mind, body, conscience

i’m really stressed out. i want things to go back to the way they were. is that jaded of me? am i too young to be jaded? is it too late to care?

the world is really really stressing me out, politics is grating on my nerves. i want the election to be over but i know it’s never going to be over.

and i’m one huge conflict, because i want to get involved in government which means i’ll have to get involved in politics and i’m like a self-inflicting drama queen who is sick and wants the show to be over while rolling the first minutes of the film.

i don’t think i could ever live in a non-controversial world.

i think the first conscience political thought i ever had was after Rabin was shot. i think that’s the first time i ever felt the world in the present tense, the first time i felt i was living in history’s making. no, it wasn’t the iraqi war… i think it was still fantasy then. like in my novels.

but now it’s just too much. all the shit that’s happened since. September 11 was too much. what’s going on now is too much. will we ever relax again?

and why am i making a career out of conflict resolution? to attempt to make the world relax so that i can someday relax?

and am i choosing an impossible career because i know i can’t ever relax and so i’ll never be put into the position of having to?

who else has these conversations with themselves???

a real israel update:

huge connection!

so in August i met this guy who works in the Prime Minister’s office; he made aliyah 5 years ago from the US and served in the army and is now working his way up the tangled web of Israeli government. i got his card back then and called him today…

anyways, he is pretty young, i dont think he’s above thirty… i think since he’s still young and fairly new at the game, (though not really naive) i think he’s more willing to talk to me, advise me, he’s willing to help me get started because he’s not too full of himself yet – he’s still enthusiastic – i think that’s the real trick at making government connections: get in with the younger lower-level people, who are more enthusiastic, and then later on when they’re even higher, they’ll already know you.

first most important thing: he was stressing how crucial learning hebrew is, obviously, right? but i need to be taking it very seriously, because i won’t get a goverment job without it, and if i don’t do it right away, it won’t happen… and since i’m not serving in the army, i’m already missing out on slang and vernacular… i really don’t wanna go to ulpan at all, but he is totally right, i know it and knew it, so i will have to brainwash myself into believing in it and wanting it, like with working at my tedious job now.

the second most important think to do is to get a masters – BAs don’t cut it anymore, which is true in the US too. and i’m doing that anyway. Bar Ilan University, Fall 2005, Conflict Management & Negotiation.

finally, he advised that i start out in the small government ministries, like education or agriculture, where they are not as involved with hasbara, publicity, or foreign affairs because they are more likely to have open positions. government jobs are hard to get in israel because they only need a certain ammount of manpower in such a small government. also, they don’t have the resources the US has.

obviously, i work my way up from there, establish connections and enter the international realm. i could get lucky or it couldtake a few years. but his guy also offered to take my resume and keep in touch so we can meet up when i get there and he’ll see if he can get me a job where he is now – the Prime Minister’s office, or maybe even the Foreign Ministry or IDF Spokesperson office.

probably the most important piece of advice he gave me in all was: aliyah can be successful, it can even be not-so-hard, if you always remember that the country does not owe you anything. you are not special because you made aliyah. a lot of people return back because they believed that and were disappointed at the lack of red carpets. the country will survive without you. the country doesn’t owe you anything. you owe the country. you owe it to israel to get a job, get married, and build a Jewish family in the Jewish state.

just a crush

i’m such a weirdo.
so where i work, we deal with a lot of international clients. i was just looking up Limerick, Ireland, and I turned past it to Bat-Yam, Israel. and my heart skipped all tingly, like when you think about your birthday or latest crush.
why don’t i get excited about my birthday or boys??

life after aliyah

we forget that there is life after aliyah. after marriage. after attacks. after death.
you spend years planning things. so many plans. what will you do for a living? where will you live? will you like your living?
will you live?
i’ve taken hours and days upon myself planning for the next couple of years but i’ve never factored in catastrophes. like cancer.
we forget everything that comes after the moment. we forget everything that happened before the moment. but if we didnt forget, how would we live?

we forget that there is life after aliyah.
we forget that there is death after life.

in memory of selim dweck, who died too early.
in condolence of rochelle catton, who lost too early.

ma inyanim

Morah Wechter, Mrs. Eisenberger, Giveret Haramati HaYikarot;

I do hope you have all been fairing well.

I was accepted into Ulpan Etzion for January 2005. Exciting, isn’t it?

Oh, you mean you don’t understand why I would need to re-learn hebrew after all the hebrew teaching you’ve administered into my head?

Hmm, perhaps you should note that my intense sarcasm would indicate that YOU MAJORLY FUCKED UP!


[note: this is incredibly unfair of me. they did the best they could as disgruntled hebrew teachers. and they had a real knack for tearing up self esteem. may my hebrew ego rest in peace.]

i think?

you stand by your country like a loyal brother or a dutiful son. when you think your country wrongs, you support it because it’s part of you. and if you are especially bound to your country and countrymen, that support will come through in the form of sincere guidance, wise council, and a clear head.
that is patriotism.


reply to ben's reply to my Snapple-rape entry

i couldn’t reply in the same post, so here is the reply from before – if you’re not a fan of political conversations, patriotism, or cheese, don’t continue.

you’ve been warned.


I wanna reply jovially but I cant.

You want us to be proud of our wastefulness and indifference? You lecture on rape and then applaud people spending more time on Snapple then it takes to complete that horrible action.

K, I didn’t ‘lecture’. I expressed. And the Snapple thing is bittersweet. I don’t applaud the fact; but I do appreciate it. DESPITE it. I think capitalism has gone way too far here. Waaaaay too far. Nonetheless, there are many things about the country I’m more than happy to celebrate. By comparing Snapple choices to rape (oh, that sounds so crass!) I was showing how much we don’t even realize how we live compared to some other parts of the world. Even people in England wish they had more Snapple flavors… (maybe my laid-back method of expression isn’t coming across well).

Of course I’m rejoice on a daily basis that I don’t have to live with those unfathomable scenarios. I’m proud of the freedom we have, that the founding fathers of this great nation created what is probably the most flexible and accommodating system of government that has graced the face of this earth. And beyond that they paid for its creation with their lives.

K, so what I was trying to show was this: we don’t have to always think about ‘founding fathers’ when ‘rejoicing’ about ourselves, our upbringing, our country. We can look at silly American traditions and laugh instead of getting political ALL the time. We have some decent characteristics, you know.

We live in a time when we single handedly can reshape the face of this earth though cooperation and hard work.

Hold the phone! When did you become pro-unilateral action? (‘single handedly reshape the face of the earth? I think you’ve alluded to Mr. Bush saying a similar thing?) And ‘single-handedly’ and ‘cooperation’ don’t make English sense. They don’t make American sense either.

We can lift this small blue dot to heights unimaginable. Yet we are cursed with a populous that cant think outside their own person.

Guess what? PEOPLE can’t think outside their own person. PEOPLE. Humans. The Americans, the Peruvians, the Iranians, the Taiwanese, the Antarcticans… Everyone on the ‘blue dot’. Why? Because that’s the way we’re programmed most of the time – I’m not saying we’re only selfish, but – under extreme capitalism, ANYONE would be hording overpriced clothing from the J. Crew catalog. Ok, maybe heavy wool sweaters wouldn’t do an Egyptian much good, but you know.

Also, understand, that not everybody, including myself, believes in extreme capitalism. I do think America is heading for ruin. Anything extreme is just no good. But I’m not saying it’s a perfect country. I’m saying I find things to love and I do at times talk about loving it instead of just dwelling on politics and negativity all the time. And besides for that, some of us are trying for careers in making things better. Cuz they’re not better yet.

We are told too look down on the poor for being lazy, that the minorities are poor cause they are stupid.

Um, not in my American experience. I learned to give charity. I learned that we ‘give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.’ I was reading today, actually, that most of the world sees Americans, on a personal level, as some of the most charitable and good-willed people.

We look at the middle east and see a place to carptbomb, not to save. I go to work knowing that I am surrounded by co-workers who would rather have an extra buck in their pocket than help their fellow man. We should be hanging every murdering bastard in Darfur and instead we have people claiming that we needed a war in Iraq because Sadam wanted weapons even though we had successfully prevented him for the past decade.

This is too much politics for me to get into here. I could write another thesis based on that paragraph. We can do that one later.

I see our great nation and I cry for what the population has done to it. When will we live in a time when we look not for the best solution but the one that fits the bible the best?

What the population has done to it? Doesn’t population = nation, nation = population? Government. Government is a problematic institution. ANYWHERE.

Bible. Sigh. It’s true.

I love my country for the potential it contains and I despise my countryman for the promise he squanders.

You have an interesting way of separating countrymen from country. Actually, you’re not off on that. There are ways to do that. Yeah, ok. I’m wondering if by ‘countryman’ you mean ‘Bush voters’ (or ‘republicans’ or ‘devil worshippers’, whichever feels more comfortable).

If you are comfortable with loving this country because it allows us to be selfish monsters then you are complacent in your love.

Ha, Ben, I’m never complacent in any love. Relationships always need work.

I love America because it raised me. As I’ve written before, it was my ‘surrogate’ country until I leave in December. I appreciate the opportunity for a free education, for free practice of my beliefs, for choices, for great sports (though soccer is better), for having citizens who are known throughout the world for being charitable, for showing Sesame Street in Spanish as well as English, for ingenuity, for default diversity, for giving us a shot at being geeks in high school and famous in adulthood, for being only 230 years old and working through its shit – one freely elected president at a time.

To love this country is not to not to commend our slobbery but instead to wake up everyday ready to wrestle power from those who would actively smear our reputation though despicable policies, and that dear Liz is how I love this country.

Again, I commend no man’s slobbery. Especially Michael Moore’s. That just amazes and disgusts me.

C’mon, you know I told off that random guy about his SUV in the middle of the street (although at the time I didn’t realize his windows were open).

I wake up and read the newspapers (there are hundreds, by the way!) and I curse at the politicians I can’t stand and I appreciate the lone voices I agree with. I laugh over the frivolity of Hollywood, I bitch about actors who don’t share their wealth but talk up a storm of bullshit and get married and have babies on a whim. Where else can I curse at the impossible traffic and smile at the diverse radio personalities and just know that this love hate relationship I have with New York City, with the United States, with humanity: it’s life – and it’s not over if Bush gets re-elected and it’s not over if Kerry gets elected, because really, I, we, have the ability to work at making this place better, and at the same time, love it for it’s crazy naive young existence.