23 February 2002

Pondering, this Shabbes night, Daniel Pearl’s last moments. According to those who have seen the tape, his last words were: I am a Jew. Then they slit this throat. Then they decapitated him. Leaving aside the fury I’m feeling at these creatures, these animals — and I’d like to — I’m thinking of a prayer from the Conservative siddur:

I am a Jew because my faith demands no abdication of the mind.
I am a Jew because my faith demands all the devotion of my heart.
I am a Jew because wherever there is suffering, the Jew weeps.
I am a Jew because wherever there is despair, the Jew hopes.
I am a Jew because the message of our faith is the oldest and the newest.
I am a Jew because the promise of our faith is a universal promise.
I am a Jew because for the Jew the world is not completed; people must complete it.
I am a Jew because for the Jew humanity is not fully created; people must complete it.
I am a Jew because the faith of the people Israel places humanity above nations, above Judaism itself.
I am a Jew because the faith of the people Israel places above humanity, image of the divine, the Oneness of God.

23 February 2002

18 February 2002

Want to know who my favorite neophyte journalist is? Joanna Jackson is my favorite neophyte journalist. Want to know who the most brain-dead person in publishing is? Luci Prinz, intern coordinator for the Atlantic Monthly. Fortunately, she was stupid enough to put this act of blatant discrimination in writing, so you can read this article and find out how Joanna and Luci collided. Go Joanna! (Update: Get it while it’s hot: Romenesko’s letters column calls this discrimination what it is, not only ageist but classist. And they don’t stop with the Atlantic Monthly, either. For those of you laboring in the world under the delusion that the people who put out magazines have or want anything in common with most of us, you must indulge in this link before the letters expire and roll off the page.)

18 February 2002

17 February 2002

This is a very sad story that poses the eternal question: Is it worse than politicians can be evil? Or that voters can be stupid? Many of the rural areas of Washington voted for rollback that certain lobbyists and would-be lawmakers claimed went from their pockets to the roadways of Seattle and Tacoma (that is, the urban areas). Now those areas have discovered that gee, as it turns out they were lied to. So you make the ethical call: Are these folk, about to lose their way of life to this fiasco…

– Venal for obeying the greed that blinded them?

– Worse than venal for responding to the thinly-veiled racism Washingtonians will remember from the Initiative 695 campaign?

– Merely stupid, for not thinking through the clear fallacies in the 695 pitch?

– Wronged, since they were duped by politicial interests that used and discarded them like a leaky love doll?

I’m asking.

17 February 2002

15 February 2002

I’ve figured out what it means when Colin Powell says all this sane stuff, which he was caught doing again this week much to the chagrin of the Christian-fascist movement. It’s not just that Colin Powell is the only member of this administration that not an evil waste of carbon and oxygen. It’s that Colin Powell knows damned well he’s got more Presidential mettle in his eyebrow trimmings than Bush has in his whole body, and that if he, Colin Powell, had listened when folks were begging him to run, we wouldn’t be toppling off our current precipice. Colin Powell, my friends, is EXPIATING. Right before your eyes. Step right up.

15 February 2002