Thursday, February 25, 2016

getting things wrong

Somehow this day came on as "wrong" for me.

"Föhn," a word for which I have had a strange affection since I first read it (I think) in some Isak Dinesen/Karen von Blixen novel, does indeed refer to a warm wind, but the wind is not, as I had thought, moist.
A föhn or foehn is a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the lee (downwind side) of a mountain range.
I had wanted to use the word to describe the balmy breaths of this morning's dawn, but the definition of the word -- the dry quality -- defeated me. It was and remains moist today, no matter how softly warm.

As far as things to be wrong about go, this was a minor matter except to the extent that my affections felt miffed.

And then there had been some hope that there would be no latest version of yet another raid by the Gestapo-prone Israel. But no... I was wrong again: There it was, another terrorizing of another family under the guise of defending against a 'terrorism' in which Palestinians always brandish knives and Israelis fire guns and no one seems willing to call Israel out. Guns against knives and a scoreboard that reads like this:
Twenty-eight people have been killed on the Israeli side in Palestinian stabbings, shootings and car ramming attacks, while at least 166 Palestinians have been killed, including 119 people said by Israel to be attackers.
Perhaps part of the reason for not calling out the Israelis is that if someone did question the "terrorism" defense in Israel, Israel might rightfully point to the terrorism foundations in the accuser's own backyard. Whereas if I don't tell on you and you don't tell on me, our effectiveness -- like that of the Gestapo -- remains convenient and effective for both of us.

It might be thought that with the treatment meted out by the Nazis and Israel's understandable demand that that treatment be remembered ... that Israel would take a lesson in what NOT to do, what NOT to become. Instead, the treatment of the marginalized and demeaned Palestinians seems to show that the lesson learned is the precise opposite. Ah well, I guess the world can take comfort in the fact that Israel has not yet constructed any ovens.

And while on the subject of Nazi parallels -- and the 'wrong' gloom that that can convey -- looking at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, a millionaire real estate mogul, sends out some probably imprecise echoes.

Before Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany ahead of World War II, the aristocractic military class was dismissive of the upstart déclassé corporal so boldly angling for a power he did not deserve. How could he possibly be taken seriously, this bourgeois twerp who lacked the dueling scar on the cheek that so many aristocrats displayed? It was unthinkable. The man lacked what we might think of as a "Downton Abbey" sense of fitness and honor.

Trump -- who has not written the kind of blueprint book that Hitler did -- continues to consume the news columns with his electoral victories. No one asks him point blank for policies that might effect his bold statements (a wall between the U.S. and Mexico; the shutting down of immigration inflows, etc.) No one says he is a man without honor or caring for the country he claims to want to lead. Everyone crosses their fingers ... surely this vagabond must fall away from the political race ... but he doesn't. And the 'honorable' crowd is left with egg on its face... spotlessly upright but with egg on its face.

Oh well ... the grey day just seemed grey this morning.


  1. The history of civilization is filled with astonishing tales that we're pretty sure could never happen again, not now. Our species has an astonishing capacity for lying and cruelty, just Crazyhorse. And all of these things were managed without my consent or consultation. While alive i'll undertake to apply best effort to whatever i may do or say. But for all else, i consider myself a non-combatant. Aside from finding the affairs of this word interesting, they have ceased to be my concern.