytails!

merry christmas to all!

Posted by: james | Dec 25 2020 20:26 utc | 65

Merry christmas B :)

Posted by: Ghassan | Dec 25 2020 20:29 utc | 66

@ 64 - jen... thanks... i have mostly listened to fela kuti, king sunny ade and stuff like that..much of it i don't know which country it is coming from within africa... being a drummer, i have studied many african drumming styles and approaches, but unlike 4 or 5 of my drumming friends - i have never been to africa to study directly... a few of my friends have.. one of my friends was on a canada council grant to go to mali and study with a group of people from the university of guelph... it was a type of exchange program... my friend brought some of these musicians from mali back to canada and they did a tour mostly in the toronto area... my exposure to african music has mostly been thru my involvement in drumming and in particular - afro, or afro-cuban and afro-brazilian type drumming... i have followed tony allens career a bit more closely.. he was the drummer for fela kuti and originally from nigeria, but recently passed away while living and playing in paris for many years... all of these cuban and brazilian and even new olreans rhythms have their origins in african drumming.. billy martin wrote a very good book on this showing the different rhythms and how they came from africa to the various different places in the western hemisphere via the slave trade.... so, this is why i am particularly interested in african drumming!

i used to play in a percussion group led by dido - dido and the hand people.. dido was from los angeles and played with gino vanelli among many other artists... this was back in the early 80's.. it was a fun group.. dido had maybe 10-15 congas and in the group was keys, bass, sax and me on basic drum set.. it was a lot of fun..

here is a track from the band you mention - kasai allstars.. i haven't heard of them before.. see link below... the drummer has a stock western type kit.. they sound great... i think the whole concept of 'call and response' is from africa... this is a super fun way to play music...

here is a little demo on the concept of call and response...

Posted by: james | Dec 25 2020 20:39 utc | 67

" i wonder why they always have some other cat standing close by?? what would alan lomax think of this? LOLOL!"

-james | Dec 25 2020 20:26 utc | 65

Me too. In some vids it looks like the attendants are running out in front and picking up little pieces of debris, sharpie/bitey(?) things that might interfere with the dancer's footwork; in other clips it looks like the attendant is acting like a coach or a frontman to cheer/urge the dancer on.

Posted by: gm | Dec 26 2020 0:24 utc | 68

hundreds and thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at each other and we concern ourselves with a simple virus. I would like to end the utter bullshit altogether, there is no chance that war will ever happen again on such a grand scale. Politicians are here to keep us apart, keep the threat going and distract. Money and power is all that matters. All the words in the world will not change the "TRUTH". Thx for the entertainment guys and gals!

Posted by: the kunt | Dec 26 2020 0:38 utc | 69

- Jen | Dec 25 2020 19:57 utc | 62

Thanks for that. Will check that group out. I'm a terrible and self-conscious dancer myself , but love watching people skilled in the art.

Posted by: gm | Dec 26 2020 0:57 utc | 70

After hundreds of years of Christianity in Scotland I can only wish Good luck to all for today tomorrow and all time. Proddies and Tim's will never live peacefully together thanks to a germ that permeated in our organism over a gazillion years. Come down to the slums and observe

Posted by: scot | Dec 26 2020 1:11 utc | 71

Merry Christmas to those who believe this is the year 2020

Posted by: scot | Dec 26 2020 2:03 utc | 72

Happy Festivus to b & to everyone of you Lunastan Bamians! May you all, of whatever disposition or affiliation, have a Merry New Terran Revolution ..

Stay grounded, you'all !

Posted by: polecat | Dec 26 2020 2:28 utc | 73

Merry Christmas to all!

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 26 2020 4:03 utc | 74

James @ 65:

With some of the Congolese bands, especially Konono No 1, an old guy sometimes wanders around the stage looking at all the performers and inspecting what they do ... he is part of an in-joke the bands have regarding DRC politics ... the fellow is referred to as "le President" and his role (yes, he is a member of the band) is to go around looking useless and pretending to be important.

I think Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade might have been from western Africa. I'm not exactly sure where from though. I know Ghana was well-known back in the 1970s-80s for its hi-life scene and the music scene in Cameroon was briefly famous thru musician Manu Dibango. Dibango died in early 2020 from COVID-19.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 26 2020 4:17 utc | 75

@ gm | Dec 26 2020 0:24 utc | 68.. yes - coach, or moving anything out of the way... check this out - same guy in the last 1/2 of this video from manu dibango that jen mentions @ 75..

@ jen - cameroon is right next to nigeria... fela kuti and king sunny ade are from nigeria... i believe king sunny ade is hi life music as well - different then manu dibango, but i can hear the similarities... i have linked to manu dibango in my comment to @ gm... i am not sure the difference between hi life and afro beat... i think these guys are also categorized as afro beat...

here is king sunny ade

here is fela kuti -

here is a tony allen cd i have.. i learned a lot of the beats off this recording - he is the drummer who played with fela kuti for many years, before relocating to france.. thanks for sharing the fellow from cameroon who i was unaware of..

pretty sure ginger baker was really into this stuff and went down to africa to see and listen to fela kuti as memory serves...

