LittleVoice

LAUGHING WITH GOD

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Well from the first time I heard it, I was amazed how well she was able to use the word "god" so liberally in a song and still make it have little or no religious meaning to me at all when listening to it. It's just a song about how we live and look at our lives, to me.

That said, I'm probably ironically the opposite of you. I loved it at first [i still do!], but I swear I've seen her perform it on tv shows, interviews, and all those things so many freakin times I need to give the song a complete rest for a while. The forced-to-be-exposed-as-mainstream songs always have that effect Frowner

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Didn't Ghandi say something along the lines of, "For every person on earth there is a religion"? That's what i believe.

Also, props to Little Voice for that Bhudda quote. It's ignorant to accept something just because that's what you've been told. You can only call yourself a believer if you have thought long and hard about what you believe.

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Here is something I wrote and posted elsewhere, edited so that this post is not too long and does not include videos people here have already seen:

Popular Music and Being Jewish

There are so many things to write about this week, how government that is not responsive to the people it serves is not only useless, but destructive (that means you Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi---the public wants national health care insurance, even if campaign contributors don't) and newspaper and television people who believe that every opinion, no matter how daft, is entitled to equal weight, but it has been decided that this is the week that we become obsessed with popular music.

So what does this have to do with being Jewish as my current headline announces? Stick with me for a second or two and see if I can keep you interested.

In the few years since these posts started appearing, it has been necessary on several occasions.to admit that Barth's alter ego is Jewish. One time was to explain why the continued presentation of the United States as a Christian nation is not only wrong, but a rude attempt by people who know nothing, and have no right to do so, to invite me to leave the nation where I was born and love for what it means around the world.

Other posts require an identification as a Jew because the subject is Israel. Neither Barth, nor his alter ego, can determine how much of his (my) views about that nation are related to being Jewish. I have never been there but would very much love to go someday. In the meantime, I admire those people who have settled there with all that that entails. I do not have the courage to do so but that's another story.

The story I want to tell today is about Regina Spektor. Not about her as much as a new "album" (CD?, "group of songs"? I don't know the proper nomencalture anymore) and less about the record as about one of its songs.

To write about the song requires that you know this. This young woman, now about 29, came to the United States from the Soviet Union, as Russian Jewish emigres. She was enrolled in Orthodox Jewish day schools, but ultimately attended and graduated Fair Lawn High School in New Jersey (near where I grew up many centuries earlier).

She became a musician, after years of studying classical piano, but now singing her own music, best described, using the names used today, as "alternative" as useless a description as there can be. ...

Far is, in my opinion,a great album from start to finish.

... it is not my intention to waste precious space waxing poetic about how much I enjoy this album but to talk about one of its songs which has many layers of meaning for me.

One, and the irony that a young woman who attended Orthodox Jewish schools before arriving at Fair Lawn High has brought this to my attention is inescapable, is that it reminds me that my version of being Jewish, and Reform Jewish, is as real and legitimate as anyone else's, something Orthodox Jews generally contest. I have for years used the expression that I am not particularly religious because I rarely attend a synagogue or temple except for family events,

But I am Jewish, and being Jewish is an important part of who I am. Nobody can take any of that from me as much as they try to with a superiority to which they are not entitled.

So it is that this song, Laughing With, written and performed by a woman born in Russia and raised around the Orthodox, exactly describes what being Jewish means to me:

Aside from being about how to consider God, without the trappings of organized religion, it is a radically different songs from the Eric Bazilian song which Joan Osborne made famous, but which gets compared to Laughing With. One is a bit scary, the other hopeful. Or maybe both are both scary and hopeful. Maybe Eric and Regina can work that out.

If none of this means anything to you: you believe, for instance, that science and religion cannot occupy the same space, I understand that. I have worked this out for myself as have many others. But if you see it otherwise, I am okay with that, so long as you don't elevate "what you believe" over scientific truths and then try to impose your beliefs on me. I have friends and family afflicted with serious illness and disease that embryonic stem cell research could cure and wish you would keep your religious obligations away from my non-religious government.

For this Jew, though, the experience of hearing this song, considering what it says and how it has impacted on me is very meaningful. Which brings me, I guess, to this: an essay the same Regina Spektor posted on her own webpage last January which says a few other things that have crossed my mind, and perhaps my tongue and electronic pen, but maybe not as well put as by this 29 year old with a better appreciation of all that is st stake:

In my original post, I quoted it at length and just added a "yeah, that" a sort of inarticulate adoption of her insights. I think these all run together.

I have noticed that, as with most artists, she prefers not to speak about her songs, which makes sense to me. She wrote it, and sang it, and that's what she has to say about it.

For the rest of us, the song, any song, means many things. For me, it is very intense, almost a prayer. And I thought I would share that with you.

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This is just my opinion…

Organized religion is no doubt confusing! But, for a lot of people, I think having a church to pray at and a god to watch over us, is much easier then thinking about what else could be out there… its less scary…

There is only so much that our small human minds can comprehend… so, there is no way of telling what else is out there.. I guess that by itself is a little hard for some to grasp… people want to feel like they are here for a purpose and that THIS isn’t the end.. im guessing that religion helps people with this…

I for one, think this is our purpose…

•I think we are a bunch of bacteria growing on the earth… we have been infesting her for some time now… and we just keep reproducing, it’s all we know… & as for what happens next, ill just wait and see…

Btw… I have never been a religious person.. my family didn’t raise me to be... So sorry if anyone takes offence to wat I said.

I don’t like to share cups with strangers either!!!! ***a response to the first post***

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quote:
Originally posted by BeLikeA*cloud*:

I for one, think this is our purpose…

•I think we are a bunch of bacteria growing on the earth… we have been infesting her for some time now… and we just keep reproducing, it’s all we know… & as for what happens next, ill just wait and see…

LOL. i just watched the matrix last night, that is almost exactly what agent smith says to morpheus. except in his version we are viruses. i don't know if that was intentional, but kudos anyway! Razzer

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quote:
Originally posted by MusicLover_2007:

Barth - from Regina's own mouth she says she's not belonging to any religion in particular. She likes to pick and choose what attributes she likes from all religions.

Not 100% accurate. On her post from Israel last January, the one I refer to in my long post she said:

" I don't believe in good and evil. I believe that we cultivate fractions of qualities within ourselves like a delicate chemistry experiment, with droppers of human traits into a beaker or a test tube. And all those properties are ever changing. And the good ones stem from our love of self, and understanding of self. And the bad ones stem from fear. There is nothing that makes one a better person than realizing what you fear, why you fear it, and how that makes you closed off to others, and blame others...

I believe in God, and am a Jew, and yet i love all people of other faiths, and people of no faith, with my whole heart, so i know that it is possible. I love America, and Israel, and my mother country Russia, and all the countries i have had the honor and privilege to visit, and the countries that i have yet to visit in the future, and the countries i will never have the chance to visit in my lifetime, and so i know that it is possible. I love Humans and I love Nature, though from the beginning of time they have been destroying each other, and i love them both, and so i know that it is possible. And I feel that love without paradox. Without feeling for one at the expense of another. And so i know that it is possible."

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