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Friday, December 31, 2004

Tsunami & Mommy

1.

Yesterday I happened to visit a house which, unlike mine, has a TV set in it's midst.



Played and replayed and repeated to no end, CNN style, I saw the film done by that "amateur" camera: a boat appears on the screen and people, much alive and healthy, happily sun-burnt, are washed out of it by violent waters, and no, it's not the Water Amusement Park.



Like ants you find in a dirty glass and flush out, annihilate with water from the faucet.



Then another program followed, where for thirty full seconds the journalist discussed profound issues, like: "How had the Israeli media dealt with the Tsunami Disaster? There are more people killed in car accidents in Israel than the missing Israelis, yet even before one single Israeli was found dead, the media had treated it as an Israeli issue! Why? To serve the Rating!"



2.


I find the Tsunami disaster of interest to all Humanity. What is our existence if not Constant Defiance: building, dusting, clothes, shoes, fire, electricity and the tree you've just planted - all are Ants' acts of defiance saying, We can stand up to you, Master Nature!



You show up as a mighty giant and dragon, but we are such smart people, the little finger of a mere child of ours can stop Deluge itself!



You are not the only one able to kill and destroy - we are bad at it no less than you.



You are unable to discern between the just and the evil - we have laws and constitutions cutting through Israel.



With you, as much as you keep destroying, Man will build anew;



With us - once we destroy - erased are the destroyed, Allah have pity on them, alas.



3.

What?

I cannot hear!

I've missed the point?

Who are you?




I'm Mother Earth.



So what? You're not relevant. Tsunami is at sea, Mommy!



Haven't you seen how the sea had retreated before me, how I've sucked it back? Has it not brought you to ponder and reconsider? Not you, Corinna, you're OK, you've already written something in Sodot, indeed, Chapeau to you!





"Two brothers fought between them over two and a half acres, each of them said it was his, so they went to the rabbi, to let him decide. The rabbi said, 'I don't know much about lands.

Let's hear what the land has to say'. And he laid down on the ground. They thought he'd gone mad.

Eventually after about ten minutes he got up and said, 'I don't know much about lands. I asked the land whose it was, and the land said,

I don't belong to anyone, they belong to me'".

But what with the multi millions and hectars grabbers **?

When will they ever learn?








~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

** the caricature shows Sharon telling his sheep: "One day all this will be yours..."

In the background is his one thousand acres farm, or Israel itself...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

read it in Hungarian;

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Cheating the Cheaters

A Frank Conversation With a Self-Acclaimed Casino Cheater.



1.

I've just come across this blog which Blogger thinks worthy to be noted...

Apparently one can be proud of diverse actions and choices, even of spending 25 yrs in the business of Casino Cheating.

2.

I'm musing, entirely unamused:

Don't you feel that by cheating you're actually replacing the Big Cheaters (The Casino Owners), not the System?



You might have made lots of money, but haven't you actually lost 25 (twenty five) best years of your life in this spiritual prison you're describing?



I'm interested in the human perspective. Telling the truthfull story of your life, feelings and urges could make a contribution to this lamentable world and population.

4.

Once I saw a men pulling something like one hundred dollars to pay for a bunch of lottery tickets.

I asked him with a smile (he looked so poor and worn out):

"Is there something left for your kids' food?"

He took the money and went away.

The lady running the booth admonished me:

"It's not nice what you've done. He'll go to another booth and I've lost a customer!"

In answer to your questions posted on my site:

Richard:

1.

While I'm not sure what it is you're asking here in relation to the Big Casinos and the System, I most certainly didn't replace the casinos. I put a little bit of hurt on them and was able to do so because of their greed and aggressive pursuit of sucker's money.

2.

I didn't lose 25 years in any spiritual prison. I LIVED my life. I travelled across the world, made a nice living, experienced a roller coaster ride filled with all of the adventures that life has to offer, and did so with a great deal of comraderie ith trusted teammates and close friends.

3.

I haven't read your books, so (unlike you) I won't attempt to offer assess them.

You should read my book maybe it'll inspire some adventures of your own.

The human perspective depends on experience. I lived my life fully (and continue to do so). I own all of its amazing experiences. Instead of being what I suspect as being at least a bit overly introspective, and feeling the world and its population is lamentable, you might be better off going out and having some fun. It may change your perspective to a more realistic and positive one.



Finally, my book is published by a major New York Publisher (St. Martin's Press). No need for a ghost.



Richard



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Indeed one needs to read a book in order to assess it (by which you probably mean, evaluate). While I've been indeed talking of Values, in regard to your book I was referring to the genre itself.



Literature is by its nature introspective, offering an in-depth perspective on life. How-To books do not reach that far. It's like the difference between a straw chair in your kitchen, and, let's say, Van Gogh's. One stays with you for as long as it is usable, the other survives Time itself.



You have written in the genre of "kitchen chair", which is usable in its way.

The issue is far reaching and deserves a Van Gogh.



True, he was introspective and suffering and probably most of the time very lonely and tormented. I do not recommend those aspects...



I feel there is a need to understand those deep layers of human spirit.

Dostoevsky was trying to reach into such deep wells. A ghost writer, a professional literary writer in your country might bring some inner truths out to light and then, behold, the "kitchen chair" will attain a totally different level.



While musing on this issue it dawned upon me that in my country, in the world at large, we are all, in a philosophical sense, Lottery Cheaters, as we try each in our petty corner to cheat the Sky, the Wheel dealers. It is pathetic and lamentable yet not as much as the people who populate the Casinoes are.



Some of us even take upon themselves the role of Robin Hood. If I understand correctly it was not your way.



In most countries those institutions "donate" monies to not-for-profit organizations. This is money taken mostly from the poor and deluded.



I know quite well that Casinos exists despite what I might call "the Cheaters of the Cheaters". What I meant was that you replaced, or joined, the System by using those monies.



As for adventures and camaraderie - we found them at the Mafia and criminal gangs as well, so they can stand on their own feet only while bestowed with qualitative content.



Hence my introspective question remains:

What is the Meaning of one's singular unique life?




Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Take a candy, child!

1.

Yesterday, at the clinic of those coerced to stay healthy.

The nurse, in a loud voice:

Just a moment! This mother comes first, she's been calling since two weeks ago for a vaccine.

Mom:

Nurse only wants to see you.

Child

(3 years old boy) Just this?

Mom:

(touches the small arm gently, fast, with the tip of her fingernail) Just a tiny sting, and you'll stay healthy!

Child:

(in tears, howls) NO!!!

Mom:

But you're a hero, you're a hero, right?

Child:

(cuts short his weeping. Stands in silence, eyes wide open. They enter a side door, come out of it 2 minutes later. The child is wailing, dazed).

Mom:

You're a hero, a real hero you are, Right?

Nurse:

(running to the other end of the large reception room), Wait, do not cry, just a moment! Don't cry, don't cry! (still running returns with a large, golden box, opens it) I have Someeething for you! Here, see, Don't cry, have one, put it in your mouth, Don't cry!



The child, his mouth stuffed, is sobbing softly. He was brought to this world unasked, a big bird has dropped him like a package on the steps of a house he was never asked to choose. His face is a picture of helplessness and disappointment with The Adult World, your heart goes out to him, to hug and caress.

Mom:

Do not cry, you're a hero. Right?

2.

I bit my lips, turn my head aside so as not to see the needle, and say to the quite large nurse seated across from me, busily filling the syringe with my precious blood:

"Now you understand why people get fat?"

"Why?"

"They eat to avoid crying."

"Aha," she says with a sad smile.

3.

Back home I listen to the radio, read the papers, surf the net and the blogosphere:

"We have empathy.

"Our heart goes out to you, dear settlers. A large bird has brought you to the occupied territories, dropped you as if you were a package, not asking for your agreement - and now they suddenly want to pass you on to a foster family, lying to you that this one is not your biological one.

"Poor things. Real poor things.

"Do not cry. You're Heroes, You're real Heroes, aren't you?

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Brilliantly Simple!



http://www.daily-news.ro/ Terente





These days I've been wandering from site to site, trying to understand the Rumanian reality as illustrated throughout the election's events.



From time to time I would land back home, to see how those were reported in our media.



How?

Mostly in the form of a quote from a foreign news agency, which in it's turn gets its milk from the present comusocialist government, now gravely blamed for illegal procedures.



Could it be that this is the way news are channeled to our own plates?



Feed us, feed us your lazy lies. All we want is Peace.



A Talent to Forget

The pattern is old, and still, to this day we are led by the nose.



As the proverb goes:

Blind Followers never go away, they only get replaced by new ones.



A bitter proverb, when you realize that the Followers are Us,

human society throughout history.



Divide & Rule.



In one hand the Whip, in the other the Straw.

Sometimes the whip is hidden behind the back, sometimes the straw -

yet always ahead go the One and The Chosen Few, followed meekly by

the multitude meeeh... meeeh...



No, we are not cut to the bones, led to the gallows, glo-glo-glo,

in full presence of mind we sacrifice our lives for the sake of Sacred Unity.

Why, meeeh... We lack inside knowledge, our brains are too small.



Only total leaders know totally all.



So, to the question if is there a chance for peace in our lands, I mean those supposedly sacred lands:



No Chance, as long as Power is Sacred.



Divide and Rule between Iran and Iraq, between Palestinian

and Israelis.

Invest your power strongly to ensure the European Union won't duplicate

itself in the Middle East.

Divide and Rule in South Africa, in the darkness of Africa.

Divided you'll stay glued united to US.



It's called: The New World Order.





