Sunday, June 25, 2006

Beatles Shmeatles

In the days of raging Beatlemania, the Beatles were not allowed to perform in Israel. The Minister of Education forbade them from doing so, fearing their music would have a corrupting effect on the youth (cf.). Well, that youth has grown up and they've brought the Beatles to Israel. Okay, not the actual Beatles (at least one of whom is dead, I'm told), but a group of young Israelis (about 30-45 yrs young) who can imitate the Beatles. I heard them last night where they performed in an ancient Roman amphitheater near Haifa with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra. In a way it was like a Montessori school reunion with a bunch of 50-60 year old Hilonim dancing, while seated, to the music. But when I took a closer look at their dancing in their seats, I noticed it bore a striking resemblance to the kind of shuckling many Orthodox people do in schul. This was their religion, I realized. Of course they were shuckling.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

What if

instead of Lex Luthor, Superman was confronted Martin Luther hammering his 95 Theses to Superman's chest, with a kryptonite nail!!! That would get the Reformation going in a big way.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Saleet's Question

Three years ago Saleet asked me a great question: Why don't you marry Oren?

There are two obvious wrong answers to that question: 1. Because I/we are straight 2. Because Oren is married (which was not the case at the time).

I became further confused today, as I was arguing that their is no essential difference between the two sexes. If that is the case, why can't two men marry, raise a family and have children with a close female friend? Why does the mother of the child necessarily need to be part of the "nuclear" family? If men and women really are the same, is the reason for marriage purely utilitarian, i.e. it is just more practical to have the mother of the child serve as the second parent? Religious doctrine aside, why must sex (v) be confined to/part of marriage?

My only answer now (that I have proved to my self, through contradiction) is that there is generally does exist a distinction between the sexes, which is not a conclusion I am all-together happy with.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ann Coulter meet Zizek

Listening, as I do daily, to the inimitable Keith Oberman on my way to work (thanks to Podcasting) I was treated to a rather vicious attack by Mr. Oberman of Ms. Coulter for her indictment of a group of widows from the 9-11 attacks who have used their new-found plight as a moral step-stool to assail the Bush administration.

Poor form aside, Ms. Coulter sounded more like Zizek than I could have ever imagined. She use a power argument to maintain that plight and victimhood should not inure one from reproach or rebuttal. These women, using their tragedy as leverage, hope to convince the American public of the political wrongs of the Bush administration. While they surely have suffered great loss, what makes them better spokespersons for Truth than any other citizen of this country? Their victim status somehow rhetorically privileges them above the political debate, and gives them the moral high ground--they can sling their arrows, but those below can volley nothing in return.

The great thing about the argument is that it doesn't really follow from the rest of the rhetoric on the Right. Our soldiers in Iraq are used as victim shields as are the husbands of these unfortunate women. Plenty of White House rhetoric is aimed specifically to disarm their opponents by stymieing debate--you don't hate the soldiers, do you? You don't want to dishonor the victims of 9-11 by letting the terrorists win, do you? Unfortunately Ms. Coulter is an ass and comes off as a bit inured herself. But I still give her marks for trying to slip a PoMo argument by for the Conservative-Right.

Kol Sasson

Welcome, and enjoy your stay. (The title is a link)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Iran will disrupt oil shipments if her right to nuclear power is threatened (JPost). One wonders how badly they need nuclear power if they are able to threaten other countries with cutting off the oil supply.