Category: Performing arts

Kurds make fun of ISIS in this parody video

Kurdish comedians make fun of ISIS terrorists and their abnormal affection for goats in a popular TV video. Made available with English subtitles by MEMRI, the video, aired on Kurdish television in October, is a four-minute musical skit of bearded men in front of an ISIS flag, playing air guitar with an AK-47 and singing about all the worthlessness and...

Muslim Brotherhood can’t take a joke – so let’s keep joking

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi depended on protesters to ridicule the regime he targeted in Egypt, but now that he has become the Egyptian regime, he’s showing he fears the power of ridicule as a political weapon. Morsi had local comedian and satirist Bassem Youssef set up to be prosecuted for “insulting” him (and Islam) on March 30 of this...

Egyptian Islamists fear comedian’s jokes

Egyptian Islamists are so fearful of jokes undermining their authority that they have taken action against a popular comedian. Their action to prosecute funnyman Bassem Youssef, who modeled his program after Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, shows yet again how satire and ridicule can be potent weapons against Islamist intolerance. Youssef (not to be confused with a litigious FBI agent of...

Comedian who lampooned Islamists is murdered in Mogadishu

A prominent Somali comedian who regularly made fun of Islamist extremists was murdered in Mogadishu. Abdi Jeylani Malaq, known popularly as “Marshale,” ridiculed the al-Shebab insurgents as part of his comedy routine. The assassination shows the power of ridicule against Islamists and other rigid ideologues – as well as the dangers in standing up to them. Marshale is one of...

Cherry blossom centennial: Japanese public diplomacy in the US

Washington’s famous cherry trees are a century-old example of positive public diplomacy, and how cultural programs can create institutions in which people of one country can easily identify with another in ways that have nothing to do with politics, diplomacy or national security. March 2012 marks the centennial celebration of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to beautify the capital city...

Extraordinary modern revival of ancient Chinese culture

An extraordinary example of cultural diplomacy is the annual performance of the Shen Yun dance group, which starts its 2012 show in Washington this week. Shen Yun is known combining classical Chinese dance and music with the modern world in an elaborate and spectacular event. The performing company is closely associated with the Falun Gong, a spiritual movement rooted in...

London: Roger Waters shows Neda’s image at ‘The Wall’ concert

Former Pink Floyd master Roger Waters showed an image of the martyred Neda Agha Soltan as part of his sensational performance of “The Wall.” Waters has been a longtime supporter of the Iranian resistance. The image appears during Waters’ rendition of “Thin Ice,” following images of his late father, killed during World War II during the Battle of Anzio, and...

Rapping to the death throes of Iran’s Islamic republic

When a regime is too inflexible to cope with the cultural rebellion of the young people under its domination, the system cannot be expected to survive for long. In a youthful country like Iran, we are seeing signs that the dictatorship of the Islamic Republic is on its last legs. Especially because this youthful cultural rebellion, thanks to the Internet,...

Videos about Iran’s rock underground

From Persian Cats to Yellow Dogs from Jehangir Irani on Vimeo. Yesterday’s post led me to look around for some good videos about Iran’s rock underground, and some research about the Yellow Dogs led to these excellent segments. The first one, above, is a look at Iran’s young people and how they express themselves through music – with help from...