There's been a lot in the press recently about Emmanuel Jal, the rapper from the Sudan who was a boy solider. I have listened to the music on MySpace and to be honest I didn't like it much but then I'm not a huge rap fan (except NWA's 'Express Yourself' and a few other old tunes from, as I believe the saying goes, back in the day...).
However, his is an interesting story and in the Guardian's piece on him I read a lovely quote from Jal - "Music is powerful. It is the only thing that can speak into your mind, your heart and your soul without your permission."
I've read a lot of sad stories in the papers this week and seen some odd stuff on TV ('Shrinkwrapped' with Gene Simmonds...what a mistake that was) and it was good to read a sentence like that - one with some content to it that didn't make me feel sad or disillusioned or tired. Of the sad stories I think the one that seems to have hit me the hardest was the one from last Thursday's 'Independent' (from 24th April - we always have a lot of old papers lying around and I get to them eventually..then wish I hadn't). The story was about a group of women from South Korea who were repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers in the Second World War and who are fighting to clear their names (the Japanese government says they were prostitutes and they are referred to as 'comfort women', a name they hate). The details of some of the treatment they suffered just...what can you say...made me feel sick. I've known women who spend their whole lives getting over one incident of rape, never mind the kind of stuff this article referred to.
I've nothing else to say today. That's it.
2 hours ago