Sunday, February 04, 2007

"Call Me Issa."

As long-time readers of this blog may remember, I was mightily miffed when, several years back, I attended a Jane Siberry concert and noticed that the visual motif of her concert tour was the exact same symbol I was wearing on a ring on my finger. I had just purchased the ring in France, and when I spoke to Jane after the concert, I made her a gift of the ring. She said to me, in a very disdainful tone, that she couldn't accept it, as she was trying to "have less things in my life."

The encounter would have gone a lot better if Jane hadn't behaved as though I wasn't proferring a piece of a very ripe Limburger cheese and requesting that she tuck it into her pocket to remember me by.

I got rid of the ring -- its magic was ruined for me -- and moved all of my Jane Siberry CDs to the Siberia of my music collection. It wasn't just her obnoxious tone at the concert, it was my sense that her music was becoming inexcusably pretentious and dull. I still adore "When I Was a Boy" and "Maria," and some of the earlier songs (how can you not love "Everything Reminds Me Of My Dog"?), but my Big Thing for Jane was pretty much over.

So now I read that Jane was really serious about divesting herself of all worldy goods, and for that I commend her for consistency. The part where she renames herself "Issa," however (Arabic for Jesus), worries me a bit. Hey Jane, come home. All is forgiven. Except that hairdo.


Anonymous Sarah said...

Hey PB,
Sorry you had that yucky experience. Sometimes our generosity is not received with a generous spirit.

BTW, are you confusing your singer/songwriters? I think "When I was a boy" is a Dar Williams song.

Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

I've long wondered why Jesus is not a common name except in the spanish speaking world. Interesting that she would take a man's name ... but that would be kind of unfair to limit his namesakes to being only male. I don't know of any female versions of Jesus. There's just Mary, which I guess is close.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

Sarah, "When I Was a Boy" is a phenomenal album by Jane Siberry. Maybe Dar Williams also has a song of the same name.

Anonymous Boutros Abu Issa said...

Actually, Jesus is a common Christian name in the Arabic speaking world. (If you don't know about the significant indigeneous Christian minority in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Egypt, or think that "Arab" and "Muslim" are synonymous, then shame on you). I can't decide if the fact that Jane Siberry now calls herself by this name is evidence of her ignorance (does she not know that Issa is the Arabic name for Jesus?) or of her self-aggrandizing narcissism.

Jane Siberry is a pretentious asshole who deserves to swallow broken glass with burning oil. She used to come in to the store where I worked in Toronto and treated everybody with such haughty disdain, even the customers had to restrain themselves from slapping her smug face. And we sold CDs and she was trying to get us to carry her self-produced albums! I can't imagine what she must be like if she's not trying to suck up.

Forget her, PeaceBang. There are more talented singer songwriters, many of them also from Canada, who treat their audience with greater respect.

Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

I've met lots of Christian Arabs, but have never met any named Issa (or even heard of any famous living Arabs named Issa). But if it's common among those still living in the Arab world, that would make sense, given the popularity of other prophet names.

I've only met two people named Issa. One was a black american Muslim convert, and one was a young white man whose parents named him - not after Jesus - but after the famous Japanese haiku poet.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear all- issa (nee Jane Siberry) has a new name....and new THONGS? and she's living out of a backpack- BECAUSE SHE HAS THE CASH to stay on hotels- and use their soap and shampoo and electricity, I bet! Dont give me any of that moral one upness, issa- you're still consuming and owning- only now, its at an even greater expense....try talking to some of the families who have to live oiut of backpacks- and their CAR, if they havent already had that sold....N

Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

I didn't get the sense that she wanted to live like a poor person; only that she wanted to have no responsibility for stuff.

I can relate to that feeling. Once in a while I look at my little house crammed full of stuff, needing dusting and cleaning and vacuuming and washing and repairing, etc. and wish my house would just catch fire and burn down.

Blogger Caroline Divine said...

Also, excuse me, but Professor Divine needs to say that Miss Jane's grammar is off. It's FEWER things, not "less" things.

Now, Professor Divine must confess that she has no idea who Jane Siberry is. And I thought I was still on the younger side of middle age!

I have, however, met people named Issa.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

My goodness, Jane S. certainly does provoke some VERY STRONG OPINIONS. Yowza.

Anonymous Jay said...

I've never really been a fan of Jane S., but you've all got me feeling sorry for her! :-)

As to a (seriously) minor point, there are good linguistic reasons to doubt Professor Divine's prescriptivist preference for fewer over less.


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