Posted by: james | Dec 26 2020 4:53 utc | 76

@ b who wrote

Time for a festivity that is about hope, about the birth of a revolutionary and savior who will make the walls come down. If only symbolically.

It is the end of Christmas day here on the US West coast. Like b, everyone I know is limiting connection this year to electronic means, which represents even more social change to the list of what the events and/or the political/economic manipulations of 2020 have wrought.

Change is the operative concept that is a given but perceived/actual rate fluctuates significantly. Does the amount of change we are seeing reflect efforts to effectuate more social control in the West or a breakdown reflecting the inherent social dissonance in the top/bottom social contract? Does that make it evolutionary or add an "r" to the previous?

I think that the walls that are coming down symbolically are those that lie about the potential of humanity organizing itself in other than the top/bottom Western manner. China is proving the lie of the West TINA to global private finance. That is why we are in the civilization war that is entering a new phase in 2021, the financial shock.....below is the ending quote from one of the latest postings at Wall Street on Parade
And, of course, the derivatives that blew up Wall Street during the financial crisis of 2007 to 2010 have reached massive heights once again with nary an alarm bell being rung by regulators, as have the off-balance sheet accounting manipulations.

In short, all the same devils have returned to set in motion the next epic Wall Street collapse.
The shit show continues

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 26 2020 6:45 utc | 77

James/Jen, I believe King Sunny Aden’s music is classified as Juju (saw him play at the Commodore in Vancouver BC in the 90s, amazing gig, I am partial to pedal steel so was completely mesmerized by that in an African music context and the chorus of talking drums).

Manu Dibango is the originator of what’s maybe called Soul Makossa, correct me if I’m wrong.

Fela is the originator of Afro-Beat.

From what I’ve gleaned from decades of being an African music aficionado, bluesguy notwithstanding ;-)

FWIW, best African gig I ever saw was Yousou N’dour at a small venue in Victoria, BC, he usually plays stadiums with 20 something piece band, I pushed my way to front and was on another planet, pure musical orgasmic ecstasy.

Season’s Greetings!

Posted by: Bluesguy | Dec 26 2020 7:39 utc | 78

Remember seeing King Sunny Aden in Mesa, Arizona in the mid-80's. Was also impressed by the fact that they had more guitars on stage than Lynrd Skynrd...

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Dec 26 2020 9:38 utc | 79

Thanks James, GM, Bluesguy and others for the information on modern African music.

My own knowledge is limited to Ethiopian popular music from the 1950s to 1980s, some trad Ethiopian folk music and a little bit of the Congolese scene.

Ethiopian music is not big on polyrhythmic music, talking drums or thumb pianos, or call-and-response music. In some respects, especially in the singing where vocalists can hang on one note and just ululate forever, it is a lot like Middle Eastern music. That's probably not surprising given how close Ethiopia is to the Arabian Peninsula, and many of the main ethnic groups in Ethiopia and Eritrea (the Amhara in Ethiopia, the Tigray and Tigrinya in Ethiopia and Eritrea) speaking Semitic languages.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 26 2020 10:38 utc | 80

Happy Christmas Bernhard. Wish you a much healthy, hopeful, joyous and peaceful new year ahead too.

Posted by: Kaushik Datta | Dec 26 2020 11:11 utc | 81

Happy new year and many thanks for your really interesting and informative posts

Posted by: Ruth | Dec 26 2020 12:00 utc | 82

Merry Christmas to b and his hard work shining light of truth, on the so called the "shining city on the hill" and related satrapies, and merry christmas and a happy new year to all MOA bloggers and commentators.

Posted by: kooshy | Dec 26 2020 15:19 utc | 83

I think that the walls that are coming down symbolically are those that lie about the potential of humanity organizing itself in other than the top/bottom Western manner. China is proving the lie of the West TINA to global private finance. That is why we are in the civilization war that is entering a new phase in 2021, the financial shock.....below is the ending quote from one of the latest postings at Wall Street on Parade
And, of course, the derivatives that blew up Wall Street during the financial crisis of 2007 to 2010 have reached massive heights once again with nary an alarm bell being rung by regulators, as have the off-balance sheet accounting manipulations.

In short, all the same devils have returned to set in motion the next epic Wall Street collapse.

For more about this ..............


CDBR believes China's economy will surpass the USA's economy in both PPP and dollar terms by 2028.

If not earlier, should the above derivative's blow up.


