seldomifever: (landscape)
Boycotts make me uncomfortable. So do strikes. Hate having to cross picket lines to access buildings. I prefer to live in bubble of suspended disbelief. I like to make believe that everything is fine in the world today. The reality of tragedy and pain and suffering and starvation and genocide and homicide and every other kind of cide that I know is happening right this very second somewhere frighteningly close by is too much for my poor psyche to bear. I am nearly forty years old, the same age my brother was when he died, and I feel desperately and acutely aware that my life isn't a gentle cycle, but rather a trajectory, in which the laws of physics cause time to speed up at a breath-taking velocity as I enter middle age. In half a second, I will be dead. And my lack of comfort from the supposition of a happily ever after, where all suffering will cease, where I will be drawn into the blissful haze of an opium-like high that I'll never have to come down off or suffer withdrawal symptoms from, leaves me feeling bereft and helpless as a newborn calf whose mother has been devoured by a pack a blood-thirsty meat-eaters, a calf that has been abandoned by the herd to die alone and afraid. If I couldn't convince myself that terrible injustices were something I need not battle, I don't think I could make it through another day.

Will tomorrow's no-post!movement make LJ change its policies? Would it matter to the world if it did? Armchair couch-potato protests are something I could excel at. Very little effort for me to not do something. How many would participate in this if they actually had to leave their homes and gather outside the, um, let's say White House, or an equally annoying place to get to, where the hotels are expensive and the parking atrocious, a place where some of us would actually have to fly to or suffer an irritatingly long bus ride to make with the protesting? Not me. That's pretty much guaranteed. There are many things worth fighting for. I'm just not certain this is one of them.
seldomifever: (landscape)
There's a little article in our local paper today about the rise of anti-Semitism manifesting itself in anti-Zionism and in anti-Israeli policy throughout the world these days:

"New forms of anti-Semitism are emerging around the world, promoting prejudice against Jews by attacking Israeli policy and Zionism, the philosophic underpinning of a Jewish state, the State Department reported yesterday."

I have such a problem with this. You mean to tell me that if someone doesn't agree that the imperialistic displacement of thousands of people, or if you have a problem with the fascistic nature of the Israeli government in its handling of Palestinians, you are automatically labeled an anti-Semite? If I don't like the policies of the Kenyan government, am I a racist? I've studied my history. Read way more about pograms than I'd ever care to know. Studied the rise of fascism and racism in Europe. Understand how it lead directly to two world wars. I know all about Disraeli, the Middle East, and European Imperialism. I am very sympathetic to the plight of the Jews. I love many aspects of Jewish culture. But if I don't like Israel's policies, I'm an anti-Semite?

Don't get me wrong. I think it's too late to do anything about the state of Israel. It's here to stay and the people in that region are going to have to accept it eventually. That's life. The Indians won't be getting any of their land back either. They lost. Time to move on. But in an ideal world, I'd like to see Israel show a little more tolerance for the pain of the Palestinians. It sucks for them. It doesn't have to suck as much as it does, though. It sucks for all of the poor Africans who were dragged kicking and screaming to the New World, but what's done is done. Nothing to do now, but try and make sure that it never happens again.

When it comes to Jews, it's always going to be touchy. You cannot be persecuted for that long as a culture without looking for prejudice everywhere. They have every right to be suspicious and afraid. The world has not been kind to them. The Powers That Be have not been kind to them. But I really think labels are thrown around much too recklessly, and this is what causes so many people who probably wouldn't give Israel, Zionism, or Jews a second thought, reason to feel resentful of them as a whole. It's wrong to assume that anyone who doesn't love everything about you must hate you. Pretty simplistic view of the world. And quite frankly, I expect better.
seldomifever: (behind)
Read this once before, I think. It's fun to check out these mini analyses, but can I honestly say I've gained anything from the experience? I've learned the definition of quotidian. Had to look it up. I will never use it in a sentence. Ever. I've learned this librarian enjoys having a sexy actor portray a librarian on TV. But I'm not certain any insightful information has been conveyed. This was really an essay about nothing. Kind of on the same level as a "What I Did Over My Summer Vacation" report. You can dress your writing in pink taffeta, with swirly big words and sequined pointless quotes, but you can't make it dance if you don't actually have anything to say, you know?

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