Wha’ Happened This Week. So You’re Never LATE TO THE PARTY.
1. Obama’s in Israel for the first time since he became president & coordinated his good will trip to fall on the days leading up to the Passover holiday (that begins Monday night and involves food & stories that remind Jews of their ancestors who were slaves in Egypt till God helped ‘n freaked the pharaoh out enough that in a hasty moment of desperation the pharaoh was all “okay! I’ll get cheap labor elsewhere!”).
Obama’s trying to bring peace to the region (which needs it), and shut down that whole suspicion-machine wherein people worry that he’s not pro-Israel enough, and what does it say about America and the the Jewish State that Obama hasn’t visited the region, like, do they like like each other or just like each other? He actually references the gossip in the FANTASTIC speech he gave to the next gen Israelis this week.
2. Back on home turf, there were some steps forward that felt kinda steps-back-y. Rob Portman, a Republican senator from the state of Ohio, broke with his party’s party line and came out this week in support of gay marriage — because his son came out as gay.
While it’s understandable to shine a light on a thing only when it jumps the fence and ends up in your yard (eg. we probably all know people who’ve started giving to a charity or running for a cause when someone they know’s been diagnosed) it struck a lot of peeps as disingenuous for a public official to change his public stance on a human right simply because a human he knows personally is suddenly asking for that right.
As this awesome article on “The Politics of Narcissism” points out:
The great challenge for a senator isn’t to go to Washington and represent the problems of his own family. It’s to try to obtain the intellectual and moral perspective necessary to represent the problems of the people who don’t have direct access to the corridors of power.
Talking about which, this week marked the 10 year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war — the shock & awe phase — and this Fuck You letter to Bush says it all. Well, except for what Bush says himself simply by painting puppies.
And finally, Tuesday saw the National Rifle Association officially buy Congress when the law to ban assault weapons (the kind of guns “designed for the battlefield, […that] have no place on our streets, in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers,” Obama has said) LOST on the Senate floor. And this one wasn’t just Republicans’ fault. As one editorial reporter put it in his headline, “spineless pols spit on the graves of Newtown victims.”
Which is especially crazy when you realize: the NRA is made up of SO FEW PEOPLE compared to the rest of the country! Bill Maher had an amazing segment about this on his show this week — watch! Turns out, just like 1 Million Moms (the conservative organization against everything fun) that’s made up of about 2000 ladies, these organizations seem almost to deliberately perpetuate a misconception about how big their numbers are. Weird.
3. And if this stuff wasn’t mad enough, it’s MARCH MADNESS people! Everyone who knows this already totally doesn’t need me telling them & everyone who doesn’t, doesn’t care. But you’ll inevitably wanna be able to shmooze at least a little bit with the sweeping masses attached to their web devices to catch the upsets in real time. Here’s your cheat sheet on all things college basketball.
(And I promise I won’t suggest anything about how the same culture that gets obsessed with young men who throw balls well… may be the very one that would prefer to lament the dampened careers of high school football players than vilify them as rapists.)
Quote of the Week from Marilyn Monroe:
Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.