Saturday, January 12, 2008

Of primaries and documentaries

My email to Versen (Hugo Zoom):

Thanks for commenting on my last blog post. You did bring up an interesting point about how much money could be made from political ads if the CA and NY primaries were first. Ya wonder why they're passing up the bonanza.

I have been thinking that the reason for the hype for the Iowa and NH primaries on CNN is to manufacture drama. They treat it like it's a big story, and it becomes a big story because they draw so much attention to it. This, of course, has the benefit of making their advertising minutes cost more, but the upside is that more people turn out to vote. The more hype and drama, the more voters. Isn't CNN a wonderful company? (Just like Wal-Mart.) Still, I couldn't believe CNN's coverage of NH. It looked as if it were the actual election. They seem to have an unlimited budget for graphics and display screens.

Did you read the second comment on my post? The commenter was named Kalliope. (I hope that's a user name and not her real name.) She said breathlessly "The results were uplifting for all the reasons that you believe Iowa isn't relevant." You and I could dismantle the logic of that statement fairly easily, but at least her candidate won and she's happy.

I've never seen Trembling Before G-d. It would be just too annoying to sit through. The plot outline on IMDb says " to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbids homosexuality." Passionate love of Judaism? How can they love a religion that forbids meat and dairy being on the table at the same time? That allows eating meat only from the front half of the cow? That forbids eating without handwashing so that on a plane, where handwashing is nigh impossible because the restroom is so frequently occupied, one is required to wear plastic gloves when eating? (You knew you'd get me cranked up by sending me that article.) But then again, it's a religion that tells its followers that they are superior to everyone else in the world. Who wouldn't love that?

However, I've recently read three novels set in Israel as research for the story I want to write. (The Genizah at the House of Shepher, Bethlehem Road Murder, and The Last Secret of the Temple) The novels present both the Israelis and Palestinians sympathetically and honestly. Both have been brutalized and both have committed atrocities. Reading the books has been a good experience.

I also watched the documentary To Die In Jerusalem on cable recently. A young Israeli woman has been killed by a young Palestinian woman in a suicide bombing. The Israeli mother wants just to talk to the Palestinian mother to find out how such a thing could happen. After four years of trying to meet in person, they finally meet via a satellite hookup. It's a moving film. It follows the Israeli mother primarily, and she's likeable and one feels for her and what she's experiencing. But what I kept thinking through the whole film was that the key to the whole bloody mess, and what the Israeli mother couldn't begin to grasp, was that the invasion in 1948 should never have happened and that the Israelis shouldn't be there. One of the novels I read mentioned that some Palestinian families still have the deeds to their houses (the houses they were forced out of and which are now occupied by Israelis) and they've framed the deeds and have them hanging on a wall in their living quarters in the camps. That image pretty much sums it all up for me. Yes it's a simplistic answer from someone who is not physically or emotionally involved in the conflict, but it all does eventually go back to a framed deed on a wall and what it represents.

It will be interesting to see how you dissect my logic.

What's new with you?



Jonathan Versen said...

let's see. I just won the Texas lottery, and I'm going to lunch with Kari Wuhrer in an hour. Also, I really wish Lindsay Lohan would stop calling(she's a little too young for me), and I'm typing this from the batcave. Otherwise, nada.

As I said in my email to thee, I don't see anything that needs dissecting, as the metaphor you describe sounds pretty apt to me.

Jonathan Versen said...

Ok, so none of the stuff in th' 1st paragraph happened. Anyway, have you thought of posting reviews of the above-mentioned novels? I for one would be interested in reading your reviews, and I imagine others that lurk but don't comment may too.