My new cat album, Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, is now available for pre-order at iTunes. I don't really know how all that stuff works, but I think you get one track instantly if you buy now. The official release date is next Monday. It's also at Amazon, in CD and digital format.
~I'm half-Belgian, which makes my beloved cat Marvin, to whom Feline Groovy is dedicated and who appears with me on the album cover, Belgian by adoption. So both of us are somewhat aghast at the sight of Brussels on yet another day in "lockdown": schools closed, public transportation suspended, soldiers and armored vehicles patrolling the streets - all because of apparently highly specific terrorist threats. Thus life in the new Europe its deranged rulers have made. Belgians have responded to the suspension of normal life in their capital city by flooding Twitter with cat pics.
I don't know. Maybe unclean dogs would have rattled the jihadists more. On the other hand, according to Texas reader Matt Lohr, inside every fluffy Persian is an apocalyptic Iranian waiting to bust out:
It's swell that you've dedicated the new album to your cat, but understand that if Marvin were suddenly 10 times bigger, he would bite your neck, shake it to break it, and then drag your corpse under a tree for some languid snacking. It is the nature of cats. They'll eat your food, tiptoe atop your bookshelves, curl up in your lap, and purr contentedlyâ€”as long as the size-differential exists.
Just ask the mouse.
I like to use this as a metaphor for Islam.
~Speaking of which, the size differential continues to evolve. War photographer Teun Voeten writes about life as an infidel in Molenbeek, the Brussels suburb a couple of miles from the EU's governing institutions and Nato headquarters and now one of those "no-go zones" that all the smart people told us didn't exist. Minheer Voeten:
Slowly, we woke up to reality. Hassan turned out to be a crook and disappeared with â‚¬95,000, the entire budget the tenants had pooled together for our building's renovation. The neighborhood was hardly multicultural. Rather, with roughly 80 percent of the population of Moroccan origin, it was tragically conformist and homogenous. There may be a vibrant alternative culture in Casablanca and Marrakech, but certainly not in Molenbeek.
Over nine years, I witnessed the neighborhood become increasingly intolerant. Alcohol became unavailable in most shops and supermarkets; I heard stories of fanatics at the Comte des Flandres metro station who pressured women to wear the veil; Islamic bookshops proliferated, and it became impossible to buy a decent newspaper. With an unemployment rate of 30 percent, the streets were eerily empty until late in the morning. Nowhere was there a bar or cafÃ© where white, black and brown people would mingle. Instead, I witnessed petty crime, aggression, and frustrated youths who spat at our girlfriends and called them "filthy whores." If you made a remark, you were inevitably scolded and called a racist. There used to be Jewish shops on ChaussÃ©e de Gand, but these were terrorized by gangs of young kids and most closed their doors around 2008. Openly gay people were routinely intimidated, and also packed up their bags.
I finally left Molenbeek in 2014... I could no longer stand to live in this despondent, destitute, fatalistic neighborhood.
As Molenbeek goes, so will other neighborhoods, and then whole cities and regions: The Jews get out, and the gays, and the uncovered women, and then you, wondering why you stayed so long. And all that remains is Islam - king on a field of corpses.
~Meanwhile, The Sun reveals that one of the Paris killers was a Trojan clothes horse:
A PARIS suicide bomber was helped on to a Greek island and clothed by French volunteers before making his way through Europe to his target, it emerged yesterday...
Officials said they were helped ashore with nearly 200 refugees after deliberately driving a knife through their boat as they neared land on October 3. Two were then discovered with fake Syrian passports and arrested.
But Almohammad, 25, was ushered through and moved to a camp staffed by French charity MÃ©decins Sans FrontiÃ¨res.
Less than 24 hours later, in a black tracksuit given to him by the volunteers, he was in a group of six buying tickets to Athens.
Who will save Europe from the madness of its elites? Deutsche Welle notes a curious detail in Dresden:
"Merkel must go," the demonstrators - primarily male - grumbled before the Baroque backdrop of Saxony's capital. As protesters shouted their cries of hate into the evening sky, flags waved over the square. Many of them were German, but about half a dozen were Russian.
One gray-haired man in his 60s carried a particularly large flag.... He likes Russian President Vladimir Putin, because he's a "doer" and "takes action, while our politicians just talk."
Hmm. I wouldn't entirely rule out Eastern Europe re-stitching the Iron Curtain - this time to keep Western Europe's jihadists out.
~As Molenbeek goes, so goes Aleppo. All things considered, the Jews had a good run on the Syrian coast, but they're done:
It took a knock on the door in the dead of night and a hair-raising journey through territory held by al-Qaeda militants to end 3,000 years of Jewish history in northern Syria.
The last Jewish family in the city of Aleppo was taken across the border to safety in Turkey last month with the help of an Israeli-American businessman and moderate rebels with the Free Syrian Army.
As I've been saying for years, the Islamization of Belgium, France, Germany, etc is posterity's jest on the Continentals: in the new Europe, they're the Jews.
~Speaking of diversity, how about the most famous Parsi ever to come out of Zanzibar? Dan Hollombe often responds to our musical features here with some quirky boomer-pop annotations, but this one on "Send In The Clowns" had me agog:
You may or may not already know this, but the bridge of 'Send In The Clowns' was (obviously) the inspiration for 'We Are The Champions'. Freddie Mercury was completely obsessed with the song, and would frequently play it on the piano for his own amusement.
I'm ashamed to say I'd never known that, although, as you say, once it's pointed out, it's obvious. I had a very slight acquaintance with Mr Mercury through a mutual friend, and on one occasion he demonstrated more familiarity with the score of Mame than any self-respecting rocker should have. When he died, they assembled all the then hot rock acts for a big all-star tribute at Wembley Stadium - which was absolutely terrible, until Liza Minnelli came out and did "We Are The Champions". She was the only performer who, like Mercury, had the size of the song. Indeed, in her black tights, she looked not dissimilar, although Freddie had better legs.
Just to cause a palpitation or two in Mr Hollombe, for my above-mentioned cat album, I did consider singing the song Freddie Mercury wrote about his own feline, mainly because of a couple of very funny lines therein. But I put it aside, because the title bore the name of his cat - and, out of respect for Les Reed, Barry Mason and Tom Jones, I couldn't accept the idea of a second song called "Delilah". So no Freddie Mercury on Feline Groovy.
~Tomorrow, Tuesday, I'll be joining Chicago radio legend Milt Rosenberg on his drivetime show. Hope you'll dial us up.