Sorry the posting’s been so thin lately (at least I feel like it has been.) For someone who was supposed to be having a more relaxed semester than usual, I certainly seem to be awfully busy…..
Anyway, election season is heating up over here. It’s quite interesting to view as an outsider. I was at a friend’s the other day and the TV was on when the 1/2 hour of campaign ads came on–fascinating stuff. Some of it wasn’t that surprising, I mean, political ads are political ads to some degree. But I got to see just how outrageous Likud’s were–really shameless stuff about how much land they were promising to their right-wing voters, how little they planned to give up of the West Bank, with maps drawing lines and stuff. Kind of shocking, really, but I think that’s just my naivate and being used to the US double-speak where nothing’s said directly, at least not until the party gets into office. And I got to see just why they rag on Bibi (Netanyahu) for being an American. He did live there for a while, I guess, and totally has the US politician thing down–looking at the camera meaningfully, the too-fluid mannerisms, the raised eyebrow for emotional empathic emphasis, that sort of thing. Slick. I predict that Mafdal (mifleget dati leumi, the religious Zionist party) will do very well this year, they’re working backlash against the withdrawl from Gaza like crazy. Got 14 year-old boys on every corner handing out orange ribbons to put on your bag or car or whatever. I mean, no thanks for me, but no question that they’ll clean up. The other thing that blew my mind was just–well, it’s the thing where you don’t pay for the airtime for these ads–parties are allotted time based on their representation in the Knesset now. Which I knew, but was still really surprised to see the Communist party advertising, or a few Arab parties, or a couple of other groups that totally wouldn’t have had the $$$$$ to even get like a radio ad in the States. Their ads were pretty low-budget compared to The Bibi Show or Kadima or whatever, but still. There were ads at all! This whole more-than-two-party system really isn’t a bad idea, is it? Even if some people vote for reasons I wouldn’t (the marijuana-legalization party is evidently slated to get representation this year) the diversity of possible leadership–and not just that one green party who will just screw it up for the Democrats, you know–strikes me as healthy. You can have a few of your people in the Knesset influencing things even if they’re not the party in leadership.
What’s funny is that we have class off on Tuesday b/c of the election, and that’s pretty standard in these parts (it’s like a holiday.) Strikes me as crazy–can’t people wait in horrible lines in the morning and evening like Americans? But not complaining. I can use the time, frankly.
Things on my own end are just dandy. Classes are proceeding apace, it’s all spring out, I have to write a paper I don’t wanna right now, am going on vacation in a couple of weeks for a few days (Istanbul!!). Life is generally just fine.
One thing that’s kind of fun is that I’m on kind of a modern classics binge. My leisure reading now seems to have become all the yummy things that I didn’t get to read in school and haven’t since–I’ve got a pretty well-rounded Humanities education, but one never gets to everything. So now when I go to my used English-language bookstore of choice (Sefer v’Sefel, off Yafo by Ben Yehuda) I just hit the Classics section, and for some reason seem to be drawn to the 20th c. stuff more than the older stuff, mostly. I’ve read One Hundred Years of Solitude (why had I never read that before???? My goodness) and am just finishing Cather’s My Antonia, which is also lovely. Went there the other day for a restock and walked out with Crime and Punishment (read most of it in high school and loved it, but for some reason never finished, and I certainly don’t remember enough of it), Kafka’s The Trial, and Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which I suspect I’ll gain a lot from, stylistically. I want to get some Faulkner (I’ve never read Falkner! How can that be?) but will have to wait until they get something in. Anyway, I’m having a lot of fun with that. Modern lit and Talmud seem to take up my reading time these days. Talmud. So much Talmud, and yet–not enough. I’m making pretty good time on a first-pass review through the material I’m doing for my daf exam, but there’s still so much to do, and I’mma gonna need much more than a first pass through everything!
Speaking of work, maybe time to?