Hoping for a better tomorrow,
Hoping for a better tomorrow,
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, 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,
#NeverAgain #DontBeSilent #SpeakOutAgainstAntisemitism #IStandWithIsraelForever #AmYisraelChai
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.
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,
All the best,
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.
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.
*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:
Please be safe everyone. Humanity will prevail! Have faith and stay the f*c@ at home!
All the best,
“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…
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,
Well, well, well, Alabama. I would love to write that you have sunk to a new low, but that is virtually impossible for a state of your “caliber”…and yes, those are air-quotes, and meant to denote the irony of typing such a word and associating it with what can only be described as the inner bowels of hell…a place with fewer redeeming qualities than a disease infested mosquito.
Before I get into the real story here, I feel it necessary to give some points of reference to my seemingly heavy-handed opening salvo…so here are some incredible facts of modern-day Alabama (we all know the glorious history Alabama showcased prior to the Civil War).
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ALABAMA.
The point here is that Alabama is pretty much the worst place in our country…so doing something like introducing this ridiculous new abortion law is pretty much in line with expectations from a place that ranks 49 out of 50.
Ahhhh…the homogenous group of 25 white MEN, people who are unable to get pregnant themselves…mind you…who took it upon themselves to place the rights of rapists and incestuous sexual predators above those of Alabaman women. Women who are, aside from actually being able to get pregnant, grow another human life (or two or eight) inside of them, get overwhelmed with hormones, have their insides and outsides stretched, crushed and contorted to unfathomable limits, lose countless hours of sleep, and endure pain unknown to all males, actual and EQUAL constituents of these 25 jerk-offs.
The plot gets a little interesting given that Alabama has a female Governor (Kay Ivey). Yep…the populace of that state was evidently enlightened enough to trust their governance to a woman (IDROS believes it must have been a balloting error), but still doesn’t believe said woman should be able to govern her own body. We shall see if Governor Ivey even cares, or if she too is so corrupted by the hypocrisy of the religious right that her own body is no longer part of her jurisdiction.
IDROS would like to make one point crystal clear. No sane person, including IDROS (if you are flexible in your definition of sanity), is PRO abortion. Your author knows HIS lane…and emphasizes the male possessive in absolute solidarity with the fact that this is not an issue that should be legislated, debated, or even posited by any males of our species. Sure, we can opine, when asked, or in the event it is our spermatozoa that fertilized the specific ovum that led to a very difficult decision…maybe even weigh in…in a supportive and chivalrous manner.
But the same people who claim to be PRO “Life” have seen to it that our nation has more guns than people and easier access to them than to clean drinking water. The same mother f-ers that clamor for smaller government want to shrink it so that it fits inside a woman’s vagina…so they can control it from the inside. Talk about hypocrisy. And the vast majority of the government a-holes (and their voter base) who support the legislating of women’s bodies are men (all 25 were in this case).
This “are you f-ing kidding me” watershed moment is even more grotesque and complex than it might appear, however. Why? Because the ridiculous men who brought forth what amounts to the most misogynistic, criminally insensitive and malicious anti-abortion legislation in our nation did so with an ulterior motive in mind. You see, while they do believe the ideas in said legislation, even they, Alabaman politicians, raised and educated in the great school system of Alabama, know enough from their 4 and 5 years in law school and several attempts at passing the bar exam, that the legislation is unconstitutional.
And so these wily little weasels are setting a no-win trap. IDROS feels like Admiral Akbar realizing the deflector shield is still up. The ACLU will step in, trying to protect the females of our species in Alabama, and appeal this legislation all the way up to the SCOTUS…where the new and inferior, rage-inducing conservative majority sits waiting to pounce…and to upend Roe v. Wade.
IDROS says f ‘em. ACLU, hear me now and listen to me later (yes, in Hans and Franz accent)…do not interfere! Let Alabama remain the stain on our nation it desperately seeks to be. We all see where this is going…back alley abortions; bringing back the coat hangers. I can see the blood running down the legs of those poor women now into puddles in some awful Alabaman alley. The Crimson Tide will take on a whole new meaning. And all the blood will be on the hands of a bunch of men, who thought they knew what was best…not just for the women of Alabama…but for the rest of our country as well. (IDROS apologizes for the nauseating, though alliterative, imagery)
IDROS wishes we rational Americans could have a late term abortion and force Alabama out of the US. They are a drag on our resources and are now trying to influence national policy. They must be stopped.
Kay Ivey…you are the first potential blockade. IDROS hopes you choose wisely…but fears the worst.
In the event Kay drops the ball, or the Alabama House of White Male Dicks vetoes her refusal…
Then ACLU, IDROS knows you mean well. But leave this alone. Don’t let Alabama potentially ruin the rest of our country with its ignorance and hypocrisy.
As a closely related aside, IDROS loves the Godfather Part Deux. An amazing scene (among many) is when Kay explains to Michael that she didn’t lose the baby. Watch here. Reflect. Such a great scene! And to think Alabama even wants to prevent women from snuffing out future Mafia Dons with this asinine legislation. Furthermore, IDROS likes that Alabama’s Governor is also named Kay…maybe she will use this opportunity to grandstand, and theatrically shout “This Legislation Was an Abortion…It was an Abortion!”
Anyway…just my 2 ₡
Thanks, as always for reading.
All the best,
IDROS (oh, and call me Deacon Blues)
This is Us. (See what I did there? Pittsburgh….sadness.)
Unfortunately, there has been no shortage of seminal moments in our world that showcased the abject and baseless horror human beings can inflict on one another. History is littered with prime examples. And literature teems with responses.
A little more than two years ago, in the wake of another hate crime (Pulse, Orlando), just as Hillary and the Donald were wrapping up their victories in their respective Primaries, a young lady sat in one of the most American establishments there is, deep in the heart of a battleground state, and wrote these powerful verses:
Smith’s opus deftly captures the paradox of our planet, our world and humanity. It is at once breathtakingly beautiful, and horrifyingly awful. It makes you gasp in wonder, and cry tears of fear and futility. It is simultaneously optimistic and pessimistic. And in my eyes, if a person can take the human condition and our imperfect world with all of its flaws, decay and unbearable cruelty, and bottle them up in fewer than twenty lines of lyrical free verse, mixed with hints of optimism and belief in our children, in our future…well then perhaps not all is lost…even after Pittsburgh…and Parkland….and Las Vegas, and Charleston, and Sandy Hook, and so on down the line.
Still, they are just words. So while I encourage you to read them, re-read them, pass them on and focus on the hint of optimism at the end, please know that words are powerful, but actions always speak louder. I urge you to vote. And choose kindness. And teach kindness.
Warmest regards and Happy Halloween,