KKKan-Ye

What a week! Being Jewish has never been easy. And I am in no way comparing the public fall from “grace” of a loose cannon, unstable genius who has always found it necessary to publicly embarrass himself (and others – see George W. Bush, Taylor Swift etc.) to the countless atrocities inflicted upon the Jews since the dawn of Judaism.

But this particular circus is scary…the acts themselves, many of the comments on social media and elsewhere, the tacit nods of appreciation, the silence (in pockets), the delayed response by Nazi-founded affiliate Adidas, the emboldened hate groups, and the greater macro-dynamics and undertones. So scary, in fact, that IDROS has been compelled to weigh in on this seismic event and subsequent fallout instigated by a racist, narcissistic buffoon who has regularly spewed more bullshit than high season in Pamplona.

He has always told us who he is. Pink’s prescient but easy 2009 Twitter post following Ye’s selfish, rude and misguided grandstanding at the MTV VMAs has never seemed more relevant. But he has consistently told us that he is not only an ass, but a racist, immature little man-child who believes the world revolves around him and all others should kiss the sacred ground he walks upon. When someone tells us repeatedly who he or she is…it is incumbent upon us to BELIEVE him/her. But in our culture, the good ole dollar means more than anything. We see it again and again. If someone can produce movies, or run a hedge fund, or throw/run with a football, or hit a baseball, or host a TV show, or tell jokes or govern a Southern state, or run an oil company, or own a professional sports team, or run a large real estate company, or own a media company, etc. very, very well (and others profit from these talents)…well then letting a racist/misogynistic/homophobic comment or tweet slide is par for the course. Those who prove they can make other people money are pretty much untouchable…even for nefarious and illegal actions, let alone their hallowed and protected right to speak (or type) freely.

And damn him, but Yeezus could make money. Pretty much everything he touched turned to gold. So his inner circle and various media outlets have turned a blind eye or ignored him at every turn, scoffing…”oh Kanye…he so crazy” or “he’s off his meds, don’t mind him” or “don’t be so thin skinned…it’s only words” or “Kanye being Kanye…don’t mind him” along the way. Worse, some protected him to the point that they buried some extremely dangerous quotes and off-the-record comments (like his adulation for Hitler, which was nearly the title of his eponymous album we know as Ye).

Let me be clear: Ye and his enablers are dangerous! And they kept a lot of the most serious and disturbing rhetoric out of the public eye for years. Why…because he was their golden goose (or because they feared being sued for libel/slander). And I have issue with that last part (and the first part, of course) because shouldn’t media members be encouraged to blow a whistle on thoughts, comments and ideas that could present a danger to others? Isn’t it similar to a doctor or lawyer breaking patient/client confidentiality to prevent a crime? He did make a very antisemitic public comment in 2013, discussing Obama, but it wasn’t followed by a shitstorm of follow up Jew hatred, double downs and refusals to apologize that accompanied his latest episode, and so it was promptly swept under the rug and dismissed as “Kanye being Kanye.”

The PoS Ye has 30 million social media followers. THIRTY F-ING MILLION! That is twice the Jewish population of the entire world. There are levels of wrong, just as there are levels of responsibility. His misguided hate speech (which likely could have been nipped somewhat in the bud, or at least mitigated had one of his enablers or media protectors acted sooner (like in 2018 when he professed his love and adulation for the Fuhrer)). Clearly this latest outburst was inciteful. White supremacists proudly hung antisemitic banners over a freeway in the second most populous city in our country and gave the Nazi salute while the hatred swayed in the wind below them. Too many comments on every mainstream social media outlet praised the rapper, echoed his sentiments and said he was “right.”

That is why Elon Musk welcoming him with open arms to his soon-to-be owned bird-brained social media company was so scary to me…and should be to the rest of you. That is also why the self-proclaimed genius’ deal to buy Parler is terrifying. (And don’t get me started on the likes of Tucker Carlson).

I am all for free speech. People confuse financial consequences and social ostracization with legal ramifications (read: there are none in a country with protected free speech) all the time. They whine every time “cancel culture” rears its head; they talk about the good old days, when comedy was free to be comedy (read: people had free reign to attack every marginalized group out there for laughs, no matter at whose expense those laughs came. About the great free wheeling days of Mad Men, when boys could be boys and make sexual innuendos and bang every co-ed in the office, no matter the power dynamic (and back then, the power dynamic always tilted Y Chromosome). The problem is not “cancel culture.” The problem is the unchecked criminal behavior: the hate crimes and incitement of violence. As for the “cancel culture” response, it can be overdone and wielded more heavy-handed than it should be in some cases…like everything else in America, we can’t do anything in moderation. We don’t understand the concept.

But in this case, the Heartless rapper deserves everything that has come thus far, and so much more.

Bottom line, words have consequences. You are seeing that in real time.

Social Media wasn’t a thing when our Bill of Rights was written, and many of its nuances could not be anticipated.

There is a reason members of the KKK wore (and continue to wear) hoods. They didn’t (don’t) want their doctors, lawyers, neighbors, children’s teachers, etc. to know they were in the Klan.

I do not believe speech should be protected if the speech is made anonymously. After all, what then are we protecting? And whom? Put your name on it. Say it without a pillowcase covering your hateful face.

This becomes even more germane (again, not Jackson) in the modern world, where people toss salvos and vitriol from the comfort of their basements (or more likely, their mother’s), using fake profiles, stolen pictures and no repercussions. And those are the actual human trolls. What of the tech-generated, algorithm-based bots? And these will get more and more dangerous with the development of better AI, and more time to learn about humanity and what makes us tick. And believe me…they are learning at exponential speeds.

What goes on in the shadows is and has always been terrifying. Zed’s basement in Pulp Fiction exists, on some level, all over the world. Add to that the element of tech-driven, undetectable, dangerous and inciteful language and behavior and we have a recipe for unimaginable consequences. Jews invariably will be targeted at a higher rate than all others and recently have been seeing an uptick in hate crimes (from our base line which was already unenviable). It is not surprising that most Jews are portrayed as neurotic in all movies and tv shows…we are. And we have every right to be.

Which leads back to the clown prince of Jew Hatred.

How can a billionaire, who has literally found uber success in everything he has touched (from fashion to music production to performance art) have any reason to blame Jews for anything? Oh no, a Jew told him “NO.” Sorry, I guess you will have to go back to your miserable billionaire life and all your other successes. But nobody puts baby in a corner. Nobody can say no to Kanye. Especially one of the Jewish faith. And so it’s open season, not only on the specific person who said no, but on all Jews.

Interestingly, in his song “Who Gon Stop Me” he mentions the Holocaust (and equates the street thug experience of African Americans to the Holocaust). It’s best to avoid comparisons of the Shoah in general, but I guess poetic license in a song lyric can be somewhat justified (you be the judge). Still, what I find intriguing is that his protagonist in this song (and the very title) has the same very cavalier attitude as its author did following his latest barrage of antisemitic outbursts…he literally tweeted that he can say whatever antisemitic garbage he wants, and his most valuable partner (Adidas) can’t do anything about it (aka, who gon stop me). Talk about life imitating art.

