We live in the future. It's not Marty McFly's Back to the Future 2 kind of future, but it's the future nonetheless, a place & time where people talk to machines more than one another and celebrities defy their many handlers by routinely speaking their minds in an unfettered dialogue with the public (often on Twitter). Every so often, however, one of these pampered, privileged and untethered stars will proverbially shove their foot so far down their own throats it's a wonder they're ever able to show their face in public again.
In a fascinating interview with The Guardian's Film&Music, Prince discusses, among many other things, how much he loves traveling to Islamic countries. Not because of the delicious food, traditional art or rich historical value, mind you. He loves it because of the crushing theocratic oppression in such nations that demands women cover nearly every exposed inch on their bodies under penalty of brutal death, and people are commonly imprisoned and/or murdered for their beliefs.
"It's fun being in Islamic countries, to know there's only one religion," the Purple One explained to the UK publication. "There's order. You wear a burqa. There's no choice. People are happy with that."
The current climate of drastic upheaval and civil unrest in the region, a cornerstone element of the area's Arab Spring movement towards democracy, would indicate otherwise. When asked about the historically terrible fate of those unhappy with having no choice, Prince replied: "There are people who are unhappy with everything. There's a dark side to everything."
Prince, who became a Jehovah's Witness in 2001, dipped a toe into the religious waters that framed the nightmarishly oppressive social structure he praises. "The Bible is a study guide for social interaction," he continued. "If I go to a place where I don't feel stressed and there's no car alarms and airplanes overhead, then you understand what noise pollution is. Noise is a society that has no God, that has no glue. We can't do what we want to do all the time. If you don't have boundaries, what then?"
Indeed, what then? Where would we be without laws so oppressive and suffocating that an international movement has to take hold before a discussion can even begin as to whether women in Saudi Arabia should be allowed to drive? Where would we be without a daily epidemic reality wherein a rape victim is murdered by her own family in "honor killings" and the rapist walks guiltless?
The mind reels. Suddenly I don't feel quite so bad about missing Prince during his residency at the Forum last month.
Read the entire interview at The Guardian.