Saturday, April 18, 2009


There is never enough time. With all of the world at our fingertips thanks to the Internet, there isn't even enough time to read all of the good stuff online. And then you still have to find time for real life and people you meet face to face. One writer who I keep forgetting about because I've never bookmarked him, is the man who calls himself Spengler. He's one of the more fascinating, thought provoking minds on the web. He covers a lot of ground in every piece. I keep meaning to go and read all of his posts from the beginning. Read his latest.
Youth culture, I argued, was an oxymoron, for culture itself was a bridge across generations, a means of cheating mortality. The old and angry cultures of the world, fighting for room to breath against the onset of globalization, would not go quietly into the homogenizer. Many of them would fight to survive, but fight in vain, for the tide of modernity could not be rolled back.

As in the great extinction of the tribes in late antiquity, individuals might save themselves from the incurable necrosis of their own ethnicity through adoption into the eternal people, that is, Israel. The great German-Jewish theologian and student of the existential angst of dying nations, Franz Rosenzweig, had commanded undivided attention during the 1990s, and I had a pair of essays about him for the Jewish-Christian Relations website. Rosenzweig's theology, it occurred to me, had broader applications.

The end of the old ethnicities, I believed, would dominate the cultural and strategic agenda of the next several decades. Great countries were failing of their will to live, and it was easy to imagine a world in which Japanese, German, Italian and Russian would turn into dying languages only a century hence. Modernity taxed the Muslim world even more severely, although the results sometimes were less obvious.
The intersection point in the Venn diagram of my background had shrunk to the point of vanishing. As a returning religious Jew, I had less and less to discuss with the secular Zionists who shared my passion and partisanship for Israel, but could not see a divine dimension in Jewish nationhood. So-called cultural Judaism repelled me; most of what passes for Jewish culture comes down to the mud that stuck to our boots as we fled one country after another. The Hebrew Bible and its commentaries over the centuries are the core of Jewish culture, with a handful of odd adjuncts, such as the novels of S Y Agnon or the last, devotional poems of Heine.
I've been on Spring Break this past week. I kind of took it easy this week. The weather has been beautiful and if I were a responsible home owner, I would have been out taking care of my yard, for it truly looks like Hell. I was out today for a few hours. This morning, I and a few friends, attended an anti-Israel hatefest . . . uh, I mean a program called, A Just Peace for Palestine and Israel. It was falsely billed as a debate, because, as with all of these conferences on "peace", only one side was invited. I hope to post an entry on it tomorrow . . . if I have time. After that, it will be back to the occasional post until Summer Vacation.

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At 12:46 AM, Blogger MightyMom said...

I was starting to wonder if you'd quit your job..............................................


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