Thursday, June 30, 2005

another nigerian scam uncovered

Next to Chairman Kaga, and perhaps Pauly from Fat Pizza, Benny Hinn is my favourite TV star.

Pastor Hinn in Nigerian money row BBC News/June 27, 2005 , By Sola Odunfa

In late April, scores of giant billboards and thousands of wall posters all over Lagos proclaimed the first of three days of divine miracles and healing for at least six million Nigerians - but at the end of the third day, there was more bickering over money than praise to God for mercy received.

The vehicle of the expected wonders of the Holy Spirit was American evangelist Benny Hinn, who flew into Nigeria in a Gulfstream private jet with a large retinue that included his bodyguards. He was received at Lagos airport in a motorcade of Hummer jeeps and other expensive cars. The deaf would hear, the blind would see, the lame would jump and walk, barren women would conceive, the jobless would gain employment, and the enemy - both seen and unseen - would be vanquished. Mention any problem - physical, spiritual, economic - Hinn had come with the instant solution.

But things did not go well.

About 300,000 people attended the event each night - a modest congregation by Nigerian crusade standards. It is estimated that about 1 million worshippers attend the monthly Holy Ghost Congress service organised by The Redeemed Christian Church God (RCCG) at the same venue. Whatever disappointment he felt on the first and second days of the miracle crusade, Hinn kept to himself - but he opened up with anger on the final day.

"Four million dollars down the drain," he shouted into the microphone from the huge rostrum.

He said that he had been assured by the local organising committee that at least six million people would attend the crusade - but the total turnout was only around one million. As a result, he realised that all the mega public address equipment he had flown in from the US was not needed. He also complained about some claimed expenditures, the charges imposed on pastors who attended his day-time seminar, and journalists who sought to cover the crusade. He then announced publicly that he would not provide any more funds, and that the local organisers should pay all outstanding bills from the collections they made on the first two days.

The Nigerian head of the local organising committee, Bishop Joseph Olanrewaju Obembe, accused other Nigerian Pentecostal preachers of sabotaging the crusade and pedalling false information to Hinn and his aides out of envy, and to discredit him. The Pentecostal faith in Nigeria is a veritable goldmine, judging by the opulence of most of its pastors. It is made even more attractive because incomes of churches are tax-exempt. Nearly all the churches are the private property of their pastors or founders and their immediate families.

Monday, June 20, 2005

doctor please, one whisky, one bourbon, one beer

TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2004, 7:30 P.M

The Mayor and City Council may also hold a Closed Meeting, with a closed vote and record, as authorized by Section 610.021 Revised Statutes of Missouri, relating to legal issues, real estate and/or personnel.

Bill #04-04: An Ordinance granting a Special Use Permit to Jayant Patel to operate a convenience store d/b/a S&D Quick Mart at 7201 Natural Bridge Road.

Review and recommendation
on the application submitted for a package liquor license and Sunday liquor license submitted Jayant Patel for S&D Quick Mart at 7201 Natural Bridge Road.
With thanks to Amos Milburn and His Aladdin Chickenshackers The real title is 'One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer'. Here's a Real Audio of the song. Milburn was a wonderful marriage of Nat King Cole voice and Louis Jordan Jump R&B.

Monday, June 06, 2005

the singer not the song

Along with Senator Bartlett and a fair smattering of other Australians I watched the Nick Cave doco on the ABC TV On The Southbank Show the other night. I had a few relatives over and one of them was reminiscing of the "good old days" at the Seaview Ballroom when it seemed to be a competition between Blixa, Nick, and the band vs the punters to see who could be the most wasted at the beginning of the night.

The program had enough live performances from different eras and Cave gave the camera a reasonable amount of warmth and was respectful in his acknowledgement of
Johnny Cash and Nina Simone. It was worth seeing the whole program just for the show stopper, a performance by Dr Nina Simone, probably from the Berkeley Live session, in 1977.

It was a riveting performance with Nina thumping the piano into shape and delivering an engrossing song which took me a while to recognise. After a while the song registered. It's two songs. It was Ain't Got No / I Got Life. From the
musical HAIR. Now apart from the Fifth Dimension doing Age of Aquarius /Let The Sunshine In, there is nothing to recommend the songs from Hair. In fact I don't think there is any acting, narrative, dancing, the book or anything else to recommend from Hair.

Dr Simone takes this bland tune with bland lyrics and manages to make it into a jazz influenced rhythm and blues gospel song of resistance, pride and independence. What an amazing feat.

It is also available as a live version on her Black Gold album recorded at Philarmonic Hall, New York City, October 26, 1969.

Mostly the song is more important than the singer. It is almost impossible not to see that
September Song is a great song no matter who is singing it. The same with Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah . I often use the song to judge the singer, especially a singer I am not familiar with. For jazz it's often My Funny Valentine, for Cajun / Zydeco it's Jole Blon.

Nina Simone singing Aint Got No / I Got Life shows that sometimes the singer is much, much more important than the song.

Late Breaking News Update:
In a hard hitting op ed piece
boynton defends HAIR, The Musical.