Skip to main content

the biggest loser

one of the reasons i love being in a larger city is because of the diversity of cultures around me. being the offspring of virtually every celtic tribe imaginable doesn't give me the widest variety in my own family. but there are times when i am decidedly so far across the cultural divide that i can't see the other side.

for instance, the united jewish appeal has recently launched a media campaign featuring images of dog tags belonging to three israeli soldiers who were kidnapped, one into gaza, two into lebanon, last year. the line they are using as a catch phrase for this campaign is "we don't leave our sons behind". yeah, we noticed that.

suddenly, toronto is polluted with images of dog tags, exhorting people to support the campaign to free the soldiers. this might have been a laudable goal in itself, if it had been voiced when the soldiers were first kidnapped. hell, it's a laudable goal now to remind people that those young men are still missing. but it completely ignores the intervening actions of the israeli government in the wake of those kidnappings- specifically their choice to level much of a country still emerging from the ravages of a lengthy civil war. in the "know the facts" sidebar to the uja site, they conveniently leave out the fact that israel did bomb lebanon, repeatedly. they also leave out the fact that, despite the damage inflicted by bombing on both sides, no progress was made in freeing the soldiers.

the problem is, it's very difficult to say those kinds of things without being called an anti-semite or being told that you support terrorists. everything that happens in political discourse on the middle east is predicated on the belief that one has chosen a side and that one's opinions are shaped by a need to adhere to that side. the fact is, i generally try to avoid picking sides, because i don't see a lot of good in the conflict. it's difficult to choose sides when every group involved seems more concerned about advancing their own political interests than in doing good for the people they purport to govern.

what is truly offensive about campaigns that pit the heroes of one side of the conflict against the monsters of the other is that they only serve to strengthen the polarities already in place. those who suffer are those who would seek to find a common ground. the biggest casualty is the hope for some kind of lasting detente.

the uja can wrap inflammatory rhetoric in seemingly noble causes all they want, but the fact is, they aren't helping anybody in the long run and they are contributing to a situation that will result in a lot of sons being left behind.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: the war at home

what's worse than being sent off to war when you're barely old enough to order a drink in a bar? making it home only to get poisoned by the government that sent you there. 
although it's certainly not a secret, i don't find that the opiate/ opioid crisis happening in america gets nearly the attention it deserves. at least, what attention it gets just seems to repeat "thousands of people are dying, it's terrible", without ever explaining how things got to the state they are now. there's mention of heroin becoming cheaper, of shameful over-prescriptions and dumping of pills in poorly regulated states/ counties, etc. but too much of the media coverage seems content to say that there's a problem and leave it at that.

one of the things that might be hindering debate is that a very big problem likely has a lot of different causes, which means that it's important to break it down into smaller problems to deal with it. and one of those problems conne…

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

digging for [audio] treasure

my computer tells me that i need to cut down the amount of music stored on my overstuffed hard drive. my ears tell me that that would deprive me of some wonderful listening experiences. 
halifax, nova scotia was not the easiest place to find out about music with limited appeal. it was a very music-centred city, to be sure, but, being smaller, things like noise, industrial, and experimental music struggled to gain a foothold, even as the alternative rock scene exploded in the early nineties. i was lucky enough to have some friends who were happy to share music that they loved, but i knew that there were lots of things that i was missing out on.

with the dawn of the internet, and various types of music sharing, i found myself able to discover bands that i'd heard about, but never managed to track down, from the days of underground cassette culture. and, to my surprise and elation, many of them do very much live up to what i'd imagined from reading descriptions of them in catalo…