Madonna warns against French neo-fascism


This video says about itself:

Madonna Defends Use of Swastika on Marine Le Pen‘s Forehead: Front National Party Threatens Suit

27 July 2012

American pop singer Madonna is defending her use of an image depicting French far-right politician Marine Le Pen with a swastika superimposed on her forehead after Le Pen‘s party threatened legal action. Madonna said the image was meant to highlight intolerance toward immigrants and religious minorities and she refused to remove it from a video played during her live performances.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Madonna: France feels like Nazi Germany

6 hours ago by Lewis Smith

Madonna has renewed hostilities with France’s far-right National Front (FN) party in outspoken comments in which she lambasts France and the rest of Europe for intolerance.

The singer, fresh from her tumble at the Brit Awards, said in a radio interview that racial intolerance and other forms of discrimination had risen to “scary” levels.

Three years ago, she was drawn into a row with the FN leader Marine Le Pen, whom she portrayed as having a swastika on her forehead in a concert video, but said the level of intolerance today is even worse than in 2012.

“It’s happening all over Europe but particularly in France. The level of intolerance is so enormous, it’s scary. We’re living in crazy times. It feels like Nazi Germany.

France was a country that embraced everyone and encouraged freedom in every way, shape or form – artistic expression of freedom.

Now that has completely gone. It used to accept people of colour, and was a place artists escaped to, whether they were Josephine Baker or Charlie Parker.”

Madonna to Europe 1 radio

Dancing is illegal in Japan


This video says about itself:

Real Scenes: Tokyo

10 February 2014

Read more about this film here.

For our latest Real Scenes films, we journey to the Japanese capital to meet the DJs, promoters, campaigners and producers who have been affected by the Fueiho. We hear how a rapidly aging population and the negative public perception of nightclubs have meant that fighting for reform is just part of the problem.

Despite these extraordinary challenges, Tokyo is home to passionate, dedicated dance music community, who have responded with campaign groups like Let’s DANCE, and the establishment of small, underground music spaces. There is a collective understanding that if they want to affect change it will have to come from within.

From The Newsletter, #70, spring 2015, of the International Institute for Asian Studies:

The politics of dancing in Japan

Dancing is illegal in Japan. That does not mean it doesn’t happen, and indeed nightclubs regularly stay open into the early hours. However, since 2010 police have begun reanimating Japan’s old fueiho cabaret law, dubiously used to crackdown on nightclubs.

This has been a disaster for Japan’s vibrant underground music scene, an affront to freedom of expression, and evidence of a growing authoritarianism by elites who rely on vague legal and institutional practices.

With a push back from Japan’s civil society in the form of the Let’s Dance Campaign, and a simultaneous alignment between domestic and international elites worried about the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, things may be beginning to change. This article explores the structures of power underlying this issue and speculates on the degree to which recent developments may be cause for alarm or cheer.

Read full article here.

After Sir Jimmy Saville, Sir Cliff Richard?


United States preacher Billy Graham and Cliff Richard in 1967

From Rolling Stone in the USA:

Cliff Richard Sex Assault Investigation Expands

“I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail,” singer says

By Kory Grow

February 25, 2015

An investigation into sexual assault allegations against 74-year-old musician Sir Cliff Richard has “increased significantly in size,” U.K. police recently disclosed. The singer, who is best known for a string of U.K. hits with the group the Shadows, previously faced only one claim against him, but now authorities say he faces multiple allegations. He has not been arrested or charged, but The Telegraph reports police have previously raided his home in Berkshire, U.K., in association with the claims last August.

“I have no idea where these absurd and untrue allegations come from,” Richard wrote on his Facebook page in response. “The police have not disclosed details to me. I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail. I have cooperated fully with the police, and will, of course, continue to do so.”

The singer went on to say that he would not comment on the matter further until the investigation was done, “which I hope will be very soon,” he added. But that might not be the case, though. In a letter that South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton sent to a member of parliament, the BBC reports, he wrote, “It would be premature and potentially misleading to predict a likely date when it will be concluded.”

The alleged victim who made the first allegation was under the age of 16 at the time of the reported assault, according to The Telegraph, which is said to have occurred at a speaking event held by American Christian evangelist Billy Graham in June 1985. No details on the other complaint or complaints are currently public.

Although the police did not offer any further comment on the investigation, other than it was ongoing, The Associated Press reports they said that Richard has been cooperative.

Richard rose to prominence in the late Fifties with songs like his Drifters single “Living Doll,” a U.K. Number One that reached Number 30 in the U.S., and many U.K. hits with the Shadows like “Travellin’ Light.” He achieved his greatest chart success in the U.S. with “Devil Woman,” a tune that appeared on his 1976 album I’m Nearly Famous. He was knighted in 1995.