irony abounds, it seems, today

Very depressed about the world today. Very frightened of the future or the potential lack of it. I don’t get how the Iran deal is getting approved. Actually, I do get it. That’s where the irony comes in. And then all these other little things crept into the picture. Maybe a list should do it. But, of course, in no particular order, except how my mind works to bring them up.

  1. As I was walking back from the shoe repair retrieving my newly-fixed dress shoes, my sandals decided to become worn out enough to give me a blister. These are the sandals that I hadn’t brought with me this summer; they were the ones that were too good to bring through the dust of Tzfat.
  2. The present that I am giving my father for his 90th birthday is not to let him read the emails that my brother has sent him. My brother thinks that he is completely enlightened. I am frightened enough to know I have no clue. I am now fathering my father, I suppose.
  3. My brother is making me an only child by not being able to be anywhere near him or have anything to do with him.
  4.  I, slow to catch on to social memes sometimes, just read up on intersectionality. Yes, through a random pop article that caught my attention, but shouldn’t necessarily catch yours. I didn’t get it when the whole Patricia Arquette Oscar speech mess happened; I didn’t really get why people were annoyed with her. I still don’t, even though people want to attribute thoughtlessness to her lumping together “all the women in America, and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now” when they should have just known she’s not a particularly good writer.
  5. When are we going to stop assuming that movie actors should or could speak for us?
  6. Yes, there is a Wiki called geekfeminism. Who knew?
  7. Maybe this annoyance with assuming we know what other downtrodden people are thinking is why people are willing to give the really bad actors in the Middle East a pass.
  8. I take people at their word, if they keep insisting that they are saying what they mean. So when Iran and all of the players there insist that they will carry out their threat to destroy Israel, I pay attention, even if the rest of the world thinks…
  9. –No, really–what do they think they mean? What Kerry said: “And if we do the right job of inspecting, and Israel and the Gulf states and we and our friends – France, Germany, Britain, China, Russia – all are doing the right level of intelligence gathering, believe me, we will know what Iran is doing.” SERIOUSLY??? WE ARE GOING TO TRUST CHINA AND RUSSIA TO HELP US??? And it’s only going to get worse. Now they are building up their armies of cyber-bullies. If Sony can be attacked, are any of us safe? (Dripping with sarcasm; referring to irony, while)
  10. The sandals that broke are from Israel. Wait; they’re not broken; they’re in need of repair.
  11. Aren’t we all?
  12. I read this today: “An expert is a man who has stopped thinking because ‘he knows.” (Frank Lloyd Wright).
  13. We are all expert in our need of repair. This is a good time of year, before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to figure that out.  This is what John Gardner said in his book, Self-Renewal: “Unless we attend to the requirements of renewal, aging institutions and organizations will eventually bring our civilization to moldering ruin. Unless we cope with the ways in which modern society oppresses the individual, we shall lose the creative spark that renews both societies and [individuals]. Unless we foster versatile, innovative and self-renewing men and women, all the ingenious social arrangements in the world will not help us.”

I know that the world thinks that Israel is the oppressor and there is no redemption. But this is the big lie. Even as there is so much more work to be done, there is tremendous creativity. We saw some of this renewal in Israel this summer when we took ourselves to the Israel Museum to attend the International Klezmer Festival. Not the best photo, I know; but you’ll get the idea of the crowds and of the staging. We had gotten there early, we thought.

at the International Klezmer Festival, Rose Garden, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
at the International Klezmer Festival, Rose Garden, Israel Museum, Jerusalem

I took a close-up of the pianist accompanying clarinetist Caroline Hartig because I was overwhelmed with joy to watch the young man turning her pages. He was living his life as a Jew, tzitzit fringes flying freely, in Jerusalem. No excuses. No irony.

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