Archive for July, 2006
Question: So… like… when did Israel go from being the little country that could – to the little country that COULDN’T STOP BOMBING THE CRAP OUT OF THE REST OF THE MIDDLE EAST?
Answer: Pretty much right after its creation.
I mean, I’ve been propagandized pretty much since birth to believe in Israel and disbelieve in the Arab countries that surround it. I also remember back in elementary school the education system taking a sharp turn back to The Holocaust – as if somebody suddenly came to and realized it wasn’t covered anywhere in the curriculum so our grade had to make up for all the ignorant masses of Northern Ontarians who had gone on to graduate having read only The Diary of Anne Frank. (Meanwhile, how times have changed – plucky little Anne Frank is part of a joke in Clerks 2, Kevin Smith’s follow-up to Clerks, when she is confused by one clerk with Helen Keller. It’s funny, too. Pretty much the only joke in Clerks 2 that IS funny – but it’s worth going to see the movie just for the Anne Frank/Helen Keller joke.)
So, we got the Full Monty Holocaust. Everything from beginnning to end, including QBVII – the movie.
At about the same time as we were getting the Full Monty Holocaust, I was immersed in study of Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Abba Eban – all the characters from the ’67 War. Oh how I rooted for the Israelis. I even wanted to start wearing a yamulke to show my solidarity but my Mom said they were only for boys.
Oh. Only for boys. Gee. Hm. Later, I would learn that lots of things Israeli were only for boys. Except the army, of course. Girls were more than welcome in the army. Sure, women get a fairer shake in Israel than they do in any of the surrounding Arab countries. Although, Iraq, before the Americans decided to destroy it so they could rebuild it, seemed to have lots of women out and about. …Hm… Lebanon, too, before right now, come to think of it.
Anyway, fast forward to present day and George W. Bush and his War on Terror and Israel’s subsidiary war on terror and the claims by both of being under siege, which is why the strong defence that looks suspiciously like a strong offence isn’t really a strong offence – it’s a strong defence. And so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc until you start to wonder if you are seeing things that aren’t there. Like endless retribution and collective punishment and the complete ruination of entire societies…
Well… I never bought it coming from the good old U.S. of A. so I don’t know why I ever bought it from Israel BUT Israel today looks to me a lot like the good old U.S. of A.
In any case, sad to say my little love affair with Israel is over. The last straw came the other day when I realized that while Israel was accusing Hezbollah of using citizens as human shields, it still didn’t stop it from bombing them anyway. The second last straw being Israel refusing to hand over dead bodies – a standard courtesy in any civilized war. What can one figure but that it is the worst kind of mindfuck deliberately delivered to a people particularly obsessed with burial traditions – something of which the Israelis are too well aware?
And now, what is there for it but to up the ante. That’s what I can’t abide anymore. The brutishness of a country that was supposed to be a beacon of democracy in the middle east (and nevermind that there it is currently destroying an Arab democracy) in not acknowledging that it is upping the ante in a cycle of violence to a whole new level of sick.
Great. That’s just what the world needs. A whole new level of sick.
Here’s a funny story from when my kids were younger.
Back when I’d first moved to Ottawa and my kids were in kindergarten, grade two and grade three, and I’d just started meeting other moms at the school playground, I had one of those socially awkward/bourgeoise crisis moments that really make you want to homeschool.
Or just lock your kids in a closet until they’re old enough to move out and save you any further embarassment in the neighbourhood.
My kids have never really been exposed to religion in any kind of formal way – I’d always meant to read Bible stories to them so they’d have a clue as to why everybody’s so mad all the time, but only got as far as the “Chronicles of Narnia”. A series which, by the way, requires some pretty heavy censoring. It’s important to be able to scan ahead while reading the books aloud so you can censor out whole passages involving “infidels”, “darkies”, and so on… Just so you know… (And the middle school my kids went to is at least 30% muslim, so… – and yeah – post 9/11 was awkward for the Principal – an American Democrat who really just wanted all the Christian parents writing in to the school imploring him to “DO SOMETHING!!” to STFU so he could focus on winning the city soccer finals.)
