.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

The Hazzn's Tish

Or: A Cantorial Student's Dispatches from his Outpost in Manhattan

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spontaneous revival?

Blogger appears to have gone crazy. It just re-posted all of my entries, flooding all my LJ friends' pages via RSS feed.

For the record, this blog is currently dormant. This is not to say that it's gone forever, just that I don't currently have the time to maintain an issues-related blog in addition to the one I use to keep in touch with friends.

Thanks for reading! Again!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Da Vinci 'Splode!

An article in yesterday's New York Times notes that the Catholic Church's objection to the upcoming theatrical release of The Da Vinci Code
has been colored by the Muslim riots over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Most American media outlets refrained from showing the cartoons, and now some Christian leaders are asking why Christians should be expected to sit by while the media promotes a movie that insults their savior.

In Rome recently, Archbishop Angelo Amato, the No. 2 official in the Vatican's doctrinal office, told Catholic communications officials: "If such slanders, offenses and errors had been directed at the Koran or the Holocaust, they would have justly provoked a world uprising. Instead, directed at the Church and Christians, they remain unpunished. I hope you will all boycott the movie."
American media companies avoided showing the Muhammed images because they feared that the resulting furor would threaten the safety and even the lives of their employees. Clearly, they view angry Christians as far less menacing than angry Muslims. This hardly seems like a reason for the Church to take offense.

A sidenote: Were I in charge of these things, I would simply point out that The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction and should be viewed as such. I would then call upon some respectable academic types to point out a few of the more interpretive historical references in Brown's books. (I don't know precisely how Robert Langdon managed to secure his tenure at Harvard, and I believe I'm happier for that.)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Just call me Cassandra

I've been predicting for years that this would happen. I don't buy it for a second.

Hag sameah!

Oh, and don't actually call me "Cassandra." Really.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Well, how about that

Only a few hours after the previous post went up, HonestReporting cited the same sentence from the Times, though with a different slant that I took.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gordian Map

Today's New York Times contains an editorial on the possibility of an Israeli pullout from the West Bank. An excerpt:

Whatever borders Israel fixes are not likely to get international recognition, particularly if those borders leave Palestinians cut in half — in the West Bank and Gaza — and unable to get from one part of their country to another without going through Israel.

The other option? Require Israelis to go through the Palestinian state to get from Haifa to Be'er Sheva. Maybe we ought to take a look at Pakistan and Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) for advice.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

David Irving . . .

. . . just keeps getting more and more confusing. In 1989 he gave an interview on Austrian television claiming that the Holocaust never happened. At his recent trial, he pled guilty but insisted "I have changed," and acknowledged that Hitler murdered millions of Jews.

Then this comes along. Along with his odd suggestion that Auschwitz-Birkenau has been inappropriately (and, I suppose, inexplicably) identified as the core of the Nazi extermination program, he seems to continue to contend that Hitler knew nothing about the "final solution." I can't tell if he thinks that the Dolf was a colossal moron, or not as powerful as anyone thought, or what. All I can say for sure is that the man has a genius for deducing impossible conclusions from relatively clear evidence.*

This one is a hoot.

* The man in this case being Irving, not Hitler. The two do seem to share that quality to some extent, but at least some of the blame in Hitler's case may be directed toward his native culture.**

** A professor of mine has suggested that only the Austrians could have convinced the world to believe in a Viennese Beethoven and a German Hitler.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I haven't yet said anything about the Muhammad cartoon controversy because everything that's occurred to me has been stated clearly and effectively by someone else. Something has been festering in the back of my mind (eew) for a few weeks now, but I've only recently figured out what it is.

When much of the Muslim world began to protest the Danish cartoons, newspapers all over Europe republished them, usually claiming that their actions were taken in defense of freedom of expression.* This is nonsense. If they had published the cartoons despite their own governments' protests, that would be a move for freedom of expression. When a newspaper prints something in defiance of someone else's government, it's just an attempt to be inflamatory. And really, how hard is it to enrage a radical fundamentalist?

Shooting fish in a barrel unsportsmanlike, unchallenging and, when you think about it, kind of stupid.

* This is ironic by itself, as many European countries do not have such a legally protected right. David Irving's status as a criminal is contingent entirely on the fact that publicly stating an opinion can get you sent to jail in Austria, and made somewhat more shocking by the fact that he was tried and sentenced after publicly retracting and renouncing his own denial of the Holocaust.