Aside from his 30 million adoring followers (and likely more in his overall fanbase) and the comments many of them wrote in response to Ye’s recent Twitterstorm…do you know what really keeps me up at night?

HE OWNS A SCHOOL! Let that sink in.

Sure, it closed down in the wake of this fiasco (though the letter to parents insinuates that the school will be back, open and ready to taint (read: indoctrinate) innocent minds in 2023. And as of this writing, it seems it may not close at all.

A friggin’ school! And a school cloaked in secrecy…I kid you not. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

I mean…as the old adage goes…give a kid a Jew to hate…he or she will hate that Jew for a day (or three). Teach a kid to hate Jews…well that hatred will last a lifetime, and likely be passed down to future generations to continue the hatred. It’s the gift that spans generations. Wait, I believe I just found the new school motto. Anyone know a copyright/trademark attorney?

So yeah. IDROS is scared.

The world is a scary place for a Jew without the Jew Hate. The greed, the guns, the pandemics, the political divides, the economic woes, the war in Ukraine, terrorism, murder hornets, the war on women, sexual abuse, global warming, natural disasters, oligarchs, tyrants, homophobia, drug cartels, etc.

But for us Jews, we get so much more for our money:

We have metal detectors and police presence at our houses of worship.

We get accosted, excluded and treated unfairly on college campuses around the world by pro-Palestinian groups and a slew of other anti-Israel affiliates…even by some professors!

We face discrimination in every walk of life.

We suffer verbal and physical abuse and far too often, murder.

We are threatened more often per capita than any other race, religion or minority, through distributed flyers, graffiti, vandalism, bomb threats and other forms of harassment.

We are denied our history, our culture and our collective truth by holocaust deniers, anti-Zionists and conspiracy theorists.

We are blamed and scapegoated for pretty much everything, by everyone.

We are accused of being rich, powerful and controlling, and also for being subhuman scum.

We face antisemitism from the right and the left. Even known antisemites use us as pawns for their own political gains.

We are accused of being white when it suits people of color in their railings against white privilege, and of being of color when it suits white supremacists and other far right groups in their insane rantings and utopian ideals.

We are not white! Fellow Jews, stop checking that box on the census and on questionnaires. We are other. We always have been other and get told as much by every other group on earth regularly. Sometimes they tell us nicely…more often though, they don’t.

I have children. Jewish children. And I love raising them Jewish and showing them our traditions and discussing our history and ancestry. Going to Israel with them recently was one of the most incredible experiences I could imagine. A dream come true.

But…I am dreading the talk. My kids are too young to really learn about the Holocaust (and the inordinate number of other sickening and genocidal acts of horror inflicted upon us throughout history). To really grasp what it means to be a Jew. Black parents often mention having “the talk” with their children…about their horrific history. About Jim Crow. About institutional racism, red lining, block busting and gerrymandering. About how to interact with police and authorities. About what to do, and not do, if/when they ever get pulled over, etc. And it’s truly heartbreaking that they must have those discussions.

We Jews have our own version of the talk. And IDROS dreads that day…the day my children lose their innocence and learn the truth about our heritage. About what that means, and has meant for their grandparents, and great grandparents. About why there are significant holes in our family tree. About the loss, and the torture, and the starvation. About the freezing cold, the never-ending shivering. About the forceful exile and imprisonments, and the squalor and disease. About the seizure of their belongings, and homes. About their abandonment. About the not knowing. About the omnipresent fear. About their night terrors, and pent-up rage. About Sophie’s Choice-like decisions they all had to make. About their salvation/liberation, only to return to homes that had been stolen from them, and neighbors who wanted them to (read: forced them to) leave. About Israel, a beacon of hope, and how it was attacked from all sides the day it declared its independence. About the two subsequent wars all of its neighbors waged unsuccessfully. About the continued terrorism by the Palestinian, Lebanese and Iranian backed militias. About the pogroms. About the purging of Jews from all countries in the Middle East. About the 1972 Olympics. About the Tree of Life and Beth Israel Colleyville Synagogues. About the Paris attacks, and those in the Jewish day school in Toulouse. About Charlottesville and the tiki torches. About Daniel Pearl. And on and on and on.

So thank you Kanye, for giving me 30 million more reasons to dread that rapidly approaching day…the day I must show my own children that I am afraid and officially welcome them to their reality…to the most hated group on our planet. You, like your idol Adolf, will not succeed. Enjoy your hateful life.

Shabbat Shalom!

Love and Light,

IDROS

#NeverForget

#GoPhils

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Tighter

I have two kids in elementary school
They are my world
My heart smiles every day
When I get to hug my little boy and girl
 
Their tears are tiny knives,
That stab me as they fall
I feel their pain any time they hurt
Emotional or physical
 
We drop them off each morning
And they shuffle off to class
A quick embrace as we say “I love you”
Thinking, “They grow up so damn fast!”
 
But you know what else we’re thinking
As they disappear inside?
That fleeting hug might have been the final time
We saw our babies alive
 
I see the flag above me
Though it sways at just half mast
As the lump in my throat wells up
I’m reminded of shootings past
 
I hear the screams of children
From Sandy Hook to Robb
Families shattered in an instant
I pound the dash and sob
 
And as we drive off slowly
We see the officer and nod
All asking ourselves rhetorically
Can this one cop really protect our children? Oh, dear god!
 
I still remember vividly a month or so ago
“How was your day?” We asked her…and this is what she said
After lunch today we did an active shooter drill
We all hid in the closet; they called it a code red
 
Like a dystopian A Few Good Men
Though no one ordered this Code Red
I can’t handle the truth
Little children end up dead
 
This is our new normal
Helplessly we pray
That the lead story on the news tonight
Won’t mention our kids’ school’s name
 
And we hold our children tighter
We squeeze them till it hurts
Trying anything we can
To drown out the breaking news alerts
 
There’s no escaping our lot in life
Shirley Jackson’s Lottery presides
A sigh of relief every peaceful day
But fear and dread cloud our minds

Because tomorrow or the next day
Another school will suffer
Thoughts and prayers will not suffice
We need leadership that’s tougher
 
America the beautiful
America the great
What our nation’s best at
Is enabling mass murder and breeding generational hate
 
I beg our elected leaders
A band of hypocrites and cowards, all
To grow a pair collectively
And stop acting so appalled
 
You can stop the bleeding
The senseless butchering and slaughter
The time is now, so fucking do it
For our sons and for our daughters!

Hoping for a better tomorrow,

IDROS

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The Hate Is Rael

I cannot be silent. And I will not stand for this continued anti-Semitism, be it in its newest form, Anti-Zionism, or the tried and true, millennia-old chicanery we all know as Jew Hatred. NEVER AGAIN means NEVER AGAIN! IDROS knows full well that this blog post, and most of the push back I have seen on Social Media and beyond, will be read by the very people who need to read it the least. Our collective echo chamber of mostly Jews (and those most sympathetic to MOTs…whom we have learned to trust and have welcomed into our inner sancta of neuroses and inherited trauma) certainly helps…but it’s not going to stamp out the flames of genocidal intentions and hate speech from our vile world.  

May 17 IDROS read the following tweet and exchange on the Twitter.

It almost made your stoic and hardened author cry. You see, almost exactly a year prior, IDROS proudly changed his profile on social media to Black, with a hashtag of #BlackLivesMatter. IDROS stands in solidarity with all oppressed people on our planet. But in this Israeli-Palestinian saga, who are the oppressed people and who are the oppressors? It isn’t as clear as groups like BLM and BDS would have you believe. And though BLM doesn’t use the term White Supremacy in this tweet, it does very clearly on its website, and didn’t distance itself from BDS’ response. Jews are only white when it suits the labeling class. A large number of Israeli Jews look just like their Arab (and Palestinian) neighbors.

What irked your author most was that Jews have been and continue to be one of the most important allies for all marginalized groups seeking equal civil rights…especially for Blacks. And for tweets like this, from a prominent Black activist group with over a million followers, it further clouds the water for Jews, who most of the world views as inseparable from Israel.

And so, as a writer, IDROS wrote a message to the powers that be at BLM using their “contact us” messaging system on their website.

Here is the letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

I was extremely disappointed to see your unilateral support for the Palestinian cause made public on social media during the latest bout of fighting. Not because I believe that the plight of the Palestinian civilians and children is fair and should be ignored. To the contrary, I grieve daily for all INNOCENT lives that are mistreated, face injustice and senseless violence all over the world…this includes the indigenous and migrant populations in Gaza and the West Bank.

BUT…this is a very complex and nuanced situation, and innocent lives are threatened and killed all the time on both sides. The true crimes to the Palestinians are propagated by Hamas and the corrupt leadership in both Gaza and the West Bank, dating back even before Hamas rose to prominence. The world (via the UN and USA) as well as regional powers (Iran) pour money into the coffers of Hamas and the PLA under the auspices it will be used to help the Palestinian people and communities. However, said leadership uses those funds to buy arms, train terrorists and to pay the families of terrorists who die by their own hand murdering Israelis and other “infidels.”

I also was alarmed to read your message, which said you were united against “Settler Colonialism” all over the world. I see that sentiment nowhere on your website. And your actions would say otherwise as well. I see no protests of any other place in the world where “settlers” and/or “colonialism” is or was a policy or the manner in which the nation was founded. Israel, unlike most of the world that was actually founded in colonialist fashion (and that you do NOT protest), was founded LEGALLY, through the United Nations. But Israel is hardly a settler/colonialist nation, and while Israel may do some things in the name of security and protection of its citizens that violate borders drawn up in 1949, those borders were created BEFORE every Arab nation in the Middle East, including the people who now call themselves “Palestinians” attacked Israel in 1967 and numerous other times since, and most notably, have not recognized Israel’s right to exist. Your decision to unilaterally side with the Palestinians over Israel, and not call to the carpet the terrorist entity who rules over the Palestinians, Hamas…now, or ever, is a joke.

Finally, you must know that the Jewish people have been and continue to be among the most active and faithful allies in championing the causes of African Americans. Stalwarts such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg were instrumental in the Civil Rights movement, and Rabbis marched shoulder to shoulder with Dr. King. Jews continue to vote and march for causes near and dear to Black people, and for organizations such as yours (as well as prominent Black people in general) to align yourself with movements that are anti-Semitic and stand for the complete destruction of the one Jewish nation in our world, and the murder of all Jewish people (see the Hamas charter if you refuse to believe this) is very difficult to grasp.

In fact, your post and continued unilateral support for the Palestinians without denouncing Hamas and other terrorist entities who enable Hamas and corruption among the Palestinians in general puts Jews at risk right here in America and around the globe.

I would like to have a dialogue with you and the people who made the decision to post your unilateral support for the Palestinians, to understand your motivations better and to potentially find a way to mend fences. Marginalized minorities like Jews and Blacks should be working together, not alienating one another. I would like to help us get there.

Thanks, and hopes for peace,

IDROS

IDROS, unsurprisingly, is still waiting for a response…on the edge of his seat…It’s been over a week. He’s not holding his breath.

One thing that became crystal clear during the Trump Experiment in America is that you can’t reason with or successfully debate ignorant or racist people.

Another element of post-fact society in the age of the internet, is that anyone with Wi-Fi can find a hundred blog posts, doctored videos or twisted narratives masquerading as factual to justify their opinions or general BS.

And here we are…we jettisoned the mascot of White Supremacists everywhere, but the ignorance and racism persist. Imagine that.

For me, the worst part of this latest flare up in the global case of hemorrhoids that is the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, is that most of the racism and ignorance for this particular situation rests with the same people, by and large, that were my allies for the past four years.

THE SAME BASE that called out Trump and his supporters for their hatred and lies and incitement and internet conspiracies…now directs that same vitriol and finger pointing and cancel culture mentality at Israel and the Jews.

Anti-Semitism…aka Jew-Hatred, knows no party lines or boundaries. It is ubiquitous and insidious, and can be found in every corner of our world, among every race, religion and ethnicity, every class and caste, and among the least and most educated of people.

I knew. I would be lying if I said this surprises me in the least. I made a conscious sacrifice…one I would make again in a heartbeat, by the way. I willingly chose to help take down a demagogue and wannabe tyrant IN MY OWN COUNTRY, which I love and support despite its imperfections, all the while knowing that the party and candidates I propped up in HIS place would be detrimental to Israel. And I should say this…I don’t begrudge my fellow Jews who voted Red. We all see why they did…ISRAEL is a beacon of strength and hope for all Jews, whether we live there or not. We all know that had Israel existed before World War II, the Holocaust would never have happened. And so, Israel and its continued safety and security, is and should be a top priority for all Jews. But the painful reality for us Jews is that there is no good choice…ever…in any election. Because Anti-Semitism has corrupted all of humanity. The silence of those supposedly most intolerant of racism during the past couple of weeks has been deafening.

Hamas is a Terrorist Organization. They brilliantly tested America’s new Administration in much the same way children push the boundaries with a new babysitter. Sensing weakness, and also unhappy with the moderate tact Abbas has taken, Hamas pounced, making a play for political control in the West Bank where they have no influence, and also bolstering their control in Gaza. The evictions in Sheikh Jarrah provided the perfect Red Herring, a drama few outside the legal world would fully understand, but that would easily garner the sympathies and anger of pretty much everyone in the world…especially when spoon-fed to the media Hamas controls in the region in order to ensure the spin always goes their way. (Hamas uses a combination of threats and also access to all the gory violence the world craves when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis to keep the media – like the AP and al Jazeera – in their pocket.)

Israel isn’t perfect, but it is one of the most incredible places on the planet. It is an anomaly and an anachronism; a pariah state surrounded by enemies, forced to sleep with one eye open, every night of its existence. But it astounds in its innovation, its intertwining of the spiritual and secular, its inclusion of all races and religions, its beauty (natural and manufactured), its ability to cultivate the most arid and formidable tracts of land on earth, and its wonderful and strong citizens, who constantly prove a willingness to help any and every person and nation in the world with any problem at the drop of a hat.

Whenever there is a global disaster or crisis, Israel is ALWAYS among the first to arrive on the scene with aid. Israel is a shining beacon of democracy and liberal values in a large wasteland of misogynistic, backwards and paralyzingly rigid rule by radical religious zealots, tyrants, despots, terrorist enclaves and autocrats.

It hurts me personally to read the comments; to see and hear and read about the slew of celebrities who castigate Israel and support the Palestinians; and to read/watch the biased accounts across trusted media platforms worldwide.

Mark Ruffalo, one of the staunchest anti-Israel/Pro-Palestinian celebrity voices that didn’t once play in a band called Pink Floyd, recently posted this interesting, timely apology:

I thank him for the sentiment, mostly because he has 7.5 million followers and he finally realizes that his words are causing innocent Jews to get hurt and killed and are playing a role in a global flare up in Anti-Semitic hate speech and actions.

But to me, the words he chose are passive aggressive at best, and fall way short of the mark. And You Can Count On Me, IDROS, to give an honest account (see what I did there?)

He limits his apology to his recent Israel/Hamas posts, but has been posting similar, one-sided opinion tweets for years. He also wrote “Now is the time to avoid hyperbole.” Now? So, all the other times you have tweeted or reposted tweets that featured hyperbole were ok? You see Jews being killed and assaulted globally as a result of things millions of people like you post, say, and accept as fact and realize you are an accessory to murder…so you post an apology…for this one time? A narrow, flimsy, carefully worded, half-hearted apology.

The truth is, I am being hard on Ruffalo mostly because he has taken Israel out to the woodshed, unabashedly, for more two decades. He is one of Israel’s most rabid critics and is unrelenting. I am actually happy to see any sort of apology and sincerely appreciate his act, narrow as it was. I have some respect for Mark, not just as an actor, but for his good intentions beyond just this one issue. He genuinely cares about people and our planet and gets behind causes all over the globe to make our world a better place. While it pains me that he unilaterally blames Israel for the plight of the Palestinian people (and not Hamas, nor the Arab nations in the region who helped create the current situation and enable its prolonged cycle of violence), he doesn’t fall into the category of Israel critics that I find most repugnant: Single issue critics, who focus all of their “holier than thou” attention and disdain on Israel and its “treatment” of the Palestinians, yet fail to speak out or seem to care about any other injustice on the planet.   

Israel is not without sin or blame in this endless cycle of violence. But the tiny nation has been placed in a precarious situation since its founding and has been forced into conflict by ALL of its neighbors countless times. It is a nation, and as such, has every right to defend itself and to protect its citizens. And for the most part, that is what it does. And Israel’s Armed Forces and Government take great care to limit if not entirely eliminate collateral damage. But its enemy is wily and uses innocent citizens as pawns in an elaborate long con to gain control of the region, destroy Israel and kill all of the Jews.

It is frustrating and devastating to know, for a fact, that a majority of the world is prejudiced against your people…your family and friends, your traditions, your history and everything in life you hold dear. It is difficult to put in words what it feels like to have lost large branches of your family tree less than a century ago to the same vile hatred and ignorance and ambivalence, and many other branches decades before that, and over and over again like clockwork throughout history.

People see dead children on the news or on Facebook and they need someone to blame. And we Jews have always been great scapegoats for people…throughout history. We have been blamed for wars, plagues, the murder of religious figures, eating the blood of children, stock market crashes, faking moon landings, controlling Wall Street, controlling the media, controlling Hollywood, controlling governments, being Communists, being greedy money loving Capitalists, not being white, being white…and on and on and on. Whatever fits the narrative du jour. And in total numbers, we represent a mere rounding error in comparison to the Global population…even before being butchered on the grandest and most grotesque scale last century.

So, the world should embrace the plight of the Jews…allow us to defend ourselves in the one predominantly Jewish state in the entire world. That doesn’t mean Israel should be allowed to bend or break the rules, and murder indiscriminately. But Israel has every right to defend itself and its citizens when attacked. But just like racism permeates every facet of society in America, global anti-Semitism informs policy, media, elections, alliances, perspective, sentiment and reaction(s) throughout the world…and in particular, within the very entities created to uphold and preserve the world order such as the UN.  

But the world will not suddenly come around and see the light. The hatred has always been there, simmering just below the surface for stretches, and then erupting, cyclically, like a volcano of genocidal vitriol, malice and misanthropy. And as Jews we cannot depend on a sudden change of heart to save us. Furthermore, the Arab world led by Iran and its evil tentacles of radical Jihad, like Hamas, are running a masterful long con, playing the media like fiddles, showing a cavalcade of dead children, whether killed by Israeli armed forces or not, using propaganda and conspiracy theories, and generally pulling at the heartstrings of anyone and everyone across the world who fancies themselves to be “woke.”

Jews, as always, are trapped between the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis…and today those threats manifest as Anti-Zionist venom from the progressive Left and straight Jew-hatred venom from the Nazi and White Supremacists on the Right.

IDROS is scared. Scared for his family and friends. Scared for the future of Israel and the Jewish people. And terrified that his children, who are mostly unaware of the full horror show that is the collective history and present of the Jewish people, will have to learn about it, and then live those truths, whether they want to or not.

On a related note, this article by Pamela Paresky is the most frightening and sobering thing I have read in a while…IDROS urges all his readers to give it a looksie. It should be required reading for all high school students across the globe.

Sorry to be such a buzz kill,

IDROS

#NeverAgain #DontBeSilent #SpeakOutAgainstAntisemitism #IStandWithIsraelForever #AmYisraelChai

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Pulp Fiction

There are few movies that have resonated with me the way Tarantino’s opus did. So many memorable scenes, legendary performances, witty dialogue, innovative storytelling and sequencing, and a soundtrack commensurate with the overall greatness of the plot.

Interestingly, as we find ourselves at the edge of the abyss that is the looming election, and all that it represents in the story of America, IDROS can’t help but think that we are living our own pulp fiction right now. No writer…not even Tarantino, or Orwell for that matter…could have scripted a tale that would have done justice to the past year. 2020 has been the most bizarre and heartbreaking year imaginable. I am waiting for someone like Winston Wolf to be summoned, tuxedo and all, and help us all magically clean up the bloody mess of this year before the Missus gets home.

Alas…Mr. Wolf is not emerging from an Acura NSX in front of our homes anytime soon. But one can still wish, right?

A scene that really stuck with me in the movie…and made an indelible mark on my life, to be honest, was a dark and awful and shocking and suspenseful vignette…in a movie chock full of scenes that fit that bill.

But this one scene stood alone in its graphic violence, in its vulgarity and utter boldness, and ultimately in its humanity. Those that know the movie likely know where I am going here, but in these times…these unprecedented times, that scene…that terrifying yet cathartic scene, spoke volumes about life in America…not in 1994…BUT RIGHT NOW, in 2020, with race riots scattered across our country, the most divisive political climate imaginable, and a deadly virus hanging over us like a guillotine blade.

***Spoiler Alert! (though at 26+ years, this one is on you, not me…and shame on you if you haven’t seen this film yet anyway). Butch and Marcellus were kidnapped by corrupt cops. Butch musters his strength to neutralize the “Gimp,” and heads back upstairs toward freedom and safety from the monsters below. Inches from getting away, Butch has a change of heart. What those evil assholes masquerading as law enforcement officers were doing to a man (who moments ago was Butch’s arch-enemy) downstairs was unconscionable. Butch couldn’t let it go. He grabbed a sword and headed back into the dungeon of horrors.

I will let the scene speak for itself.

When Marcellus answers Butch’s “you ok?” with the most memorable line of the scene: ”I’m pretty fuckin’ far from OK!” I believe he was speaking for all of us, who can’t believe the injustice that continues to surround large swaths of our nation…in 2020! ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR. Who can’t believe that a troglodyte used the past four years to pack our Judicial system full of lifetime appointees who will roll back all progress gained by certain minorities, oppressed groups and an entire gender. Who can’t believe this same troglodyte willfully abetted an actual plague in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and put millions more directly in harm’s way. Who can’t believe the third (or more) of our national population who emboldened and defended the monster who runs our country. Who can’t believe that so many people still support this administration after witnessing the past 4 years. Who wonder what happened to kindness, civility, decorum and empathy in our country and certainly from our elected officials.

We are all pretty fuckin’ far from ok. But we don’t need to get medieval on anyone.

We all have the opportunity to be Butch. Our humanity cannot waver, even as we bear witness to unspeakable horror and evil. We all must head back down those stairs, confront the evil, and do the right thing.

If you haven’t voted already, IDROS urges you to get out there and vote on Tuesday. Vote like your life depends on it. Vote like your neighbor’s life depends on it.

Because Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead. It’s time to move out of the darkness.

As always, thanks for reading.

Best regards,

IDROS

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Majority Opinion – We All Lost A Hero

IDROS grieves with you all!

From the depths of the morass that has engulfed the majority of 2020, it is no surprise that anyone might think about heroes. We see heroes every day on the front lines, and our definitions of what it means to be a hero have likely shifted. Furthermore, most of the great superheroes of literature and pop culture were born during history’s darkest moments. IDROS is not sure any took the form of a short Jewish lady from Brooklyn.

It pains me to lose such an amazing soul…especially at a time like this, rife with divisiveness, fear and hatred. And let’s not forget the pandemic, which continues to haunt our world, adding to the stress and heightened madness of an increasingly polarized national and global community.

IDROS can hear the cheesy mid-80s Bonnie Tyler refrain echoing in his head. But even the lyrics of that classic ring hollow when put in the context of RBG…she would be appalled by that song. It plays on typical misogynistic tropes of what a hero is (a man), and who needs saving (a woman).

I am proud to admit RGB was and will always remain one of my most cherished heroes. She lived a full life, exceeding expectations at every step along her rise to sainthood; RBG continued a fight that incredible women like Susan B. Anthony and Eleanor Roosevelt initiated in the two generations prior, rejected the status quo, championing the rights of more than half of our nation’s (and world’s) population. She was a role model for the every-man and woman, her talents and grit and empathy certainly attainable to all (at least seemingly).

She is the type of person IDROS could only wish both of his children (the boy and girl alike) will grow up to become. She was a superhero in plain clothes (well, until she was rightly appointed to the SCOTUS and donned a robe of nobility…a distinction she never took for granted nor abused).

RBG understood better than anyone that the courts don’t write our laws. However, they do interpret them, and set precedents to reflect and bolster societal change for all Americans, in a society that is constantly evolving. The founders, all white men, created a government for their time, which governed and protected the ruling class…which was white Christian men. Still, they were wise enough to provide for checks and balances among the three branches of government, and to set about creating the most ambitious and mostly righteous government framework to date…a framework that for all of its faults, many of which have become far more nefarious only through the luxury of hindsight, allowed for flexibility. And RBG used this flexibility to her (and frankly all of our) advantage in a crusade to turn the tide, which was already shifting in society at large, by challenging the archaic status quo, and overturning decades and centuries of unfair prejudice and unequal precedent, mostly at the expense of women and many if not all other marginalized groups throughout America.

Her fervent wish…and obvious fear (perhaps her own kryptonite), was to live long enough to be replaced by whomever won the next presidential election (read: anyone but Donald J. Trump).

Which is why the very system for appointing RBG’s replacement, which is grossly unjust and reeks of everything RBG spent her career attempting to eradicate, stings so much. IDROS is haunted by the fact that his hero, the first woman to ever lie in state at the US Capitol, , would be disrespected so much, not just by the Republican party, but in a bit of painful irony, by the very governmental bias she dedicated her entire career to making right. This was a woman who had been confirmed to the bench of the most hallowed court in our nation by a vote of 96-3 (and who the f*$k were those three, by the way? Show your faces damnit!*** More on this below…IDROS is here for his faithful readers…allowing you to forgo the Google machine, save you the click and lessen the suspense all with one fell swoop).

A Supreme Court Justice is appointed by a sitting president, and then confirmed by the US Senate. This process is inherently unfair, granting far too much power to the Republican party, and not nearly enough to the true majority in our country. This is not a political opinion…this is fact. IDROS is not one who posts on social media how hypocritical it is that the Republicans are jamming a Conservative judge down the nation’s throat hours after the passing of a Liberal judge (they are) when they so vehemently argued against the Democrats doing the opposite in Obama’s final year as president (with far more time left in his term, mind you, than DJT has left in his current tenure). IDROS understands that this particular hypocrisy can be found on both sides of this aisle and is poisoned by politics.

HOWEVER, because of the anachronism that is the electoral college, created to protect the interests of farmers in more rural areas of the country at the time of its founding, our president is not necessarily elected by the majority of the voting public. In fact, Trump lost the popular vote, but won the election, as did GWB in 2000. The electoral college as it is laid out (a vestige from centuries past) serves to favor the Conservative Right, with deep ties to the very people who desired to secede from our nation, who rose up to fight the bloodiest war in US history in an effort to maintain their “right” to own slaves. The electoral college literally gives more electoral power to relics of the Confederacy than to the areas of the country who fought to quash the racist and ANTI-AMERICAN ideologies that nearly undermined our United States. Even as our society evolved to recognize its evil past, and to move in a more civilized and inclusive direction, the electoral college by its very existence, precludes the political and legal framework of our country from moving with the tide of social progress…and actually serves to stymie it.

FURTHERMORE…the house of congress that confirms (or denies) a presidential Supreme Court appointee is the SENATE…not the House of Representatives. How is that unfair? Well the Senate grants equal representation to all states. That’s right, two senators are elected from every state, no matter how big or small, how densely or sparsely populated, and no matter the racial make-up of its population. So yes, Delaware and Wyoming have the same Senatorial influence as Texas and California. And FYI, so called “Red” states outnumber “Blue” States in our country by almost a two to one margin (even though Blue voters outnumber Red voters overall by a slim number).

These processes favor the Republican party, allowing less populous states to have unfair influence in choosing not only our president, but the members of our Supreme Court. RBG spent her career fighting injustice like this (institutional bias that favored those who created the law, rather than the full population of people those laws should be meant to protect).

IDROS can only hope that RBG’s death can be used as a galvanizing moment for those who value the rule of law in our country…for those who see the world as she did, and seek to protect all of the citizens of America…especially the most marginalized among us. My most fervent wish is that her death unites enough of us to enact change to the political framework of our country, to move away from structural biases like the electoral college and Senate approval of Supreme Court Justice appointees (the House should do this).     

***Ah yes, now back to the three Republican Senators who opposed confirming Ginsburg — Sens. Jesse Helms (N.C.) (who was as repugnant a human as there ever was, inside or outside of Congress), Robert C. Smith (N.H.) (who was one of the staunchest anti-gay rights politicos in IDROS’ lifetime, and who campaigned vigorously against the appointment of the first openly gay ambassadorial appointee, James Hormel)  and Don Nickles (Okla.) (who actually was the most benign of the triumvirate, but should also be noted for his vehement opposition of the appointment of our nation’s first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, for again, his unwavering anti-abortion stance and a fear that she would not be willing to overturn Roe v. Wade. It should be noted that O’Connor was appointed by Republican president Ronald Reagan and ended up being confirmed by a vote of 99-0) – all protested RBG’s support for abortion rights. The only senator who did not vote, Donald W. Riegle Jr. (D-Mich.), was in Michigan attending the funeral of Rep. Paul B. Henry (R-Mich.). It should be noted that at the time of the vote, the Senate was composed of 57 Democrats and 43 Republicans (so yes, 40 Republican Senators voted to confirm RBG).

Please remember to vote this November (or before).

All the best,

IDROS

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47 Thoughts

Happy 47

  1. Thank you to all who helped make my birthday as great as it could be under these circumstances. Loved the messages, calls, texts, sexts, cards, emojis, balloons and general fanfare. Special shout out to Mrs. IDROS, who went above and beyond as usual with an incredible surprise recreation of one of my favorite restaurants, menus and birthday dinners.
  2. As usual in America, our policy du jour is about making cents, rather than making sense.
  3. #WearAFuckingMask
  4. #BlackLivesMatter
  5. Who is overseeing the testing sites…I fear those centers lack the regulatory oversight to be effective, and worse, may be spreading the virus (you know…bringing hundreds of likely ill people together to fester in a parking lot petri dish…)?
  6. America is a Cancer…as we celebrate our nation’s birthday, it occurs to me that our American Zodiac sign might be…fitting?
  7. IDROS does not agree with the removal of “all” historical monuments that celebrate racists and miscreants from a bygone era…many absolutely should be removed, and many others should be updated with plaques and inscriptions that detail A) why the monument or statue was erected, and more importantly, B) why the man/men (yes, it is almost always men, not women) are a stain on society, and, if known, whether they were more (racist, misogynistic, generally awful) than was the standard during their time (take Woodrow Wilson for example….)
  8. What kind of reading and self-guided education have you been doing vis a vis racism in America? It’s never too late.
  9. It’s a good thing America has been made great again, because we are not going to be allowed to leave our country again for a while as more and more nations close their borders to our citizens.
  10. What instrument would you rank 5th all time for rock music (after guitar, bass, keyboards and drums)? IDROS goes harmonica.
  11. If you enjoy non-fiction reading, I recommend any of the 4 books by brothers Dan and Chip Heath. Similar to Malcolm Gladwell, they write fascinating, research-based books that dissect important phenomena that affect all of humanity. A lot of what they write can be channeled into self-help and can add value to all of humanity. Dan works at Duke University, and Chip works at Stanford, in case University prestige and affiliation moves the needle.
  12. IDROS is almost as embarrassed to live in Florida as he is to live in America right now…neck and neck really.
  13. Facebook, Twitter and all other social media platforms need to be regulated more fervently in terms of “free” speech. It’s nice that large companies like Unilever, Starbucks and Verizon are now throwing their hats into the ring, pulling ads and hitting FB in its e-wallet…but this again proves that corporate conglomerates have more power than people in America and in the world…and so our politicians will continue to do their bidding, often at the expense of humanity.
  14. Watched “Joker” this past weekend. Uncanny how much Leaf looks like Phil Dunphy…perhaps scarier than the themes in Joker.
  15. I think my favorite moment from last month (#PrideMonth) came when the conservative majority court that our president and his lackeys fraudulently stacked in their favor, ruled to uphold LGBTQ rights…at least this time.
  16. A few celebs that share my birthdate (June 29): Colin Hay, Kawhi Leonard, Nicole Scherzinger, Richard Lewis, Theo Fleury, Pepper Johnson (remember that block by Byars?), Dan Dierdorf, Fred “Gopher” Grandy, Bob Evans (the producer, not “Down on the Farm”)
  17. What’s a tougher watch…the first 20 minutes of “Up” or the first 20 minutes of “Saving Private Ryan?” Any other movies with a more difficult opening to watch?
  18. It is not easy to come up with a list of 47 (he says after only 18 entries).
  19. A Monday birthday is not optimal. A Coronavirus birthday isn’t anyone’s first choice either. But both of those scenarios are outside my control (IDROS mutters to self, “not helping”).
  20. Sad to not be celebrating this lap around our sun at the South Jersey shore.
  21. 40 years ago, all 4 Philly sports teams were elite. This year, who knows…but the Phillies lead the league in positive coronavirus cases, so there’s that
  22. Remember when the Flyers were the best team in the NHL just before Covid shut the world down? Good times.
  23. Recommend Philly-boy-turned-rapper Lil Dicky’s show “Dave” if you need a reco.
  24. Who else is completely skeeved out by paper (and coin) money right now?
  25. Dave Chappelle – 8:46 is pure genius. No doubt he belongs on the Mount Rushmore of comedy.
  26. Who are the 3 others? (Eddie, George and Richard are consensus, but Mel, Carol, Larry, Lucille, Rodney, Jerry, Joan and Carl are all worthy of consideration).
  27. Neil Young’s latest new release of old material “Homegrown” is very good…great in spots. My favorite song on the album is “We Don’t Smoke It No More,” a drunken barroom blues nugget that should be categorized among NY’s greatest blues efforts.
  28. Phish, and especially Trey, have been prolific during the pandemic thus far. I will definitely miss seeing them this summer at traditional venues, but for my money, I prefer Tuesdays with Phish (for DAAM) to those with Morrie (sorry Mitch).
  29.  The selfishness of the “anti-maskers” is mindboggling, and their ridiculous stance is emboldened from the top.
  30. Speaking of ludicrosity, our citrus fruit in chief needs to READ ICCULUS (if he can read)
  31. I think that lost in the 125,000+ deaths so far from Covid (many of which I believe are the direct fault of DJT and state governors like him…yes I mean you, DeSantis) are the countless survivors of the coronavirus, who will become part of the data set that make this seem like a more docile beast than it is, but whose lives have been forever negatively impacted by the disease (breathing issues, lung scarring, organ damage, etc.). We don’t know what we don’t know, and the fallout from this shitstorm is far from realized at this point.
  32. There haven’t been any school shootings on Covid’s watch thus far…so there is at least one silver lining
  33. I have no real problem with calling Covid “The Chinese Virus” or “The Chinese Flu” per se…after all, we still call plenty of illnesses, viruses and pandemics by their place of origin, or by a country name (Spanish Flu, West Nile Virus, Ebola, etc.). I only take issue because of the buffoon who feels it necessary to make it a racist put-down by doing so.
  34. Chuck E Cheese’s declaring bankruptcy, obvious as it may be in these crazy times, is devastating to my son.
  35. The past 3 ½ months have been surreal.
  36. Family Feud style, top 6 answers on the board: Can I get a(n) ______________?
  37. Are the mobs coming for the White House? Will it inevitably become the Multicolored House?
  38. There isn’t a litany of great famous athletes who have worn number 47 in history: Jack Morris, Tom Glavine, Mel Blount, Jerry Lucas, John Lynch are the best of the bunch.
  39. Does 7 qualify as late? Like, am I now in my late 40s?
  40. As a time of day, 7 never qualifies as late (I realize you might be running late for something at 7am or 7pm, or you may have overslept till 7, etc., but that doesn’t make 7 late…it makes YOU late).
  41. How lazy was Susan? Would one instantly know upon meeting her?
  42. 47 is a prime number
  43. RIP Carl Reiner, a true American treasure. My heart aches for Mel, Rob, the entire Reiner family and all Americans who knew and loved one of the greatest comedic minds of all time. In a time where we all can use as much laughter as possible, his void will be hard to fill.
  44. A few more celebs that share the IDROS birthday: Harmon Killebrew, Maria Conchita Alonso (“The Running Woman”), Bret (not Jemaine) Mckenzie, Charlamagne Tha God, and, of course, Gary Busey
  45. America is, and always has been, a work in progress. Our forefathers, some of whom were asshole slave-owners, racists, and misogynists, were remarkable in many ways, especially in their time. And our constitution was drafted to allow America the flexibility to evolve, and to get better over time. Never forget, on this Independence Day, that those who broke from their colonial rulers, did so at great personal and collective risk and against great odds, to create a new land of opportunity for “all” (read: originally, all white men…but slowly, more and more inclusive).
  46. It is incumbent upon all of us to make our country better. Somewhere along the way it seems to have been lost on many that we have a responsibility to continue what our Founding Fathers started. We are truly only as strong and great as our weakest link(s). All of us must strive to do better, to be kinder, to be more empathetic, to educate ourselves and our children, to call out injustice when we see it, to refuse to remain silent in the face of oppression, and to make our nation better for future generations.
  47. Thanks for reading, and Happy 4th. Stay safe everyone!

 

All the best,

IDROS

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Six Million Stories

I volunteer as a docent at Miami’s Holocaust Memorial. This is a book we have in the office there. A simple and profound book. The word “Jew” typed six million times creates an incredibly large tome (it’s as thick as an encyclopedia volume as you can see), but it is imperative to remember that each of those words represents a life cut brutally short. Each “Jew” has his or her own story to tell. I do my part to bring some of those stories to light, to honor the memories of those six million. Much of my own family was ravaged by the hatred embodied by the Shoah, and as the last of the survivors near the end of their lives, I strive to be a bridge to younger and future generations, passing on the critical message of NEVER AGAIN!

When considering the current COVID-19 crisis gripping the world, most people point to the Spanish Flu in 1918 to be the most recent example of a global pandemic.

Today, on Yom HaShoah, I challenge that assertion. The rise of Fascism, and in particular, the Nazis, posed a far more virulent threat to mankind…and make no mistake: The Nazis and all they represented, were, and continue to be, a virus…a plague on humanity.

Defenses were down after the War To End All Wars and its aftermath crippled the global economy, foisting our planet into the Great Depression. Germany, as the instigator and loser of WWI, was hit hardest. And so the Nazi virus began its invasion using a path of least resistance, enveloping central Europe in a fever-dream of swastikas and a promise to Make Aryans Great Again.

At first, a majority of Germans and their neighbors didn’t take the threat seriously. They had ample opportunity to snuff the early flames before it spread. But through a combination of denial, selfishness and policies of appeasement which focused on local problems (be it within one’s family or municipality inside of Germany, or on fellow countrymen and national strife beyond the German borders – particularly in England – I’m looking at you Chamberlain), they failed to take early decisive action.

In fairness, those who unleashed the virus on their fellow man were deceitful. They propagated a campaign of lies, slyly undermining any efforts to slow the spread. Propaganda ensured rapid infection by way of sleight of hand…the virus was…get this…hailed as the cure – the magic elixir that would solve all of Germany’s rampant and real problems: unemployment, stagflation, poverty…helping the once-proud nation and it’s people to a return to glory. How? By blaming all of these problems on the Jews, of course.

By the time the NAZI-88 virus annexed the Sudetenland and bulldozed Poland it was too late. The disease had mutated. Local populations with dormant but no less virulent strains of the insidious ailment actually helped spread the disease. NAZI-88 preyed on hubris. And the weak, the elderly and the disabled were ravaged. Certain members of society were quarantined, and forced to produce munitions to bolster and help spread the infection.

But millions of ordinary European citizens had a choice…they could help stop the spread of NAZI-88, or they could aid and abet the virus in its death march across Europe. NAZI-88 could not truly take hold throughout the continent without the help of the ignorant masses…both those who actively spread the infection and those who passively sat idly by as the disease ravaged their communities.

Let the lessons of NAZI-88 be forever etched in our minds. In times when the ground below us begins to crumble, and the flames of hell begin to pierce our foothold, it is up to the masses to join together and extinguish, not fan, the flames, and to reinforce the barriers that protect our weakest brothers and sisters from slipping through the cracks. For it is ignorant to believe the sacrifice of the old and frail, of the disabled and infirm or even of the Jews or some other minority will smother the raging fires below; rather, doing so will serve to feed those dying embers and erode the earth that protects us all from their grip.

#NeverForget

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When I Was A Kid, The World Shut Down…

HistoryBook

I don’t roll on Shabbas…and now, you won’t catch your author anywhere near a bowling alley any other day of the week either.

Bowling has to be one of the highest-risk activities to spread a contagious virus (maybe second to a trip to Chuck E Cheese’s?) Just thinking about reaching my fingers into those three holes (get your mind out of the gutter…see what I did there?) in any of those colored balls at a local bowling alley makes my stomach churn and the little hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Add to that the shared rental shoes, the touchscreen automated scoring apparatus, the arcade games, the bowling alley bathrooms and the other patrons (many of whom would fit right in on Tiger King) and you may as well reserve an ICU wing at the local hospital.

But I digress.

There are a number of distinct memories I have from childhood, both good and bad, that are forever etched into my mind, along with certain imagery…just thinking about the events below brings me back to a certain time and place in my life. And conversely, reminiscing about certain times in my life, I immediately recall these events which are forever associated with those specific ages and moments.

  • Gas station lines during the oil crisis in the ’70s
  • Phillies 1980 World Series Victory
  • Iran Hostage Crisis (in particular, the yellow ribbon – replete with its own song)
  • USA Hockey victory over USSR – The Miracle on Ice
  • John Lennon’s Assassination
  • Reagan’s Assassination Attempt
  • 76ers 1983 World Championship
  • We Are the World
  • Challenger Explosion
  • Stock Market Crash of 1987
  • Earthquake Disrupts 1989 Bay Area World Series
  • The Gulf War – “This Aggression Will Not Stand!”
  • Tiananmen Square
  • Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
  • Berlin Wall Comes Down (And the subsequent dissolving of the USSR)
  • Magic Johnson Reveals He Has HIV
  • Rodney King Riots
  • Duke Back-to-Back Championships 1991-1992 – (in particular, the UNLV game in ’91 and the Kentucky game in ’92)
  • OJ – The car chase and the trial

*The list is not exhaustive and shows a clear bias toward negative stories (one wonders if that is a human thing, a media thing or an IDROS thing). IDROS included impactful events from early childhood through college graduation. Also, please note these are all shared events. Obviously, like IDROS, all of you have personal memories and life-altering events of which only you and your closest family and friends might be aware. But this COVID-19 affair affects the entire planet and so this list includes only events shared by much of, if not all of, humanity.

IDROS would love to hear from any readers who have other watershed events to include in the comments below.

Thinking back on the list above, IDROS can’t help but wonder how his and all children will remember this dark and unique time in our world.

How will it be taught in schools? What will be the lasting images and photos of the pandemic that will fill the History textbooks? What would be the impacts on our world? Did humanity change as a result? And how so? Do we look back at this time nostalgically? Did any good come from this crisis? Did society learn anything from this? What, if anything, was forever changed by Coronavirus? Was our response effective? What could we have done better? Where did our efforts fail? How are we more prepared going forward for another such threat?

A few of IDROS’ stray observations so far from the Coronavirus Pandemic:

  1. No school shootings – an underrated benefit of this craziness
  2. My kids don’t realize the fears my wife and I have when doing mundane things like going grocery shopping or getting gas in this new world
  3. They also don’t know what we do once we return with our haul, or have it delivered – the hours wiping down all the boxes and packages with Clorox wipes, etc.
  4. If you weren’t a hypochondriac and/or germaphobe before this pandemic…you are now!
  5. IDROS fears even more than usual for all women and children living in an abusive home during this crisis (please read this great piece)
  6. Doctors, nurses and hospital employees are true heroes (as are grocery store employees, delivery men and women, and all first-responders)
  7. Yardwork is more fun when you are quarantined, but only marginally
  8. Little to no traffic on the roads is a pleasant and welcome benefit of these times
  9. IDROS believes the current situation must be especially difficult for anyone working a 12-step program (or similar) and prays for your continued strength – on the plus side: zoom meetings are available and the coffee is likely better
  10. IDROS is legitimately scared…for his family, friends, all who are protecting us and helping us through this time, America, and for humanity
  11. America’s greatest challenge in this pandemic, in IDROS’ humble opinion, is the vast amount of freedom the citizens of this country enjoy…to truly contain and defeat this enemy, a full lockdown is necessary and should have been instituted long ago (think, February). But Americans would never allow this en masse and will need to see much more devastation than a couple thousand deaths before allowing the government to claw back their freedoms. Nations with citizens who are more accustomed to dictatorial rule, or at least fewer liberties and freedoms in general, have fared much better during this pandemic.
  12. That said, IDROS is humbled by the overwhelming selflessness of the majority of American (and global) citizenry. Most people are sacrificing everything for the greater good, forgoing sanity, their careers, income and most that life has to offer outside the four walls of their homes to ensure the safety of the first-responders, medical professionals, elderly and immuno-compromised in our communities…and frankly, have done so with no real clear leadership. There is no precedent for this situation and still, by and large, the response has been amazingly awe-inspiring…at least so far.
  13. IDROS would like to thank all the kind people out there like John Krasinski who are trying to keep us focused on the good during these trying times.

Please be safe everyone. Humanity will prevail! Have faith and stay the f*c@ at home!

All the best,

IDROS

#FlattenTheCurve

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Forward

2020-March-Calendar“Beware the Ides of March,” they said…

“March Madness,” they said…

“In like a lion, out like a lamb,” they said (one can still hope, but unless it’s a lamb created by Dr. Moreau, probably not gonna’ happen)…

So fortunate we are to have had that extra day in February this year to prepare…

March!

Named for the Roman god of War…and now we find ourselves embroiled in a true World War.

The globe is united against a common enemy…an enemy so small it can’t be seen by the naked eye.

Time marches on, and so must we…

This is our March of the Living!

Thank you to all of those on the front lines, and everyone working overtime for a cure.

Stay safe everyone…and please follow the CDC guidelines. #FlattenTheCurve

All the best,

IDROS

 

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The Ultimate List

Funny_Fantasy-football-namesPumpkin spice surrounds us once again, and it is as inescapable as a crowded checkout line at Target. The kiddos are starting (or in the case of Florida, where IDROS lives, have already started) school. Halloween decorations, costumes and candies have flooded retail hubs across America. And so, by the transitive property, we can safely assume that FOOTBALL SEASON is upon us. And with it, Fantasy drafts have hijacked the productivity of at least 60% of society and have added stress and resentment to marriages across the land.  Polls and power rankings are honed and proliferated by pedigreed dart-throwers at major sports media outlets all over the nation.

Why? Because everyone loves lists. All things in life are better when boiled down to an ordered, unordered, random or deliberate list…especially when it’s ranked. Some of these rankings are serious, and help inform people’s choices for colleges, grad schools, private schools, mutual funds, new cars, doctors, lawyers, and a host of other products and professionals we are free to choose. Some are less serious, but nonetheless drive the music we listen to, the movies we see, the Fantasy players we draft, the “top” answers on a certain Game Show and more importantly, the relevancy regarding certain arcana such as the best songs from certain decades, the best movie roles for certain actors, the best quarterbacks of all time, etc.

IDROS enjoys a good list as much as anyone, and so what better way to “kick off” American football season (see what I did there?) than to proffer a very special list…the ultimate list.

Behold, the IDROS ULTIMATE LIST OF LISTS (top 25 answers on the board…revealed in descending order for the reader’s pleasure). As always, if you have any suggestions or additions, feel free to contribute in the comments:

25) To Do

24) Do Not Call

23) Endangered Species

22) Reading

21) Play

20) Wait

19) Christmas (Holiday)

18) Check

17) No Fly

16) Hit

15) Wish

14) Guest

13) Mailing/Contact

12) Most Wanted

11) Punch

10) A

9) Hurricane (Apocalypse) Prep

8) Shopping/Grocery

7) B

6) Sh*t

5) Wine

4) Bucket

3) Set

2) My (…of the best things in life…yes, the one your kiss is on)

1) Franz

Others receiving votes: Top 10, Phone/Contact, C, Short, Packing, Watch, Price, Honey-Do, Luke, Ingredients, UVA, Inventory, Results, Santa’s, D, Answer, Florida State, Drink, Song, Signature, Donor, Passenger, Thank You, Call/Emergency Call

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