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The Rock and Roll “Hall of Shame”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: six words that sound insanely cool, right? The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a museum in Cleveland, Ohio, which was built to archive, store and present the history of the most influential and famous artists, bands, producers or anyone who has graced and influenced music, in a major way through the rock genre. A band or artists or act is said to be eligible for nomination only after it has passed 25 years since its first album or single. The voting is done by more than 30 critics and musical experts.

As brilliant and amazing as it sounds, there is always a flip side of the coin in every situation; and in this case, the flip side is all that matters. The HOF has been criticised for their voting committee's actions many a times before. The list of the overlooked includes Hall and Oates, Rush, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, Bon Jovi, Journey, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Dio and many more.

You see, the Hall of Fame does not include one of the greatest rock bands in history. KISS. Yes, they don't have KISS. It's as if the voting committee has no idea what the words “rock 'n' roll” define. Even more intriguing is the exclusion of the band even after the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex. The Annex was opened in New York, so that the everyday New Yorker would be able to learn and appreciate how bands from the Big Apple have shaped the genre. KISS's members come from Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Paul Stanley, guitarist, drove a New York taxi cab while bassist Gene Simmons was a New York City school teacher. If you can find a band that is more affiliated with New York and also had such a wide influence on rock 'n' roll, then you probably found KISS under a different name.

The guitars of Jimi Hendrix

The Hall of Fame has thus been dubbed the 'Hall of Shame' due to these omissions. While there is no doubt that most of the inducted bands and artists deserve their spot, the number and calibre of those who didn't get inducted is preposterous. Rock is not about wearing a nice suit and going on stage to deliver a speech thanking all the big stars who got you there. Rock is about songs which are testimonies of life, about crazy ideas. I mean seriously, does Neil Diamond singing one of his (apparently) amazing pop songs sound better than KISS belting out 'Rock and Roll All Night'?

If the fans had had their say, we wouldn't be whining about this right now. Here's to hoping, the Hall of Fame makes the voting public and the real rockers get what they deserve.

By Munawar Mobin

World Schools Debate
Championship 2012

There girls, two boys and one outstanding coach - Team Bangladesh has left for Cape Town, South Africa to take part in the largest international tournament for school debaters - the World Schools Debating Championship (WSDC). The ten-day tournament started on the 17th of this month, and the last time we heard from Team Bangladesh, they just defeated Team Netherlands, a tier-2 team who went into octo-finals after winning all preliminary rounds last year.

Every year, since 1988, hundreds of teenagers around the world compete to be World Schools Debating Champions. Bangladesh joined from 2006, and broke into octo-finals immediately. Since then, there has been no turning back.

Selecting the Top 5 debaters to represent Bangladesh is a tough process. Each year, Bangladesh Debating Council (BDC) organises Pre-Worlds Debate Competition to attract the best of school level debaters. The top 50 speakers of the competition are invited to the National Debate Camp, where several phases of tests, debates and interviews filter out the top 5 that Bangladesh has to offer. This year's team is made up of Wasifa Noshin and Azraf Anwar, from Sunnydale Int. School, Tasnova Khan and Zefroon Afsary from Aga Khan Int. School and Sanjid Halim from Maple Leaf Int. School. They are coached by Mabroor Wassey, former debater of Islamic University of Technology and renowned international debate adjudicator. So far they have won 2 out of four rounds, defeating Netherlands and Kuwait by judges' unanimous decision. They have four more rounds to go, while the Bangladesh debating community wait for more good news.

There are 48 countries participating in Cape Town right now. Each of them has one team to represent them. They face eight preliminary rounds, four of which have pre-set motions while the other four are impromptu debates. After the preliminaries are over, a break-night party takes place where the teams with the highest number of wins 'break' into the octo-finals. The break night party is also there as an ice-breaker to help teams mingle, although most people take up the opportunity to show off their individual dancing skills. The Top 16 then battle it off to the Grand Finale, and the much desired World Championship. At the Grand Dinner, a toast is made to celebrate yet another successful tournament.

The WSDC is more than just a competition, however. It is a unique blend of young people who are capable of talking about global issues from different perspectives without personal bias. It is a gathering where teenagers socialise outside the boundaries of race, religion or nation, and then proceed to go home and socialise some more through Facebook. It is a meeting of individuals from two completely different parts of the world, who find out that they're not so different after all. That is why the competition was created in the first place, and it has never failed as an excellent international platform. Let us hope Team Bangladesh shines on that platform once more.

By Mastura Tasnim


A one man show presented by Chittagong Grammar School and Nose2Nose

Currently on their Asia tour, 'Space', an interactive one-man show, performed by Timothy Mann and directed by Neil Farrelly (of Nose2Nose) is coming to Bangladesh this month. The internationally acclaimed one-man comedy-tragedy, after having traveled to Turkey, India, Japan, China, and around the UK, are going to perform here at Dhaka on the 31st of January and 1st of February, 2012, courtesy of Chittagong Grammar School. CGS has arranged for this event as part of the international Round Square conference being hosted by them under the theme, “Technology for a sustainable world” where schools from all over the world will be participating.

What is space? A silly science professor, an American mystic, an army general and a multitude of characters attempt to answer this infinite question and battle out their say in this crazy story. The show does not have any props, nor sets or costumes, only Timothy Mann using his body and voice to tell a story. It shifts between the grounds of comedy and tragedy, taking the art of skilful performances to new heights. No two “Space” shows are exactly the same - the performances constantly change and improvise depending on the time, place and culture. The shows here will therefore be morphed to “Space for a sustainable world”.

Timothy Mann is a writer, musician and video editor in the UK. He and Nose2Nose worked closely together in shows like “Cheese” and “The 3 Hermanos”. Neil Farelly is a director, writer and teacher who has worked in Asia for over two decades. Nose2Nose, his media company, performs in a wide array of locations making short documentaries and one man shows and writing a huge number of short stories and other materials.

Event details:
Date - 31st January and 1st February, 2012.
Time - 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Venue - Club Amazon, House# 2, Road# 80, Gulshan, Dhaka.
Ticket price - Tk 500/-

Tickets are available at Chittagong Grammar School Dhaka - House# 8 & 9 B, Road No-83, Gulshan-2, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh from 8 am to 4 pm.

Contact- 02-8826373

By Neshmeen Faatimah


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