Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Welcome to the jungle. Despite my previous assertions that any country which has universal indoor plumbing no longer qualifies as Third World, according to my boyfriend these sorts of incidents only happen in the Third World. I don't know if that's the case, but I still think it might be best to keep his window closed at night considering he lives about 20 minutes away from Sede Boker.

Apparently, in addition to leopards, there are also at least four wild tigers roaming around the Judaen Desert. Israel is officially even more awesome than I originally thought. I wonder if there are wild penguins lurking around here somewhere. Perhaps a narwhal or a leviathan?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Soon it's gonna change in a new direction. Progress! I am a citizen of a country where a fringe, pagan religion can successfully sue for cultural representation on gravestones used in military veteran cemetaries. I love it!

I don't think I'll ever make it on time. There really aren't words for how disturbing I find this. Perhaps I am overreacting. I mean, he was on a successful television show and, therefore, has earned a certain amount celebrity, I suppose. And yet...

It's Mr. Belding with "Playboy" models! Some part of my inner child just died.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What have I become. I have always had a seething dislike for Rudy Giuliani. He's always appeared very smarmy to me, what with the messy public adultery/divorce scandal and the berating his children in public. However, I could never find specific facts to support my distaste. I'm not puritanical; I'm not in the habit of condemning people based on their romantic or personal failings. On the face of it, Giuliani seemed to be doing a fantastic job of cleaning up New York City. And once you add in the glitz and glamour of his stunning September 11 performances, you can't really argue with him.

Whereas I used to only have a gut-reaction of disgust when faced with Rudy's bloated face, I now have actual evidence for why Giuliani is full of hot air. I heartily thank Slate and the documentary Giuliani Time for poking holes in his administration's false claims of influencing New York's safety and climate. As much as I may appreciate the Disney-fication of Time's Square, I now do not have to give him credit for it. Victory in our time!

I also thank them for giving me permission to feel disgust at his personal antics. I agree that "a past like Giuliani's betrays a level of self-indulgence that, if nothing else, suggests that more fireworks are in store and that the show will be long-running." This clearly outlines why Giuliani's candidacy makes me squeamish.

However, I think that Giuliani fits into a larger problem in American politics: By and large, Americans are more interested in superficial successes and bump-in-the-night propaganda of fear than actual facts or logic. Giuliani is a potentially powerful force because of America's willing blindness. They want the speaking tours and the hand-shaking and photo-ops and not the actual details or fineprint. If we want our country back, we have to be not only brave but charismatic. We can't be blinded by the hype if we want to win. "To defeat the American Churchill in an age of terror, it will take a level head, patience, and a respect for empirical facts, and not folklore, urban legend, or the exploitation of our worst fears. You must stay, in a word, civilized."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sweeping the clouds away. Israel just got a whole lot fuzzier. And let's hope more tolerant as well.