Wednesday, August 05, 2009

No facts, please. I'm blogging.

Sigh. In light of the whole Tisha B'Av thing, I've been trying to be a little more measured in spreading "baseless hatred" around. But wouldn't you know it, Tzvi Fishman seems determined to push me to my limit.

One of the hallmarks of Tzvi's articles is that they often, shall we say, don't make much sense. Furthermore, the arguments often aren't very substantive. I assume this is part of the reason Tzvi decided a while ago that the best way to pad his writings on A7 was by using snappy visual aids, which not only supposedly illustrate his points, but also make it seem like he has a lot more to say by taking up space.

For instance, there was this gem from a few days ago, in the context of Tzvi pontificating about how America is clearly not the home of the Jews by virtue of the fact that blessings over cookies don't mention Los Angeles. I especially like the caption.

Obama praying at Grauman's.

Thanks for reinforcing that wonderful stereotype of older frum Jews viewing all black people as interchangeable, Tzvi.

Another of my favorites was this one. Again, Tzvi's caption demonstrates that he is a master of both taste and perspective.

Rounding up Jewish Settlers

Where was I? Oh yes. So you can imagine my eagerness this morning when I surfed over to Tzvi's to see what latest claptrap would be waiting for me.

Baruch Hashem, Tzvi did not disappoint.

Not only does he ramble on about how the human genome is full of Hebrew letters floating around (reminiscent of Lazer's award-winning "Deity's Cursive" series). Not only does he claim that mitzvot contain some mysterious "life-force" and that, when the mystical mitzvot letters and human soul letters collide, it produces a cosmic explosion which in addition to magnifying the "letters of a person's soul" with an "accelerated life force," also continually renews the world's energy (physics, please?). Not only does he assert that because Israel is the primordial home of Mitzvot, people in Israel are spiritual giants compared to anyone in the Diaspora.

In addition to all of this, he also provides a picture.
Jew from Israel (right) with friend from the Diaspora

Now, there's just one thing about this picture, Tzvi. I'm sure you found it after doing an exhaustive Google search for something like "giant" or "huge guy" or "giant feet" or something. But, through a childhood interest in human weirdness, I happened to recognize the man is this picture. The man is Robert Wadlow, the tallest documented person to ever live. The reason he was so tall is that he had a disease of the pituitary gland. And, while it made him famous, it also, for all effective purposes, ruined his life. Wadlow was in constant foot pain, required braces to walk, and died at the ripe age of 22.

So while I know you meant this to be a delightful dig at us Diaspora midgets, Tzvi, I find it more than a little appropriate that your posterboy "giant" was actually a tragic, ill child, who died way before his time, whose "gift" was actually a curse, and who, had he had the option, almost certainly would have had the operation to stop his growth. Not necessarily a guy I would suggest people strive to emulate.

Surely Tzvi selected this picture to make some sort of point about Religious Zionism, Aliyah, and Jewish perceptions about Israel. And I think a point can indeed be made from it. But I doubt it's the one he intended.

Food for thought.

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