June 2009 Archives
A scene from outside New York's Apollo Theater, which is hosting memorial tributes to Michael Jackson.
Iranians have reportedly starting protesting the Ahmadinejad regime by going to bazaars and not shopping.
However, that doesn't mean the rest of the revolution is noncommercial.
One popular item: t-shirts featuring Neda Agha-Soltan, the Iranian woman whose murder by Iranian security forces, caught on this YouTube video (more about which here), has made her an icon of the protest movement.
Pictured above: a Neda t-shirt sold on Facebook by an Iranian who pledges to give the proceeds to Neda's family if 400 shirts are sold, though judging from the comments not everyone is on board with this enterprise:
The CafePress blog has also noted Neda tee phenomenon, highlighting a link between commerce and political speech:
While the Iranian government prohibits Neda's family and friends from having memorials in her honor and tries to locally silence the voices mourning her, the world is talking. And from our end, a T-shirt is worth 1,000 words.
In other words, let a thousand Neda t-shirts bloom!
And yes, the last one really is a Remembering Neda Dog T-Shirt. The photo proclaims "Made in the USA", and y'know, I don't doubt it.
This article on France possibly banning the burqa initially struck me as more talk than action, the longer I read the more possible it seemed:
Speaking after a group of MPs requested an inquiry into the "degrading" use of the burka and niqab, government spokesman Luc Chatel said it was important to establish to what extent women's rights were being compromised by the garments.
"If it were determined that wearing the burka is a submissive act, and that it is contrary to republican principles, naturally parliament would have to drawn the necessary conclusions," he said. When asked whether that could mean bringing in legislation to ensure an outright ban, Chatel answered: "Why not?"
For a ban to be implemented, an investigation would first have to be opened and its results studied for any sign of incompatibility between secular values and the use of the full veil. President Sarkozy, who recently defended France's division between the state and religion during a press conference with Barack Obama, is understood to be in favour of the issue being explored.
Sarkozy's leftwing urban policies secretary, herself a Muslim and former president of a women's rights group, today gave her support to "a total ban" on the burka. "I am for the banning of this coffin which kills basic freedoms," Fadela Amara told Le Parisien newspaper. "This debate has to clear the way to a law which protects women."
This handmade necklace uses turquoise beads and fossilized beetles to evoke Ra. The designer explains:
Scarab beetles can be found in South America and Egypt. The dung beetle fossils date back 40 million years. The Egyptians immortalized the scarab beetle as sacred . The Egyptians believed that the scarab beetle represented their sun god, Ra. Ra was the Egyptian god who rolled the sun across the sky and buried it each night. The scarab beetle became so sacred that they were put on unique stones to wear as jewelry.
In a post-9/11 compromise, the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority allows uniform workers to have religious headwear provided that it is colored blue and bears the MTA logo.
Despite a discrimination lawsuit brought against it by the U.S. government back in 2004, the MTA insists that the policy is appropriate, on the grounds that "standardized uniforms assist our customers in quickly identifying employees if they need emergency assistance or just travel directions." The department does not see any problem in requiring believers to brand their religious garb, so it continues to cite Sikh and Muslim employees for failing to follow the policy.
What constitutes socially responsible search? Bing has segregated explicit images, and Google is under fire for generously giving artists the opportunity to have their work exploited for free. But for some groups, search raises even more pervasive value conflicts, such that working with the leading commercial search engines seems impracticable.
The new site, named in a pun on Google and on a Jewish casserole pudding, is meant to let devout Jews search for things they need without encountering sexual material or breaking religious taboos. Even when filters are used on mainstream search sites, explicit results sometimes appear under subjects like "breast cancer" -- as users of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) new Bing search service have discovered. (Microsoft took steps recently to make filtering more effective.)
Koogle will not only screen out sexual material or even images of women dressed provocatively, but it will also not offer things like television sets, which Orthodox families aren't allowed to have in their homes.
Koogle will not permit any shopping on the Sabbath, from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday.
The documentary series Indie Sex offers a revealing look at how religious groups have shaped American popular entertainment. Among the movies featured: Seminary Girls, a not-safe-for-the-nineteenth-century-workplace classic from Edison Films.
Ms Fry met her business partner Eisha Saleh, 32, of Chester Hill, when she was studying Islam during her conversion from Catholicism three years ago. She discovered her new faith while working as a garment technician at the clothing chain David Lawrence.
"I had been working in the fashion industry for seven years and I was thinking, 'What is this life about?' " said Ms Fry, who now lives in Roselands.
"I went on a real spiritual journey. I found [Islam] very intriguing. I grew up a little surfer girl, always at the beach. I did not know Islam existed."
But when she looked for clothes to suit her new lifestyle, she was frustrated. So last year the friends created their own women's fashion line Baraka, Arabic for "blessing".
In keeping with its spiritual design philosophy, Baraka also has a distinct social ethic:
We as women, were also concerned for other women around the world suffering hunger, oppression and limited opportunities. baraka was created ultimately to help these women achieve independence and sustainability. This is how ‘Project Women was born.
The project’s philosophy is to help all women of the world with no discrimination on race, religion or colour. This unique concept is to involve women from around the world to participate in the making of the baraka label, earn a living and start to make lasting changes to their communities.
Via Cake Wrecks, an example of how not to decorate a religious cake.
“I was captivated by the history and grandeur of the facade,” said Ms. Camacho, 40, an entrepreneur who operated a T-shirt boutique on Avenue A before opening Sustainable NYC, an eco-friendly store, last year. “Sometimes I’d pause, walk up the synagogue steps and touch the door.”
Click through for a slideshow.
A grassroots Muslim PR campaign, with thousands of people as walking billboards, wearing shirts with messages that make people laugh and frown. But most importantly they make people think. They destroy the messages we receive on a daily basis from mainstream media outlets and even our own religious leaders.
A right-to-life evangelical assassinates a doctor who performs abortions.
One of the movement's former leading apologists writes an online mea culpa.
What does Christianity Today choose to headline so as to "make sense of the world"?
Jon & Kate of +8 fame "need to confess their sins!"
And, of course, the pressing issue of John Calvin's critique of medieval indulgences:
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS EXTRA:
If you think the above isn't fair, just be glad I didn't lead with the following alternate frame: