At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Friday, May 30, 2008

BRITISH UNION RENEWS BOYCOTT CALL

Campaign against Israel gathers steam, expresses hot air.

The University and College Union, representing more than one hundred and twenty thousand British academics, voted to "consider the moral and political implications of education links with Israeli institutions" on Wednesday.

The reason being that they have an insect in their colon about Gaza and the settlements.

[They've had that insect there for the past half-decade, and it's looking mighty pathological. An organizational psychosis of sorts.]


I like the British, and I like several British things. Much about the British lifestyle is quite enjoyable. Civilized.
But I too am willing to boycott. The problem is that it will be difficult to do so.
The British pipe-tobacco I smoke is made in Germany, the trademark is owned by a combine headquartered in Switzerland and the US. The Scotch I drink is owned by a Japanese brewery and imported by an enterprise located in the deep South (I mostly drink Irish whiskey anyhow), the beer I drink is made here (at Columbus Avenue and Pacific by the San Francisco Brewing Company).
My condiments and my cheese are either Californian or French.

[Including the cheddar - did you notice that I didn't capitalize cheddar? That's because the British Empire still owns the capital-letter on that word.]


My trench-coat (the infamous flasher mack, now looking like utter perversion and smelling of condiments, cheesy substances, and degeneracy, plus fine tobacco) is originally from Vroom & Dreesman in Mokum. But it was made in China. Much of my wardrobe is of Chinese manufacture.
My fedora is Croatian...... via Amsterdam (from a merchant who relocated during the nineties).
The belt holding my pants up and my gut in comes from India. I think it's holy cow originally.


It's hard finding British goods to boycott. There is so little that is actually British. I am of course open to suggestions......
Perhaps I should stop reading Kipling?

[Knowing that many British people are willing to give up much modern technology in return (including computers, telephone gadgets, high tech doohickeys of many types, and medical equipment) abundantly compensates for the struggle. I wish all British academia hatzlacha in that endeavor. Kol tov, y'all, kol tov.]


In the meantime, I'll start purchasing Wissotzky products for my black-tea requirement; they're a fine company, and they seem to understand precisely what I need.

[Web address: http://www.wtea.com/ Brick-and-mortar address: Wissotzky house,103 Hashmonaim Street, P.O.Box 147, 61001 Tel Aviv, Israel. Tel: 972-3- 5651515. Fax: 972-50-89-67-363. Available to the US market from several Israeli mail-order houses, plus QVC.]


The green tea (綠茶), semi-fermented (Oolong (烏龍), Wu-Yi (武夷), Guan Yin (觀音), Ti Luo Han (鐵羅漢), and Shui Hsien (水仙)), and fragrant black teas (Chi Men (祁門), Yunnan (雲南), Lok On (六安)) are all from China. Without any British intervention. I buy them at Gong Nam (江南公司 or 江南行) on Grant Avenue (formerly named 'Calle De La Fundacion'). They have a marvelous selection of loose teas, and the white people have not discovered them yet.


Gracious, it's hard to boycott the British.

-------------------------------------------

NOTE: I apologize to my three British readers (Rabbi Jeremy Rosen, Graham in Germany, and Daniel Saunders). Sincerely. I do not wish to offend you, and I hope you can appreciate the spirit of the post: cheeky good cheer mixed with venomously raging gout.
Dinner last night was late, and though modest, incredibly rich. I also had some cheese afterwards. And some sherry. Woke up at four this morning with a painfully swollen and twitchy foot. Its companion (feet often come as a matched set) was not feeling happy either.
Gout is so very very British, but it certainly is something I would gladly boycott.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

MAZZEL TOV, YOU PERVERT

Two of the more socially acceptable fetishes evinced in Japanese Manga and Anime have to do with spectacles and sailor suits.
Spectacles ('megane') are seen by the fans as emphasizing the woman's attractive qualities, accentuating the face and brightening the eyes.
Sailor suits ('seifuku', 'sera-fuku') as worn by high-school girls, well....., I'm not entirely sure what they do. But it's very much like the plaid skirts worn by little Catholic school girls, and subject to the same perverse fantasies. Something about nice thighs, I guess. Plump smooth even-textured and hued feminine leg skin. Delicious.
[There's an entire subdivision of the rag trade vending used seifuku, skirts especially, for role-playing and bed-room fantasies. It is much more wholesome than the sale of used panties in the US, which is baffling and demented - but who am I to judge your foibles?]


For those who wish to see what the fuss is about, here's a link to a totally clean page about seifuku:
http://hontouni.com/taihendesu/?p=577

And here's a link that is just a little bit naughty:
http://animedesho.animeblogger.net/?p=2659


For the spectacle "thing", here's Mizuhara Koyomi (水原 暦), from the series Azumanga Daioh (also totally clean):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koyomi_Mizuhara

Please note that Koyomi-chan is not wearing a sailor suit. And gracious doesn't she look adorable. You are probably not surprised to hear that huge (huge!) numbers of lonely teenage men think of her as the perfect date. Without anything perverted in mind, just an all-encompassing otaku loneliness that divorces them from the impossibility of meeting her, or the painful realization that SHE. IS. NOT. A. REAL. PERSON!
[We won't even mention the fact that the typical otaku is a walking conversational disaster zone, nearly incapable of actually speaking to a real woman. Or to any other normal human. Much like a soft-ware engineer, in other words.]


There's also a third fetish, that can combine with either of the two mentioned above: cat ears.
Nekomimi ("cat-ears" - 猫耳) or nekomusume ("cat damsel" - 猫娘) show up only occasionally in manga and anime, but are very often featured in cosplay and fan art collections.
[Put on your cat ears, and remove everything else except that red velvet ribbon around your left thigh - ooooooooooh, now you're "purr-fect"!]


So, to recap: School uniform. Cat ears. Glasses. Seifuku - Nekomimi - Meganeko.
The keys to a healthy sex life.
Now you know.
It's what you've been waiting for your whole life.
Your mother will be so glad that you finally got married.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

GREEN BULLETIN BOARD

I am in receipt of an annoyingly sanctimonious e-mail.

It says:

Hello All,

[Name omitted #A] and I started a GREEN bulletin board in the kitchen. You will be able to find tips on ways to help preserve and save our beautiful planet. We will be adding to this each week. Please see [Name omitted #A] or [Name omitted #B] if you have ideas you would like to share with other employees.

Thanks,

------[Name omitted #A] and [Name omitted #B]




Well now. How...... wholesome.

The e-mail prompted someone else to send me the following:

"All this nonsense about green is making me see red. Why don’t people just keep their obsessions to themselves? How much is [Name omitted #C] paying these people? If they don’t have enough real work, cut their hours! I hate sanctimonious people who believe everyone should do as they do.
[Name omitted #A] especially seems to have precious little to keep him busy other than practically sitting on [Name omitted #D]’s lap forty times a day, tiptoeing through the tulips all over the office and greening the place. I can hardly wait to see this year’s pathetic excuse for a “Holiday” tree. Sorry for the vent, but I am so sick of this nonsense. Feel free to double delete this."



Eloquent. Lyrical. Poetry of sorts. I cannot but admire. I have my own reasons for seeing both green and red.

I'm a smoker, I have no children. I am almost forty nine years old.

I will be dead long before our planet - and seeing as the planet wants to insist that the only place I can smoke (and be free of children) is in the bus lanes, I may die more suddenly than being a smoker would suggest. Playing in traffic has that effect sometimes. Consequently, I bear the planet little good will.

I shall continue to smoke. Tobacco fields generate oxygen. That is the extent of my green. Be grateful if you must.

Do not thank me for sharing. I do it naturally.

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TROLLING FOR PORN BOTS

This post is a gratuitous exercise; I am trying to see precisely how many comments linking to vendors of questionable literature or rubber devices will show up underneath.

To that end, the text of this post will consist largely of 'words of enticement'.


If you are a fresh-faced yeshiva bocher, or a sweet little Catholic School girl, this post is not for you - it may excite you too much, and corrupt your darling innocence. Please do not read it, go away now or scroll to a different post before it's too late. You have been warned, and your parents are very concerned about you.
[If it already is too late, feel free to vent in the comment-section. Was it good? Do you feel guilty? Was an electronic device involved? A colourful wig? Go ahead, tell us all about it, and get whacky with the adjectives. Extra brownie points for using all of the terms below.]



SEX WORDS
Porn. Pr0n. Prawn. Straps. Sportscar. Breast. Beast. Sheep. Rear. Manga. Anime. Life-like rubber. Flesh-coloured. Chocolate. Abdomen. Bottom. Thigh. Belly button. Peach. Feet. Virgin. Whiskey. Bondage. Teen. Glistening skin. Tarpaulin. Hair. Cat ears.


DESCRIPTIVES
Curve. Smooth. Warm. Velvety. Hairless. Angular. Tense. Fragrant. Deflated. Taut. Sweaty. Smile. Panic. Underside. Stroke. Pointy. Pert. Silken. Hot. Feline. Energetic. Hungry. Glowing. Excited. Nude. Teenaged. Cow-girl. Cossack slut. Tokyo schoolgirls.


WEIRD JAPANESE FETISHES
Yaoi. Yuri. Guro. Loli. Shota. Furu. Hentai. Echi. CG. Dildo festivals. Mah jong. Moe. Rotten girls. Cosplay. Fuigyua. Furi. Dead frogs. Free lesbian porn videos. Incest. Feet. Straps. Koreans. Blushing. Seifuku. Glasses. Skirts. Blue hair. Ribbons. Pantsu.



I suppose this is probably not the right time to describe one of my current favourite manga, is it? It's all about this bespectacled high-school girl, besotted with gay-romance cartoons, who thinks that the two handsome boys in her class are actually an item - she imagines them as the perfect young romantic gay couple. Much to their distress, as they themselves are both quite taken with her. Oh, the heartache! Oh, the amusing situations all of them get into! There is male chest nudity (an art class), female thigh nudity (due to the limitations of the typical Japanese high school uniform, AND because of a bath which our heroine takes near the end of volume one - one of the heroes gets to save her from a giant tropical cockroach, her wet hair drips on his hands, then both of them blush). It's all very nice, the drawings are quite innocent.... But I better not go into that; you're already far too wound up. You might not be able to sleep tonight. Sorry.

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EHUD BARAK, NOTABLE ARAB

Who says politicians can't be comedians? Today Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak proves that at least one of them has an utterly keen sense of the absurd. Possibly also a sense of humour.

From Arutz Sheva:
Defense Minister Ehud Barak dramatically called this afternoon for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to remove himself from office.

[Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/126326 ]


Barak demanding that another politico resign because of corruption is more than a little bit inappropriate - it brings to mind his own misadventures with accounting. Perhaps he has forgotten? There's a convenient gap in his memory? The hard drive is fried?

Or maybe he's a Palestinian.


Let me quote him on that account, and you may judge for yourselves.

"They are products of a culture in which to tell a lie creates no dissonance --- they don't suffer from the problem of telling lies that exists in Judaeo-Christian culture."

"Truth is seen as an irrelevant category -- there is only that which serves your purpose and that which doesn't. [CUT] There is no such thing as 'the truth'."


[Source: Ehud Barak about lying by Palestinians, as quoted by Brian Whitaker writing in The Guardian, Thursday May 23 2002. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/may/23/israel ]


I'll give him the benefit of doubt and I will assume that he is indeed a Palestinian. The idea that he is a major Israeli politician is just too ridiculous to contemplate.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Store names often reflect the peculiarities of the merchandise being sold. Upscale men's clothing stores often sound dignified and classy, bookstores sound... "bookish", porno-boutiques have names twixt plain brown wrapper and ballsy sleaze-o-riffic, tobacconists tend towards dusty, old-fashioned, tweedy.

Lingerie stores sound feminine or spicy. Hardware stores aim for matter-of-fact. Most artsy boutiques are cutesy-poo.


And toy stores?

Insane. Often, not always. But often enough.



My top ten, in no particular order:

Chez Crazy Sally
[Trust your kid with her?]

Uncle Fugger
[Elderly pervert.]

Whiskey Jungle
[An alcoholic.]

Baa Baa's Sheep Skin
[They skinned a farm animal. Was it still alive?]

Ba Ba Edna's Stampquarium
[What the heck does this mean?]

Sweet Uncle's
[Come here, little boy, would you like some candy?]

Crocodile Pie
[Reptile poo.]

Twinkies for Winkies and Toys
[What on earth were they thinking!!!]

Empty Nest
[Sad. The kid croaked. Now she wants yours.]

Tina's Tiddly Poo
[Please see a doctor.]



All of this reminds me of Reginald Perrin and his chain of 'Grot Shops'. As featured in a BBC comedy series set in late 1970's England. Honestly named - they sold grot. Guaranteed useless stuff. Pointless garbage.
Grot in all it's grotty glory, in fact. Sold in a shop.


Here's a description of the viewing audience the BBC hoped to reach with the show:
"...wreckers of law and order. Communists, Maoists, Trotskyists, neo-Trotskyists, crypto-Trotskyists, union leaders, Albanians, atheists, agnostics, Lutherans, long-haired weirdos, short-haired weirdos, vandals, goths, hooligans, football supporters, namby pamby probation officers, rapists, papists, foreign surgeons, Anthony Wedgwood Benn, cardinals, keg bitter, punk rock, dancers, glue-sniffers, Clive Jenkins, Chinese restaurants, thugs, bully-boys, psychopaths, sacked policemen, security guards, racialists, rioters, Paki-bashers, queer-bashers, anybody-bashers, rear Admirals, fascists, loyalists, and Irishmen. And their wives."

Truly a fine market segment. And a growing one, too. Some of my readers will surely recognize this as a golden opportunity. Don't forget to cut me in for a share of the profits.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

KITTENS AND PORNOGRAPHY

A few weeks ago I discovered imageboards. As you may suspect, the discovery relates to manga (Japanese cartoons) and anime (Japanese animation).

Imageboards are a wonderful invention - the idea is, like much in the modern age, a logical development of computer culture. An imageboard is a place where users post pictures rather than texts. Think of it as a visual blog maintained by several different people.

Sadly, unlike text sites and youtube, imageboards are often warehouses of pornography. Almost every site seems to have a resident smut-poster, some sites are utterly repellent.



THE INTERNET IS DEVOTED TO THREE THINGS, AND ONLY THREE THINGS

It seems like most people do indeed use the internet for only three purposes: Pornography, scamming money, kitten pictures.

The pornography is pretty much self-explanatory - people like pictures, and some people like pictures so much that they obsess. Heck, a nice healthy bit of cheesecake is somewhat like finding candy in an unexpected place. If it's nicely wrapped and lint-free, it's like winning the lottery.

Scams are also pretty intuitive. Human history is a continuing tale of one person pulling a fast one on another person, or on several. Cheating is part of human nature. Kinda like the sexuality which underlies the pornography mentioned earlier. Instead of pictures, descriptive prose.

But the kitten thing is utterly baffling.

I like kittens. But my affection for the little furballs is easily satisfied - if I meet a kitten I'll poke it with a feather or throw a crumpled scrap of paper at it, and both of us will be happy. This needs to happen at least once a decade to be effective.

Some people are a little "different" in that regard.



KITTENS COMING OUT THE WAZOO!
There are hundreds of imageboards and blogs out there devoted to kittens. Kittens. Descriptions of the cute things that kittens have done. Kittens. Photos of little furry kittens. Kittens. Links to videos of kittens. Kittens. Animations, movie clips, pop-ups. Kittens. Sound files. Kittens.

Other than being baffled at the obsessive quality displayed by kitten people, kittens, I have little issue with them and their imageboards. Kittens. Heck, they're a refreshing change from the imageboards that have videos of big-breasted women doing odd things with small nude men interspersed with 'normal' manga pictures, kittens.
Finding a video of physically talented twenty year-olds performing tricks with fat old men in between rather charming anime clips is somewhat disturbing. Kittens. Small people and large people whipping each other before and after pictures of mecha or gundam heroes from boys' manga? Kittens! Not unusual. Kittens. Medical-manual quality reproductions of regenerative organs punctuating scenes from high-school comedy adventures, kittens, precision close ups of breasts and buttocks, kittens, better than life textural photos of conjoined perverts, kittens, scenes of wetness and sweating bestiality, kittens, spanking the fat degenerate? Kittens, kittens, kittens.

Smooth fleshed young girls? Kittens. Pretty boys with tanned legs? Kittens. Curvaceous college co-eds? Kittens. Long legs, blond hair, ferrari? Kittens. A tarpaulin, a sheep, and a bucket of melted chocolate? Kittens, kittens, kittens.

Kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens!

Miao.

Fortunately for kitten people, kittens and pornography don't really go together. Most perverts instinctively react to kitten boards the same way normal people react to images of child-pornography - by physically starting back with a nauseated feeling. Utter repulsion and disgust. At least I imagine so (I also hope that the kitten pictures give them nightmares and haunt their waking moments).

Most kitten boards are clean. Boring, but clean.



DOCTOR ZOIDBERG

In between the islands of kittens and continents of pornography on the imageboards one can occasionally find something wholesome. I recently found an animated clip of Dr. Zoidberg (the hero of Futurama) doing a crab dance. When I grow up I want to be just like him!
I can't remember where I found it, though. Sorry. Be very careful looking for it - if you type "thumbnail crab dance" as your search criteria, you'll find a lot of sites devoted to incest or inter racial gay sex. Crabdance as one word gets you ethnography, Russian pornography, and kittens.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

ALL ABOUT A FELLOW BLOGGER AND CUTE LITTLE TEENAGE LESBIANS

Envy is actually a warm glow. I discovered this upon reading Treppenwitz's latest posting. I've always been rather envious of the popularity of his blog, though I realize that that is due to Treppenwitz actually being a better writer, in addition to being a nicer person, than myself. I am not very nice. I do not have what it takes to be nice.

[I will freely admit to having a talent for wishing ill on other people, most particularly members of JVP, AlAwda, MECA, and several other organizations that I despise, along with several Dutchmen, several politicians, and a whole host of others. My ill-wishing is not particularly detailed, however. I do not dwell on the nature of the ill I wish, merely on the fond hope that it will happen soon and in our days.]


Today that envy became a warm glow. Being a better blogger has a down side: obsessive commenters.
I merely have the occasional confused Japanese reader who posts links in the comments field to a Tokyo rent-a-porn site whenever I mention manga or anime (or sweet little Asian teenage lesbians - they're so cuuuute), and sometimes a lost dildo salesman sees words like virgin or deflate in close conjunction on my blog, and decides "hey, this looks like a good spot for a smut ad" underneath a post.

[Warning to my more innocent readers. Any link that looks baffling in a comment, on any blog, not just mine, could lead you right into the salesparlour of a dildo emporium. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
And judging from the enormous variety of dildoes available, there's clearly a huge demand. Otherwise there would not be a dildo for every conceivable..... "taste".
In Thailand you can buy big red lacquer dildoes of impossible size, inscribed with a Buddhist good luck charm. And some hefty antique Japanese dildoes are clearly meant for display rather than hide and seek. So if that tickles your fancy, good for you. I hope that by happily point-and-clicking you find precisely the right dildo - one that makes you supremely happy and fullfilled.
I wish I could give you some recommendations, but my experience with dildoes is somewhat limited. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.]


But Treppenwitz has an obsessed commenter (hence my glow - I am entirely obsession-free). A prolix problem-gefal. To whom he addresses the following letter:


Dear treppenwitz reader/commenter (you know who you are),

After reading the many comments you've posted here and around the blogosphere over the past two or three years I have to make the following observations:

When a comment is longer than the blog post that inspired it there is something wrong. Also, you seem to go out of your way to pack as many unrelated topics and opinions into each comment as is humanly possible (please don't take that as a challenge). This is (IMHO) an abuse of the commenting privilege. It tires and annoys readers who are trying to follow the comment thread in order to possibly contribute something of their own to the topic at hand.

By hijacking the thread with a wandering, unsubstantiated filibuster, you seem to be deliberately trying to derail all intelligent discussion. There are several sites offering the opportunity to set up your own personal blog for free. Failing this, there are also plenty of blogs out there where people are encouraged to rant... but be assured that mine is not one of them.

We get that you think Bibi is a criminal, although you seem to be a tad light on evidence (again, not a challenge... just an observation). You make reference to this in nearly every comment you leave here and elsewhere in the blogosphere... regardless of the topic at hand. If this is your signature tag line please excuse me for cramping your creativity. But if you are simply unable to focus on the current topic, I suggest you sit still for a few minutes and wait for the Tourette-like urge to type "BIBI TAKES BRIBES" in all caps, to pass.

Lastly, I can appreciate that you are happy over there in California, but in nearly every single comment and email you have sent you have criticized multiple aspects of Israel as compared to the US. Treppenwitz is an Israel-based blog about life in Israel and all things related to Israeli culture, politics and society... warts and all. Please try to be sensitive to the fact that many people have different priorities in their life than you do.

I have written to you privately (multiple times) in the past about all of these issues in an effort not to embarrass you publicly with my comments or criticism. You are a big girl and should not have to be subjected to public scolding. But by the same token, I am a big boy and do not need to have my handiwork hijacked and/or derailed... which is precisely what you have been doing.
In conclusion, feel free to read and comment... you obviously have many interesting viewpoints. But please wait until the topic of one of my posts actually coincides with one of your viewpoints before offering it up. By showing this small courtesy you will avoid making the reading/commenting experience at treppenwitz unpleasant for others.

Thank you,

-------The Management

===============================================

The letter is well written. So I decided to paste it here in it's entirety. To share in some of the glow (and because I really have little to say at present). The original is on Treppenwitz's blog (http://bogieworks.blogs.com/treppenwitz/ this post: http://bogieworks.blogs.com/treppenwitz/2008/05/i-hate-that-thi.html ) which I visit on a daily basis.

I do not always leave comments there, because, as I may have indicated previously, I do not write as well as he does, and I actually have very little to contribute to some conversations (which is why I let Treppenwitz's letter do most of the talking today). I encourage you to visit his blog. You will find NO mention of dildoes there. But I assure you that you will not be displeased - unless davka the dildoes ARE your thing, in which case you probably shouldn't be here either.

This blog hardly ever mentions dildoes, though cuuute little Asian teenage lesbians are a frequent theme.

LUNCHING AT THE MOMA

Discovered a painter I knew not previously - Clyfford Still.

Liked. Sat and looked. Bought book about.

Mild indigestion from food. Warm afterglow from discovery. Anticipatory brightness for as yet to read book.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

NICE ERVA GETS VERY FAVOURABLE ATTENTION

Apparently my recent disquisition on ervat pleased several readers. They gave it high marks over on J-blog central. The votes put it up there with my most popular posts. People liked my erva, and I flatter myself that it tickled them. The post, that is. Not the erva. Not having seen these readers up close, it is quite likely that I do not want them anywhere near my erva.
And likewise, you neither near yours.


I hasten to clarify - the word being discussed is not the city of Erva in Iran, nor the line of designer handbags named Erva, but the erva of 'kol isha erva'. In the stricter sense erva means the feminine reproductive part, all that tempts twixt the wine-cup of the navel and velvety inner thighs, and in the wider sense it can mean temptation, sexuality, lust, and procreative behaviours and thoughts thereof. Nakedness, unmentionable parts, and pudenda. Exposure of the pillow part. The part we shall not mention, in all its radiant glory. The cupfull that runneth over, oh my, and gasp.
[If 'kol isha erva', how will they ever cope with a bas kol?]


In the same way that the voice of a woman is temptation ('kol b'isha erva'), the term erva itself calls forth pleasing associations. I am not familiar with the environment of typical Chareidi teenagers in Flatbush, but I fondly imagine them secretly listening to famous opera divas while whispering the word 'erva' to themselves late late at night.
It seems so innocent. So sweetly zesty. So deliciously depraved.


Erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva!
Or, softly whispered: erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, erva, ervaaah!


Of course, if you are a well-brought up Gentile reading this, you could instead repeat the word pudenda for the same effect.

Pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda, pudenda!


Meh, not quite the same, but close.
Was it good for you?

How about 'muliebre'?
Better?

Somehow, none of the currently popular hot Hollywood babes make one quiver so. Not Paris Hilton, not Britney Spears, not Sarah Jessica Parker or whatserbucket Dushku, Aniston, Cox, and Kudrow. Despite the spambots who flood me with offers I cannot refuse, I have no burning desire to see these women naked. But I'll happily mutter erva or pudenda to myself for hours on end. It gets me through the day.

ANTI-SEMITIC, ANTI-ISLAMIC, AND ANTI-AMERICAN

A week ago I mentioned that a commenter on Dovbear's blog had opined that my ideas betrayed an incredible cluelessness.

[See this post: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2008/05/posting-in-which-i-confess-my-utter.html ]


I had written that being a recognizable Jew, Muslim, or American in Europe was asking for trouble. It is not that the majority of the people over there will do anything, or even (most of the time) say anything. But being a recognizable Jew, Muslim, or American does place one in the centre of many people's rhetorical gun sights. Many western Europeans hate and resent Muslims, despise America and Americans, and have re-grown their anti-Semitic fangs after the quietude of the fifties and sixties.

[Remember, it takes only one violent bugger to spoil a sunny day. Even in the smaller European cities there are at least 365 morons.]


It is by no means as bad as it could be. It is nowhere near the situation during the thirties. Nor does the situation resemble the savage ferment of the Slavic lands, which maintains even today.

Still, I would rather be a honky in Oakland than a Jew, Muslim, or American in Europe. Possibly this is a question of comfort zone and personal attitude. But probably not.



Quoting from today's (05/21/08) Arutz Sheva newsletter:

German Arab Terrorist Sentenced For Stabbing Rabbi

A German court has sentenced a German Muslim terrorist to three and a half years in prison for trying to murder a local rabbi with a knife.

The court found 23-year-old Sajed Aziz guilty of causing serious injuries in the September attack on Rabbi Zalman Gurevitch. CNN reported that Aziz claimed in court that he had acted in self-defense; that the rabbi had approached him in a "threatening manner." Aziz was born in Germany to parents from Afghanistan.

The German prosecutors said there was not enough evidence that Aziz intended to murder the rabbi for a manslaughter charge. According to the European Jewish News two key witnesses in the case, a Jewish man and the woman who had been walking with Rabbi Gurevitch, refused to testify at the trial because they feared for their safety.

Local Jewish officials criticized the light sentence. "After a verdict like this Frankfurt has become more unsafe for Jews," Moshe Mendelzon, who attended the trial with other Orthodox Jews living in Germany, told the European Jewish News.

Frankfurt Jewish community President Salomon Korn said the sentence "has given a clear message to potential stabbers. I wonder if this would have been the sentence if there had been a religiously tinged attack on a Christian clergyman."


And:

British Jews Targeted by Attacks

Anti-Jewish graffiti covered shops, sidewalks and walls outside four synagogues in the northeast London Clapton Common and Stamford Hill neighborhoods last week.

The 40 slogans said things like "Jihad to Israel" and "Jihad to Tel Aviv."

