Monday, August 14, 2006

Cease-Fire Doesn't Mean Cease-Reading 

Here are a few items to keep you reading while we wait to see what happens next.

To start us off, the results of the latest Watcher's Council vote are in. The winning post among council members was a reflection on the meaning of recent films about 9/11 by Callimachus at Done With Mirrors, We Could Be Heroes:

In part, we want to honor those thousands of lives, whether they were the uniformed heroes of New York city or the civilian heroes of Flight 93. But in part we want to feel the measure of their bravery brought to life in front of us, the better to sense our common humanity: They were heroes, but the chance to be one could have been offered to any of us that day. Fates decreed it was them, not us.
Beautifully said. Coming in a close second was another post from that AbbaGav guy, who claims it is an honor just to be nominated -- even if Council member posts are self-submitted.

Meanwhile, the winning non-council post was the post ironically titled Israel Has No Right to Exist by Gagdad Bob at One Cosmos. In an elegant piece, Gagdad Bob truly does assert that Israel does not have the right to exist. To see how he squares that statement with his robust support for Israel, you'll have to "read the whole thing."

Second place among non-council posts this week was a tie. Adding context to the whole Reuters Fauxtography scandal, The Shape of Days scored an interesting interview with an AP photojournalist: A photojournalist weighs in on the Adnan Hajj scandal. In the other second place post Abu Aardvark provides us a look into the intra-Islamist politics of the Israel-Lebanon War, Islamist bandwagons, giving us a glimpse of a political world largely unknown to most of us.

While all of those are great reads, as you might imagine in these turbulent times, there is a lot more going on in the blogosphere. Take for instance the latest installment of the Jewish Blog Carnival, Haveil Havalim. The host of this weeks edition, 82nd in the series, is once more Soccer Dad, the Carnival's illustrious and hard-working founder. He's also the newest member of the Watcher's Council -- Mazal Tov to Soccer Dad on his selection!

Here are a few other links you might not have seen that might be worth a look:

We all need a good laugh, so it is for that reason I must insist you read Yael's post in which she provides an absolutely knee-slapping metaphor of Olmert's wartime performance. I really want you to read it at her site so I don't want to quote the best part here, but I'll give you one word: squirrel. Ooops, that did it, now I'm chuckling again.

Dave Bender from Israel at Level Ground has been doing a series of great podcasts. For his latest he went up North and interviewed soldiers working night and day right on the border. Listening even for a few seconds to the background noise of the artillery and explosions while Dave spoke with the soldiers gives one an appreciation for the magnitude of what is happening there, and the accompanying pictures show exactly how close he was to the border.

Meryl Yourish is asking for our help: she needs us to name specific events in Jewish history ("Crossing the Red Sea," "the Inquisition," "Rockets in Haifa") in her comments section. Hmmm. I'm drawing a blank at the moment, but maybe YOU could help. It's for a good cause -- parody.

You will not find a better photographic skewering of the Reuters motif than the masterpieces Banterist has created.

Isaac Schrodinger, commenting on a nice piece about religiousity in Pakistan, shares some of the real meaning behind the religious lingo, for instance, "Inshallah has basically become code for you're screwed." These two guys really know what they are talking about and can show you the inner workings of a part of the world you normally only learn about from Reuters photographs.

Common Sense America points you to Ahmadinejad's new blog, but BE CAREFUL before opening it. Yael points out that there appears to be a nasty virus embedded in the site. I haven't checked it myself because I'm allergic to evil dictators. (UPDATE - Monday AM: Christi, from Common Sense America, reports that she did a full sweep of the Ahmadinejad and the only toxic substance she found there was his words, so it appears to be OK for US visitors, probably non-Israeli visitors in general. Is there anyone else from Israel with any feedback on any security problems while wading through Ahmadinejad's online swamp from an Israel internet host?)

Idan at Pixane.net explains the secret sauce in Hizballah's recipe for destroying Israel -- without appearing to destroy Israel:

Hezbollah: I’ll take a hot dog with some Katyushas and a side of anti-tank missiles, hold the WMD’s please.
If you haven't read much from Pixane.net, give it a serious look -- there's a lot of great writing there, and you can tell more is on the way.

Sandy Cash, a fabulous folk musician who lives here in Beit Shemesh, has a website where she offers her music but where she also keeps a blog. Last week she wrote about her trip to the North, where she played a small concert in a bomb-shelter -- don't tell her kids so they don't worry. In other big Sandy Cash news, her song "The Real Thing" has emerged from preliminary compettion to reach the Annual Open Mic Finals, which is a pretty big deal. If you take a moment to register at Folk Alley, you can hear her song as well as the competition and cast your own vote. Good luck Sandy.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: