Meet the new DOS

I've been working on a little side project for the past few weeks. When Maya and I recorded Retro Rocket Science, I did a simple acoustic version of Won't Get Fooled. There were a couple of reasons. At the time, I didn't feel I could properly recreate the swirling organ part that the original song is built around, and I was also very daunted by the idea of programming a Keith Moon drum part. Not to put too fine a point on it, I chickened out :-). I've always been vaguely bothered by that. A few months ago, I downloaded a demo version of a plug-in that had a setting that sort of sounded like the organ from the song (the preset was named surprisingly enough "Won't Get Fooled Again"). I played with it for a bit, and came to the conclusion that it wasn't really all that close, but it got me thinking about how I could get the sound myself. I'll spare you all the gory details of how I ultimately got there, but I did eventually get pretty close to replicating the sound, and I figured out the chord voicings. Another thing that's been on my to-do list for a while is to write an updated version of the lyric. Maya and I wrote Won't Get Fooled in 1995, and although I still think it's one of our better songs, a lot of the specific references are out of date, even if the basic gist of the song still rings true. I wrote a new lyric that is less focused on the M$ corporation, and more on general and recent annoyances that have cropped up since then. We recorded both lyrics, and I've posted them to stream from our web site:
Won't Get Fooled (1995 Edition)
Won't Get Fooled (Vista Ultimate Edition)
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Religious Tolerance day

Something terrible happened nine years ago today. It's not something unique in the history of the world, but it is unique in American history. A successful attack that killed thousands of people in a major urban center was carried out. For most of our nation's history, we have been insulated from such things by two great oceans. We all were understandably shocked and horrified. However, that event seems to have crystalized into a hard knot of fear that has continued to drive our politics and our discourse. We have so-called "leaders", some political, some in the press (or what passes for it) fanning the flames of fear for their own political or financial gain. We have small minded "religious" leaders committing (or threatening to commit) acts whose sole purpose is to shock and offend. It doesn't help that we are living in precarious economic times, in which people's anxieties are more easily directed into fear of the "other". We would do well to remember that President Bush, immediately after the attacks, took great care to differentiate the attackers from the millions of followers of Islam who had nothing to do with, and were equally horrified by the crimes of September 11. President Obama has likewise stated "we are not at war with Islam".

Maya and I were in Germany last October. Before we went to Freusburg for FilkContinental, we spent a lot of time in Hamburg. One of the monuments there is the St. Nikolai Cathedral. It was nearly destroyed in the fire-bombing of downtown Hamburg by the British during World War II. The cathedral was never rebuilt - its burned-out spire is a monument to the pain and futility of war. On the grounds, there is small museum with photo-histories and displays of film footage of those fiery nights, in which the entire city center of Hamburg was literally melted to slag. In those attacks, many, many non-combatants were killed. What struck us both, was the lack of accusation or anger in the history presented. In fact, there was an accompanying (and prominent) display outlining the German bombing of Coventry. Granted, far more time has passed, for the fear and anger to subside, but I pray that we as a nation get past that nagging lump of feat that has frankly poisoned us for far too long.

Others have written of their discomfort with the word "tolerance". I share some of that discomfort. As the_magician said, it seems rather weak for the task. I think at the very least we need to start with "respect" for different viewpoints and ways of living. From "respect" perhaps we can someday graduate to "appreciation" for "diversity". Who knows, maybe even "love" could make an appearance. I do know that "fear" and "hate" will never profit anyone - neither the target nor the source. I pray that we can make that leap. That also, incidentally applies in our approach to Mr Jones, and all the other voices who preach fear. As a person of faith (Bahá'í), it makes me cringe every time a religious, political, or other leader espouses such obviously hateful ideas. If we allow ourselves to fear or hate them however, we have no hope of "being the change" we want to see.

It is permitted that the peoples and kindreds of the world associate with one another with joy and radiance. O people! Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. Thus hath the day-star of His sanction and authority shone forth above the horizon of the decree of God, the Lord of the worlds. ... Baha'ulláh
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Midichlorian Count is rising

I am completely gobsmacked by the the response to Midichlorian Rhapsody on YouTube. The number of views this morning is over 150,000, and the pace seems to be accelerating. It is listed as the 12th most popular viral video on TV Guide's web site. I can't even begin to count the number of web sites, blocks and twitter posts that link it.Outside of a couple of snarky comments (this is the internet after all), everyone seems to really like it. I'm very grateful to those of you who linked it from LJ and Facebook early on - I'm not sure exactly how things go viral, but I'm sure your links were what got this started. janeg, you were right :-). I'm going to try very hard not to squee here every few minutes, but I couldn't resist posting something.
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I don't know if this qualifies as "going viral", as janeg predicted, but views and crosslinks for the video of Midichlorian Rhapsody have been accelerating. I think it had a few hundred views the first day, it was a little over a thousand yesterday morning, and at about 3300 when I went to bed last night. This morning it was over 10000 views. It's being linked from blogs and twitter posts all over the world. This is kind of surreal. In the filk community, we all pretty much know each other, it's strange (and exciting) to see it being shared and commented on by people whom I will never meet. One of the commenters on the Youtube page Mondegreened one of the lines. I responded to give him the real line, and another commenter corrected me, saying he liked the Mondegreen better. That's AWESOME! :-)

An exercise in redundancy

There may be little point, since everyone else in my flist seems to already know and have posted this, but huge congratulations to seanan_mcguire for winning the Campbell award as best new writer at the Hugos. That's AWESOME!!!!!
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