Traditionalism, le Wagnerisme, and Vincent d’Indy

Vincent d'Indy, Composer.

Vincent d’Indy (1851 – 1931), an almost exact contemporary of Sir Edward Elgar (1857 – 1934), studied under César Franck (1822 – 1890) at the Paris Conservatory and, on Franck’s death, became the acknowledged guardian and continuator of his teacher’s achievement.  Like Elgar although less conspicuously in his national context, d’Indy upheld the fervent Catholic […]

Hinduism: It’s Appeal to Westerners

While Islam is generally regarded as the fastest growing religion in the West (mostly because of immigration into Europe), Hinduism, according to a 2011 census, is Australia’s fastest growing religion. And it’s also increasing in numbers in the USA. Compared to Christianity (which still dominates Western nation states), atheists and agnostics, and Muslims, Hindus, though, […]

Astronomical Evidence and the Upanishads

Hindu astrology

A famous Flemish emeritus professor recently reacted to my off-hand mention of a date for the major Upanishads, viz. “second millennium BCE”. He thought that this should be 900-500 BCE, a date obviously borrowed from the textbooks. It is no big deal that a Western philosopher, not specializing in the chronology of Indian history, should […]

Voodoo People: Sex, Power, African Faith And Fear in Popular Entertainment

Voodoo People collage

Colored by fascination, fetishism, and even a degree of fear, Hollywood’s portrayal of this enigmatic and little-understood folk faith of the African diaspora throws up cliches about the African seductress, South American culture, etc., and, perhaps unintentionally, highlights certain certain cultural traumas in European-descended society. Racial stereotyping and the issue of racism can float to […]

Skinhead: Jamaican Roots, Extreme-Rightists, Gay Iconism — A Movement of Contradictions

Like the dreadlocked Rastafarian and the Punk with his or her pink or blue “Mohican,” the Skinhead — shaven-headed and wearing imposing workmen’s or military-style boots — has become an iconic image — an archetype, even. But of what, exactly? Even today, Skinhead remains an emotive and highly controversial subject. And we approach it with […]