David Greenwald, a young member of the Belz synagogue, one of those targeted, told This is London:
"This morning I went to synagogue to pray and saw the writing all over everywhere - walls, shops, traffic lights. Everyone feels scared. Here we do not have any problem with Arabs - there has never been anything like this before, but now we are worried."

The report quoted another member: "It makes us feel that we are in exile. It could be kids doing it, but even so, it shows something." The other synagogues were Satmar Beth Hamedrash Yetev Lev, Atereth Zvi Beth Hamedrash, and the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. A day later more graffiti appeared in Bethnal Green.


And:

In Ireland: Go Home, Jew

A Jewish man living in Ireland complained to police last week of Nazi graffiti on his home.

According to the Irish Independent, Herb Meyer's home on the Dublin Road in Tuam was spray-painted with swastikas and slogans such as "Go Home, Jew."

Meyer said he wasn’t aware of many people who even knew he was Jewish, as he does not dress identifiably like a Jew.

According to the Independent, Meyer "and his partner Armida Walsh, a Tuam native," were intending to move to London to be near relatives, but they may revise their plans due to the attack.

The paper did not elaborate whether the revised plans may involve going to Israel.



[SOURCE:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/126246
Arutz Sheva website: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/ ]


Note re "Go Home, Jew": Going home can only mean aliyah. Precisely what the anti-Israel crowd think is objectionable. But such a sentiment proves, conclusively, that Zionism is right. Absolutely right. One hundred and ten percent. The anti-Semites ADMIT that Jews have a home - and that that home is Israel. Ultimately, all Jews are Israelis.

[Jameel at the Muqata encourages you to come home. Treppenwitz proves, often, that it is both sweet and good to do so. But I merely encourage you to read both of their fine blogs.
Jameel: http://muqata.blogspot.com/
Treppenwitz: http://bogieworks.blogs.com/treppenwitz/ ]


Golus, no matter how gilded, is always a defensive posture. The same Arutz Sheva article also mentions anti-Semitic attacks in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, and New York.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

NARD VE KARKOM, KANEH VE KINAMON

Both Treppenwitz and Graham commented underneath my pervert odour post. Both asked questions.
[This post: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2008/05/smelling-like-pervert.html ]

Treppenwitz asked:"I am looking for a good, aromatic, pipe tobacco. I don't want to smoke it, mind you. I simply want something that I can store in my home library for the sake of its aroma.

I have wonderful memories of the smell of my father's study from when I was a kid. He rarely smoked his pipe by the time I was born, but he maintained a few leather pouches of various tobaccos... just in case he should ever want to have a pipe. The result was that his study always smelled wonderful.

I have a nice selection of 'seforim' at home, but many of them are older volumes that have been bought at auction or rescued from shuls that were selling off their holy books. As a result, there is sometimes a musty smell near the shelves that I could do without.

It occurs to me that if I kept a few pouches of a nice pipe tobacco secreted here and there behind the books, it would be a wonderful improvement to the atmosphere.
So, any recommendations? And if so, how long would it take a leather pouch of pipe tobacco to lose its aroma?"



It's good question. A library should smell appropriately. I automatically think of the smell of the typical Chinese scholar's studyroom - hard inks made fragrant with camphor and resins, subtly perfumed paper, incense from Indochina made of fallen hardwoods from the malarial zone.

I have a selection of incense at home which is very pleasant, and which smells calm and not fruity. Easiest to get are sandalwood and winter pear joss-sticks - spend a little bit extra and get the better qualities, as they have finer ingredients and less glue. Black Sandalwood, which has a very scholarly smell, is also excellent - but fairly expensive. And not really a sandalwood - it's the aforementioned Indochinese hardwood. Good quality incense keeps away bugs, by the way.

Cedar, which is used to make cigar boxes, is also one of those old-fashioned smells. One could keep pipe-tobacco in a cedar box, as a friend of mine does.

But regarding pipe tobacco, I would suggest the Samuel Gawith 1792 Flake. It is made fragrant with Coumarin (Tonquin oil), which helps preserve the tobacco and keeps it bug-free. If the tobacco dries out, revive it with some alcohol. It will add a pleasant aroma for years that way.

Peterson's Irish Flake is also good in that regard, being slightly smokey and leathery (the effect of the fire-cured Kentucky pressed with Virginia), and for an old-fashioned perfume, I suggest Independence, by Dan Tobacco - I do not know how well it revives if it dries out (as inevitably it must). Samuel Gawith (England) and Dan Tobacco (Germany) make a range of high-quality tobaccos, several of which are aromatic - some extremely so.

Most mass-production aromatic pipe-tobaccos are much of a muchness. Fruits, vanilla, and chocolate-coffee-caramel. Some with coconut or almond toppings. These overpower, and attract bugs because of their sweetness, or may leave a sticky deposit if left in one place too long.

Avoid almost all Dutch tobaccos - some are the very definition of perversion. The Dutch are the whores of the flavour industry.

Heather Honey mixtures (many manufacturers), Rum-flavoured mixtures (many manufacturers), and Maple mixtures (many Drug-store blends) are neither entirely too objectionable nor exceptionally unstable.

Peterson and Ashton both make tinned aromatics which are of higher quality.


MacBaren's (a Danish company) makes several pressed rollcakes (small round slices) in tins. Some are more aromatic than others, but all are of excellent quality, and probably very suitable for use as "library besomim". Their Latakia Blend (actually no more than ten percent Latakia, the rest being Burley and Virginia) has a plummy smell, as does their Navy flake. Any tobacconist that caries MacBaren's should have a pamphlet describing the product.

Most 'Oriental' mixtures will add an old-fashioned smokey quality - the Latakia and the aged Virginias harmonize well. But they are not aromatic, and dry out eventually with little hope of revival. The Turkish component loses resinosity over time.

Scotch Blend nowadays almost always means nastiness. But traditionally it meant a generous proportion of strong Virginias with assertive condimentals (Latakia, Turkish, Perique). If you find a Scotch Blend that contains much black Virginia or stoved Virginia, it will add a raisiny whiney smell.

Avoid anything that reeks of cherries.

=== === === === ===


Graham asked:
"Where do pipe-smokers (non-Arabic) - smoke pipes nowadays? My late brother smoked pipes - but I've never seen people standing around on streets - smoking pipes."

At the tobacconist, at the Occidental Cigar Bar, or at Whiskey Thieves. On the front steps of apartment buildings, in the wicker seats under the awnings of coffee shops, in air-wells, or in the kitchen near the open window. We bellyache a lot.


"Do perverts smoke pipes? I'd rather think they smoke cheap cigarettes."
Anybody who smokes a cherry blend is by definition a pervert and should be kept away from little girls. Sailors, rapists, and Californians smoke cheap cigarettes.


"Are all women who smoke pipes also lesbian?"

No. Boruch Hashem.


"Is there a typical Jewish tobacco ?- I have seen old Polish Yiddish videos where all the wise men smoke a pipe."

No, but there is a series of tobacco mixtures with a Judaic theme put out by Cornell and Diehl (http://www.cornellanddiehl.com/ see here: http://www.cornellanddiehl.com/virginia_blends.html ).

Halav u'dvash - two types of Virginia, with fired Kentucky and a resinous fragrance added to make it aromatic.
Or Olam - Virginia, Perique, touch of Oriental.
Boker Or - Virginias, Orientals, touch of Perique.
Or L'Yom - Like Boker Or, but paler.
Shaarei Orah - A Burley based blend.

One could light up a pipe as part of havdalah, letting the whisp of fragrant smoke kiss the Sabbath adieu. Some Chassidic rebbes light a cigarette for davka that purpose. A cigar would be better.




TOBACCO INDEX


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BAD DREAM, BAD DREAM!

Late dinner last night of a cheesy omelette with salsa. Washed down with a hot-chocolate and whiskey. Bad move.

Dreamt that there was a huge fire in the warehouse in the industrial lot across the street (doesn't exist), that I was calling the fire-department, and that a very loud fight in the stairwell between several hairy men was making it impossible to communicate effectively with a whispering fire-fighter on the phone. Rushed into the hallway naked and screaming. What ended the dream was a Trent Lott Pool Toy.


A Trent Lott Pool Toy?


I should not eat cheesy substances so late at night - not if they make me dream of Trent Lott Pool Toys.

Plus they give me gout.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

SMELLING LIKE A PERVERT

Pursuant a tobacco mixture I mentioned, about which I said I did not buy it because of it's fruity aroma, friend and regular reader Spiros comments:


"I can't think of any better reason for getting beaten up than for smelling like a pervert."


Hmmmmmm. Pipe tobacco for degenerates...... the concept has a certain charm.
There are already plenty of blends for deviants on the market. But such depravity is not universally appealing, as some pipe-smokers pen clearly - in researching the matter I have been able to cherry pick some juicy quotes.
[I have arranged the quotes more or less as I found them, with almost no editing. I am not giving attribution - this is shameless cut-and-pasting for my own (and, I hope, your) amusement.]


QUOTES:

I'm not sure there's any tobacco in it - a bloated, overwhelming taste of caramel, chocolate and vanilla.

It's really dreadful. It tastes awful, it won't burn, it bites, and it goops up a pipe like tar (this tobacco is blended by a company known for numerous dismal aromatics).

