Monday, May 03, 2010
Music Video Monday: Boy George
This week's music video selection is one that I wanted to feature for several months now. It's an interesting pop song by Boy George (of Culture Club fame) that features the chants and rhythms of the Hare Krishna. When I took my Hindu friend at BYU to the nearby Hare Krishna temple a few times, one of the things I liked about the service was the chanting segments. I don't like the way the organization is organized, though (too cultish to me), but I love the chanting. I'm still looking for the ultimate Hare Krishna chanting CD, but its hard to find one because of a song like this ("Bow Down Mister"). I love the good feeling pop sound of this song. The actual chanting begins at minute 2:58, which is exactly the way Hare Krishnas chant the name of their movement ("Hare Krishna" essentially means "Lord Krishna" and I think its interesting that the name Krishna sounds a little like the word Christ. Coincidence?). I wish the song featured the chant for a longer duration, because I love the rhythm of the chant and the simplicity of using the name of the movement (the official term for this religious group is International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which my Hindu friend said is an Americanized version of Hinduism).
I haven't gone to a Hare Krishna service in Portland. As much as I want to for the chanting and shared meal, in the times I've gone to a Hare Krishna service, I've always felt uneasy. Though I don't consider it to be a cult, I always feel on edge because of the "cult vibe" I do get whenever I've gone. In the 1990s, the Krishnas had some bad press because of abuse allegations of children whose parents are members. I've never felt that this was a "family-friendly" religion. Most of the time, you see caucasian young men in saffron robes and shaved heads (with a circular spot of hair or ponytail on the back of their heads). I admit that the first time I attended a Hare Krishna service was in 1990 in Atlanta and when they insisted that we eat with them, I was worried when they offered Kool-Aid. I wouldn't drink until I saw someone else drink. Kind of silly, but I was an 18 year old who wasn't used to a radically different church service from my sanitized, Midwestern Christian church. The Kool-Aid was actually quite tasty (some kind of tangy mango flavour).
When I took my Hindu friend to the Hare Krishna service in Spanish Fork, Utah, I remember being offended when the lady chastised me in front of everyone for not giving up my meat based diet. Funny that a decade later, I finally gave up on eating land-based meat. But my decision was inspired by the strong case that actress Alicia Silverstone made at a lecture. It proves that you can best affect change in other people by inspiring them to change their habits than by chastising or guilt-tripping them. Though I'm not fond of the Hare Krishna organization, I did like the parrot at the Spanish Fork Utah temple. It always made me laugh because it walked like a rap star and had an attitude. I had never seen such a hip personality in a bird before. I had thought many times of birdnapping it and if caught, claiming that I was saving it from the "cult."
So, if anyone knows a good Hare Krishna chanting CD, please give me some suggestions. I'd love to listen to it, without having to go to an actual service again. I'm not interested in their religion even though I love their chanting style the best.