Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Brief Rant

Why are teeny tiny things such an awfully huge deal? I mean really, why?

So, I've been home for Pesach. I know Israel is home - it really is, more and more each time I re-visit America, but Chicago is the place where the same house I've lived in my entire life is, so it's still home, at least until I can be in the same Israeli bedroom for more than a year at a time - and it has been both wonderful and heartbreaking as usual. No, more so than usual. For various reasons.

I've had more old school hometown moments in this one trip than in any other since I made aliyah and possibly before. I've seen more people in a shorter period of time and re-created, without effort, much of things which used to be. But why do people give such a huge honking shit abut superficial and completely meaningless minutia? My sister feels like a rebel for walking out of the house without socks. She is no longer in high school. She attends college, she has a job, she can vote, and smoke and theoretically join the army. Several different armies, in fact. Why should the simple act of choosing her own clothing be any kind of an issue? Why should I be forced to wear a plastic transparent nose stud to avoid the discomfiture of others and controversy? Why should a tiny piece of tin cause controversy? Why? Why? Why? Doesn't the world have enough to worry about without giving a shit about where my neckline is, or the fact that someone's skirt is a centimeter too short, or that someone else is wearing jeans? These things - they simply DO NOT MATTER. And I violently object to being forced to consider them as if they do. I mean my G-d - there is so much evil and ugliness and horror in the world that by some statistical miracle we have, at least until now, managed to avoid. So we have to create needless anger and tension and ugliness? Because of some supposedly religious, but actually societal, standard which is completely baseless? Even within the confines of the tradition they claim to be upholding! It's not even hypocrisy, it's just needless mindless slavedriving that crushes souls and minds and spirits and creates emotionally stunted people, and for what? For nothing at all. We all get old and ugly and sick and end up dead, and why make this experience, when we have been given so much to make it beautiful and meaningful and precious, why would you go to extra lengths to make it narrow and stifling and ugly? Why would you go out of your way to try for that? This isn't difficult enough, let's look for a way to be even more unecessarily insane! I can't take it. I can't even say that I don't understand it, but what I do understand is in the vein of groupthink and mob mentalities and it doesn't make the situation any better. I cannot deny that there is great beauty in religion; and so I cannot understand why religious people work so hard to drum all of the beauty out of it.

Meanwhile, still obsessing about death. Went to go see the Edvard Munch exhibit at the Art Institute - which I highly recommend to everyne, it was wonderful (get the audio guides - they cost six extra dollars but they're great!) - and the man was a powerful artist, but not exactly not death-focused. It didn't help. (Not exactly not a misogynist either, but that is another rant for another time.) Perhaps there will be more this weekend on the nature of art, and why it is the last and only justification I have for still clinging to my belief in G-d. Art and humor. Perhaps two seperate posts. There is too much in this world, and my greatest fear, beynd my terror of death, is that I will never see it all. But of course, it is generally also my only comfort.


Blogger e-kvetcher said...

I forgot about the Much exhibit. I need to check it out before it is too late...

If you think Munch was a misogynist, you should remember Strindberg - "I had forgotted a female saint is after all a woman. That is to say: man's enemy."

7:59 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

I do not deny that Strindberg was also a misogynist. They were friends, you know.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Rogue Unicorn said...

oh, honey. Here is some virtual support.

I found that Munch exhibit to be highly anxiety inducing. But that, perhaps, was precisely the point.
Give me some good old Hopper any day.

2:42 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

ah but also thought provoking. which I think may have been more to the point.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Rogue Unicorn said...

no, no, not much thought. just anxiety.
Sorry, still a Hopper person. Munch just doesn't do it for me.

4:24 AM  

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