Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Culch her? I hardly know her!


As my father would say... ;)

Okay, so let me explain.

I've totally dropped the ball so far on a regular feature I want to do here, which is an every-other-week food post.  At least, only so far!  Hopefully not for much longer.  I'll surely start this up in August some time, earlier rather than later.  I should have a bit more time in two weeks or so.

One of my favorite regular blog features are the weekly "Postcard from Israel" photo diaries at CiF Watch.  In a 'former blogging life,' I was mainly known as a food writer and photo diarist.  Until I jumped into I-P at Daily Kos (heh), from which point my blogging experiences have never quite been the same.  Turns out some of the very same people who once enjoyed and supported my Kunstlerian rants on urban planning and architecture, and my photo diaries from community gardens and farmers' markets... did not quite appreciate my later 'coming out' as a supporter of Israel and as a strong critic of the all-too-prevalent 'progressive' antisemitism on sites like the aforementioned.  Shockingly enough.

I always admired Tablet, at least until they started publishing and defending sick filth that would even make Philip Weiss and (maybe, unless there were potential book sales in it for him) David Harris-Gershon cringe.  I still think they have a nice balance of politics, news and culture; and I'd like to see more comprehensive pro-Israel, proudly-Jewish sites gain similar prominence in 'the blogosphere,' such as it is.

I'd like to expand our community a bit here on Israel Thrives, with occasional cultural entries such as food diaries and coverage of local events, etc etc.  That's still what I do best, after all, so I'll try my darndest to do so from here on out.

Until then, here's what I'd do for breakfast on Saturday if I didn't have to catch an intercity train in the morning.  Argh!  Okay, maybe next weekend.  It's still the height of summer produce season here in Philadelphia, so tomatoes and cukes and all the other good stuff will surely be around at our farmers' markets next Saturday morning.

And shakshuka will always be my last meal (if I'm fortunate enough to be able to make that choice!)...


  1. And speaking of culture! Baseball definitely qualifies, at least here in the US. I think Mike's a bit of a fan of the game, too?


    Okay, so after sweeping the Brewers (whoo!), all my Phils need to do is finish the season 44-19 to grab that second wild card. I think 89 wins will be enough in the NL, and call me crazy but I think we can do it!

    After all, this same team overcame a 7-game deficit with 17 games to go to win the NL East just five years ago. Therefore, gaining 9.5 on the current #2 Wild Card Braves over 63 games surely isn't impossible!

    And going into the postseason on a streak like that (fingers crossed!) would really be something...

    1. I still think we can do this while moving Pence and Blanton for future pieces before the trade deadline, btw. But keep Chooch, damn it!

    2. This is not the Phils year, Jay.

      44 and 19 to get the wild card?


      The Phillies are a better team than this years results so far would indicate, but they're in the cellar and 14 games back.

      The Giants, meanwhile, are in a blood-feud with the Dodgers and we just lost Sandoval with the Dodgers coming into town this weekend.

    3. The more I think of it, 87 wins might even clinch that second NL wild card this year. That's only 42-21 the rest of the way, and this roster is definitely capable of that if they play up to potential. Even two or three of those laughably ludicrous losses in the first half, if they had gone the other way, the Phils would be just a few games behind Atlanta and Pittsburgh right now. It ain't even close to over yet!

      Perhaps any combination of Victorino, Blanton, Wigginton and / or Pence (don't even think about trading Lee again, guys... bah!) can bring in a solid reliever for this year, as well as a prospect or three for the future? We're gonna need at least a solid 3B and an OF for next year.

      And the only number that matters is 9.5, not 14. We don't have to win the division... ;)

      Best of luck to youze, here's hoping the Giants beat the Dodgers right out of the wild card race!

  2. I have to say, I could not be more horrified at Tablet.

    The piece that you've linked to is among the most disgusting op-eds that I have ever read and we need to let the people at Tablet know that this is just unacceptable.

    Since I was 12 I’ve had an unappealing, didactic distrust of people with the extreme will to live.

    This is the first sentence of this atrocious nonsense and it just gets worse from there.

    And, btw, "didactic mistrust"?

    What the fuck is didactic mistrust? It doesn't even make any sense!

    Jesus, must go throw up now!

    1. I read that piece. I found it interesting. (don't get all pissed off yet, I also found it appalling.)

      I'm not familiar with the AMC series. Not sure I've ever heard of it. But the storyline seems to share the same dark genesis as both Weeds and The Big C (showtime series). Survival through some catastrophic tragedy allows people to justify every bad shitty thing they do the rest of their lives.

      True? Not in my experience. And the author's lede notwithstanding, my experience would most often lead me to think about the holocaust survivors I've known. Why does my experience bring me to the exact opposite conclusion of the author? I suspect it's because I'm somewhere around 30 years older than the author. I haven't known a handful of old and soon to be dead holocaust survivors. I've known dozens, maybe scores, some of them with vivid memories, that were only 15 or 20 years older than me. As an adult, some of them were almost my contemporaries. I grew up surrounded by a handful of surviors.

      If there was any common thread among their personalities, other than them being survivors, it never occurred to me before. And as I've thought about it for the last 30 minutes, still nothing is apparent. They were jerks and they were angels. Ordinary and extraordinary. Frugal and spendthrifts. Loyal and untrustworthy. Some of them talked freely about their experiences. And some never at all.

      My most recent personal interaction with a survivor was at the 1st seder this year. The mother of a friend, and purely coincidentally a friend of my mother, I've known her for more than 30 years. She's old now, recently suffered a stroke. At close to 90 and very fragile, sex is still one of her favorite discussion topics. Until that night a few months ago, I had never once heard her mention what she went through. She talked about it for a few tearful minutes. Her daughter, sitting next to her, with her jaw dropping at what her mother was sharing, had never once heard her mother mention a single experience from the 18 months she spent in a concentration camp.

      Does the author's age excuse the appalling broad brush she uses to paint holocaust survivors? Hardly. Or for that matter, even labeling them with "extreme will to live". I suspect most that she has had contact with were very young during the holocaust. And probably survived because of their youth, and quite possibly the extreme desires of parents and other adults around them to keep them alive, as much as anything they did themselves.

      Interesting that she's estranged from her father. I wonder whose fault that is.

  3. Getting pumped, man. Olympic basketball, starting this weekend!

    I am a basketball addict. :)