Sunday, July 11, 2010

Amused at the muse

Two years ago I blogged a whole long piece, and no one commented! The shame! Maybe it's because I end everything off with "yup"? It's supposed to be an ironic commentary on life, the universe, and everything, but perhaps it's been misinterpreted? Anyway, here's a republishing of that long ago post:

I was at a loss tonight, because I really couldn't think of anything to write. Thankfully I popped onto Hershel Tzig's site and was directed to another site which seems to think that Chabad is the embodiment of evil on G-d's green earth. I really enjoy sites like these for a couple reasons. The first is that they validate my belief in Chabad; the second is that they give me something to write about when the times they are a slow.

It's really amazing that some people spend so much of their time bashing us. Sure, I bash people when they annoy me, but I don't go around looking for people to slam. Do I wake up in the morning and think, "Who can I hurt today?" No, I wake up in the morning and think, "Man, I'm a moron, I should have gone to sleep before 3:00 AM". You understand the difference? The haters are always thinking about other people, while I constantly think about myself.
As I was reading the posts, and especially after reading the comments, I found myself formulating replies. I stopped myself and said (in the hushed tone normally reserved for visitors to the Minnesota History Center), "TRS, can't you read what they have to say? Instead of trying to fight back, just absorb their words and try to understand that they have a valid point of view." Once I stopped laughing I began to type a response. Then it hit me: You just can't argue with these people. So I stopped typing. It occurred to me that I also don't take criticism very well; after all, yesterday I made a typo, an august presence advised me of its existence, and instead of admitting my mistake like a man I made a joke of the whole affair. Where's the accountability?

This specific blog itself is actually, I must admit, quite fair in its approach. There's a great story that he brings from Rav Hutner:

There is the well known story about the bed of Sodom (also known as the Procrustean bed). If a visitor to Sodom was too short he was stretched and if he was too big for the bed his legs were cut off. Rav Hutner said, "We have such a bed in the frum world. The difference is that if someone doesn't fit his head is cut off."

Fine. So I really don't have too much of a problem with this blog. Many of the comments are off the wall, and he seems to think that all of Lubavitch waves yellow flags around, but these are quite ordinary problems. There's nothing particularly offensive about what he says. So what's my problem? I was just looking for something to write. Today's MS, you see, was a bit uninspiring. While I was making phone calls I realized that I could open a very successful business: Everyone I talk to says they're "just about" to go on vacation. I should start charging people to have me call them and then they'll magically be going on vacation! I think that this idea is worth at least five million a year, and I'm looking for some venture capital to help me start this thing.

Moving right along, it has come to my attention that we're currently in the middle of the nine days, and we're supposed to be sad that we don't have a temple. Is anyone here depressed? Does the sting of exile bite into anyone's heart?

I didn't think so. What can we do about this? I don't know. Seems to me that we've all settled into a malaise that only something really exciting can get us out of. If, for example, the sun were to have some major histrionics, most of us would take life a little more seriously, at least for the fifteen seconds we'd have before being wiped out like a bunch of Toyotas in Detroit.
The nine days, huh? Tough time. Yup.

29 comments:

Baruch said...

yup.
Seriously though , that made me laugh. Especially the part with the haters only thinking about themselves...
btw is that a real quote from rav hutner

Baruch said...

I meant thinking about others, you know what I mean..

The Real Shliach said...

Always glad to bring a little joy into people's lives- but do I know what you mean?

And yes, as far as I know, that's a real quote.

e said...

Two years ago during the 3 weeks, i got a letter from a non-Jewish lady who was wondering what's up with these three weeks of mourning. She had attended a pottery class, and some frum ladies at the class turned off the background music because they needed to mourn.

Why, wondered the non-Jew, are you allowed to have fun by making pottery, chit-chatting and laughing with friends, but you can't listen to music? She figured that if you're going to have three weeks of mourning, the important thing should be not going out and acting frivolous with friends. A little background music didn't seem to be such a big deal.

The Real Shliach said...

Takeh.

Dowy said...

E - i hope you explained that she should be considerate to the millions of people that where killed throughout history following this tragic time, by cooperating with the custom not to listen to music.
Of course people cannot be commanded to cry, every person is different and keeps the customs as best they can.

e said...

Don't worry, I gave her a good answer. But the question also has a point.

sarabonne said...

Two years ago you were at a loss as to what to write, did it happen again?

The Real Shliach said...

Dowy+e: it certainly is a good point.

Sara: I found something half decent to post, so I posted it.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

e: The only good answer is: "These people are members of a sect which we call 'snags.' If you are Christian, you will be familiar with what Jebus called the 'scribes and pharisees.' His major mistake was confusing the pharisees (us) with snags.

e said...

I think many frum Jews would go to a pottery class during the 3 weeks and turn off the music. It's not necessarily a snag thing.

Imagine if I would have responded to her question by quoting Jesus... That would be funny. But I think my higher-ups are of little faith and wouldn't get the joke.

The Real Shliach said...

Of little faith? Of little faith in what?

e said...

jesus

The Real Shliach said...

And you do have faith in Jesus?

e said...

no, but I'm not averse to quoting him.

The Real Shliach said...

But your former masters would be averse.

Anyway, what was the quote?

e said...

Nothing in particular. Just something along the lines of, "These women claim to be mourning while they're really out having a good time as if nothing has happened. Hypocrites such as these are what made Jesus dislike the scribes and pharisees."

e said...

would you mind re-enabling non-registered commenters? The obnoxious anonymous snag is gone, and having to sign in every time is becoming a nuisance.

The Real Shliach said...

Whoever thought I'd become an enabler?

sarabonne said...

Btw, a bit random but to answer an old question of yours, many can argue that Monet is a better artist than Manet because of his great influence in French Impressionism. In fact, he was the founder.

The Real Shliach said...

The teacher is always superior to the student?

sarabonne said...

Manet was not a student of Monet. But if you're asking as a general thing, no. Some students excell past the level of their teachers.

The Real Shliach said...

All right, so if they weren't teacher and student, upon what is your assertion of Monet superiority founded?

sarabonne said...

He was the founder of French Impressionism....

The Real Shliach said...

So what? Was he better at it or not? Abner Doubleday may have invented baseball (he didn't, but that's another story), but he sure as heck wouldn't be half the player Justin Morneau is.

sarabonne said...

Well how about you define for me what makes a good artist.
Seriously though, my original remark was that "one could argue." Personally I liked Manet far before I liked Monet.

The Real Shliach said...

How about you define for me what makes good art?

I didn't object to your assertion, merely to your argument in support thereof.

sarabonne said...

Tell me how one defines good art.

Blah blah blah.

The Real Shliach said...

lol