Friday, January 06, 2006

One more reason to hate Chavez

Chavez accused of anti-Semitic remarks

A Jewish rights organization accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of making anti-Semitic comments during a Christmas Eve speech.

The Los Angeles, California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center demanded an apology from Chavez in a statement issued Wednesday, saying such remarks have long been used to persecute Jews.
"Some minorities, descendants of the same ones who crucified Christ ... took all the world's wealth for themselves," Chavez said in the Dec. 24 speech.

"In your words, the two central arguments of anti-Semitism emerge ... the accusation that Jews killed Jesus (and) associating them with wealth," the Center said in a letter sent to Chavez. "Our center strongly condemns your anti-Semitic declarations."

Kadima still strong

Here’s some reassuring news: Polls conducted in Israel show that Sharon’s new centrist party—Kadima—would win a majority in the Knesset whether Ehud Olmert or Shimon Peres headed the party. I hope for the best for Sharon, but it sounds like even if he pulls through, he’ll be retired from politics. The important thing in my view (as many of you may know from reading this blog), is that Kadima dominate the Knesset. Israel needs a big centrist party that is non-ideological. Enough with ideology! Israel needs clear-eyed pragmatism. A party that has enough seats in the Knesset to push through concessions when appropriate, but one that will continue to build the fence and keep Israel’s defense and deterrent capability ready to strike hard when necessary.

The nightmare scenario in my mind is that Israeli politics goes back to “normal” with a strong Likud on the right and a strong Labor on the left; both dependent on radical, ideological smaller parties on either side of their respective wings in order to maintain a majority coalition government.

Update: Sharon’s condition appears to have stabilized and his latest brain scan shows improvement in terms of the cranial bleeding. Maybe we shouldn’t count the old Bulldozer out completely.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Open Mic last night

I went to the open mic at the Miramar Theatre last night and had a nice time. As far as my own routine went, I have no complaints. I didn’t stammer or pause in search for words, nor did I screw up any segues leading to different bits of the routine. My routine went smoothly. I received less laughs than I did the first time, but that was because instead of performing for over 100 people, the room was “packed” with about ten other comedians. I did get some laughs; just not as many and not as for long as the first time. This did not bother me as I expected it upon surveying the room. I was heartened to see one gangsta’-looking black dude doubled over laughing at a lot of my lines. There's a big difference between perfunctory chuckles and real laughter, and in such an intimate setting, you can see the difference.

A little over half the comedians were black. I found myself heckling some of the other comedians in a good-natured manner, and think I got just as many laughs from my heckles and banter with guys on stage than I did from when I was up there. Nobody heckled me, but I think that had partly to do with the fact that my routine is polished to the extent that I keep going and don’t pause or stammer, thus giving a heckler less of an opening.

This was a totally different experience from the time on stage primarily because it was held in a small room and thus much more intimate. There was no spotlight blinding me from seeing the crowd. I could look everybody in the eye. The microphone was a prop, if anything, because the space was so small it was really not needed. I think this was why there was more heckling. Actually, I was the biggest heckler, I think. I wasn’t a mean heckler. Anything I said was usually going along with whatever the comedian on stage was saying; not making fun of them, but joking along with them. That inter-comedian banter and general jovial atmosphere of the little room was what made the experience enjoyable.

There was one female comic. She was a late 20’s or 30 something black woman whom I thought was pretty funny. I appreciate comedians who can make fun of difficult things in their lives, and she did a pretty good job of making jokes about growing under an abusive, ignorant mother. Her routine followed mine and I think she liked my stuff. She would make up names for the people in the crowd; nothing harsh, but just little monikers, like “Hey you sweata’ man” for a dude in a big fluffy sweater. Or in the case of my friend Kevin who came with me, “Brady” in the sense that he’s clean cut and must have seemed to her like the quintessential upright uptight white American that the Brady’s represented. But me? She called me Sly Stone. I said, “Sly Stone? I don’t even have my afro any more.” [As an aside, I didn’t cut my hair for a year once, and had a huge puffy fro]. She said something like, “But you cool tho, you Sly Stone.” Cool with me. Better than being called Screech or Alfred E Neuman.

All in all I had fun, it was a learning experience, and I still want to keep doing this. I enjoy the atmosphere of being at open mics or comedy shows. Even if many or most of the comedians are not funny, it’s the jovial nature of everybody and the general goofing around that attracts me and makes it fun.

When I was a kid and started weightlifting I was at first intimidated to ask big muscle dudes workout questions. I soon found most were happy and enthusiastic to answer my questions and give me information. It’s the same so far with the comedians I’ve met. Most are more than happy to talk about the inevitable bad shows everybody has at times (and that you can’t let it get you down), where other open mics are; they are glad to trade phone numbers and emails and to give any advice in general.

With that said, let's not forget about Ariel Sharon, a true hero of Israel and the Jewish people and one of the best modern-day generals of all times.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Busy again

I decided to tackle some stories for a suburban newspaper in Ozaukee. All day I've been conducting interviews, and I expect to do some more later this evening or tomorrow. This is all in addition to the work I've begun on my thesis proposal.

I'm going to go workout now.

Later tonight at 9pm I'm going to check out the Miramar open mic and see how that goes. I'm a little nervous, but not as much so as the first time. I'm sort of looking forward to stepping on stage again. Gotta keep pushing myself.

Also, I hope Sharon pulls through. Here's to Sharon-- Melakh Yisrael!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I can't figure out women

But I'm not blaming women. Shit, I can't figure out myself. If I can't figure out me, how can I expect to figure out women?

Sometimes I wish dating was as simple as mating is in the wild. A girl gets into heat, squirts some putrid smelling urine substance on the ground behind her, I smell it, dig it, and mount. Or, I piss out some putrid smelling substance in a certain neighborhood or nightclub, a girl digs it, and let’s me mount her. Bam—done. Simple as that.

Then again, that would take the fun, intrigue and exhilaration out of romance, wouldn't it.

Oh well.

Live Naked Space Aliens Abduct Paris Hilton

Reports have just come in that space aliens have abducted Paris Hilton in the nude (Paris and the Aliens were naked) and have also attempted to abduct a bikini-clad Eva Langoria just a few hours ago. More reports to follow...

(Hmmm, AFW, we'll see if that gets me more hits!)


I saw the movie “Munich” the other day. I liked it, but I share some of the criticisms that many critics and pundits have been making about the movie. Despite my own criticisms, the movie is still worth seeing. All in all, compared to many of the movies coming out these days, “Munich” was quite good, actually.

Problem 1:

The script makes the Munich massacre seem like the only reason Israel decided to bump off the PLO scum. The truth is, Munich was a link in a long chain of terrorist attacks, many of which rivaled the Munich Massacre’s nastiness. I wish there had been more emphasis on that salient point. To examine Israel’s actions following Munich is like trying to learn about anti-Semitism using only the Holocaust as your focus and ignoring all previous anti-Semitism.

Problem 2:

There was a scene, or perhaps a number of sequences, when the film would show an image of Israeli retribution against the terrorists responsible for the Munich Massacre, and then timely news reports about Arab terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. The intended result: The Arabs are retaliating because of Israel’s actions. Violence begets violence, cycle of violence, blah blah. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, during one of those moralizing scenes the movie used old news footage of the machine gunning of scores of Israelis waiting at an El Al check in terminal in Rome. That terrorist attack was committed by Abu Nidal, a Palestinian terrorist group NOT connected to the PLO or Black September (BS was a secret arm of the PLO). Abu Nidal’s gang was going around killing Israelis regardless of what other Arab terrorist groups were doing. They would have slaughtered in Rome whether retaliation for Munich ever happened or not. The PLO and any of it’s other hydras would have continued terrorist attacks whether Israel retaliated or not. Hell, Israel has since given away huge chunks of the West Bank and all of Gaza and in principle agreed to a two state solution sharing Jerusalem and that hasn’t stopped the Palestinian terror machine!

Problem 3:

The movie makes it clear that it is based off of accounts of the events based off of a book and therefore is not meant to be an exact rendering of events as they occurred (and it’s the murky world of spies, so nobody will ever know the exact truth), but it is easy to forget that fact once one gets involved in the movie. I think the writers (writer: Tony Kushner, a well-known Jewish Israel hater) took a little too much artistic freedom at times, but to be fair it may have been necessary in order to give the movie more depth, to give the main characters more richness and individuality. The problem is, I didn’t appreciate some of the “artistic freedom” Kushner took with his Israeli assassins; I thought it was done to make the movie exciting and probably didn’t represent what professional Mossad members are like or how they behave.

Problem 4:

At the end there is a really bizarre scene when Avner is making love to his wife and as their passion grows, images of the Munich Massacre keep flashing in Avner’s mind. I found it a strange, perhaps inappropriate mix and still don’t understand the point. The only thing I got out of that scene was that the next time I’m having sex (which if things go as planned should be soon), if I feel that I’m about to cum too soon, I suppose thinking about terrorism might help me hold back a bit longer.

Despite my complaints and others’, the movie is well-worth seeing. Now only if I could find a girl to go see Brokeback Mountain with me…


The grades are in and my honor has been regained. My GPA is above the 3.333 minimum required to work as a TA. I do not know if there are any positions open for spring, but if there are, I will gladly take one. In any event I have regained my honor-- and it feels good.

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