diplomats...



~~~~~~~~

read it in Polish;

Faluja Landscapes

Monday, November 22, 2004

Is there a Future for Literature?

Reading comments on Madonna's literary enterprise has helped me see that there are so many people who share my concerns. The problem is that writers are isolated, and not exactly in the mindset of conglomerates, which makes it easy for the last to act by “Divide and Rule.”



What we can do as individuals is still a lot, and can make a difference. As teachers and professors we can teach how to discern, maybe create a new form of Comparative Literature, that will compare real books to the nonbooks polluting our culture.



As reviewers we can create this kind of review, in which a new book of value is presented along with a nonbook from among the “best sellers.” Compare a “how-to” book to passages in literature which deal with human dilemmas in lasting and forceful ways.



Those among us who are successful literary writers can pressure the houses that publish them to devote a percentage of their budget to literary works chosen for their literary value alone, and to invest in their publication the same resources invested in the selling of a commercial book.



We can also demand from the newspapers that, along with and on the same page as, their list of the weekly “best sellers,” they publish a list of “best books.” Even if many newspapers belong to the same owner-publisher, they cannot exist without their journalists’ co-operation.



We can patronize independent bookstores and consider the slight difference in price as our individual contribution to the sustenance of culture. Being creative by nature, we can devise innumerable ways to have our concerns voiced and heard, create change. And since writing is our common language, we should strive to make it the real global language, by opening up to the rich diversity of the international spectrum. This applies especially to the insularity of the U.S.A.



As for the nature of change we’re witnessing – the second law of thermodynamics applies only to Time, not to what we do in time. Of course the past cannot be changed, but our actions as a society or as individuals can be changed at present and in the future. I am encouraged by the model of the Green Movement. It has built awareness and brought about a reversal of actions: threatened with the possibility that people won’t invest in or patronize companies that do harm to our environment, conglomerates as well as small businesses go out of their way to manifest that they are acting ecologically. Maybe we should enlist the Green Movement’s support. After all, pollution is pollution, be it intellectual or physical.



I was also thinking that, left to their own devices, big businesses do not find it in their interest to support independent thinking. An intelligent and culturally well-informed reader is not the type of consumer or laborer easy to manipulate. Therefore, I think it is in the interest of our society and democracy, not only in that of the writer, to reverse the tide.




Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Sadly Funny

Just found in a books chainstore a heavily discounted beautiful book - red hardcover, excellent paper, jacket - a pleasure to hold and behold: Mark Twain's "A Tramp Abroad".



I'm still at the beginning yet already reading Twain's humorous description of the German students' spartan corps code and their insane dueling, one stops smiling. A root, unstroken.



>"...It was considered that a person could strike harder in the duel, and with a more earnest interest, if he had never been in a condition of comradeship with his antagonist, therefore comradeship between the corps was not permitted..."



"...I had seen the heads and faces of ten youths gashed in every direction by the keen two-edged blades, and yet had not seen a victim wince, nor heard a moan, or detected any fleeting expression which confessed the sharp pain the hurts were inflicting..."




Money?

I'm really touched to "hear" on the net people discussing issues which actually cross the line between the virtual and life itself.



Reaching out from Israel, the blog is a laboratory where behind glass windows, it is possible to experiment building a beta reality, where communication can be sane, relaxed, as close as possible to the unattainable ideal.



I couldn't stand the temptation and had the adsense at some of the English sub-blogs - yet I set it at the bottom of the blog, like in this old Jewish story of the legendary people of Khellem - they made a brand new beautiful floor for the synagogue

but then got worried that it will be smeared with mud, so they covered it with straw...



This seems to me to be the "dillema": how to keep the beautiful blog in sight and yet not have it smeared with mud...



Sunday, November 14, 2004

Planet Sauvage

Planete Savage (Fantastic Planet) invaded my life some twenty years ago.



At that time it seemed like another animated science fiction movie.

Yet it stayed with me throughout those years.



Three classes people Planet Savage:

You see the Lords, who do not move at all. Nothing. Not even their eyes. Some bluish hail around their heads is their means of communication with the world, of ruling it.



I do not remember if there are any female characters among the Lords. They seem to lack gender and human characterizations.



Then you have the human Slaves. A bluish collar is enclosing each one's neck, informing the Lord exactly where a slave is at any given moment. A monitoring leash is embedded inside each collar, controling the slave's movements and actions.



Some of the slaves, a very small group, have managed to free themselves from the collars and are leading a dangerous partisan life in freedom, always on the run.



I'm reminded of this film daily, by the Israeli political situation, by the way actually not only in my country and throughout the Middle East but all over the multitudes are still led by bluish or reddish collars.



How come intelligent people agree to be enslaved?



Is it because the collar is always presented as a utilitarian gadget?



Look around you and see that you might be possessed by a such one. You hold it in your hand, or pocket. Even in a theater. With it you're never left on your own. It's called "cellular" or "mobile".



In some factories or at conferences, you're to wear it on your hand, next to your watch.



Alas, life is changing, even Romance isn't what it used to be: When you need one of your hands to hold your mobile's mike and your mouth to talk into it, Love becomes one-handed.



I don't own a cellular, nor plan to ever buy one.



No need to, there is always one handy. The Modern slaves are good natured and ready to share their fate with partisan vagabonds...

Saturday, November 13, 2004

"As Befits Worthy Writing"

"Sodot", by Corinna - a writer who grants us her first name - is a most intriguing book. It turns out that "Sodot" is her third book, with the first one published almost thirty years ago.



Yet the interest in Corinna does not conclude only in her identity. On the contrary, Sodot is an interesting book, different and indeed worthy.



The first encounter is with Corinna's unique language. I assume the reader won't grasp this uniqueness at first, since the book is written in everyday Hebrew, much alive and for sure familiar.



The wholeness of the book is evasive. You need to read several tens of pages in order to understand what Corinna's language is doing to you.



With a most straightforward Hebrew, seemingly simple, in short sentences, quite often devoid of asides, additions or reservations, Corinna succeeds to reach the reader's heart and set before his eyes a viable reality and a well-defined statement.



The style serves Corinna throughout the book. Actually it is the sole constant. "Sodot" is a most modern novel, built of fragments, sketches and stories, with constant shifts in the story's angle and in the narrator's perception.



The concise language that reigns throughout the book enables Corinna to move from the general to the particular, from the large picture to the marginal detail, from the objective drama to the subjective hue. Her success is quite impressive and she succeeds in mastering this sharp tool throughout the book.



"Sodot" tells the stories of people in Israel as of late, of the national events in which they are entangled, of their personal circumstances that are not always entirely tied up to time and place, politics or "the situation", although they are never entirely freed from them. The narrator - who undergoes no small changes by the time we reach the end of the book - serves as a prism to all she encounters, people, places, stories.



Corinna knowingly creates distance and yet grants it clear visibility. She's leading the narrator within the multifaceted Israeli material, yet looks at it always from the outside as well. She stands apart from the narrator she creates and that one keeps herself well apart from each person, place and situation she does meet with.



The book emanates a dreamy quality that envelops the reader. The restraint, the irony, the spark that is aware of itself and well hiding, all these make the reading in Corinna's book an unique and direct encounter, as befits a worthy literature.



© Ioram Melzer

Literature & Books, Ma'ariv 18.10.02



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

translated from the Hebrew by Michal Sapir.

Ioram Melzer is a much respected Israeli writer, literary critic, and translator.

read this in Russian;
in Hungarian;

In response to a new friend's questions:

Can one appreciate the language and culture of a virulent hating nation?



It is my strong belief and understanding that nations do not

hate each other's, as nations are not imbued with feelings, only

individuals are.



As long as the manipulators hold in their hands the

key to information it will be almost always possible to marionette the

individual.



That's why the Internet is so important as it turns the

tables and gives room to the individual voice.



Is it difficult to learn Hebrew?



It is not difficult at all to learn Hebrew when you come from a Middle Eastern

tradition. Hebrew belongs to the semitic languages and is greatly influenced or similar to it.



The theories elaborated by Arabic grammarians were applied to Hebrew grammar during the Golden Age of Hebrew literature and culture.



At that time the Arab ruled Spain and some of our most important cultural figures were in close interaction with theirs.



I was born in Romania as you may read at some pieces on the blog. "Unfortunately", Romanian, although a most beautiful and poetic language, has no Semitic linguistic roots...



We arrived when I was 12 years of age. Two years later, while reading Romain Rolland's Kolas Breugnon in an excellent and most rich translation by noted Hebrew poet Abraham Shlonsky, I realised that not even once have I reached for the dictionary.



That was a moment of triumph, indeed.



Nowadays there are many free Hebrew day classes. Very easy and pleasant. It was not so back in 1948. Parents had to learn from their kids, a task I did indeed perform to the extent that to this day, beware when you speak Hebrew in my presence... I'm on a pilot, You know, like the Pavlov dog...





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

read it in Hungarian;

Friday, November 5, 2004

