Friday, March 18, 2005

2000 year old woman

the title of this post plays on the comic genius of brooks and reiner, not because i feel i'm quite at the point in my comedy career that i can challenge these masters, but merely as some form of consolation and distraction as i pretend that the country i live in is not really as archaeic and lacking in creativity than i fear it is.

no, i do not refer to the pending disengagement, the recent yad vashem bash (although i appreciated harry's take on it), or even our drivers' ongoing success in surpassing terror in killing literally hundreds of israelis a year.

i am talking about women in israel.

my feelings as to why i think israeli women are incredibly patronised and disempowered - so much so they dont even realize it - arent too coherent but i do feel that pseudo equalities such as army service seem to blur over the fact that many, many women in israeli society put up with and even help cultivate norms that are just simply unacceptable in other sane western societies.

i'm not sure whether it's: our very low ranking (especially compared to israeli men)
health status; constant patronization through advertising ( i couldnt find a link to the appauling borderline racist telma adverts for some kind of health bar but when i do i'll post it); arseholes like a former boss of mine who'd refer to a room full of seasoned female nurses and health professionals as "banot" (girls), to lack of protest ; international women's day being marked at the university by makeovers and rape crisis booths (outlining the two main roles for women in israel) or the plainly misguided attitudes of women in tel aviv who feel they can dictate whats in about being cool and single and then return home to their long term boyfriends, but i cant get over just how women in this country not only contend with fifty's style 2nd class citizenship but seem to think that its all ok and even relish their role.

why this venom today you ask?

well as i waited to have my car washed, i was reading the weekend section of the israeli tabloid yediot. i happened upon the family section which this week was all about dressing up. no, it was not a special about what to do when daddy's a cross dresser, its the fun and wacky festival of purim this week.

anyway there was an "ask it" type section in the column which literally had me gobsmacked. in translation it went something like this:

this year my daughter wants to dress up as electricity.
how can i make such a costume?
--- mother who doesnt know how to sew

dear mother who doesnt know how to sew,
simply explain to her that electricity cant put on lipstick, powder, sparkles or blusher and she will go off the idea soon enough.

there's so much to make my blood boil here but i'm afraid if i write to complain she'll ( just tell me what temperature to set my oven at to get that boil just right.

truth is, that as i write this i realize its more than the women issue that makes me mad here. this is a typical example of israeli lack of sophistication or depth. costumes in the old country were all about creativity and originality. what an amazing idea - a kid is thinking about abstract concepts like electricity. its a great lead for a parent-child discussion which could then lead to a plethora of costumes that they could make together -- dress up as a an electricity bill (that would require a huge costume of course), a pylon or how about wearing a whole vat of sparkles and daring to go abstract???

instead this wonderfully imaginitive thought is crushed by an israeli family columnist ( i assume expert, eek) eager to encourage the nightmare that we see each purim -- kids sporting unoriginal superhero or disney type costumes which have been bought or made for them by their paretns so they can keep up with joneses as they take them to parties that they dont even know why they're having.

oy, i may need to vent on this more but alas alack the sabbath calls so for now i must sign off......

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

funny on the inside

just sent an email out trying to drum up (comedy) business for this summer and included a link to this. (which goes even further to show my schizophrenic feelings towards the anonymity of this whole thing.)

seemed fine at the time, especially as i had attached my fabulously updated flyer which included an unearthed Haaretz quote, "She stole the show" - how did i ever miss that when preparing my publicity material?

anyway am now panicked because it occurred to me that most people are far more linkclicky happy than PDF savvy so the chances are (as reflected by sitemeter logs) they've come to check this blog out. would be ok but the last couple of entries have been of the pensive variety as opposed to my often hilarious yet insightful posts.

oy woe
will they be interested in a comedienne who sometimes ponders at the set up (the non funny part of the joke) in her spare time...

oy the pressure
i cant even think of a funny way to finish this off as some form of saving grace.


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

wherefore to blog take 2

why blog?
its a question i get asked a lot.
not that i feel that i'm such a blogger these days. or to quote a friend "proficient bloggers blog daily".

yes my non-prolific state has been an expression of the struggles i'm having about how personal i can get in these columns and if not, whats the point? how is it helping me? (ie do i need to just post stuff to entertain others). the jury's still out but meanwhile i'm going to throw out two things that relate to where i'm holding at the moment.

1) this
post. i feel alot for the writer (who i know) and worry if the bizarre way of sharing in a relationship is really what things have really come to.

2) a synchronous IM conversation i had with my father this morning. (please note while obligatory chat about state of weather has been deleted it really was him that raised the topic)
Dad says: tell me you any ifdea how many people read yr blog?
LG says: theres a counter
LG says: why?
LG says: do you?
Dad says: yes
LG says: thoughts?
Dad says: vey interesting
LG says: care to elaborate?
Dad says: its a bit like baring yr soul to the world at times and at others being yr very own newspaper columnist
Dad says: do u think most who read it know who u are
LG says: yes, i think unfortunately although there are some who dont
LG says: i like to pretend that they're the majority
Dad says: is the blog you or an alter ego
LG says: in general me
LG says: which is why its not really as personal as it could be
LG says: i definitely censor myself
Dad says: how can somthing be truly personal if open to the world
LG says: as in not so much because its me but becasue people know me
LG says: i kind of regret telling people i know
Dad says: so what were you trying to achieve - just self expression or more?
LG says: i'm not sure too much thought went in but self expression was definitely part of it. my first post explains some of my thinking
LG says: its evolved though
Dad says: it wouldnt be difficult for any anglosaxon Yerushalmi to work out who you are
Dad says: after all how many people do comedy in Har Nof?
LG says: whatever
Dad says: rather like one of those diaries intended for publication except that this is instantaneous!
LG says: yeh something like that

burning desires

and for today a story about self doubt.

what's your burning desire?
what things do you really care about?

wow deep questions, she thought. tachlis questions. finally someone who had stripped away all the bullshit - like what did you study at university, how many siblings do you have, were you into duran duran in the eighties? - and reached in to find out about HER.

he really wanted to know who she was, what made her tick, click - any sound, just what.
she was flattered, complimented, excited so much so she wanted to answer straight away, respond immediately, offer a waterfall of words, get closer through sharing this intimate knowledge.

but then she felt silence. words didnt come. what was her burning desire? oh come on now she must have something? what did she really care about? anything she thought of seemed trite, fake or just not entirely true. but how could she not have these? surely they must appear somewhere - on a resume somewhere or on a piece of paper scribbled down during traffic jam inspiration. she must have a raison d'etre. she wasnt just plodding through life, was she?

it didnt make sense. she'd spent the best part of the last decade trying to find herself, get in touch, relearn a healthy way to live. she felt better from it, no doubt. she was breaking the mould and going to lead life how she wanted. she'd achieved many personal victories and it was onwards and upwards. so how could she be floundering at this first pivotal test?

maybe she just wasnt there yet - hadnt tapped that far. or maybe she was living it already. or maybe ... going out on a bit of limb here... it was a combination.

she thought carefully and tried to word it succinctly. i have a burning desire to live life as i choose. a burning desure to be open to the opportunities that the universe has to offer and not be bulldozed down by self-doubt while waiting for clarity. or how about "a burning desire to live life without doubt". she was sure that some cliched email footer about dancing like theres no tomorrow said it more poetically but this worked for her.

would he understand? did it matter? did he really need for her to have clear cut answers? would he think any less of her?

at this moment in time she wasn't sure but as she read the sentence again she realized that as a first step to her newly stated goal she was willing to take the chance.