Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All it Takes is One Voice

From the Washington Examiner:

Manilow, Jamiroquai to perform at Nobel peace concert

Associated Press

11/16/10 6:21 PM EST OSLO, NORWAY — Barry Manilow and Jamiroquai have joined the lineup of artists to perform at the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo.

Organizers say Indian musician A.R. Rahman, who did the score for "Slumdog Millionaire," will also feature in the Dec. 11 show honoring this year's peace laureate, imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington will host the concert, which is always held a day after the prize ceremony.

Previously announced performers include British pop band Florence and the Machine, U.S. pop singer Colbie Caillat, pianist Herbie Hancock and singer-songwriter Elvis Costello.

A quick bio of Liu Xiaobo

"One Voice" and "Let Freedom Ring" are the obvious choices for this performance, unless Barry has something else up his sleeve.

Every year, we bitch and moan about politics in the USA. We complain about how "uncivil" politics are, but only when the politicians WE support are on the receiving end.  (Those we opposed, well - who cares how they get treated, right?)  For nearly ten years, the USA has become more and more divided along party lines and the news media has abandoned any illusion of objectivity.  But our political system is still a beacon of hope that others around the world give their lives every day to attain.  We all have the right to bitch and moan.  In public.  On blogs.  On street corners, even.  The news media has the right to be biased if they want, or if their business model encourages it.    Media personalities can hold rallies right in Washington.   New movements can start (like the Tea Party) and they can be derided by those in disagreement (like MSNBC).  The worst anyone has to worry about is the court of public opinion.  No one ends up in a labor camp in Siberia, or in a shithole prison in the armpit of China.

I think we're frakkin' spoiled over here.  It takes a spotlight on an activist such as Liu Xiaobo to remember how fortunate we are - even as we complain about USA politics and politicians.

1 comment:

  1. Afterthoughts...
    I wrote this post the way I did because I was instantly reminded of the political divisions on the My Manilow Network on Ning during the 2008 presidential election. It felt intimidating to not side with the majority on voting plans and I was constantly thinking about getting banned because of my political views. Pretty frakkin' stupid, in light of Liu's sacrifices for the freedom of his people, huh?

    In case the sentiment wasn't obvious: Barry, BIG congratulations on this gig!! I can only imagine the pride you're going to have in performing it.