Vices we love: Gunboat Granola

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Gunboat Granola

A couple of years ago- 3 of them to be exact- I was invited on a trip to Israel by a group called Birthright Israel . My Harlem landlord, an elderly black gentleman who referred to me as "my Schwartze grandson" and often talked about his mother "cleaning the railway cars with Polish Jews" took charge of the matter and offered to lend me his old navy blue bullet-proof vest. (He is a landlord in New York for goodness sakes). I turned him down, went over there and had a fine time, interrupted only by my religiously tone-deaf musings on how a ham sandwhich would hit the spot.

Anyhoo, the trip was guided by a couple of Israelis including an American-born lad named Michael. He lived on a moshav (farming community) and...well just look at his picture to get an idea for why I picked the post title. Somehow the idea of Michael armed to the teeth is a bit incogrous. I'm posting it just for that reason- it would somehow humanize the term IDF.

I figured that logo needed humanizing because a few weeks ago I was up in York and had the good fortune (from an anthropological point of view) to attend an "anti-war" rally.
I am not the rallying sort. The only time I showed up for one was when the Ku Klux Klan decided to bring their retro tour to Memphis. It pissed me off to no end because after all they did in the south they had no business showing up unless they did so in closed caskets. Anyway, that's my total rallying experience. In New York, a group of overfed white kids named ANSWER regularly tried to incite Harlemites into taking up their cause, whatever that cause may be. (As many leftists, they were terribly upset but could never cogently articulate why.) I passed but heard some pretty awesome speeches about pigs and occupiers and whatnot. Never once did I hear, for example, about fellows like the lad I met one Shabbat. We were sitting on the stairwell of his grandma's home in New York when he turned to me and asked, rather sweetly:

"Want to see my eye?"
"What???"
"I can take out my eye and show to you."
"Please don't. And why?"
"I'm from Rann'anna. You know about the bomb?" (A bus station was blow up there.)
"Aha."
"The shrapnel hit me in the eye. Wanna see?"
He was grinning the whole time like it was the coolest thing ever.

Which brings us to my newest favorite blog, that of the The Sandmonkey. For a taster, those nice ladies in York should read this little gem. A heartwarming tale about a freedom fighter, a simple man who just wants peace, freedom and harmony. And really big guns.

We close with news from the Far East. To celebrate my possible return to the Far East, lets take a peek at this heartwarming little video.

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