In Person

Hello & Shalom,

My root blog here is TimeIn Tel-Aviv.



Since there is no other way to create categories, I've opened seven sub-blogs to this end - all carrying my own template, made after the template of my website.



No, I'm not a geek, if this is what it means - my website was created, after my vision by Daniel and Neta at Atarim and Yaacov Avnet at MWD is the generous spirit behind the creation of Time in Tel Aviv.



With the new upgrade at Blogger The ABOUT page you're reading right now was added.



And then along came Helen and translated a few pages into German; Natalia liked the idea and offered to translate into Polish; Mehdi, alerted by Natalia, volunteered to do so with Farsi and has just brought along a new friend: Arman; I read Andi's blog and loved the spirit, then S.ra Meller Padovani, volunteered a few pieces in Italian, but, oh, there are still so many beautiful languages and so much room for more!



The only place to see our latest posts throughout all sub-blogs should be MY PROFILE.



With a million blogs on their head, the updating is kind of slow... Check us at the very blog of your interest, I mean - at all of them...



Welcome!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

read it in Polish; in Farsi;

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Following the suicidal attack at the Tel Aviv market

1.

A dear friend writes to express his sorrow and ask after the well being of my family.



The truth is - rarely I go to markets. It's become time consuming.

I'm taking buses when people with suicidal tendencies sleep or take a rest.



Any of them looking for me in person will have to come armed with some garden tools and help me tend my plants: First business, then pleasure...



2.


I'm horrified that The Manipulators had the cruelty to employ a 16 years old kid, that they've gone so low as to use abused women.

While feigning concern for Arafat's own life.



Maybe that child, if only spared his life, could have become a leader, a teacher, make a living difference. Or just enjoy life, basic life, if not on Suha Arafat's child level.



Who gives them the right, how dare they take the role of an Almighty God and sacrifice the other, the weak and the helpless. It's blasphemy.



They seem to differ with me on the concept of Courage.



3.

Every victim of violence is my family, in Tel Aviv and in Ramallah, or anywhere on earth.



Every flower blooming in my garden celebrates life.

There is much to learn from the natural world. All it takes is to open the heart.



All who do so - the Manipulators label: Naive.

While we cannot even label them, Blind.

Their monstrous acts are done with open eyes.

Only the heart is closed, with an iron bar.

Well, I'll stay naive. With an open eye.






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

read it in Hungarian;

Monday, November 1, 2004

Singing Flowers For You

It's always easy to manipulate the weak and the muted: "We know better what's best for the flowers, for you."

It annoys me to no end.



"...Flowers are inserted into an acrylic tube containing a magnetic coil and an oscillating component. Applying an alternating electrical current causes the tube, and the flowers, to vibrate at high speed, producing audible sound..."



Thanks to Marijano for alerting us...





Thursday, October 28, 2004

Blogger is dressing up the naked...

Can you be an once-a-year-for-one month writer?



Last year, while confronted with the phenomenon, I did respond on the spot.Now, reading Graham and Blogger's exalted recommendation of this Herculean attempt to "write a novel" in one month, I've just posted the following comment at Graham's blog.




Hi Graham,



I'm a writer of literary fiction and non-fiction. Following a book for young children, my second book was written during 3 years, my third in 15 yrs, my fourth in 11 yrs, my fifth in 9 yrs and I've been working on the sixth for the last three yrs and am still far away from its conclusion.



Writing literature is not an one month marathon but a life long one. It takes dedication, the feeling that you cannot sleep if you do not write, that writing is like breathing to you, skin of your skin.



Writing literature is not a typing contest. You write awake and in your dreams, and daily while seemingly involved in mundane activities. Writing is a long process of revelations for which you are just an organ through which they pass on to the insightful reader.



I heard about this McDonald fast-writing concept last year and had immediately expressed my non-admiration.



Above all I abhor the disrespectful use of the word Novel. Disrespectful to Literary Art, to literary writers, to Intelligence and Creativity.



When the information comes from Blogger,and under the "Knowledge" title - so strong a recommendation - it should have had at least room enough for another opinion, comments, discussions. It is not a technical issue. We are talking here Ethics, and this is a totally different realm.





29.10.04

The consumerism ethos has brought upon us only misfortune: wars, colonizational imperialism, terror. I fear the colonization of Humanity's last refuge.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Noffey Haneffesh (Once She Was A Child)

Noffey Haneffesh tells the universal story of childhood in times of upheaval, as conveyed by some of the most extraordinary international woman writers.



Done mostly on location, these intimate encounters mirror a rainbow of human existence shaped by injustice, turmoil and struggle, and still victorious: six year-old Russian Svetlana Vasilenko awaiting death while caught between the Powers dueling with nuclear bombs; the little Italian child Dacia Maraini starved in a Japanese concentration camp; twelve-year-old. Belgian Amelie Nothomb, reading by candlelight in a Bangladeshi lepers' house; five-year-old Leena Lander living in the Finnish prison for delinquent boys where her father worked as a supervisor, contemplating in fear and horror her sexually mangled doll found thrown in the forest; eight-year-old Palestinian Anissa Darwish torn by war from the Malkha village of her sweet childhood - all and each of the writers in this book map the way to survival and hope.



They ask us also to take a second look at our own life, and, well informed, to make sure the right decisions are taken in all that concerns this precious little world.



As a literary form, Noffey Haneffesh (ONCE SHE WAS A CHILD) is a hybrid: it owns the genes of literary fiction, with its attention to language, ambiguities and symbols, carved out by the author's mostly invisible questions, and editing; and it carries the genes of narrative nonfiction as those are real life stories of real, and most impressive persons, showing how gloriously they've survived Evil.



Glimpses from The Past, of childhood recollections, set, like pearls on a string, with the author's journal as the connecting thread or background. The reader is invited to absorb. At the end of the book s/he'll discover in a separate section, as an addendum, how far they've reached in The Present.



Friday, October 22, 2004

The Herd Instinct vs, Jesus

1.

While in theory we are all for the glorification of the individum, in practice the Western Contemporary Culture still labels people in context of groups, mostly the Bad (Them) and the Good (Us).



2.

Stigmatic Memory.

or, as I have been asked
not long ago in Portugal, out of the blue:

"Is it true you've killed Jesus?"



3.

The Use and Abuse of those manipulations
, or, as I'm still finding in the Right's Romanian media (and expressed also in more than one of the comments in previous, related, posts here:

"The Jews were punished by God to wander homeless and suffer forever because they've killed Jesus."



Is there any comfort in the knowledge that no person on earth I know of, in person or from hearsay, is free of those?



4.

The crucification was one of the tools by which the Roman Empire ruled. Cruelty always comes hand in hand with Power.



The subordinates will always react in a myriad of ways, from total opposition to abuse.



Yet no one will say, for instance, that it was not Stalin who murdered the Russian Jewish writers one by one - but the anonymous or not that anonymous devout citizens who sent letters of slander against them, out of envy or plain anti-semitism, in full knowledge of the consequences.



5.

Only when, if ever, Christianity will acknowledge with due respect the right of each human being to be different, not one of the herd alone, only then anti-semitism will be erased from our world.



Better still if all sects - secular or of religions - will reach such an elevated state.



Almost all it takes is for each of us to remember that one is meant to be the Messiah of one's unique life and existence, and undertake this sweet responsibility.



It's heartbreaking how far we are from this, how far from it we have allowed and are allowing religions and empires to drag us along.



Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Yesterday I spoke with the bride. Elfriede Jelinek.

In Hebrew, the recipient of a prize is its groom, or, as in Elfriede Jelinek's case - The Bride.



1.

Tel-Aviv, 8 October 2004

Elfriede. Her voice sounded close, in both senses.

She said, in a rather melancholy tone, "You see, Corinna, I told that I want to retire from public life - and now the Nobel prize...

"It's not so sad."

She laughed softly.



The sleepy pond, the pine trees, the round swing chair which hang in the living room, the grand piano on which she played for me and sang "glucklick ist wer vergibt, was doch nich zu andern ist..." - all this I can see now before my eyes as if not eight years have passed since our meeting back then in Austria.



2.

Vienna,August 26, 1996



Elfriede Jelinek suggested we meet at the Cafe Museum. Over the phone we gave each other identification marks. She said, "I'm tall and like every good Austrian woman, I have two blond braids bound on my head..."



I was staying with Eva, a retired journalist, through the recommendation of a mutual friend.



She's in her early fifties and keeps saying, "Everybody is already sick of hearing about the Holocaust."



3.

In January 1996 I found, in London, a book by Elfriede Jelinek. A few months later, on Holocaust Memorial Day, I saw written in an Israeli newspaper, in an article on Anti-Semitism In The World Today, that she, or one of her parents, was Jewish; that there had been attacks on her and that she had been threatened by anti-Semites; that she had immigrated to Germany.



I wrote to her, "I see that you are living in Vienna. I hope that the story about the attacks is fantasy as well."



She wrote back, on the margins of a street poster's offprint illustrated with the picture of a violin - on which was written:



"Lieben Sie... Jelinek... oder Kunst und Kultur?" - "Are you fond of... Jelinek... or of Art and Culture?"





I was astonished. Surely this is slander. The cultural organizations and institutions in Austria passed it over in silence, did not react?



4.

The large cafe
was fairly crowded and Elfriede worked it out with the waiter to take us into the inner room.



We sat there next to one of the dark old wooden tables, at first by the windows, but Elfriede, who writes in a very strong voice, talked almost in whispers, and we moved further inside, far from the noises of the road and the street.



Half an hour later, at exactly five o'clock, came the waiter and drew the wooden doors wide open.



"At five they open this room for customers," said Elfriede calmly.

In Vienna order is order.



She said, "It's too noisy here. We'll go to my house."



5.

We took the underground
from there to hers and her mother's house on the edge of the town. Elfriede, who was before a trip to her partner in Munich, went to put the food she had bought for her mother in the modest refrigerator. She left me in a small living room which had only a grand piano, a transparent chair hanging like a swing, a desk, and panoramic windows facing a large natural garden and a pond - not one of those manufactured models, but real water and vegetation touching it and in it.



No buses, no cars. Just the sound of birds busy preparing dinner.

I went out to the pond, tears gathering in my eyes as I was thinking,

At such a place one can be only happy.



6.

The dog clung to me
and because I was worried that her heavy breathing would cover Elfriede's voice in the recording, I pushed her away a few times before Elfriede said - Not right the first time! - said gently,



"Push her aside softly, because she falls. Her rear legs have nothing to hold on to, her tights are impaired from birth. She's a poor thing."



7.

Elfriede has an
uncle in Denver, Colorado, in the United States, with whom she corresponds. His father, Albert Felsenburg, was a journalist, a colleague of Herzel's they were both writing for the Neue Freie Press, and then, as Elfriede read to me from her uncle's letter,



"Then the pogroms stormed Russia and dad said, 'Theo, I read and hear such horrible things about what the Cossacks do to the Jews. Go to Russia and see if it's true.'



Herzel went and saw that it was even worse and he founded the Zionist movement. My father was among the first members."



9.

Albert Felsenburg
was sent to the Dachau concentration camp on the first day the Germans came to Austria. He was handed over by his Christian fellow workers at the newspaper.



10.

She said, "
The story with Herzel is a legend in our family. I think it is a true story. So that we have a share in the founding of the Zionist movement - which led to the founding of the state of Israel."



11.

Before the meeting
, corresponding from Israel, I told her about "Noffey Haneffesh" - Soul Landscapes - the book I was working on.



I had no clue then to where this book will lead me.



In Vienna, I listened.

It got dark. One tape after the other I kept changing.



She said, in a tiredly tranquil voice,

"It's been ages since I've last spoken that much."

In the corridor, on my way out, she showed me the signs in the door left from the times her father - torn by guilt, or by an erased memory - would cut in it, as the door was kept locked so he won't wander out and get lost.



Now as then in my ears rings Elfriede's melodious voice, singing that famous line from The Feldermouse operetta by Johan Straus. 'Those are happy who forget what can't be changed.'"



A very popular song. Everybody knows and whistles it. Every year on New Year's Eve this operetta is shown on television. Even children can sing it.



"This is Happy Happy Austria," she had said then.



12.

I came back to Eva
. In an adjunct room she had a pair of terribly noisy parrots. She covered their cage, closed the double doors, and the echo of their shrill voiced remained with us as the smell of burnt food, sinking into the rich carpets and sofas.



While Eva, standing at the oven burners kept repeating:

"Everybody is already sick of hearing about the Holocaust. It was more than fifty years ago! It's boring!"





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

read it in Hungarian; in Farsi; in Russian; in Polish;

Friday, September 24, 2004

The "Average" Voter, A Yom Kippur Confession.

Some time ago there was this daily poll at an Israeli online paper.

You hit to see the polls.

I got tempted.

Entirely by mistake, a second click occurred.

To my great surprise, this registered as well.



It took me about ten minutes and some hundreds of clicks to turn the tables on that poll...

So polls - I'm not too impressed with them.



Now You Big Mouth points us to an article on this very issue: Are Voters Idiots?



Excuse me: "Are the Average Voters idiots?"



A good idea for another poll: Who is the average voter: You/ your Neighbor/ your father-in-law?



It is true that the individual voter is bound to be an intelligent voter. You do not need academic or any education to judge a candidate for his or her actions, not words and promises.



Yet as a group, when in a group - individuality, reason, wisdom are stripped away and you get pushed into the stream of stupidity.



What is left is to try and stay away from the crowd mentality, avoid it.



(another poll: Is this possible/impossible?)





Confronting the Front

Robert Spencer at FrontPage relates to rape committed by Muslim terrorists and by Muslim criminal gangs in France and concludes with great conviction:



"...This indicates there are two things the massacre in Beslan have in common with the ongoing massacres in Darfur: both, no less than the 9/11 attacks, are examples of Islamic jihad terrorism, and both are characterized by rape."



If only life was that simple: The US soldiers who raped Vietnamese women not such a long time ago.

The Japanese, the German... Back and forth in history we can go and see the same pattern repeated, with or without the Qu'ran or any other holy tradition.



In war and in peace, nothing is more sacred than the universal tradition which sanctifies and enables criminal violence against women.



Thursday, September 23, 2004

Let's Celebrate Farsi!

Languages, they are the camels of civilization. Throughout the ages they've dutifully carried the heavy, ever-growing loads of each community's cultural uniqueness.



Now we notice with pain the disappearance of ancient languages, we behold with uneasiness the tide of The One And Only Language.



Some say, "It is pre-destined. Give up and turn your back upon your singular culture. It creates division and we want to be One Nation, One Language, One Herd!"



No, it creates mono-culture, this all encroaching weed. Language is Identity. It is our human right, and duty, to preserve each one his or her unique identity.



Today I feel so happy with the addition of Farsi to our evolving blog.

Thanks to Mehdi.



Farsi. The very word carries such a sweet musical sound.

An old, rich, carrier of a most important culture. I will never know it, I may not ever be enabled to visit it's spiritual and physical landscapes, but now it's here with us, close to heart..



Thank you, Mehdi, for your generous contribution .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Read this in Farsi.



Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Globalization

Slowly and on tip-toe TimeIn Tel-Aviv is day by day combing the forty corners of the world, branching out more densely than MacDonald...

Ladies and all the others... Let's applaud Natalia in Polski!

And Meda in Romanian and English.

Oh, we do take questions. Just turn off the TV lights, please. They blind us.

Yes, there are still some franchises left.

No discrimination, oh, no, never!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Noble People

I know close to nothing about Iran today or since the Islamist Revolution.



I know some about suffering complete, immediate, fully conscious fear of annihiliation.



Burried deep in my heart and essence, rearing it's trembling head daily throughout this modern brutal existence.



Like a soothing balm to the soul come noble people from the forty corners of the world and say, Let's stick together.



Happy new year, Universe.

No, no: MultiVerse.





It's the New Year. What do you give to ...

I was debating with myself, What can one give as a present to someone that has everything, really really almost everything.



Luckily, around the forty corners

of the world some friends were sharing my distress.

So now I know, the best gift would be the compact empathy blocker. More efficient than any check-points, less expensive than any Walllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll



Above all - it's worldwide effective.



"...That's what I dreamt about.

While touring the respiratory ward of a filthy hospital with many miserable looking patients ready to die, I would try to speak only to be prevented by a piercing lung pain or excessive phlegm, and dark fluid gushing out of my mouth; or the perceptible feel of a sudden collapse of portions of my lung coupled with the sort of panic that would effectively prevent me from uttering a single word.

Then the fellow walking with me calmly directed me to a room and sat me on a chair. The room was clean and well lit, and had a purple sliding door. He began to play with the door and each time the door separated me from the ward, I felt I had my voice back.

Sliding the door open again would simply make me lose my voice. He grinned mischievously and said, "What do you think of our new sliding empathy blocker? The latest model! And I woke up murmuring, "now, that's what I really need... a portable empathy blocker!"

(c) http://broodingpersian.blogspot.com

Happy New Year!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read it in Polish;in Hungarian;

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Notes on Once She Was A Child

Instead of introduction, a few personal notes...



When my children were little we were standing one day at the bus stop. It was very hot, August.



Suddenly, across from us, two children, suddenly one of them cried to his friend: "You Arab!" I looked at my children startled. The younger was then three, the same age I was when I came out of kindergarten and they threw stones at us and cried, 'Jidans, go away to Palestine!' Children I'd played with the day before. I wanted my children to know that 'Arab' was the name of a people, not a curse. I made contact through friends of some friends with members of the Arab intelligentsia who lived in a village in the Galilee and we visited them, they visited us, a contact was made. Mahmud and Lutfia Diab, from Tamra, two hours from Tel Aviv.



That was in 1970.



Three years later Lutfia's younger sister, Amal, married her teacher, Munir Diab. And Munir began in those years to manage there the first Arabic community center. So in 1975 the idea occurred to me to arrange a meeting between educated youths from Tamra and from a neighboring Jewish town with Jewish and Arabic artists.



Munir loved the idea and thanks to him it really happened. We had meetings and conversations with Aharon Meged, Anton Shamas, A. B. Yehoshua. Once every two weeks. One time in Tamra and one time in Shlomi.



Finally we had an evening of theater improvisation with the late Peter Fry. He came several times and prepared them. From the start I'd limited my involvement in that for only half a year. I would come there every two weeks.



Shlomi is located eight hundred meters, half a mile, from the Lebanese border. At that time terrorists murdered at night a mother and her two year old daughter, in Dovev. And still people came to the meetings and participated. Very willingly. But in one of the meetings, in Shlomi, someone said,



'Fine. Only you are returning to Tel Aviv and we are staying here not knowing what terrorist will roll upon us at night from the mountain.'



