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Lady Gaga Encourages People To Breed Compassion

Lady Gaga Encourages People To Breed Compassion

Published October 11, 2012

On the birthdays of her husband John Lennon and their son Sean, Yoko Ono presented the fourth biennial LennonOno Grant for Peace to four activists whose work varies from chart-topping albums to New York Times best-selling novels.
Clad in a Jedi robe, Mayor Jón Gnarr, opened the October 9 ceremony at Harpa by detailing his personal commitment to gay rights, nuclear disarmament and various other social justice causes. He also mentioned Reykjavik’s “unique position as a city of peace,” and said the city is a leader in encouraging peaceful efforts worldwide. “Peace should not be the privilege, but the right of everyone,” Jón said.
Yoko, sporting her trademark circular glasses, bounced with excitement throughout the ceremony, and highlighted the diversity of award recipients: pop star Lady Gaga, Rachel Corrie, a young activist who was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while trying to protect the home of a Palestinian family from destruction; Christopher Hitchens, author and journalist best known for his numerous essays, novels and controversial views on politics and religion; John Perkins, author and journalist famous for his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man; and Pussy Riot, who are currently in prison for protesting the Russian government and church. Pussy Riot received their award earlier this year at a special ceremony in New York.
“The world is getting extremely tense, and when I look around I see that there are so many incredible, courageous activists,” Yoko said. “This celebration honours these brilliant activists, whose work encompasses so many different things.”


As pop star Lady Gaga took the stage, Yoko praised her for using her fame to put issues such as gay rights and body image acceptance in the media spotlight. Gaga’s song “Born this Way,” off her 2011 album of the same name, has been heralded as an anthem promoting acceptance, confidence and freedom of expression. Her charity, The Born This Way Foundation, is dedicated to eradicating bullying and promoting confidence in young people.
In the events’ impromptu keynote speech, she spoke of her Italian-American upbringing in Manhattan and the deep appreciation and respect she has for John Lennon. She ended the speech with a call to act: “I dare you to be brave enough to be compassionate in a cynical age. To be a true rebel of your time… I believe compassion is the answer.” She also offered Yoko an olive branch and a lotus flower seed, two symbols of peace, in honour of John and Sean’s birthday.
Rachel Corrie’s parents accepted the award on her behalf.  “Since Rachel’s stand almost ten years ago, it has been my privilege and grace to come to know activists as friends, both in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel, and in the world who share Rachel’s value,” her mother said. As noted author and novelist Christopher Hitchens passed away last December from oesophageal cancer, his wife, Carol Blue Hitchens, accepted his award. “My husband used to say, ‘It’s not what you think, it´s how you think, and I liked the way he thought,” she said in an affectionate conclusion to her speech.
During his acceptance speech, economist and author John Perkins said the world is beginning to change in big ways for the better. “I think what we’re all experiencing now is a revolution of consciousness,” he said, noting that economies which were once based on the consumption of natural resources have started to shift toward more sustainable and compassionate efforts.
Each recipient donated their award money to various non-profit organizations, ranging from the Elton John AIDS Foundation to PEN, an organization that protects writers’ rights and promotes freedom of expression. Pussy Riot’s award money will go toward getting the two remaining band members out of prison.
For more on the LennonOno Grant for Peace, visit Imagine Peace.



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John Hamm Claims To Have A List Of Reasons To Love Iceland

John Hamm Claims To Have A List Of Reasons To Love Iceland

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MFÍK Urges Investigation Of Iceland’s Role In CIA Torture

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Björk Reads Nativity Story —In 1976

Björk Reads Nativity Story —In 1976

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Throughout December, as count-down to Christmas, RÚV has re-broadcast various season-related music acts from earlier decades. This Saturday’s broadcast sported an eleven year old Björk Guðmundsdóttir reciting the Christmas nativity story, accompanied by music played by students of the Reykjavík Children’s Music School. The recording was made in 1976. Seven seconds of the recording have appeared on YouTube: RÚV’s entire video is not embeddable, but you can watch it, in whole, on their website.

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Hacktivist Gluggagægir Arrested On Suspicion Of Espionage

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The tenth Yule Lad, Gluggagægir (Window Peeper), was arrested last night on suspicion of espionage. Gluggagægir was apprehended after police received reports of him loitering outside Alþingi, peeking through windows. Gluggagægir has spent centuries peeping through people’s windows, curious about the going’s on inside and occasionally stealing shiny trinkets. His arrest record for acts of voyeurism is several pages long. Gluggagægir’s belongings, seized in the arrest, included his laptop which police have said contained troubling material regarding national and international security. “We cannot give you any information regarding the case, which is currently under investigation,” a police spokesperson told the

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Bæjarins Beztu Beef Up Security In Anticipation Of Bjúgnakrækir

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Popular hot dog stand Bæjarins Beztu hired extra security last night in preparation for the arrival of the ninth Yule Lad, Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage Swiper). “We couldn’t afford losses like last year,” said the vendor on duty, Jói, when the Grapevine caught up with him last night. “He cleared us out, all the hot dogs, just gone. I’d only worked at Bæjarins Beztu a few months when Bjúgnakrækir hit us last year. One minute I’m selling a hot dog ‘with everything’ and the next I’m waking up on the floor and the whole place has been turned over. He ate it

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