samedi, mars 02, 2013

Esau's baby brother

I was really nervous about this commentary.

It's been a while since I wrote about the Hebrew Scriptures, and I know that the whole topic of Israel is a hot potato.

So I took extra care with this one, even running it by two rabbis to check for errors...

Like the fact that Isaac was Jacob's dad.

Something I've known since Sunday school classes at the local synagogue in Brooklyn when I was a kid.

Until, apparently, now.

vendredi, mars 01, 2013

Not going the distance

I've just written a guy in Texas that I don't think we are close enough to have a relationship.

Actually, to be fair to him, he's moving to the Philadelphia area.


It was supposed to happen in February -- but now, que sera, sera.

I guess.

I sure can see myself as the love of his life.

Or the second love.

I'm contacted often by guys who can't even tell me that they are ever going to be living anywhere near Pittsburgh, let alone the lovely city of Philadelphia.

What is distance between two loving hearts, they ask me.

And before you think that I'm just being scammed, let me reassure you that most of the time, I know the difference between the guy in Nigeria (or, come to think of it, Texas) and the guy with the rose-colored glasses.

I can't date guys in Jersey, let alone D.C. (who knew there were so many single men in Jersey?)

It's incredible (at least to me) how much free time a lot of these men have to fill.

Kids gone, most likely.  A number of them have no children.

Dogs they love, but who can't seem to have an intelligent chat over dinner.

(True confessions -- I do talk to my cat. Most of the time, it's pretty clear that he's saying he either wants MORE dinner, wants MY dinner, or wants me to spray water on him, but that's another story).

Many are on the verge of retirement, which may impel the quest for a companion.

And a lot of them are dyed-in-the-wool romantics.

Distance is nothing between two loving hearts.

I can't argue  with them there.

Distance is nothing when I'm on my way, after a long day at my internship, to pick up the boy at school.

Distance is nothing when I reach out to hug my daughter after a bruising argument.

Distance is nothing when I see the "Wallace Township" sign up by the Creek and know I'm almost home, or drive to meet a friend, or reflect on the love that warmed my childhood years.

But time...time is a lot.  As we get older, we have less to squander.

So I'm really careful about who gets my time, and hope that they are equally choosy.

Not because I'm a snob (perhaps I'm a snob, but it's not about Jersey guys).

It's about time -- precious time.

For work.

For the kids.

For fun, when I can cram in a little.

And, of course, for sanity.

Maybe the fact that I consistently choose sanity over romance says something about me.



Or just tired?

You get to choose.

Meanwhile, I've got a novel, a roaring pellet stove, a couch and some hot chocolate.

See ya soon.

dimanche, février 24, 2013

Niche thinking: the future of American journalism?

Before the common era, say those who don't like the term "before Christ.'

Understandably so. Not everyone believes there WAS a Christ, let alone that they should set their clocks by whether he lived or was resurrected.

Well, maybe we could call this era of journalism (if one can call all of it journalism) -- A.C.E.

After the Common Era.

I was wondering, yesterday, when the deterioration began. When did we "evolve" into a national peanut gallery?

Can we point out a time when opinions began to wrest the greater stage from objectivity?

Was there one year, or a decade, when writing tilted from an analysis of covert bias, the use of a few allusive words in an article, to the ruckus of a literary dogfight or the glitter of knives as a Shark or a Jet drew scarlet?

There have always been subtle ways in which a reporter could signal a certain lack of objectivity. As I've said before -- watch the kicker quote or the last graf to see how someone really feels (unless they are trying to switch it up).

And there have always been partisans. Just look at eighteenth-century American journalism.

Perhaps we idolize the Murrows and the Brinkleys, even the Brokaws, for qualities that they did not, in truth possess.

But they tried.

Now my Twitter feed is littered with examples of advocacy, ranging from right to left -- and they, at least in the "safety" of the Internet, appear to want mutually assured destruction...

Slash, burn...SCORE!

Cheap shots. Cheap points. Cheap victories.

I'm not saying that some of my advocacy pals don't have a point -- or points.  There is plenty of prejudice to go around.

But the people I really respect are still the ones trying to report the news -- not bend it, twist it, or fry it according to the prevailing political winds.

I like my reporting straight, or as straight as is possible.

Sometimes I claw my way through the caverns of the Internet, where one link leads deeper into another, feeling as though I've been in a mine -- covered with someone else's dirt.

I go back -- there's a certain fascination with watching one train wreck after another.

But I still emerge, night after night, feeling slimed.