In the explosion we call blogging there are so many good places to read that keeping up is impossible. And that statement is not exaggeration but fact. The only way to move around in this flood is to seek out waves, reading the links they bring, and saying to yourself from time to time, "Yeah, me too. Hey that's pretty good. I think I'll blog that." That's why they call it surfing.
It's been a while since I came across a Maryl Yourish link, but Allison Kaplan Sommer points out her fifth year post which is worth a few minutes to read and reflect upon. I'm a week late, but I don't want to let this one pass without note. As she mentions in her post, Meryl Yourish predates Glenn Reynolds. In this post she reflects on how she seems to have been pigeon-holed to the Right of the blogworld, despite her views as a feminist, still pro-choice, in favor of gay rights, for affirmative action, progressive taxation, and many, many other Democratic and left-side causes. The issue that puts her there is simply anti-semitism.
There are the kinds of anti-Semites who actively hate you, and tell you so, unasked, of course. The mere existence of my weblog is reason enough for them to spew their bile. There are the newest anti-Semites, the Muslim anti-Semites, who will go on and on about Israeli atrocities — or they would, if I let them. I have been deleting those comments fairly consistently; I don’t need to give them a soapbox that I pay for, and my readers don’t need to read their poison. I probably get less anti-Semitic hatemail and comments than some. I’ve noticed that what they really want is to yell at someone who won’t fight back, and as my regular readers have noticed, I really like a good scrap. And as far as I can tell, the average Jew-hater is not very bright. It’s a very uneven battle, generally.
As Shaw said, it is not honorable to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed man. And I like that line: I have been deleting those comments fairly consistently; I don’t need to give them a soapbox that I pay for, and my readers don’t need to read their poison. A lot of bloggers could benefit from that rule. I am all for tolerance, but suffering fools is way over the top.
(She is correct, of course, when she notes the anti-Semitism of the left. That politic, together with an anti-spiritual bias, is what has kept me in a kind of political purgatory all these years. Doctrinaire American leftists, which I carefully do not include with myself in the "Liberal" camp, seemed to be in bed with the Palestinian cause with Arafat as their patron saint. I think it has to do with a global politic derived from Socialist models which tend to overlook the perverted evils of Hitler's National "Socialism." Add that to the representation of Jews in global capitalism and you have a perfect whipping-boy in the shape of anti-Semitism.)
While I'm at it, I should also point to Sommers' moving notes about the observance of Memorial Day in Israel. The U.S. Memorial Day is coming soon, to be observed with patriotic tributes and solemn oratory, but leavened with festive parades, retail Sales, welcoming of this season's watermellon crop and marking the last chance to have public swimming pools up and running for the summer. Memorial Day in Israel is not the same.
On Memorial Day, no one is cool, cynical, skeptical or detached. Even the most rebellious kids with tattoos and piercings stand silent in respect for their fallen friends, neighbors, and relatives. It’s an all-encompassing experience like no other. And it shows that underneath the surface of fussing, fighting, and squabbling over politics, religion, race, and ethnicity that makes many people throw up their hands and call Israeli society hopelessly fractured, there is a strong solid core of unity and sense of shared fate that remains firm underneath it all.