Thursday, May 31, 2012

Maybe it isn't nuance

Maybe it is just because people are really stupid.

My last post was all about the inability of people and leaders to see the shades of gray in any situation. But rather, it may be that people and leaders are simply ignorant.

Ignorant of history. 

Let's start with a little test -- Fill in the blanks:
[The] solution to the current problem is “more prisons and migrant detention camps,” and that BLANK must “prepare more military bases where we can jail all of them without exception.” (Italics mine)
Any guesses? Oh, yeah it is Israel. Interior Minister Eli Yishai said this in an interview where he claimed that Israeli woman are "often" raped by African migrant workers but don't report it because they are worried about the stigma of getting AIDS.

Yup. Israel.

My initial reaction: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Did you miss the reason why Israel was supported by the UN? Did you not get the memo?  Remember that time when Jews had the same issues in Europe?  It is bad and equally historically ignorant when anti-Semites make the Nazi=Zionism connection but when you make it this easy, it is hard for anyone outside of the extreme to support Israel.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Idiots, and Nuance in Debate

Over the past few months I have been trying to figure out why I don't care about politics as much as I used to care about politics.  I also wanted to know why I have become so much more cynical about almost everything.

My lovely wife thought it may have to do with the somewhat isolating experience and the fact that many of my secondary needs (my wife, my stuff, my "life") were still in New York while I was living in San Francisco.  In other words, my Maslow's hierarchy of needs were down graded.  She has a Master's degree in this stuff so I trust her on that front. 

But I have an other idea. While I still care a bit, I am significantly more suspicious of "true change agents" and "value based conservatives." I can't stand the bullshit of it all any more and it seems like I could very easily unplug and just care about myself and my family.  It would be hard at first, but eventually, it would be easier than hitting my head against the wall working for the fairness of it all.

Unfair: Cheese Destroyed By Earthquake - via The Atlantic
But beyond the "life isn't fair" argument I think the loss of perspective and nuance is what makes me crazy.

Earlier yesterday I posted an article from The Jerusalem Post on my Facebook wall. This article reported that a number of Jewish women were detained briefly by the police for wearing Jewish prayer shawls and p the Western Wall in Jerusalem, to which I commented that Israel can't use the open access of its holy sites as justification of the occupation of the West Bank if the state isn't going to provide actual open access to its holy sites.

The reaction from my right-wing radical friend was swift, saying that these 'brave' (quotes where his) women should also fight for access to Muslim holy sites because Islamic regulations are worse than those ratified by radical regressive rabbis and enforced by the state of Israel.  Even if the world was a series of choices between clear rights and wrongs, without any shade of grey this would still be a stupid ass argument.  But this isn't the only example of the loss of nuance within debate that is bugging me right now. 

Mayor Cory Booker and Governor Deval Patrick have come out in support of Private Equity generally and Bain Capital specifically. Again this is a huge problem for those black and white thinkers. As you most likely know, Booker and Patrick are both rising stars in the Democratic Party and both openly and wholeheartedly support President Obama.  

Now, as you also know Bain Capital is evil because Governor Mitt Romney ran it for many years and now he is running for President.  Bain has created and cut jobs.  There is no denying this. But painting all Private Equity with one brush is just as ridiculous as thinking that three politicians at different levels of government, working for very different constituencies would be in lock step ideologically because they are all black.

However the truly atrocious issue here is that Booker has had to publicly clarify his statements to prove he was loyal to the President Obama.  He said that a company that has a role in the market isn't evil or bad.  Yet the reaction of the press has been as if he endorsed Mitt Romney and the GOP platform. Where is the critical thinking?

We could go on and on but these two examples of all or nothing, black and white thinking is why I am on the brink of being done. 

I do have some hope but not too much.

Monday, May 21, 2012

This time I have hair for flowers

In January I wrote from 35,000 feet and I was moving without the wife to San Francisco. Today I am writing from the same space, along with my lovely wife (who has lovely hair for flowers) as we go to San Francisco.

The flight is about to begin its initial decent into SFO and we will head to our new apartment and we will get our stuff on Wednesday.

This is real now and thank God the last four months are over.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Great. Now What.

Yeah. This happened:
“At a certain point,” Mr. Obama said in an interview in the Cabinet Room at the White House with ABC’s Robin Roberts, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
Great news, and the two sure things that come from this news is that every LGBT and Marriage Equality group (and the bigots on the other side) will make money off of the news and that LGBT rights will be a major presidential campaign issue.  Other than that, nothing has changed.

Words are powerful, especially when they come from the leader of the free world. But as of right now they are just words.

If anything, this great news makes for more work.  So get to work, you say.  I say, this isn't a letter writing campaign or liking something on Facebook, this is lots of work.

As we know, it is an election year and there is no chance that Congress will do anything about this.  There is no chance a Democrat in a tight race will come out in favor and there is so no chance a Republican anywhere outside of the Castro, West Hollywood, or Chelsea is supporting these words.

So yeah, this is good but nothing will happen. Now we need to get a Democrat majority in the House and a filibusterer proof majority in Senate and then maybe we can celebrate. So that is the work.  Now we got to do it. Like I said, more work.  And it isn't like young people vote and we can't count on the pissed off left like the Republicans can count on the pissed of fright.

Celebrate today.  Celebrate something that should have been done years ago.  Tomorrow, it is time to get to work.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The begining of the end

This is it. Today is the last Monday of the separate coasts thing.  And I am ready.

Within three days I will be back in NYC for one last hurrah, which will include two graduation ceremonies, a goodbye party, a half marathon, and a birthday party for a dear friend, as well as a few days of work. Oh yeah, and packing and moving our apartment.

These past few months were hard but the last one really sucked. While the end was near, there was more "stuff" than needed to be addressed (like moving), making the distance all the more difficult. It was no longer just being alone.  It was being alone and feeling out of touch, or alone and pissed off, or alone and misunderstood.

I am excited just to feel out of touch, pissed off or misunderstood.  It is much better to do those things with your wife than far apart from her.

I will post before and after pictures for both apartments when I have them and hope to have some good news to share after the Brooklyn Half.

But for now, I blog about nothing in particular and am happy that it is just three more days.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I feel the need to rant

I know exactly what I want to say and to whom I would like to say it, but I KNOW it won't do any good.  This group is currently in transition and I believe they are totally missing the point.

However, because I don't want to waste my good will (or breath) and believe doing so would not benefit anyone, I will rant about something else.

Today I will rant about communal washers and dryers.

First of all, if you clean you nasty cat piss covered cat bed in our community washers, WIPE DOWN THE WASHER AND DRYER.  I get you are a cat lady and are in everyone's damn business but for the sake of all things, will you do my a favor and clean the machines that I am trying to use to make my clothing clean?  If not, buy my Claritin D and leave it in my mail box.

Now on to the rest of this: