Friday, June 11, 2010

Pixies: I am a banned Andalousian

So, last week, the Pixies decided they'd rather not play that festival in Tel Aviv.

The Israelis were surprisingly upset:

“I am full of both sorrow and pain,” wrote [promoter] Shuki Weiss, “in light in light of the fact that our repeated attempts to present quality acts and festivals in Israel have increasingly been falling victim to what I can only describe as a form of cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide.”

You'd think coming from a country which has been the victim all-too-often of actual terrorism, you might think twice before throwing the word round like that. Apart from anything, 'not being able to see Kim Deal on stage' might seem a small thing to put on a par with 'having your face blown off on a subway train'.

Still, Weiss was upset, so perhaps the kindest thing to do is accept that she was caught in the heat of the moment. It'd be unfair to hold her lazy and offensive use of "terrorist" against her.

After all, it's not like anyone is going to be so thick as to actually interpret 'canceling a gig' as if it was an actual terrorist act, right? You'd have to be...

Sorry, what was that you Canadian was saying?
The Canadian government announced that it is putting the alternative rock band The Pixies on its list of “terrorist organizations” after the group cancelled its upcoming trip to Israel in the wake of the Gaza Flotilla affair.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told reporters today, “Terrorism anywhere and in any form, whether it be physical, moral, verbal, mental or cultural is abhorrent to this government.”

To offer a thin piece of hope, I've not been able to find any news agency reporting this move, so let's hope it's all an attempt at wit that has got out of hand.
Another supporter of the move was Peter Kent, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas), who said in an interview, “If the Pixies want to boycott Israel, then Canada is at war with the Pixies.”

Asked if he was familiar with the Pixies’ music, Kent replied that this was not germane to his decision. “I’m not familiar with [Hizbollah leader] Nasrallah’s sermons but I know a terrorist when I see one.”

Although, by his own admission, Kent hasn't seen the Pixies.

If Kent does have this amazing ability to tell who is a terrorist just by looking at them, why don't they have him in airports? You could save a fortune in scanners and security.

If this story is true, does Doolittle now constitutes 'terrorist materials' if you go north of the Great Lakes?

UPDATE: Yes, it turns out it was an attempt at wit on the part of Professor Larry Haiven, who wrote the piece. Kieran's Review spoke to him:
It was a joke, but uh, it was close enough to what’s true, that is somewhat believable.

What wasn't funny, though: the Israeli quote isn't fabricated.


Kieran said...

It's a hoax. The Pixies were NOT declared a terrorist org in Canada.

I've posted details here

acb said...

They are, however, committing a federal crime in the United States, at least on paper. It is illegal for any business in the US to participate in boycotts against Israel (and the IRS has a department for enforcing this). If they are prosecuted, this could go to the Supreme Court as a first-amendment case, though.

Unknown said...

1st of all, we don't have subways in Israel (!)
and 2nd, Shuki is a man (Joshua, for you).
And yes, he probably said that because he was upset - every time a good concert is scheduled here, it's a bet to buy tickets - half the time something happens and the concert is canceled.
Most of us just want a normal life, not wars.

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