Saturday, July 19, 2003

Strength in numbers
From Fiamma Nirenstein's essay, "How I became an 'unconscious fascist'" quoted by Ocean Guy: "One Palestinian told me that if I see things so differently from the majority, this plainly means that my brain doesn't work too well."

This gem reminded me of Bish, naturally. Bish was a bright kid in a national religious school. He asked a lot of questions that got him into a lot of trouble because his teachers didn't have any intelligent answers and therefore he was seen as a troublemaker. Luckily for him he was also regarded as a little "illui" and was a feather in the school's cap so they didn't chuck him out, even when he seriously p!&&ed them off by refusing to go to high school Yeshiva. One of the reasons he had the gall to regularly take on the whole school and later his commanders in the army was the support of his father, who always told him that "just because everyone else thinks differently from you doesn't mean that you are wrong." Did I mention he also got beaten up a lot?

Last year I was obsessed with opinion polls. I just had to know what percentage of lefties like me had adjusted their views according to the changing realities of our lives here in Israel. Bish used to find this amusing and ask what difference does it make what other people think? I found strength in numbers. The elections sort of settled it once and for all. I haven't checked the results of an opinion poll in months. I must have gotten over it.

I do tend to wander, don't I? All this has little to do with Nirensteins' interesting essay.