Long ago lived a seaman named Captain Bravo. He was a manly man who showed no fear in facing his enemies.
One day, while sailing the seven seas, a lookout spotted a pirate ship and the crew became frantic. Captain Bravo bellowed, ”Bring me my red shirt!” The first mate quickly retrieved the captain’s red shirt and whilst wearing the bright red frock Bravo led his men into battle and defeated the pirates.
Later on that day, the lookout spotted not one, but two pirate ships. The captain again called for his red shirt and once again, though the fighting was fierce, they was victorious over the two ships.
That evening, all the men sat around on the deck recounting the day’s triumphs and one of them asked the captain, ”Sir, why do you call for your red shirt before battle?” The captain replied, ”If I am wounded in the attack, the shirt will not show my blood and thus, you men will continue to fight, unafraid.”
All of the men sat in silence and marveled at the courage of such a manly man as Captain Bravo.
As dawn came the next morning, the lookout spotted not one, not two, but TEN pirates ships approaching from the horizon. The first mate asked, “Shall I bring your red shirt?”
“No. ” Captain Bravo calmly replied, ”Get me my brown pants.”
Leonard Cohen, the singer and bard who spoke in gravelly, zenlike frankness about sex and God, and who oscillated between folk and funk and who could even do them both at once, is dead. He was 82.
From the time he released his first record, The Songs of Leonard Cohen, in 1967, he was prolific; You Want It Darker, his 14th studio album, was released just three weeks ago. And so there’s a lot of material to work with when it comes to grieving his loss appropriately — by listening to him, of course — but here’s where you should start:
1. “Hallelujah” (1984)
Maybe it’s trite to list his best-known track, perhaps, but how could you not? It’s been called one of the most lyrically beautiful songs ever written, and that’s hard to disagree with.
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Nineteen fifty-six was a defining year for American popular music. The foundations of rock and roll were solidified when Elvis Presley, newly signed to RCA Victor, released his eponymous first album. The harder-edged rockabilly band Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio did the same. The year’s jazz releases were just as iconic: “Chet Baker Sings” helped originate a smoother West Coast sound, and The Miles Davis Quintet would ultimately find four full-length albums worth of hard bop material recorded during only two day-long sessions. There was magic coming from every corner of musical expression — Glenn Gould, Sonny Rollins, The Jazz Messengers, Fats Domino — but one album, released in October of that year, was its own quiet revolution.
The album cover is a picture of two middle-aged black people, seated on folding chairs. The woman is in her late thirties, the man in his mid-fifties. She wears a plain print housedress and a wry expression; the man’s white socks are rolled at the ankles. A trumpet is on his lap, supporting his folded arms. There is no written information on the cover other than the name of the record label: “Verve,” it says. “A Panoramic True High Fidelity Record.” On the spine is the album’s title: “Ella and Louis.”
The first of three successful collaborations between Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, “Ella and Louis” is nearly perfect. It is one of those works of art — and they don’t come along often — that seems to have always existed. It features two of the greatest artists the century produced: Armstrong, the innovator and ambassador of jazz, and Fitzgerald, its most gifted singer. The album was produced by a man almost solely responsible for bringing jazz into the realm of respectability and desegregating its audience, who founded the label which released it, and assembled the all-star team of musicians who made it so marvelous. “Ella and Louis” helped rekindle interest in what would become known as The Great American Songbook. Though it is something only American culture could produce, “Ella and Louis” was also something a large part of American society worked hard to prevent.
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US president-elect Donald Trump hailed Israel as a “beacon of hope to countless people” on Friday in his first public message to the country since his upset victory.
“Israel and America share so many of the same values, such as freedom of speech, freedom of worship and the importance of creating opportunities for all citizens to pursue their dreams,” Trump said in the message published by the Israel Hayom newspaper.
“Israel is the one true democracy and defender of human rights in the Middle East and a beacon of hope to countless people.”
He added that he hoped his administration would play a “significant role in helping the parties to achieve a just, lasting peace,” saying that any deal would have to be directly negotiated between the two sides.
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On August 13, the Administrative Court in Nice, France, validated the decision of the Mayor of Cannes to prohibit wearing religious clothing on the beaches of Cannes. By “religious clothing,” the judge clearly seemed to be pointing his finger at the burkini, a body-covering bathing suit worn by many Muslim women.
These “Muslim textile affairs” reveal two types of jihad attacking France: one hard, one soft. The hard jihad, internationally known, consists of assassinating journalists of Charlie Hebdo (January 2015), Jewish people at the Hypercacher supermarket (January 2015) and young people at the Bataclan Theater, restaurants and the Stade de France (November 2015). The hard jihad also included stabbing two policeman in Magnanville, a suburb of Paris, (June 2016); truck-ramming to death 84 people in Nice on Bastille Day (July 14), and murdering a priest in the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, among other incidents. The goal of hard jihad, led by ISIS, al-Qaeda, and others, is to impose sharia by terror.
The soft jihad is different. It does not involve murdering people, but its final goal is the same: to impose Islam on France by covering the country in Islamic symbols — veils, burqas, burkinis and so on — at all levels of the society: in schools, universities, hospitals, corporations, streets, beaches, swimming pools and public transportation. By imposing the veil everywhere, soft Islamists seem to want to kill secularism, which, since escaping the grip of the Catholic Church, has become the French way of “living together.”
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French Muslims feel unfairly targeted, while police are under the gun
The doorbell rang at 4.30 a.m., politely at first and then more insistently. When Drisia, a French Muslim citizen, finally staggered out of bed and opened the door, she faced 10 armed police officers in riot helmets. They stormed into her apartment in a town in the French Alps, rifling through her drawers while her seven-year-old daughter cowered nearby. Days after that police raid on Dec. 3 last year, her employers fired her—after 10 years of service—from her administrative job with the company that manages the Mont Blanc Tunnel connecting France to Italy, on the suspicion of links with potential Islamist terrorists. “I asked what had happened, but they said the decision was made at a level far above them,” Drisia told TIME on Thursday, adding that she was still too shaken to have her full name in print. “There was no explanation,” she says. “They marched me out like a suspect
Drisia is hardly alone. France has been under a state of emergency since ISIS sympathizers mounted the deadly Paris attacks last November 13, massacring 130 people in the bloodiest terror attack in years. President François Hollande imposed the raft of supposedly temporary security measures within hours of the attacks, while the country was reeling from the bloodbath. The new rules allowed police to raid houses across the country for the first time during nighttime hours, and with little judicial oversight; place suspects under house arrest for months; ban street demonstrations; and monitor millions of people’s communications. Since then pieces of these supposedly temporary measures have migrated into French law, including a broad expansion of surveillance powers for police and intelligence agencies. “We are in a changed time, and in many ways, we also have a changed people,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, the architect and overseer of the new tactics, told local magistrates and police chiefs at a gathering in Paris on November 7.
This Sunday, France marks the first anniversary of the Paris attacks with solemn ceremonies to honor the dead and finally move beyond grief and unease. And yet, one year on, it is far from clear whether the government’s anti-terrorism strategy is working. In interviews with regular French people over the months, almost all say they are resigned to the fact that another terror attack is inevitable, somewhere, sometime. Desperate to avoid a repeat of the Paris massacre, the government has reassured few people that they are capable of averting assaults especially from lone-wolf attackers—and indeed some believe its anti-terrorism campaign might even have inflamed the situation.
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