Showing posts with label Leonard Cohen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leonard Cohen. Show all posts

Friday, January 6, 2012

Jeanne d'Arc

Jeanne d'Arc. In English, Joan of Arc. Her family surname was d'Arc. And her given name was Jeanne (pronounced jun in French, like fun, so much nicer than Joan). She was born six centuries ago, on 6 January 1412, in Domrémy (Lorraine). As a pious rural maiden, Jeanne d'Arc was horrified by the wounds inflicted upon the brethren of her village by the Anglo-Burgundian forces.

While minding her sheep and spinning wool, Jeanne heard the celestial voice of Saint Michael the Archangel exhorting her to create a rebellion aimed at kicking the English out of France.

It was a long combat, during which Jeanne behaved with the military force of a male. A successful combat. But Jeanne paid with her life.

And the tragedy of Jeanne d'Arc is expressed in a quiet noble style by Leonard Cohen and lovely Julie Christensen.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Freedom of speech

To encounter a dramatic new sense of these three simple words, "freedom of speech", click this photo of Christopher Hitchens (suffering from cancer) and read his splendid article entitled Unspoken Truths.

Here's the awesome song by Leonard Cohen that Hitchens mentions:

Just for the record (well, rather, for old-timers such as me), here's the original version sung by Cohen himself, accompanied by the haunting voices of Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen.

I can understand why many Hitchens well-wishers find inspiration in this beautiful song (prayer) by Cohen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Devil in the clubhouse

A few years ago, I was saddened to hear that one of my favorite singers, the Canadian poet Leonard Cohen, had apparently been fleeced financially by a female associate while he was playing around at being a Buddhist monk in a California retreat. [I say "apparently", and I refrain from quoting names, because there still seems to be some wrangling going on in this sordid domain.] For me, it's difficult to imagine that anyone would set out deliberately to injure, by betrayal, such a fine individual. But I guess I'm naive. Maybe Cohen, too.

I have similar sad feelings when I learn that the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science is suing an employee named Josh Timonen for reasons that include fraud and embezzlement.

Click the photo to access a website that provides details on this affair.

The main reason I mention this unexpected matter is to explain why I decided to remove the red A (for atheism) banner from my blog. Apart from displaying that A banner, I've never had any contacts with the foundation or the people who appear to gravitate around Richard Dawkins. I'm in no way a member of the Dawkins "club". Personally, I would be far happier if my scientific hero were a more reserved and inconspicuous individual, avoiding the limelight. In my humble opinion, he should limit himself to what he's really good at: writing or maybe documentary movies. I can't understand why he wanted to start his foundation, create a website, get into public debates with idiots, etc. I have the impression that it's through this flamboyant worldly dimension of his existence that Dawkins has ended up getting screwed, apparently, by one of his closest friends: in fact, a highly-paid collaborator.