Because of an eleventh hour development, my family did not have a Seder this year. I chose not to crash someone else's or participate in a communal Seder. But because I didn't and because Passover fell out so early this year, my timetable went to hell. I cheated a little but mostly I suffered breadless for well longer than I had to. I even scolded a friend for giving me an Oreo. He decided to challenge the rabbinically interpreted food prohibitions and I told him not to bother, we've all tried that already! Then I go to my parent's house and I lecture my mom about the new loaf of bread in the fridge. What? I had NO idea Passover had passed over. I could tell by the sneer in my mother's "wake up crackhead" tone of voice that there was no point in going a few rounds, apparently my calendar was completely skewed. I decided that after Passover I was only going to email on certain days (barring anything time sensitive) but I haven't abided this limitation thus far. Considering how emailing distracts me, however much I enjoy it, and even where it's a useful distraction, I think I need to take one week every month and not email period. So this is the plan... (I always have to use this quote following any mention of a plan... "Great, Custer had a plan!"--- Harold Ramis "Stripes")
Following my birthday (4-18) I am going to email 4 days a week, Tuesday through Thursday, and Sunday. I'm not going to set aside a specific week of email abstinence, it'll just be one week a month. I'm not sure how effective this plan will be, especially if history is any indicator, but I'm going to try. None of this has any bearing on when anyone else should be emailing me. I would not ask anyone to conform to my schedule, the schedule is for me, I need it. Even if I mess up painfully at first, I am still going to keep trying to stick to it. It's like this. Suppose you smoke 10 cigarettes a day and want to cut back to 5 but only manage to cut back to 8. You're going to die of lung cancer any which way. But the illusion that you might live a day longer, it's voluptuous baby. So allow me the delusion that I am not an email addict. I just typed out "I am not an email addict" 1000 times (ok so I copied and pasted a little). Dont believe me? Want me to email it?
I'm going to be a little slow on my article. In addition to getting distracted constantly and spinning my subject matter out of control into completely different articles, I am painfully tired today. Usually I'm painfully tired from not sleeping (makes sense) but I did sleep last night. But it was a low grade restless slumber. Tossing and turning. No wet dreams. Entire bed = wrong side of bed. Wake up with mission to destroy world. Will settle for coffee.
I'm good at lengthy and I'm good at very short, it's the "medium" that I struggle with. Here's a "very short" something (see below) I wrote yesterday. I'm not one to write letters to the editor, if anything I'd rather address the author directly though I imagine most of them understandably don't respond to reader email. I think I'm freaking people with all of my Israel talk, it's an unpleasant topic but one of the reaons I'm deeply concerned is that the current conflict does have implications towards, well, an even more unpleasant topic. We've always worried about weapons of mass destruction but we've also dismissed the possibility (really, accepted the low probability) that they would ever be used in ruthless hostility. I'd go a step further in qualifying and say we've dimissed the possibility that WMD's would be used ruthlessly not as means but as ends in and of themselves. In my opinion there is a deeply dangerous ideological "hedging" infecting our objectivity our morality also our sense of where objectivity morality and "realpolitik" intersect... and I find even myself being unapologetic in mind and yet apologetic in heart because like anyone, I want to be sensitive, peaceful, confident in the goodness or at least the pragmatism of men. But I've overstepped or understepped somewhere because I find myself ultimately being untrue to what I believe and what I believe in... to the end of appearing and being open-minded and open-hearted. But to champion those virtues (of an open heart and mind) is -not- to abandon judgment. The more I'm aware of this inner conflict, the stronger my resolve grows because I know I didn't arrive at a place I would call truth with a knee jerk analysis or emotional reaction. What is the merit of pursuing truth if you think you've had it all figured out since day one or if you always perceive yourself to be as far away from it as you ever were. And what is the merit in believing in anything if you can't stand by it? Bush needs to be a leader. A great leader leads with resolve not by fear or charisma. A great leader should be able and willing to change his mind but not by way of the fear or charisma of others.
From: "Princess Vespa" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 22:47:21 +0000
To the Editor:
It’s always amusing when political figures appear as dolls with stomach strings piping prerecorded messages that don’t mean anything. Bush has a basis for and even an obligation to be advising Israel but he has no right to make demands, any more than Sharon should bark at him to leave Afghanistan because of civilian casualties. I agree with Jonathan Podhoretz (“Sharon Doesn’t Work For Bush” 4/09/02) that Bush’s orders are insincere and amount to nothing more than posturing. Bush does have very real concerns about mobilizing support for possible future action against Iraq and yet he fails to grasp the obvious, that unless Iraq attacks us (G-d forbid), more tangibly threatens us, reinvades Kuwait, or insults George Bush Sr. again, we will be the only agent acting against Iraq. Even if we managed to drum up some kind of multilateral support, it would still be mostly the United States and ultimately we’d get the support we needed or do without. I don’t think Israel should be the focal point for Bush’s entire foreign agenda in the Middle East (nor should pleasing the U.S. be a focal point for Israel) but I feel Bush would more honestly and richly serve his leadership by making a bold statement about the underlying reality of the “cycle of violence.” However ironic, wars are very often fought to end cycles of violence and a half-fought war is not only worthless, it’s inhumane precisely because it’s half fought.
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