Burns and stings horribly. Tastes like Robitussin.

It smells in the pouch like the tobacco has been dipped in soda cherry syrup.

This one tends to burn hot, bite, and tastes like a seat on a cross-town bus.

The classy tin and sizable fan base may fool the uninitiated and the Eurotrash, but to any lover of pure tobacco this blend must be considered country bumpkin in a can.

The aroma is cloyingly sweet and sickeningly artificial. The aftertaste in my mouth was both oily and soapy, reminiscent to canned black olives.


It is very sticky and vaguely nauseating.


The final statement speaks for everyone who with quivering anticipation has purchased a likely looking tin, only to discover that the product itself reeks worse than a French cat-house:

I will never purchase this blend again. Once was enough. I personally enjoy pipe tobacco that tastes like tobacco.


Most of these critiques were about blends flavoured several different ways: cherry - mango - chocolate - strawberry - caramel - coffee - hazelnut - vanilla - peach - eau de dead skunk. All mixed together for a broad-based froot-candy funk. Truly horrid stuff.

Why anyone would want a tobacco that smells like a juvenile hooker on east fourteenth street is beyond me, unless they wish to chase the roaches out of their tenement, along with relatives who have overstayed their welcome.

They could just burn the place down. It would be more civilized.




TOBACCO INDEX


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Thursday, May 15, 2008

PEGASUS BY BOB RUNOWSKI

Normally I eschew Burley blends, imagining that they are the purview of elderly farmers huffing corncobs, rather than the civilized tobaccos which urbane gentlemen would not be caught dead stuffing into their briars.

And, as you might expect, many Burley blends are unmitigated drugstore crap which leave the mouth feeling like a smouldering garbage dump or a hazardous waste disposal bin.
Painful, too. Burley bites.

Bob Runowski, however, has an exceptionally sober touch.
Many of his creations in this field are excellent.

This one too.


PEGASUS
Blended by Bob Runowski
Produced by Cornell & Diehl

A span of different Burley tobaccos harmonized with Virginias and a touch of unsweetened black Cavendish.

The Burley taste dominates, the black Cavendish adds a smoothness and smokeability. This is an old-school blend that will appeal to many people who first took up a pipe in the forties or fifties. And that is how is smells also. Your grandfather would have approved.

Nutty, toasty, and possessed of a full-bodied mellowness.
This is American-style tobacco at its finest.



Just for the hell of it, one of these days I'll dig out my old corncobs. A blend like this deserves revisits. Bob Runowski has also done several other predominantly air-cured compounds, and should be celebrated.





TOBACCO INDEX


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ERVA

Over on Dovbear's blog, a discussion is raging in which terms like 'erva', 'bisulta', 'Lot's daughters', 'pregnancy', 'fish', and 'first time' are being flung back and forth like soggy dishrags.

It is quite an intense and interesting conversation. As lomdishe disputations go. Being somewhat Talmudic, it tends toward dry.
[The conversation, that is. No details about the conditions of the ervos or fish in question are being revealed. The ervos are totally passive players. The fish are dead.]

My modest contribution was to gibber something about statistics and single-moms, compounded with three or four days of menses for Gentile women, a fortnight more-or-less for Frumme women.
[I assure you, that does not mean that Goyetes and Yiddenes are biologically different. If you really must speculate about this, think of mikvaos and bedikes.]

Lot's daughters, as you probably remember, got their dad insensate. Blind roaring. Fall down and throw up squiffy. Cabbage-looking.

* * *

Which got me wondering precisely how many pregnancies have intoxication as their primary cause.

It's a worthwhile question - the only way I'll ever get Savage Kitten pregnant is if I knock her out before knocking her up. She'd have to be lacquered sodden in order for it to happen.

Logistically, this would be easy. One teaspoon of whiskey in eight ounces of warm water guarantees her an undisturbed sleep. So imagine what two or three shots of Jameson would do.
[Savage Kitten is a petite Cantonese-American female. She neither drinks nor smokes, and doesn't dance on tabletops wearing a lampshade. I drink, I smoke, and I refuse to answer questions about lampshades - I do not know from lampshades. Savage Kitten is, in almost all ways, a proper 'ka-ting nuy' (woman of virtue and good upbringing), save for her blistering vocabulary in Toishanese (and the fact that she lives with a white guy). As my friends will tell you, I never use foul language at all ever and have a remarkably clean and polite mouth. Stop asking about the damn' lampshade.]

Strategically it would be a bad move. My life would get immeasurably more complicated if she were to end up pregnant. And less safe. Savage Kitten has done nearly twenty years of martial arts and won several medals. I cannot run very fast.

Ethically, it is out of the question. If I want that woman pregnant, I'll have to talk her into it. We've been together for close to two decades. So realistically, I should probably put it out of my mind. If I haven't managed to reyd her ein a mubereskeit by now, it ain't gonna happen.

Still, I cannot help but imagine what a brood of little Back-of-the-Hills would look like. Especially with an element of her in their genetic make-up. They'd probably look darling.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

WE ARE THREE AND WE ARE FIVE

The night after our little counter-demo to Hatefest 2008 (described in Monday's posting), I had two dreams that were particularly vivid.


In the first dream a pro-Palestinian golem was trying to kill me in the Millenium Wheel in London near the Thames. No matter how many times I klopped him over the head with the small stool, he just kept on coming. I woke up in a cold sweat.
[Why was there a small stool in the cabin? So that someone could be made to sit in the corner. It seemed logical.]


The second dream was more intense, and significantly more pleasurable. No, it was not about sex.

Sometime after 1972 or 1973, in summer, some friends of mine and I were bicycling south of Valkenswaard. I've mentioned these friends before - they were Indos, and most of them were related to each other and to no one else in that part of the Netherlands. So, like my kin, they were not native to those parts and therefore not considered as belonging in that part of the world.

A short distance beyond the water mill we came to a pleasantly shaded spot in the river which looked ideal for wading or swimming.

Unfortunately some of the locals were also there. And they did not wish to share it.

"Jullie vreemdelingen denken jezelve beter dan ons, he, maar dit is niet van jullie - jullie kloten komen hier niet in".

[You foreigners think yourselves better than us, eh, but this is not yours - you testicles ain't coming in.]


Not exactly a welcoming committee. And they outnumbered us more than two or three to one.


Henri turned around and spoke to us, saying "Kami talo, kami lima; kinatein rini ura puti. U-lite bulak-bulak na bangsa dhi pangge, u-iro tarabanta matjalong'ong dhi wangi - bantaaaaaa!"

[We are three, we are five; this field is red and white, see the flowering that represents us, smell the fragrance of the rushing cataract - fiiiiight!]


We rushed them and they fled. At the time all I could think was 'what is he saying? We are six, we are not five, not three' (ano kata-niya? Kami mag-anem, ti lima ti talo...). I also remember realizing shortly afterwards that those who are few, if they are determined and possibly insane, will almost inevitably gain victory over those who are insufficiently committed and fundamentally cowards.

That idea was something my mother embodied all by herself. Imagine a short woman who needs a cane to walk, and is in the last years of her life as cancer eats away at her. Now imagine that same woman beating the crap out of three fine young men, each much bigger than her, but without even a half of her determination and bloody-mindedness. The cops who brought her home remarked that those men should have known better, but in any case would probably not dare show their faces around town again.


There were about two dozen of us on the library corner on Saturday, and about six or seven hundred people across the street. The few, if determined and resolute, must triumph over the many.

---------------------------

NOTES

Kami talo kami lima: this is both an introductory phrase for Tamarao battle chants as well as witchdoctor rituals. In battle-chants (sasaka) it indicates the plurality of the combatants and the fundamental units of the ethnic polity (lima bandeira, talo pangge - five banners, three branches), whereas in magic it references the three colours of the rope binding the sacrifice (red, yellow, and black) and the five hues of the cords limning the sanctified enclosure (red, yellow, blue, black, and white). The phrase has emotional weight and connotations.

Kinatein: field, specifically cockpit or battle-field. A space where two sides oppose. Hence also 'kinateinan' - the forehead, where the eybrows and the hairline face each other in perpetual confrontation.

Rini: Ri ini - at here.

Ura puti: Crimson and white - the two most potent ritual colours, being blood and bones, joy and mourning, bravery and death. Ura is the colour of red hibiscus flowers (bunga galura, kumbang sapato), which signify the heads taken from other tribes, that the maidens will dance with joyously before they take their place among other skulls in the rafters. Puti are the bones bleaching in the sun, once the mud in the field of slaughter has solidified and the splattered guts have dried up and blown away.
The expression 'ura puti' has emotional weight and connotations.
'Kalawa ura atawa puti, kutamto bage na kayo' - Whether it is red (a celebration) or white (a tragedy), that is entirely up to you.

Lite: to see, to look. U-lite is the imperative form.

Bulakbulak: Blossoming, flowering. Manifestation. Poetically, the bloodsplatters of combat or the buffalo sacrifice. But also appelled to fine young girls, delicate and blushing, or smiling secretly to themselves. From 'bulak' - blossom, flower.

Bangsa dhi pangge: branch of the tribe - formulaic expression indicating that the person or the group represents the entire ethnicity or culture, and must therefore act with both determination and courage. Bangsa: tribe, nation, ethnicity. Pangge: branch.

Iro: to smell, to notice fragrance or odour. U-iro is the imperative form.

Tarabanta: A fierce charge, but also the kabakalan (tumultuousness) of rushing water.

Matjalong: Cataractness. Rushing. From 'tjalong' (cataract, river rapids).

Matjalongong: Emphatic expression of riotous rushing. Enthusiastic.

Matjalongong dhi wangi: The fragrance of the rushing stream, and, metaphorically of the people charging across the field at each other.

Banta: fight. To batter, to assault, to attack. Thus 'bantaaaaa': fiiiiight!


Henri's entire speech of that moment was derivative of formulaic phrasing in narrative and chants, and none of the elements were foreign to us. We had heard similar stuff in tales of the Japanese war, or accounts of the long struggle against the sea-borne Bugis and Ilanon, and against other tribes in the hills. Furthermore, discussing the Muslims in the former East Indies is nearly impossible without using war and witchcraft terminology.
A few years before the event described above, we had used similar expressions when playing headhunt - "see there the ranks of the smelly tribe, for whose heads the skull-vats growl, for whose melting faces the black ladles yearn. Here are crimson blooms for the virgins in the longhouse, and here rotting flesh for the worms and small carrion eaters in the forest."
Deflated soccer balls make adequate human heads. Especially when nothing more realistic is available. They have the added advantage that you don't have to boil off the flesh, or set them out on the anthill to be stripped clean.


As a final note I should mention that what I had for dinner on Saturday night was a sandwich with gefilte fish hash, bacon, and tomato. With a liberal splootch of horse-radish. The whole washed down with whiskey. It is quite likely that this affected my sleep. It certainly did a number on my digestion.

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YOU MIGHT FIND THIS INTERESTING

Friend and fellow-blogger Margavriel wondered if I would place the text below on my blog as a guestpost. I've seen the text before, and in that it speculates rather interestingly about both the papacy and the messaiah, and goes nowhere slowly and by a scenic route, I have no objection to doing so.


MAR GAVRIEL HAVING FUN WITH WIKI AND THE RAMBAM

I've been surfing the Wikipedia, reading about the last Eastern Roman Emperor (Andreas Palaeologus <
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Palaiologos> ) and the last Western Roman Emperor (Francis II <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_II%2C_Holy_Roman_Emperor> , Holy Roman Emperor). What did it even mean to be "Roman Emperor" in 1490 or 1806?

After the fall of the Carolingian Dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire (which legally counted as the successor to the Western Roman Empire, whatever that means, and which was officially titled the "Roman Empire"), the subsequent Holy Roman Emperors did not really control any land, other than the ancestral lands which they happened to have inherited from their family's kingdom. However, the Emperor theoretically had "dominion" over the entire area which had been the Western Roman Empire. So, theoretically, there could be a Holy Roman Emperor who ruled merely over his own house, but had "dominion" over the entire Western Roman Empire. (In fact, after the fall of the Eastern Roman Emperors, he theoretically had "dominion" over the area of the entire ancient Roman Empire.)

What's hilarious is that the final heir to the Eastern Roman Empire, Andreas Palaeologus, was some dude who lost all his money, and sold his title of Roman Emperor to Ferdinand and Isabella. (This kinda makes sense, from a Jewish point of view-- think of גלות אדום.) My roommate, Sam, says that if he were Roman Emperor, he, too, would sell the title, probably on E-Bay. After all, the title of "Roman Emperor" is currently useless, but a pension of five million dollars would be great for him. He thinks that Andreas Palaeologus was a bit of an idiot, because many people in Europe were willing to give him large pensions in exchange for his title, but somehow he ended up dying a pauper, anyway. (Despite the fact that he sold his title, there still seem to be people who claim <http://dev.null.org/psychoceramics/archives/1996.05/msg00030.html> that they are descended from the Palaeologus family, and therefore the rightful Emperors of the Eastern Roman Empire.)

The final heir to the Western Roman Empire was Francis II. By virtue of his authority as Roman Emperor, he appointed himself in 1804 as Emperor of Austria (at the time a geographical term that had little resonance). In 1806, he abdicated his role as Roman Emperor, and officially dissolved the Roman Empire, fearing that Napoleon would conquer him, and take the title of Roman Emperor. However, as the Wikipedia notes, "[b]oth actions were of dubious constitutional legality". Therefore, the Roman Empire, in its incarnation as Holy Roman Empire, may still legally exist, and there may legally be some Roman Emperor who is the rightful holder of the title.

Now, what about the papacy? There are people <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedevacantism#Conclavism> who claim that the Bishops of Rome since Vatican II (or even since some earlier point in time) have been Anti-Popes. Who, then, is the true pope? In 1990, David Bawden <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bawden> , of Kansas, called for a conclave to elect a pope. They sent their request around the world but only received six respondents: Bawden himself, his two parents, his friend Teresa Stanfill-Benns, and two other electors (a certain Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hunt), who had responded to their request. On July 16, 1990, the six gathered in Belvue, Kansas, and elected Bawden, who took the name Pope Michael I. Bawden's election did not involve any previously ordained clergy from the Catholic Church. Many people reject Bawden's claim to be Pope, because his electors consisted mainly of his family and his friend Mrs. Benns, and he had never been ordained as a priest. Nevertheless, Pope Michael I wears the full papal garments, and he has a website <http://www.vaticaninexile.com/> , and now a blog <http://popespeaks.vaticaninexile.com/> .

So, the Moshiach. According to Rambam, the Moshiach will not perform miracles or raise the dead. How does this not contradict Rambam's principle that one must believe in the Ressurrection of the Dead, which he explains in an essay in the introduction to his פירוש המשניות על פרק חלק? Well, Rambam explains in his מאמר תחיית המתים, chapter 6:

וכבר ספקו גם כן אנשים בדברינו בסוף החיבור במקום שאמרנו דבר, זה לשוני: אל יעלה על דעתך שמלך המשיח צריך לעשות אותות ומופתים ומחדש דברים בעולם או יְחַיֶּה מתים וכיוצא בדברים וכו'. והבאנו ראיה על זה במה שבארנוהו. וחשבו קצת חלושי העיון שזאת הכחשה לתחיית המתים, והוא סותר מה שבארנוהו בפירוש המשנה שתחיית המתים פינה מפינות התורה. וזה כולו אין ספק בו ולא סתירה, והוא שאנחנו אמרנו שהמשיח לא יבוקש ממנו שיעשה מופת שיבקע הים או יחיה מת על צד המופת, אחר שיעדו בו הנביאים אשר התאמתה נבואתם, ולא יתחייב מזה המאמר שהשם לא יחיה מתים ברצונו, כשירצה ולמי שירצה, אם בימי המשיח או לפניו או אחרי מותו.

['A number of people have raised doubts about what I said at the end of the Mishneh Torah, namely: Do not think that the Melech HaMashiah needs to perform signs and miracles, and innovate things in the world, or ressurrect the death, or similar things, etc. We brought arguments for this there, where we explained it. Now, a few illogical people have thought that this is a denial of the Ressurrection of the Dead, and that it contradicts what I wrote in Perush Hammishnayoth, that the Ressurrection of the Dead is one of the foundations of the Torah. In fact, there is no contradiction. We said that the Mashiah does not need to perform a miracle, to miraculously split the sea or ressurrect the dead, since [we will recognize him as the Mashiah] based on the fact that [when he comes], the prophecies which were spoken by the prophets will have come true. Now, this does not mean that God Himself will not ressurect the dead when he wants to, and to whomever He wants; this could be before the time of the Mashiah, or during his lifetime, or after his death.']

In other words, the Ressurrection of the Dead has nothing to do with the Moshiach. It could happen well before the Moshiach arrives, or during his lifetime, or after his death. When God ressurrects the dead, he will not ressurect them all, but only the ones whom He wants to ressurrect. (In fact, מיעוט רבים שנים, so the plural word מתים in the phrase תחיית המתים could mean that God will ressurrect only two dead people. And, since the Ressurrection of the Dead can take place long before the coming of the Moshiach, I believe that it already has happened: once to the son of the Zarephathite woman, who was raised by Elijah, and once to the son of the Shunammite women, who was ressurrected by Elisha. Thus, no ressurrection needs to take place in the future.) Furthermore, the Moshiach is going to die, and presumably be succeeded either by his descendants or by other members of the Davidic line.


Now, at some point in the future, the Moshiach Dynasty's actual power over the Land of Israel may shrink, due to incursions from foreign nations. Ultimately, the last Moshiach may control only one street in Rechavya, and only have theoretical "dominion" over the rest of the Land of Israel. And perhaps, if he goes broke, he might lose even the one street in Rechavya, and sell his משיחיוּת on E-Bay, well after the destruction (chas vesholôm) of the Third Temple.