In my apartment in Tel Aviv we lived at the time five people in a space of four hundred and twenty square feet. No room of my own, there wasn't even a bedroom.



Then I thought, if there was a place to which artists would come for a stay of some weeks or months so they can be free to create, then both the artists and the community would benefit. It would answer to the needs.



I returned to Tel Aviv and began telling all kinds of people and organizations, that that was what they had to do.



Some said, How come, and some would say, "Why not, do it."

In those days the world was divided for me into dreamers, and doers. Two separate groups. Me, do? I come up with ideas, and they should do.

But all the time it still bothered, burned in my bones.



In 1984 I got up and said, "I am acting to found such a place."

Now I understand that in that moment I turned from a child citizen into an adult citizen.




Very difficult. You need to go to the world, and bow down.

It's impossible without money.

Within all these hardships, in Europe as well as in the United States, I would go into bookstores, to find solace. And I would think, So many books, So many woman writers! Who are they?













~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(c) Translated from the Hebrew by Michal Sapir

read this in Polish;in Hungarian; in Russian;



Lidia Jorge

A few months after I had returned from the first meetings in Paris in September 1995, as I was transcribing the conversation with the French poet Anne Portugal from the tape onto my computer, I heard her saying again how her name always surprised everyone, it was such a rare name in France.

I opened the Tel-Aviv telephone directory and found there alone some twenty Portugals, Portugalis, Portugueses, Portos.





Half a year later, in April 1996, in Lisbon, Lidia Jorge told me that in fact in Portugal everyone is a bit Jewish - almost in every family there was an element of the "New Christians". That is what they call the Jews who had been forced by the Inquisition to convert to Christianity, and that is also what they call their descendants to this day.



Lidia Jorge lives in a modern neighborhood which was built just after the Second World War. At four-thirty in the afternoon, still in broad daylight, a young woman who had helped me find the name on the doorbell asked me to hold the elevator for her till she picked up her post from the mailbox.

I assumed she was in a hurry, and waited.



Lidia, young looking, opened the door cautiously, and I followed her into a sun drenched living room. The smile, the comfortable clothes she was wearing and the soft coaches signaled warmth. She said, "I’m old-fashioned too. I believe a writer should be engaged in the world."



Before the trip I had read one of her stories, in English translation, "The Proof of the Birds".



In the story a man tries to count birds in order to prove the existence of God.

I told her that was exactly what I was doing - trying to count, the women writers...



******************************************************

excerpt from my introduction to Lisbon's chapter at "Once She Was a Child" (Noffey Haneffesh, HudnaPress 2002

Monday, August 30, 2004

On "Writers' Workshops".

I've never attended any such workshops.

They claim they'll teach you "techniques".

You get the "tools": A story should have a begining, a middle and an end.

Draw a map. Make a list of your characters. Use simple language. Make sure you're understood.

Stiffle your inner voice. Don't let it go wild. You're here to entertain. Just tell your story and let the editor clip the seams.



Teaching techniques is "murder to dissect" for me.



In my experience, as you plunge deeper, you do better on your own. I would say even that you have no choice but stay on your own and dive, or stay on the surface and play with friends, splashing water. Beware of writing workshops, stay away from journalism - so you won't get conditioned to think what does the reader expect, instead of paying respect to what you yourself are expecting from your writing - to stay true to your singular voice.



Don't support the book "trade", not as a reader and for sure not as a writer. This troll insults your intelligence, pollutes, endangers our culture and literary heritage.





Friday, August 27, 2004

Strike the root, but make sure you see it...

Upon reading another article on the problem The Other poses here and there:



In my whole life, I've never met a person of Armenian origin and still no one has managed to persuade me that "Armenians are" (actually all the list that some easy riders proclaim about the Jewish people).



As Franz Werfel testifies in his important Forty Days of Musa Dagh, it was, and unfortunately to this day it is still possible to manipulate and brain wash groups of people, to instill hatred toward The Other, the stranger, the minority.



It is my conviction that evil will continue to flourish as long as the Individual person won't accept responsibility to think clean of stereotypes, with a pure heart. Not an easy feat, indeed, but the alternative has proved itself as much more worse, throughout generations.



The same goes to ideas. It was not the idea of communism that failed, but the same trait of hunger for unlimited power which it was supposed to help strike at the root.



The idea of Zionism, as a liberation movement, is not to be blamed nor the idea of national liberation for the Palestinians, but again the same trait of hunger for unlimited power which turned upon all of us here in the Middle East crashing as a boomerang.



It is our responsibility as individuals , to limit power. We won't succeed in doing so as long as we accept manipulations and stereotypes.





Thursday, August 26, 2004

Ben Gurion, Nixon, Bush, Sharon...

The more I read about USA, the more I feel really baffled - is it about USA or about my country?



When it comes to news on Bush - I'm completely in the dark. Are they misspelling Sharon's name?



Countries are easier to understand. Physically, Israel is small - USA is huge.

With Bush and Sharon it goes the other way.

No wonder I'm confused daily.



Then, the media. In Israel it used to be that every political party had its own newspaper.

Those were replaced later by independent, commercial media.

The journalist was entitled "the author".

No more.



Now we are back to square one, with a small difference. If at the olden times "the author" was the mouthpiece of the political party, directly - now the journalist is enjoying the services of the PR or Press Assistant.



To-night, reading Antonia Zerbisias, as re-published at the excellent truthout, I can only respond with the Hebrew slang, "I've already been in this movie"...



Probably the most troubling admission comes from Karen DeYoung, a former assistant managing editor who reported on the prewar palavering: "We are inevitably the mouthpiece for whatever administration is in power," she says. "If the president stands up and says something, we report what the president said."



But since when is a presidential pronouncement The Word Of God? What happened to inquiry, investigation and, what's it called again, journalism?




Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Just Released!

Thanks to Helen, the multi-lingual aspect is getting enriched with the brand new Deutsch category.

Helen has volunteered a few translations from the English.

Your constructive comments and ideas are most welcome!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Emigrant or Immigrant - it's Vladosgrant.

Vlados has an English site, on Blogger, worth reading.

Don't miss it!

Have you ever been a prisoner?

My first impulse was to say, most indignatly, Of Course Not!



Really?

How many times in your life have you felt as if robbed of freedom?

Wasn't childhood a prison in more than one sense - the historical as well as the personal? And to this day - aren't you daily fighting inside your little cell, encircled by bigotry, stereotypes, wars, work, abuses, fears...



Since last week, Palestinian prisoners in Israel are on a hunger strike. Why, and what are their demands you may read at length in the Israeli media.



Collective Wisdom

This site is not one voice, as a proper blog should be.

A polyphonic compilation, a basket full of wisdom.

Some of them you might have heard already, like this one:




Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)



First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out, because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me

and by then there was no one left to speak out for me.


A good place to come when life seems too much for you.

Friday, August 13, 2004

What really happens in Iraq?

1.

We know so little - we grab each piece of direct information.



CBFTW was an anonymous soldier in Iraq. Still alive, hopefully, yet no more anonymus.

You might have read his "My War" blog.



I've read him for the first time only today, following a link for An Interview with an Iraqi Man.



He says he was not armed when he interviewed him.

And the Iraqi man? Full of praises for the US army and goverment he is indeed.



2.



Once I had a Palestinian plumber working some in my house here in Tel Aviv.

He promised to come on a certain date.

When I finally got hold of him and asked why had he promised since he knew he won't be able to make it, he said:

"I didn't want to insult you."



Reading that interview I assumed the Iraqi volunteer did not want to insult our soldier, so he told him what he knew was expected of him to say. Then CBFTW did not feel like insulting his readers, so he told us what he seemed to perceive as most pleasing to the ear of the uninitiated.



Not an easy position for both of them, not a happy one for all of us involved in this tragic existence nowadays.



3.

Reading further into the blog, I was perplexed, since the guy was all along writing from his guts, with much courage, intelligence, sensitivity and a great natural talent.



4.

Then I came upon on the previous post:



In this episode CBFTW is called to order by his officer. They won't censor him, but he should show his post to his commander, prior to publication.



5.

Why now? The guy was blogging for two months already.

A few posts down, the answer stares you in the face:

A most graphic, detailed report from the scene of war led entirely by USA troops such as our blogger- in stark contradiction to the CNN reporting of "Clashes between police and insurgents".



6.

CBFTW, why do I decipher in the last three letters of your name the acronym for "F. The War"?



Or is it "Cool Brother Forsake True War"?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

On Being an Unpaid Writer

Everybody seems to be still full asleep - the first bus, the closed eyed shutters in the buildings, the butterflies in my green garden.

On the electric wire, two young crows, a wing distance between the two of them.
She's looking straight ahead.
His head is turned towards her, his beak moving.

My window is closed, I cannot decipher the crow crow monologue, yet for sure I won't open the window and invade their privacy.

She stays still, unmoved.
He ventures two tiny steps closer.

Immediately she takes flight, disappearing among the trees.
He stands still, his beak raised to the rosy fingered sky.

Then off he flies. Where to?

