Iran to go ahead and outlaw music…

Ayatollah Ali KhameneiBack in college, I had the chance to see Kurt Vonnegut speak at the University of Wisconsin Union, where the author memorably proclaimed that “the best proof for the existence of God, should you need it, is music.” Well, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, seems to be tacking a different tack these days. As reported by The Guardian (and brought to my attention by Sound Opinions), Khamenei announced earlier this month that the playing or enjoying of music is “not compatible with the highest values of the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic.”

Is this guy serious? Well, as the highest religious and political leader of Iran — that’s right, he out-ranks Ahmadinejad — I doubt the average Iranian will have much time to decide before the bloody thing’s written into law.

Will the ruling last? Let’s ask Cat Stevens. Back in the late 70’s, the singer-songwriter became a Muslim and changed his name to Yusuf Islam, selling his guitars and swearing off instrument-accompanied music for a number of decades. Then about five years ago, for a variety of non-money related reasons I’m sure he told somebody about, he decided “fuck this” and cut a record with Dolly Parton. So not to worry, Iran: Decadence always right around the corner!


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