Now, could I sell the משיחיוּת on E-Bay? No. I don't actually have any legal claim to being King of Israel, and therefore, the people in charge of E-Bay would have to take down my offer. And what about the papacy? Well, I am not currently the pope, but if I held an election, I could become pope. Sam said that if we learned the rules of how to hold an election, and we held an election right here in this apartment, he would vote for me, and I would vote for myself. He also suggested that we get three other of my friends to participate, and vote for me. That is five people already. He said that we could probably get a few other people to vote, as well, probably even ten people. If so, I would have far more legal title to the papacy than "some asshole in Kansas, who only got six people to vote for him." I would make myself papal vestments. Then, I could sell my papacy, along with the vestments, on E-Bay.

Ah, worthless fantasies. They waste so much of my time.


MG

=========================================

Indeed. And very well then.

Margavriel is one of three people I always think of as a triumvirate. The other two are Lipman and Steg (dos iz nit der šteg). What these three have in common is diqdouqism and speculative curiosity. But what could I have in common with them?


Margavriel has a food and text thing going on. Other than that, hard to say - I certainly do not visit Mikvaos, and I do not do the daf. Maybe a peculiar sense of humour.

Steg once translated a passage from Bereishis into a language scarcely spoken on these shores (example: "Uzu-tezat ^ilu^amal-a khada lesna, i guvdhabm sudzudm"). I like scattered tongues - remind me to harangue you sometime about Deng and Tamarao, a demotic version of Hokkien, plus Nabaloi Igorot.
In addition to that commonality, Steg has probably read some of my mother's oevre, and is in any case familiar with some of the SciFi writers with whom she associated.

Lipman deciphers Judeo-Dutch, has a wit with Germanic tongues, and smokes a pipe. His tastes in pipe-tobacco correspond fairly well to my own, and I have good reason to believe that he owns a Peterson System Standard. I assume that in addition to odd office equipment, he also appreciates the smell of the fine alloys that once were used in type-writers and drafting tools.

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IRRESPONSIBLE SPECULATION ABOUT THE IMPARTIALITY AND BALANCE OF THE DUTCH PRESS

Just finished scoping out the Dutch newsources on the internet.


No mention of the Islamic Jihad rocket which hit Ashkelon today (seven hours ago).

Only one very minor mention of yesterday's bombings in Jaipur, suspected to be Islamic terror.

Several sources still mention the five dead Pallies from yesterday.



Here's the almost inevitable conclusion about Dutch editorial policies that one must jump to: "Don't mention atrocities by Muslims, lest the eighthundred thousand Islamics living in the Netherlands, along with their five million intemperate neo-socialist friends, decide not to buy your stinking newspaper or send hate-mail with atrocious spelling errors. But always mention Gaza."

Of course, I do realize that it is not so simple - any mention in the Dutch press of horrific behaviour by Islamic groups must be elided or delayed, and in any case carefully nuanced and spun, because after all the Muslims are right, Christians and Jews are not good people, and Israel and the US are evil. As for the Hindus, well, they're heathens and mostly rather opposite of leftwing, besides being very un-Dutch - so it doesn't really matter what happens to them.

YET MORE HERBIVORE

Underneath the letter from my friend Max protesting Herbivore Restaurant's support of Jew-hatred, which I posted here: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2008/05/herbivore-earthly-grill.html , a commenter disagrees.


Anonymous writes:
"As a member of the east bay jewish community, i want to express admiration for the courage and moral integrity of Herbivore and other Free Palestine concert sponsors.

Many Jews were involved in the planning of this concert, and many Jews support equal human rights for Palestinians, as does the UN and international law. The stance of the concert and its supporters is that zionism is a racist ideology that is harmful to Jews as well as Arabs and others. Anti-zionism is not anti-semitism; an end to political zionism is the only hope for the continuation and morality of Jewish culture.

It is a loss to everyone when any dialogue about, or dissent from, mainstream zionist ideology is censored within Jewish communities."


--- --- ---

My dear Anonymous,


There is a profound difference between supporting human rights for Palestinians and actively participating in an event based upon a constructed narrative of hatred and blame - as the ideology of the Nakba-groups, Meca, AlAwda, and others so obviously are (and even a cursory glance at their literature and their websites will make that clear).

Anti-Zionism is, as you say, not necessarily anti-Semitism - but all anti-Zionism in the Arab world IS very much sodden with anti-Semitism, as is obvious from the popularity of anti-Semitic classics such as the Protocols, The Eternal Jew, Mein Kampf, and even Mahmoud Abbas' doctoral thesis ("The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement", later published as "The Secret Relationship Between Nazism And Zionism), which is as stellar an example of poison and holocaust denial as you will find. Holocaust denial is one of the fundaments of the Arab cause, it runs like a poisoned artery through all pro-Palestinian propaganda.

Even admitting that Jews are humans is a rarity among those who espouse the Palestinian cause, and how much rarer still is it to find an Arab who will admit that Israel has any right to exist. That they more-or-less accept that at present it does exist is hardly commendable - no Brownie points for admitting an obvious fact.

To be sure, Palestinians do deserve better lives and self-determination. But as long as their organizations, activists, and advocates support violence, murder, and bigotry, the world has an interest in keeping their dreams from being realized.

Israel deserves peace and security - if the Palestinians cannot be relied upon to respect even that little, those of us who support Israel have no reason whatsoever to support any part of the Palestinian dream. The history of terror attacks (no, do not dare call them 'acts of resistance' - Munich was not resistance, the murder of American diplomat George C. Moore in Khartoum was not resistance, killing Leon Klinghofer was not resistance, Netanya was not resistance, Sbarro's Pizzeria was not resistance, Mahane Yehuda was not resistance) diminishes the Palestinian cause to the point where their weal or woe is of little consequence or concern.

One may disagree with Zionism, and criticize Israel's actions and policies. Certainly that is legitimate - necessary even. But doing so is only constructive if it is not paired with uncritically lending active support to those who seek Israel's destruction. Let Herbivore show that they are not bigots and Jew-haters by holding the Palestinians and Arabs to the same high standards that they hold Israel; I'm sure that the P's and A's would be found much more wanting.

Your concern with human rights for the Palestinians is commendable. Do not let it blind you to the rights of Israel, or the great good of that country, and neither let it turn you against your own people - your family, your kinfolk, your community.


===================================

Punkt.

That being said, I do agree that 'It is a loss to everyone when any dialogue about, or dissent from, mainstream Zionist ideology is censored within Jewish communities'. I do not believe that is likely or even happening, though. Certainly not in the Bay Area. With such a diversity of Judaisms and political ideas here, getting Jews to shut up is well-nigh impossible, censoring them positively Sisyphean. They speak, they argue, they nuance their positions, they shout, they write, they opinionate. They certainly do not allow anyone to silence them.

The one thing they do not seem to do is support Israel in public. There were far more Jews at last Saturday's hate-fest than across the street protesting. I hope they enjoyed Herbivore's vegetarian offerings.


Actually, I sincerely hope it gave them food-poisoning. I'm really not that warm to them or their cause. Or their pet restaurant.

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MISSILE

Nasty e-mail sent in the heat of the moment to a Dutch mailing list below. Translation under original text.


Luitjes,

Een raket afgevuurd door Islamitisch Jihad in Gaza heeft vandaag een winkelcentrum in Ashkelon getroffen (en er zijn tientallen gewonden). Maar dat zal wel legitiem verzet zijn, he? Want die arme Palestijntjes kunnen echt niet anders. Wat wij (de beschaafde wereld) terroristen noemen zijn volgens redelijk denkende Nederlanders in feite eigenlijk net als de mensen die tegen de Duitsers vochten. Dat denken jullie toch?


Is het een wonder dat ik onderhand denk dat er weinig anders dan knuffelaars, huichelaars, en schoften aan jullie kant van de Atlantiek zitten?

Zonder groet - althans niet voor de linksen onder u.



PS. Zoals immer volgens het goede voorbeeld van Jim Yard is mijn mail aan allen minus Plomp gericht. Zij onder u die niet druipen van de terroristentroetelneiging zijn hiermede niet aangesproken. SP stemmers daarentegen wel degelijk.

PS II. En wedermaar een oproep aan redelijke mensen te emigreren. Het is niet goed voor u geestelijke gezondheid daar in dat oogklepkontreitje te vertoeven. Volgens deskundigen leidt het ook direct naar hoge bloeddruk, maagzuur, en zenuw kwalen.



TRANSLATION:

Gentlepersons,

A rocket fired by Islamic Jihad hit a shopping mall in Ashkelon today (and there are several wounded). But that is probably legitimate resistance, eh? Because those poor little Pallies have no other options. What we (the civilized world) call terrorists are, according to reasonable Dutch people, actually precisely the same as those who fought the Germans. That's what you lot think, isn't it?

Is it any wonder that I believe there are little more than huggers, hypocrites, and despicables on your side of the Atlantic?

Without regards - at least for the lefties among you,



PS. As always following the excellent example set by Jim Yard, my letter is addressed to all save Mr. Plomp. Those among you who aren't sodden with the terrorist-embracing-tendency are not the ones I'm aiming this at. Those who voted for the Socialist Party, on the other hand, definitely are.

PS. II And again a call upon the reasonable people to emigrate. It isn't good for the psyche to live in that blinkered country. According to experts, it leads directly to high blood pressure, indigestion, and nervous afflictions.

