Monday, March 1, 2010

February 29

Just because there's not a February 29 as I'm writing this doesn't mean I'm going to skip it. But it gets me wondering what do leap babies do when their birthday almost comes around? Do they get the 28th to celebrate, or the 1st? Or do they just have really big parties on the 29th?
Anyway, I'm writing about Algerian pop star Khaled, the king of Rai music. On the global stage, his music's harmless, catchy pop music with a few Western accoutrements. In the local community, his music is a political act; rai music doesn't exactly gel with Islamic fundementalists. Heck, women dancing in public doesn't go down well with right-wing Islam; you can imagine their reaction to pleas for tolerance and gender equality, in songs like "Aicha".

Meanwhile he keeps rocking his John Oates mustache, and smiling his platinum smile (he's a genius in France.) In fact, here's the most likely place that North American audiences have heard him:

Happy Birthday, Khaled. Keep on rockin' in the free world...

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