Anyway, one afternoon my two daughters were playing upstairs with a couple of little friends – little Jewish friends, as it were – and as I walked by the bottom of the stairs I heard one of my daughters saying in a dramatic voice, “And then? They put him on a tee. WITH NAILS!!” and I was like, “Holey Crap! They’re talking to my JEWISH friend’s kids about JESUS and she’s due here to pick them up for HEBREW SCHOOL any minute! WHAT THE FUCK?!” I mean – Grr! Why me?! Why now?! Why Christ?! (And why “a tee”… Don’t they know the word for “cross”… I’ve really got to get reading them some Bible stories…)
Anyway, as soon as my friend arrives, I’m like, “Look. I dunno where they got this from, but…” And told her what had happened. It turned out, thank CHRIST, that there was a little Pentecostal Proselytizer at school and she was filling everybody in on the perils? imperatives? niceties? of Christianity at recess.
And here I was worried I was in for some kind of rightwing fundamentalist Christian backlash from my kids for being a leftwing secular Humanist mother.
NOT that I’m out of the woods, yet. They’re still in high school where all that nasty experimentation stuff that scares parents to death really starts in earnest.
And I still haven’t read them any Bible stories…
Worms of Wisdoom
I once went to talk to a psychologist about a family matter. Not that I feel I should have to justify it, but I was living in a very difficult situation and I needed advice as to how to handle… things.
I highly recommend it. Screw the money. It’s worth paying someone $100 to listen to you for an hour. If just to let your troubles float out into the air and into someone else’s ear – someone else’s PAID ear. THAT’S important, as it turns out. The money part.
But okay. I’ve paid my money and you don’t have $100, so here, gratis, are two really important bits of advice he gave me. (I’d tell you his name, but I don’t know if that’s kosher. Here’s a tantalizing hint – it’s close to the name of a popular condiment.)
1. There is no such thing as a good decision or a bad decision. There is just a decision.
2. Just because something good happened, doesn’t mean something bad will happen. Life will happen.
As you can see, he focused on my good/bad obsession. Which I am quite sure is a “girl” thing. And lord knows, they don’t come much more “girl” than good ol’ moi. I used to think I was a tomboy, but now I realize I was just a flirt – desperately seeking any male attention I could get. Even if it meant playing outfield in street baseball, listening to ronnie montrose albums, and having sex on a bus… (We were on the way to visit his parents…)
Yes. That’s right – I’m a fatherless girl.
And fatherless girls really do spend their lives in search of the right man. I have friends who are happily married who couldn’t really care less about their husbands. They don’t factor much into their lives. Live and let live – just take out the garbage and go watch tv while I read my book. Of course, they all had fathers.
My father was dead.
Long story short? All grown up I find I’ve dug myself into a situation, so deep, that frugal, not worth it, little ol’ me is willing to pay $100/hour for advice on how to handle… things.
That was several years ago and at the time, I didn’t think the advice made much sense either. But it does. Try it.
And yeah, going from the situation I thought I couldn’t handle, to the advice, way back to the dead father, fast forward to looking for the right man? I just saw the connection in the writing of this entry.
I guess everybody and their mother has seen the photo by now of a drunken oaf relieving himself – quite gleefully it would seem, too – on the War Memorial in the wee hours of July 2nd.
At least… I hope it was in the wee hours of July 2nd and not just in the late hours of CANADA DAY!! Grr.
As I have posted elsewhere on the internet, buddy peepee isn’t even giving the peace sign to the photographer – hilariously (although only to irksome gits like me, as it turns out) described as a 63 year old retired army dentist. The type of guy just sure to make a mountain out of a molar…
Anyway, the “Hang ‘im High” brigade is all over this one like cheap soup (okay – I know it’s “a cheap suit” but I like “cheap soup” better) and want an example to be made of this fellow. (Although… the fact that he might be German and making a statement re the unworkability of multiculturalism seems to have escaped their notice…) But I say – all statues look alike in the dark. Did he really know he was pissing on the War Memorial? Or did he think he was pissing on the Famous Five?
Or as a lawyer might say – Was there intent?
And as an even better lawyer might say – Was he too drunk to know what he was doing was… wrong?
Of course, the best lawyer might say – Just plead guilty to being drunk and disorderly in a public place. The dead vets would understand.
Oh, and by the way, I believe the sign he is making to the camera with his free hand is the “AWESOME!” sign. Which means he really enjoyed the fireworks, at least.
Yay! Canada Day!!