---------------------------------------------------

This probably says something about my relationship with the country where I lived from my second till my eighteenth year. But it also speaks volumes about the current state of Dutch society. Or leastways, bile and a long slow recovery from Stockholm Syndrome.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

POSTING IN WHICH I CONFESS MY UTTER CLUELESSESSOSSITITY!

In a comment underneath a recent Dovbear post (here: http://dovbear.blogspot.com/2008/05/zionism-god-that-did-not-fail.html), commenter David reacts adversely to something I said by calling me incredibly clueless.

Alack. I am undone. He has found me out.


What I wrote was:
"Walking around like a recognizable Jew, Muslim, or American in modern day Europe is asking for trouble.

It is much more comfortable to be a bland generic European than a sore thumb. Safer too.
Plus it really does boost employability.

And lets face it; who really wants to tell those kind friendly tolerant Gentiles next door, who treat one just like a fellow Frenchman or Belgian, that they are full of crap? That hardly seems civilized, eh?"



Actually, I'll stand by what I said. I base my opinion on regular reading, correspondence, acquaintance with Europeans, and a thorough familiarity with modern Dutch and Belgian society, the European leftwing, and European history, in addition to nearly seventeen years of living in Europe (1962 - 1978).


And, relating to my contention that there has been a rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, I'll add a few juicy quotes taken from a BBC article (here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3234264.stm ).
[As you could expect, I deliberately cherry picked them - reason being that the BBC, like many press sources, sought to give a sense of balance by including ameliorating crap that does not suit my agenda one whit.]


QUOTES:

"When we get to a point when it is becoming acceptable in many places in Europe and even in mainstream opinion to label Israel as a Nazi state, or, in more diplomatic language, an apartheid state, the Israeli citizen feels that their very right to exist in any form, whether politically or as a nation, is being challenged."

---Robert Wistrich, director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem.

-

"It is not that Europe has become more anti-Semitic, it is simply that, over the past few years, people have felt much more at ease in expressing their prejudices. In part this is to do with the situation in the Middle East.

Obviously people must have the right to criticise Israel, but it frequently appears to be the case that a standard is applied to Israel that isn't to the rest of the world. The US is also a victim of this kind of hypocrisy - thousands will turn out to protest against President Bush and yet they'll be silent when it comes to a genuinely bloody dictator."

---Peter Sichrovsky, Austrian MEP and former general secretary of Joerg Haider's right-wing Freedom Party
-

"There has not been a rise in Nazi-style, racist anti-Semitism, although in certain countries, such as Belgium and France, there has been a rise in what we call anti-Semitic incidents - attacks on synagogues and individual Jews.

In Britain, this has not been the case. But, there has been a rise in other forms of anti-Semitism, so in the British context in particular, we came up with the term Judeophobia. We see it as extreme criticism of Israel and American Jews that moves over into bigotry against Jews as a whole."


---Barry Kosmin, executive director of the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research

-

"It is worth noting that opinion polls suggest that Europeans regard Israel as the biggest threat to world peace. No doubt many criticisms can be made about the role of Israel. But the biggest threat to world peace?

Negative perceptions about Israel do not necessarily mean that it is the Jews who are seen as the threat. However the reality is a complex one. Many find it difficult to distinguish between Zionism and Judaism."


---Frank Furedi, sociology professor at the UK's Kent University and a commentator on contemporary approaches to the Holocaust

-

"Let there be no misunderstanding. We live since 2001 in an extremely dangerous world where a new type of anti-Semitism among some Muslims has surfaced, whose tenets are worthy of the worst Nazi propaganda, and whose hatred is no longer aimed at Israeli "Zionists" but at the entire Jewish people.

Europe, and France in particular, have been hit by this type of anti-Semitism anchored in our globalised world.

This genuine and dangerous anti-Semitism should not be confused with the unsavoury critiques against Israel which can be found in the ranks of Europe's left-wing or with the often unpalatable Holocaust "fatigue" which many Europeans, in Germany in particular, may be experiencing."
---Diana Pinto, historian and author of The Wager: Reconciling Europe and the Jewish world in the 21st century
-

"Very often, at least in France, the victims of Islamic anti-Jewish violence are the obviously observant: Orthodox Jews, their schools, synagogues and private property, while the anti-Semitism of the extreme right focused on secular Jews, who were accused of undermining the ethnic and religious identity of their country."

---Jean-Yves Camus, French political scientist and contributor to the annual report Anti-Semitism Worldwide


Final note: In October 2002 the Volkskrant published the results of an enquête which showed that distaste towards Turks, Moroccans, and Americans had sharply increased among the Dutch. Remarkably, no mention was made of a far greater distaste for Jews, as was and is evident by the huge amount of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel drivel in Dutch on the internet. That distaste would not have interested the average reader.

It is consequently not surprising that the CIDI (Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israel) shows that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands has increased dramatically in recent years, as can be seen from their most recent report on anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands (go to their website http://www.cidi.nl/ and click on 'Antisemitisme' in the side-bar).

It is also worthwhile to look up articles by Manfred Gerstenfeld. He has written several dynamite pieces about Dutch anti-Semitism.

Or, if you read Dutch, browse through the comments underneath any article in the Algemeen Dagblad that refers to Israel. Please also note the slant the article, and how rarely the Palestinians are mentioned negatively.

And if you're truly masochistic, read parliamentarian Anja Meulenbelt's nasty blog, or the speeches of anti-Israel activist Greta Duisenberg, and recent statements by politician and former prime-minister Dries van Agt. All three espouse a populist anti-Semitism that is stereotypically Dutch.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

SABBATH AMONG THE SAVAGES

This past Saturday the Nakba crowd had a hip-hop music party down at Civic Center. A little friendly hate-fest to introduce that segment of the population that listens to rap to the concept of reviling the Jews.

At least, that is what they intended when they first came up with the idea several weeks ago.

Instead they had to opt for a 'family event' - more because they couldn't get the headliners they wanted and were afraid that too few people would attend than that they disagreed with their own message (destroy Israel and drive the Jews into the sea). So desperate were they for attendees that instead of appealing to disaffected urban teenagers they begged middle-aged householders to bring the weib and kinder.

By all standards, the event was a failure. A few hundred local Palestinians, a handfull of the 'already-converted', and their friends, relatives, fetishists - not a success. Not the mass-happening of righteous indignation and au-courant musical taste they were hoping for. Not a mob-scene of angry urban angst and fervor.
More of a "what-ever" than a "wow, dude!"

[That can't have pleased the pro-Palestinian 'gender-ambiguating' Jews who helped organize it - Perry Bellow-Handelman, Libby Goldberg, Kinneret Israel, Sarah Kershnar, et al - they were probably hoping for a young angry crowd that could be moved to riot righteously and revolutionarily. "Onward the proletariat, comrades. Loot a FootLocker. Break a window. Show the pigs, yeah." Alas. Sorry that you couldn't squeal and wet your panties this time, gals.]


No matter their change of audience, we still disagreed with their message. So we showed up to counter-demonstrate. Yes, I know that's 'carrying on shabbes'. Think of it as part of a milchemes mitzva.

[The 'we' in this case being San Francisco voice for Israel. http://www.sfvoiceforisrael.org/ ]


I can't say I found the music entirely to my taste. The lyrics left a lot to be desired - particularly the song in which every other word seemed to be "da-joo" (or "da-jooz"). Most of the time actual words were unintelligible, no matter which 'artist' was representin'. A big fan of hip-hop I'm not.
Bring on the accordions.

Just after we arranged ourselves on the library corner, a few angry Nakba-Jews came over to carefully photograph all of us individually (probably for the wanted posters - smile at the mangy heffalump, chaveir).
A pro-Palestinian female with pearcings and tattoos who loudly insisted that she was Jewish, and her ill-looking companion, got into a long bitch-fight with a lone policeman, who insisted that they go back across the street.
A revolutionary black woman screamed a string of filthy terms at us.
A giddy Arab kept dancing out into the intersection waving a Palestinian flag and looking for a fight - the same policeman kept firmly directing him back to his side. Some little boys had fun waving bloody fist resistance banners. And periodically people passing by would demonstrate vocally that San Francisco is indeed ground-zero of anti-Semitism and lunacy west of the Rockies.

Or leastways, ground-zero of the under-medicated.

We have stellar nutballs in this town. I wonder whom they intended to convert by yelling obscenities and threats. Certainly not us. Perhaps the grim folks on the other side. Maybe the Palestinians will give them a sandwich if they but demonstrate their deep-seated grasp of revolutionary terminology.

And possibly remember them favourably when they hang out in front of the liquor store.


On the other hand, I did have a few pleasant exchanges with Arabs heading past. One in particular with any entire family about keffiyot, red fabric dye versus shocking pink underwear, and made-in-China versus local manufacture. Of course they disagreed with our message - but they were very pleasant people. Precisely the kind of people whom you wouldn't mind having as neighbors.


If it weren't for the fact that it left me tense and drained, it would've been a very nice Saturday indeed. Hate-fests in Civic Center could well become the ultimate San Francisco experience. You haven't really visited San Francisco until you've been drenched with angry rhetoric.

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