~~~~~~~~
read it in Russian; in Polish;

Incredible Cheap Beer

I know close to nothing about Iran today or since the Islamist Revolution.



I know some about suffering complete, immediate, fully conscious fear of annihiliation.



Burried deep in my heart and essence, rearing it's trembling head daily throughout this modern brutal existence.



Like a soothing balm to the soul come noble people from the forty corners of the world and say, Let's stick together.



Happy new year, Universe.

No, no: MultiVerse.





Incredible Cheap Beer

I know close to nothing about Iran today or since the Islamist Revolution.



I know some about suffering complete, immediate, fully conscious fear of annihiliation.



Burried deep in my heart and essence, rearing it's trembling head daily throughout this modern brutal existence.



Like a soothing balm to the soul come noble people from the forty corners of the world and say, Let's stick together.



Happy new year, Universe.

No, no: MultiVerse.





Thursday, August 5, 2004

Let me tell you...

Working on my manuscript I had to find out about present Dachau.



Remember the days you had to go to libraries, search through your dictionaries, encyclopedias, friends' or university libraries, under the bed...



Now all you have to do is, search the net. In a couple of seconds Google will Aladin-style bring you whatever you ask, and much much more.



All of a sudden before your eyes glitters a jewel. It's like looking at your garden and suddenly discovering some beautiful leaves of an unknown plant.



Here she is. Another free spirit in our boundless blognation.



Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Have you been to Bilbao, Spain?

1.

1983




In the beginning, when HILAI wasn't even a seed, just an idea burning in my bones, I met in NYC with the Director of The New Israel Fund.



I was told right away that first of all I must create a non-profit organization.

Never heard of such a creature. The only ones in Israel at that time, almost the only ones, were created and run by political parties, or Ministries, to bring in more funds to their coffers.



"And the most important thing, is to get a distinguished Advisory Board."

"Are you kidding? Everybody in Israel likes to give advise, asked or unasked."



From one to another I managed to recruit some big names. Why not? They liked the idea - to establish an artists colony in the Galilee, with artists and writers contributing to the community, during their short stays, in peace oriented cultural activities.



Additional volunteer help brought in Saul Bellow, Aaron Copland, James Rosenquist.



2.

1985




I arrived in NYC, this time to have an initial meeting with some donors.

In my pocket was James Rosenquist's phone.



Kindly, he invited me to his house.

A house indeed. Three floors.

"Why not stay for dinner? I've already invited a few friends."

I was sleeping at a volunteers' family, out of town.

He said, "Never mind, there is enough room here for you to sleep."



At that time Rosenquist's studio was at an airplane shed in Florida. So big are his works.



In his NYC house he had torn down all the interior walls, probably to make room for a piece or two of art...



I slept in that huge space of a whole floor in which the only furniture piece was a large bed.



I well remember that I was sitting for awhile at one of the large windows, with a tear in my eye, asking myself what I was doing there instead of just writing, at my own modest home, the way Rosenquist devotes his life to art alone.





3.



Two gifts were offered me on that visit. Only one of them I took along.



Rosenquist, in his kindness, offered to create a silk screen of several hundred copies, for us to sell and benefit the project.



What burned under my fingers then was to start the work itself. I was to invest one year alone and time was running out.



I ended up working on Hilai for eleven years. Would it have taken a shorter time if only I had chosen to invest my energy in raising money for the silk screen printer?



In the afternoon, while we were conversing, he got an urgently expected phone call, apologized, took it for two seconds, and then immediately made another one as short as the first, and turned the answering machine on.



Until then, after such a call I would write down in my journal that I should call so and so later on.



No more.



It does save time, even if not years. Above all it buys some peace of mind.



5.

2004




If only Bilbao was across the street here...





News from France

In today's Haaretz English edition - an interview with Lantzman:



"Lanzmann
noted that Jean Paul Sartre once said, "anti-Semitism is not an opinion; it is a crime" - and was right. "Today, however, anti-Semitism is an opinion. Just as there are people who don't like meat or a certain fabric, there are people that don't like Jews."



I would rather say anti-semitism is a generalization, racist, masked as an opinion.

Rationalizing insanity is the hallmark of all racists responses to the complexities of life.



The challenge life poses to every human being is, has always been, to avoid the crowd, to stand up to the maddening crowd.



Stop stop stop!

