Friday, April 10, 2009

Facebook, Passover, Arab, Jew

Is Facebook killing my blog? Or perhaps I should ask: is Facebook the final blow to my slowly-dying blog? Given the likelihood that I will now start posting three times a day, as I generally do, whenever I predict the death of my blog, perhaps not, but it kind of feels that way. 160 words seem sufficient these days (or, in the New Facebook, 420 words, as Phantom has recently proven, in her Facebook guise as herself) .

Take Passover. I could have blogged the Tuesday night Chocolatissimo extravaganza, the Wednesday night seder, the Thursday night seder--produced entirely by S, aside from Chocolatissimo, because I have sworn never to produce another seder--with its six competing Haggadahs, and the Best Passover Play Ever.

Instead I wrote two status updates--"2 1/2 pounds butter, 2 1/2 cups sugar, 21 eggs, 1 1/2 pounds chocolate (soundtrack: Bob Marley)" and "Seder highlight: two-girl performance of the Passover story featuring E as Moses, Miriam, AND Pharoah's daughter, and M as Pharoah coming back as a zombie after drowning in the Red Sea...because everything is better with zombies."--and that was pretty much dayenu.

But tonight I watched the last two episodes of Season Four of Project Runway, and I had to return to the blog.

If you're not hanging out with me on Facebook--most of you who know me are, I think, but presumably there are more of you out there, so sorry about this--you don't know that I have belatedly caught up with the rest of the world and discovered Project Runway, to great joy of discovery and great sadness of belatedness. Over the last two weeks, M, E, and I have watched all of Season Four. We knew who won at the end, but we still got into it, and I have to admit that I was a Rami fan. I liked his clothes, I liked his voice, I liked his attitude, I liked his looks, and he was from Israel, which made me warm up to him in that identity kind of way.

Except, in the next-to-last episode, I discovered that though Rami is from Israel, he is an Arab. Which is completely fine, and I liked him just as much (really, I am not protesting too much; in fact, I'm about to make a completely different point). What was fascinating about this discovery is that I had completely assumed he was Jewish, and he, Rami, in looks and persona, could just as easily be a Jew as an Arab. This is not, of course, an original point. One of the great tragedies of the Arab/Israeli situation, especially vis-a-vis Palestinians and other Arabs in Israel, is how incredibly similar they are in looks, attitude, culture. Not the pasty-faced residents of Mea Shearim, or the burkha-clad Hamas chicks, but the secular, modernized Middle Eastern Arabs and Jews, the ones who would be us, if we lived in the Middle East. Think Ishmael and Isaac: brothers.

On Wednesday night my father-in-law lectured us about Gaza, and I felt my usual depressed guilty boredom. The Middle East is this constant tragedy in the world and my life, but usually it is just a dull painful fact. Sometimes, though, the tragedy comes dramatically alive, and it just makes me want to weep. Who would have thought that Project Runway would be a source of such awareness?

2 comments:

Phantom Scribbler said...

It wasn't until I read this post that it occurred to me to wonder if "420" limit was an intentional joke. That may seem to be beside the point, but, since I learned the lessons about the similarities between Arab and Jew via Dead tour, it is, in fact, exactly the point.

Lilian said...

I sure hope the blog doesn't die now that I finally decided to join the readership ;-).

I only watched several episodes of Project Runway last year when we were at the hotel (the Hyatt by the Charles River) while my husband was participated of a workshop at MIT. I really liked it, but I don't have Bravo, so that was it for me...