Monday, August 20, 2007

Web nonsense

My employer has started using Websense to keep us from reading about sports at the office. I have no objection to that, but I can't figure out how it decides what to block while I'm reading at lunch.

For example, I can't access James Lileks' home page, but I can access the Supreme Leader of Iran's daily fatwa.

  • Supreme Leader's advice of the day: "Listening to Children’s Songs"
    • Question: What is your opinion about listening to children’s songs? Are the children allowed to sing for their homeland, parents, etc. while using singing equipments?
    • Answer: Listening to ghinā’ is impermissible no matter whether it is sung by children. Also, the parents should not provide their children with musical instruments to be used in songs even though children are not bound to religious duties.

    I gotta remember this one the next time someone bleats on about how Islam and Christianity are both equally evil and/or neutral (which view depends on how much they hate Christianity...). One forbids music--no singing and no instruments. Especially no secular music! The other has a rich tradition of using music in worship (J.S. Bach) and no implicit regulations against other music.

    All the other major world religions have musical traditions. All the tribal/animistic societies have songs and instruments. Even Stalin didn't forbid nursery rhymes.

    I'm newly impressed by just how STUPID you have to be to believe in cultural relativism, much less believe that a culture where music is forbidden is better than the culture that gave us Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads (not Randi Rhodes, ugh) and Lawrence Welk and....

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