My USA fellow bloggers, I won't interfere as long as you discuss only your elections, after all it might only affect my life...



But...



"We will never be seen as an honest broker as long as we support Israel - are you suggesting we no longer support Israel?" (Comment 20)



By "Israel", Do you mean Corinna and the majority of the Israelis who honestly want out of the territories and back to sanity - or our present misleading government?



All you need is to Support Sanity. There are a myriad of ways to resolve conflicts. A leader up to his ears in wars might seem resolute, but resolution in itself is not such an impressive quality. We need leaders resolute in a sincere quest for rational solutions.



I was just reading now about the Vietnam war at a few Israeli academic sites while simultaneously educating myself about our own wars here. It is completely amazing to see how generation after generation was led by the nose by leaders admittedly clinging to their chairs.



You have a choice - be gullible now, again and again, and then tear your hair twenty years from now, or learn from that past and act, resolutely, here and now.



You know what the problem is?



Honest people cannot even grasp, let alone internalize, that dishonesty exists.

It keeps us blissfully eternally surprised.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

The Reason I'm not running for Presidency

I read at BlogCritics that the "books industry" is cooking some trash bent on smearing the Democrats' candidate name.



Now you see why I'm not running for Presidency either in USA or in Israel.



As of to-day now I'm the sole owner and writer of my life stories. At no account I'd allow a good-for-nothing z-rate scribbler steal my precious property!



Diogenes' advise:

Buy some candles and start your own search for Truth.

If you find it, wake me up.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Careful!

1.

Manipulation is based upon a truthful piece of information mixed up with some well calculated misinformation, deviously delivered by Know-all Power, at well chosen times, straight at the door step of the weak and ignorant Me or You.



The hidden message: "Do not change horses while riding uphill!"



Not all proverbs are wise. If the horse is incompetent, the only way to negotiate your way to the top of the hill would be to change that horse right away.



An universal challenge.



2.

It used to be that everything American reached us ten years later: MacDonald, homeless, consumerism, you name it. Even New Age fads.



Now it's the other way: Same tactics were (and are) used here in Israel before election and/or any internal political crisis.



If the prophesy comes true, you won't be able to say you were not warned or that Goverment was idle.



If it doesn't, then it will show you just how great Goverment is.



It's a win-win tactic. As long as people choose to be gullible, Father Fear will eternally lead us.



So how do we discern?



Ask not how your goverment can lead you into submission, Ask how you can lead your goverment into admission (to unbiased Truth).



Easier done than said...



Saturday, July 31, 2004

Another Singer, the same story

I'm just back from another visit to Michael Moore's site. The "News" category brings in some of the latests responses to the Ronstadt episode.

Now I know that Ms. Ronstadt is considered to be a gifted singer, mature. She reminds me of several such singers in Israel who caused a no less uproar when waking up to voice their citizen attitute.



Reminds me above all of Yaffa Yarkoni, a most venerated Israeli singer. An Israeli icon.



Amnon, an Israeli blogger recalls:

"Every Independence Day, light poles in the streets of Jerusalem were loaded with loudspeakers (horns), and Yaffa Yarkoni's voice echoed (literaly) all over the city, all day and all night, as people danced in the streets."It all changed on on the eve of the Independence Day 2002, when Yaffa Yarkoni, in an interview to The Israeli Armi Radio Station related to the Occupation with her trutful response.



"What happened to Yaffa Yarkoni," said Naomi Chazan, a left-wing member of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, "exemplifies the fact that in the current climate in Israel, anything that is not the official line is considered treachery or betrayal."



George Varga at the The San-Diego Union-Tribune sums it up most eloquently:



"Those who complain that Ronstadt should just sing, rather than express her opinions, forget that all art has a responsibility to inspire and provoke, not just soothe and entertain."



Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Silence!

Mike Kole comments at BlogCritics, relating to The Silenced Singer USA episode:



1.

"If you own land, will you let me erect a pro-libertarian billboard on your land?"

If the land in question is for renting space for billboards yet discriminates than this will be an unlawful business, propagating monoculture.



2.

"If I own a stage, by what right do *you* or anyone else get to impose your will on me?"

The stage is yours in every sense as long as it and the theater are empty.

The moment you open it to the public and to a performer/artist it has become a public space where by law you are not allowed to discriminate, nor announce in words or deeds, before or after: I accept Only people who think uniformly like me.



Eric Olsen did not accept my reference to "Holocaust, Fascism, etc.".

The essence of Fascism is not just Censorship but the Self-Censorship which enables it willingly. It was so throughout history, it spread all over during the Holocaust Era and is evident to this day. If we do not take notice and stay vigilant, then we'll wake up as the protagonist in Eugene Ionesco's play Rhinoceros, or worse:



"The "epidemic" of the rhinoceroses serves as a convenient allegory for the mass uprising of Nazism and fascism before and during World War II. Ionesco's main reason for writing Rhinoceros is not simply to criticize the horrors of Nazis, but to explore the mentality of those who so easily succumbed to Nazism. A universal consciousness that subverts individual free thought and will defines this mentality; in other words, people get rolled up in the snowball of general opinion around them, and they start thinking what others are thinking. In the play, people repeat ideas others have said earlier, or simultaneously say the same things. Once other people, especially authority figures, collapse in the play, the remaining humans find it even easier to justify why the metamorphoses are desirable..."



As long as they do not deter us from staying humanly benign, I do not mind the zoo yet prefer Noah's whole survival kit. He owned that boat, he made it with his own hands, right? Even the almighty did not order him to censor the passengers. It is good for our survival to cultivate differences. Ok, Ok, too bad there was not room for all and each living creature, but the rule was still fair representation of diversity, not so?



This issue comes up more than once in Israel. Some time ago a famous veteran Israeli singer, one of the two singers from the Independence War (1948) performed at a Protest event and expressed her disagreement with the Occupation. As a result she lost many engangements. The "property owners" in that case were goverment officials and private self-censors alike...





 



 

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Sing, but don't Think

A new Brave USA?

Linda Ronstadt dared to speak in favor of Michael Moore, the creator of Fahrenheit 9/11.
At a casino in USA - her own country.

The owner of the casino acted bravely. He threw her out.
Some commentors at Blogcritics are of the opinion that it was merely a Financial Decision...
I cannot but disagree.

The Financial is Political, the Political is Financial.
There is not a single instance in a human's life that is not Political.
It is a complete inversion of Values to consider Money and Business as exterritories of Freedom of Speech.

Gambling is Escapism from this crushing revelation: Humans are supposed to use their brains.
There is a long continuous line from Hitler's Willing Collaborators to all Willing Collaborators wherever and whenever. Step by step, minute by minute they scratch their foreheads until you find yourself with the universal challenge: Join the Rhinoceros or fight back.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Now to the critics

There are so many ways to achieve Power.

What does a critic do?
Murder to Dissect.

So Michael Moore's film is not perfect.
The Iraqi kids were unhappy during Saddam's rule of terror.
Are they now that much better off?
Are there really only two choices, Suffer Tirany or go to war?

It's the 21st decade era.
How come Russia, Romania, East Germany, etc, have known better?

WordNet Dictionary

Noun

1.

power hunger - a drive to acquire power


Synonyms: status seeking


Related Words: ambition,
ambitiousness, status seeking, hunger for power...