Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem

Back in 2002, when the birthplace of so many religions was under siege I felt compelled to put together an audio piece, trying to be as impartial as possible, not choosing any side.

You may remember the time in question. Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian fighters throughout the northern West Bank and launched air strikes in response to a Hezbollah missile attack across Israel's border with Lebanon, surrounding more than 100 armed Palestinians who were holed up in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

I was moved by the story to create a montage of news with Mahalia Jackson’s Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem as the background from which I weaved the news clips through it.

I had forgotten about the audio but the odd thing about it was that even though I had not put up a page to connect to it, my version of the song was making its way around the Internet. So I thought I would put the link back up again for any and everyone to listen to it and draw their own thoughts and conclusions.

As I said, I tried to be as impartial as possible, and I think I succeeded, because at the time that I prepared it, and aired it on radio in both Montreal and Toronto, I got a lot of angry emails from people on both sides claiming that I was biased towards the other. Believe me, with the news clips that I had available, I made it as unbiased as I possibly could, but you decide. Make up your own mind. Here’s the link:

http://www.pubnix.net/~peterh/mahalia-2.mp3

By the way the three newsworthy voices you'll hear, besides the reporters and the people on the streets, are Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Let me know what you think.

That’s the Stuph – the way I see it.

10 comments:

  1. Biased? A song for peace, universal respite. Shouldn't we all be heavily leaning to that side...

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  2. Gerry B. (Vancouver)December 14, 2008 at 1:51 AM

    Wow. Moving. I find that certain things make my mind drift from them. The reporters montage in the background was hard to concentrate on, as my mind tries to wander. Ms. Jackson has a wonderful instrument, and forced me to consider the futility of this conflict, in stark contrast to the purity and beauty of her voice.

    Haunting my friend, but certainly very introspective, for me at least.

    Well done buddy!

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  3. Wow; that's heavy, man. Regardless of any comments on perceived "bias" in your edits, that's not the point. It makes me sad to hear this is still happening. I don't understand. I doubt it will end in my lifetime.

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  4. What the hell is wrong with these terrorists? It's so sad that they think that it's okay to do these things..

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  5. Very touching to see such contrast in one spot. May we live in the present and move forward to a better wrold.

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  6. Thanks for sending me the link, Peter. The whole region has always, will always lived this way, and always be living this way by the look of things. It's been going on for so long that now it's a case of "You started it!" "No, you started it!"

    Terry Mc E

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  7. The Mahalia compilation is...well...one can't say beautiful due to the subject matter. One can't say inspiring as it is more distressing than inspiring. One certainly cannot call it Christmasy. It does not fill one with hope, quite the opposite. It is struck right the way through with desperation.

    It's a piece riven with words of immobility but it is moving.

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  8. I didn't listen to the whole thing ....Here's the THING, tho...any piece, written or audio that claims, one way or another that Jesus, born in Bethlehem, is the son of G0D, NO MATTER what is going on in the Middle East, will ignite discussion. The Judao-Christian thing has Jesus always at the heart of the matter.
    Countless wars through the millenia have been fought over it..Ditto, Islam, etc...So, I am not surprised. In all fairness, I should listen to the whole thing, but my eyes are closing.....

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  9. It was interesting listening to that piece u did years ago , unfortunately this Israeli-Palestinian fighting is becoming an Xmas holiday tradition

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