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Dec 26 2020 16:24 utc | 84

Merry Christmas to all

Posted by: ld | Dec 26 2020 16:59 utc | 85

One last Christmas-y Zaouli dance with the original sound.

The focus is a bit off in some parts, but I found interesting the [discerning]audience reactions (it looked like it was taking placed during a small village's judged contest), when they felt the dancer made an especially smooth move.

Posted by: gm | Dec 26 2020 17:57 utc | 86

@ 80 jen... thanks..

@ 86 gm... thanks.. this might be the best one yet with drummers on site! what do you or others make of the fact there are no women around?

Posted by: james | Dec 26 2020 18:12 utc | 87

I congratulate all Christians and Muslims of the world, particularly our Christian compatriots, on the birth anniversary of Prophet #Jesus Christ, the Messiah (pbuh).
7:39 AM · Dec 25, 2020·Twitter Web App

Posted by: Fyi | Dec 26 2020 18:24 utc | 88

@ Dr. George W Oprisko | Dec 26 2020 16:24 utc | 84

Thanks for sharing that "Covid19 and the international geopolitical situation" link.

Clearly, it comes from a pro-China viewpoint, and perhaps oversimplifies, or is too ready to accept at face value the deepstate-MSM's narrative on 'motivations' and 'motivators' they say drove the BLM/Antifa "largely peaceful 'demonstrations'" this past summer.

Nevertheless it seems to be a well-written, information rich article that one most likely would never see to have been be put out or promoted by the US mockingbird media.

(And the mockingbird media is 100% anti-Trump...)

So perhaps the *gem* of the take-home messages from the article is that China has fared *better* than all other countries, from the impact of the Covid pandemic.

[And...Putin implied/said in his year-end marathon press-conference that if global warming, GW, [as the Davos/neoliberal globalist pandemocrat crowd scare-monger it] indeed turns out to be a real thing,

then Russia will fare better than other countries because of their vast permafrost/taiga regions that would opened up into habitable/arable territory... so 'Bring it (GW) on', as far a Russia is concerned].

Posted by: gm | Dec 26 2020 19:30 utc | 89

" what do you or others make of the fact there are no women around?" - james | Dec 26 2020 18:12 utc | 87

My guess? Zaouli dancers' costumes are stylized abstractions of large game food animals (zebra, antelope, ostriches etc), and hunting is a guy-thing...

Posted by: gm | Dec 26 2020 19:44 utc | 90

James @ 87:

You need to know the history of the zaouli dance and the significance of the mask worn by zaouli dancers, and what the mask celebrates, to understand why zaouli dancers are always male and why few women and girls seem to attend zaouli performances.

Women may still have some input in the dance through making the dancers' costumes and the materials that go into them.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 26 2020 19:47 utc | 91

GM @ 90:

The notion that hunting large animals is a men-only activity is a Western stereotype and generalisation extended across all groups of people past and present regardless of where they live and how.

Palaeontologists are increasingly finding that Stone Age mammoth hunters brought down mammoths by involving entire communities, children as well as women, in the hunt. Young people might spot animals and men would try to drive them off cliffs. Women would then butcher fallen animals (and club any live ones) at the bottom of the cliffs.

Hunting of big-game animals could be varied. Pits might be used or animals could be caught in nets. Again, if strength was not important, and groups of people could gang up on a trapped animal, men and women could dispose of that animal together by clubbing it. Perhaps in some communities, women alone or even children could whack it dead.

Skinning, butchering and eviscerating dead animals are as important as hunting them. Among Plains aboriginal cultures in North America, these jobs were done either by men or women or both, depending on the tribe. Among Comanche people, butchering buffalo was done by women. According to one source I have read (a book by Feuerbach written in 1974, I forget the title), Comanche women hunted antelope and other small game on horseback as well as butchering them.

In other Plains tribes, esp those who were Mississippi River valley farmers before they obtained horses and could go hunting buffalo, the work of hunting and farming was often divided among men and women in a way that attracted Anglo-American and European attention (because such a division of labour jibed with their own views of what was appropriate for women, which was to stay at home) and a stereotype was born.

Even among present-day hunter-gatherers, nearly all of whom live in very marginal environments like deserts, the Arctic and tropical rainforests and anywhere else where the climate can be extreme and soils are poor, so information about their lives can't be assumed to represent original pre-agricultural Stone Age societies, who hunts and/or butchers game isn't always the exclusive preserve of men.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 26 2020 20:33 utc | 92

@Jen | Dec 26 2020 20:33 utc | 92

Sorry, but while I'm sure there are indeed historical and prehistorical cultural exceptions, as you cite. I would rather what I said above not be the opportunity to veer onto a modern 'woke' we-are-woman we-are-strong pc identity sidetrack, while here in the present "traditional dance" context.

