November 09, 2006

Theocracy or Theocrazy?

Sometimes, people DO get along.

Unfortunately, sometimes said interfaith bonding comes in the form of conservative intolerance. Iraeli demonstations against this year's Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem have caused leaders of the nation's alternative lifestyle community to cancel the parade due to security concerns.

Israel's chief Rabbi has called the Gay Pride march "a threat to Israel."

A Jerusalem councilwoman said, "The homo-lesbian community is immoral and must be condemned." Classy.

And a Muslim leader recently said, "This is the 'Holy Land,' not the homo land." Oh, snappy. Great argument, really, top notch.

I love you, Israel, I do. Don't get me wrong, the Chaverim mailing list is a welcome addition to my gmail inbox, and Kosher for Shabbas is not an exception but a norm. That said, we should really consider how a few times in history, some people had a few "demonstrations" against us. Let's not become our enemy.

Sometimes being humane is more important than being a Jew. Come on, Israel, get over it. You may be a theocracy, but that doesn't mean you have to be theocrazy.

November 08, 2006

Where is the party?

I don't watch sports, I watch elections.

You'd think that being at one of the most liberal colleges in the country, I'd be surrounded by fellow political play-by-play enthusiasts, anxiously waiting and refreshing the live Internet updates for news of late reporting precincts and close races.

But today, though my smile stays strong at the thought of an actual victory, I know that I'll be hearing more about Britney Spears FINALLY filing for divorce due to "irreconcilable differences" with Kevin Federline than the House going to the Dems for the first time in twelve years. And that's just scary.

This election was one of personal firsts. Not only was this the first time I was of legal voting age, this was also the first election I went into with optimism. Being too young to really appreciate Clinton, my first truly politically conscious election was the infamous 2000 vote. We all know how that turned out, so you could imagine how I became so accustomed to expecting defeat every few years.

As exciting as last night was, gathered around a giant projection of MSNBC, comically jeering at Joe Scarborough and cheering as the amazing reports came in, this morning I find myself feeling split about the results. Much like the Senate race, which should feel like a victory for the Democrats by all accounts, I sit here waiting for an absolution of my emotional response, with no telling when it will come.

Maybe I don't know how to respond to a positive political outcome, with my limited experience with the occasion. But I fear it's more that I don't know how to respond to an environment of collegiate apathy.

I had an early lecture this morning, and instead of walking into a rowdy room of celebratory freshman in witty liberal t-shirts, I found the same somber collection of bleak-eyed teenagers, dutifully bemoaning the fact that they were expected to be awake at nine in the morning.

Where is the party? Where is the celebration? For now, I suppose I must be satisfied with the exclamatory headlines begging my attention as I walk past the ignored, untouched newspapers in the student union, the only sign, outside of my own head, that something wonderful has happened.