Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Short Takes on Andean Music, A Funny Song and a Brave Man Wronged By History

It is told that a Peruvian Indian leader once asked a Spanish priest, "Where do Spaniards go when they die?"
The Spanish priest replied "To heaven."
The Indian replied, "Then I want to go to hell." This story has a special resonance to Jews recalling the conversionary efforts of other faiths over the centuries.

One of my favourite types of music is Andean music played on instruments indigenous to the Andes. Most of the instrumentation is wind and percussion. The Spanish colonists banned Indians from playing stringed instruments.

There are a few good Andean musical groups that play in the New York City subways. The acoustics underground really are good for music.

There is one group Wayanay Inka which does really good instrumental material. They are based in the US. I strongly recommend visiting their site. (This is NOT a paid endorsement)

There was a famous Eric Clapton hard rock song called "Cocaine" Alonzo Garbanzo did a knockoff of it titled "Propane". Each verse of the song was about Propane, Novocain, Rogaine, or some other word that rhymed wit Clapton's famous song. I never felt particularly enamoured of music that glorifies drugs. Any song that makes fun of drugs is OK with me.

On a more serious note, Yugoslavia during World War Two had two armies fighting the Nazis. The communist Partisans were led by Josip Broz Tito, who became the ruler of Yugoslavia at the end of the War.

The Chetniks, loyal to the Yugoslav monarchy were led by Draza Mihailovic. The official story of Tito's government was that the Chetniks under Mihailovic collaborated with the Nazis. At the end of the war, Mihailovic was executed.

There are many American pilots who were helped to safety by the Chetniks. There are numerous acts of bravery imputed to them. With the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the verdict of history passed upon Mihailovic has been called into question. His defenders say that he was slandered by Tito's communists, who were consolidating their power in postwar Yugoslavia.

There is a Jewish law that when someone is reading from a Torah scroll in synagogue and misreads a word, he is loudly corrected until he reads the word again correctly. If the Torah scroll is found to be written the wrong way, it is put away and not read from until it is corrected .

Likewise, when history is written or told wrongly, those who know the truth must speak the truth loudly and with persistence until falsehood is expunged and truth restored to the historical narrative..

I am presenting two videos below on this subject. If Mihailovic was framed, it should be made known. I urge readers to investigate this matter themselves. Was the truth about Mihailovic suppressed to rally popular support for Tito? When the victor in battle writes history afterward, often the truth lies buried among the war dead.

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