In places especially like in central Africa, among the last remaining bastions of high biodiversity, where large predators, megafauna still are relatively common compared to the rest of the planet, and lots of nasty venomous crawlies still remain,

and Ivory Coast in particular, where the Zaouli traditional dance and the Guro people live, which is recorded to still have over 1,200 animal species including 223 mammals, 702 birds, 125 reptiles,...[Wikipedia], the gender roles and social mores certainly had to have been molded and specialized to a high degree by that environment, for the Guro culture there to have survived and grown.

After all, who was best suited/equipped to care for/feed[w/small game nearby camp] and protect the kiddies and the food garden plots at home from roaming lions/leopards/hyenas/grazing pests/roaming elephants/cobras, mambas, vipers, and all manner of 6-8 legged biters, while the 'the protein-on-the-hoof' gatherers were away on the hunt?

Generally speaking, smart healthy women and, exceptionally, men.

And who was best-suited/equipped to be the meat hunters that were away from home base for sevaral days at a stretch, running down large game for 10's of miles distance at a trot pace on the plains in order to exhaust the animals before they could get close enough to their antelope/zebra/ostrich/whatever prey to kill it, then butcher and schlepp the meat and any useable hides and carcass by-products all the way back home?

Generally speaking, healthy [vigorous, strong, high stamina] men, and exceptionally, healthy young women with exceptional hunting skills.

So in the central Ivorian region environment that shaped the Guro people's culture, and from which the Zaouli traditional dance arose, Its a good bet that generally speaking, local stereotypical (not exceptional) gender roles and traditional dances reflect the more survival-friendly habits that have served the Guro people well, probably for the last several thousand years.

And if one thinks of things in this way, it is not hard to imagine the cultural basis upon which the Zaouli dance probably developed...

Posted by: gm | Dec 26 2020 23:04 utc | 93

RE: gm | Dec 26 2020 23:04 utc | 93

I should amend this:

"Generally speaking, healthy [vigorous, strong, high stamina] men, and exceptionally, healthy young women with exceptional hunting skills...until they became pregnant...

Posted by: gm | Dec 26 2020 23:59 utc | 94

sending my love to everyone.

Posted by: annie | Dec 27 2020 0:51 utc | 95

well i guess i ask the hot questions, lol.... perhaps i can share what i am listening to at present and shift the conversation, or not! .. carla bley on her 80th birthday leading the ndr big band! she has written all of this beautiful music and leads the orchestra! Carla Bley & NDR Bigband: "La Leçon Française" | NDR .. this happened in 2016 in hamburg, the country where our host apparently lives! carla bley is a brilliant composer.. although no one has taken up the mantle since ellingtons passage, i think carla bley comes the closest...

Posted by: james | Dec 27 2020 1:15 utc | 96

Here is the best Zaouli clip I've found so far.

Nine and half minutes long with extensive narration in French---which I don't understand.

Maybe it gives the answer to james' "hot" questions?

Posted by: gm | Dec 27 2020 3:02 utc | 97

For james and Jen: Coed Zaouli: (4:08 min)

Posted by: gm | Dec 27 2020 3:51 utc | 98

GM @ 93:

Sorry to disappoint you but the zaouli dance dates back to the 1950s. It relies a great deal on dancers improvising moves and dance steps based on a defined choreography. The masks that dancers wear are based on the appearance of a woman or a female spirit known as Djela Lou Zaouli (Djela, Zaouli's daughter). The dance is a celebration of women's beauty and that explains why it is danced by men before an audience of men and boys.

The Guro themselves migrated to their current lands in Cote d'Ivoire from inland areas in the last 200 years, partly to escape other expanding tribes and partly also because the areas they settled were depopulated as a result of centuries of the slave trade. They ended up being subjected to French colonial rule.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 27 2020 4:55 utc | 99

Yes, I read the Zaouli Wikipedia too, and it is barely a stub. And no, I am very skeptical that the traditional dance originated in the 1950's.

The painted carnivale/mardi gras-style face masks, and other modern accoutrements many the dancers wear are obvious recent cultural borrowings (like the techno sound tracks, and Rio carnival style plastic statues and other modern costume upgrades) from the post colonial period that everyone has been exposed to today, even in Ivory Coast.

But what about the erect horns, humpbacks, and handheld tail-tassles that are key elements in the traditional Zaouli dance costumes?

Representing a beautiful woman's spirit? Horns? humpbacks? tail-tassle? (compare with the Western hartebeest native to the Guro areas [native as well to the inland Sahel areas from which the ancestors of the Guro are believed to have migrated into Cote D'Ivoire from], and hartebeest are still found in Marahoué National Park, just a few miles from the Guro village of Manfla, where many of those traditional dance vids were filmed.

I'm quite sure that the Zaouli traditional dance origins have far deeper roots than the stories told by French colonial occupiers in the the 1950's.

Posted by: gm | Dec 27 2020 6:50 utc | 100

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