Sunday, December 17, 2006

Proud to be a reader of the (winning) Sandmonkey and Treppenwitz

Well, it sure is nice to know that my opinions have gone mainstream! (?) Two of my favorite bloggers, the snarky and courageous Egyptian Sandmonkey and the coffee-loving, elipsis-addicted, not snarky at all Israeli Treppenwitz, have come in first and second place, respectively, in the 2006 Weblog Awards for "Best Middle East or Africa Blog." Congratulations to both of you! Yes, I'll admit to having split my votes between you.

Apparently, Sandmonkey was not using up all his good ideas to rake in votes, because since winning the competition, he has put up two must-read posts back to back:

1) Very important news-related post about the efforts of the Bahai community in Egypt to win the right (which they used to have, but it's recently been revoked) to have their religion put on their ID cards, death certificates, etc. At the moment, the only religions which an Egyptian may list on official documents are Muslim, Christian, or Jew (which I guess applies to the 80 or so old Jewish ladies who are still living in Egypt). Unfortunately, the court struck down their case, and Sandmonkey reports, through a friend who attended the judgement as a gesture of solidarity with the Bahai, that one of the judges cited Bahai's not believing in Jihad as a reason that Egypt cannot recognize it. Nice. Real nice.

I like the suggestion by one of Sandmonkey's commenters, to the effect that the Bahai should just start picking Judaism as their falsely-adopted religion, in protest. Cute, but probably not safe.

2) And next, Sandmonkey's post about the chances of Israel posing a real nuclear threat to its neighbors is a must-read. I admire this guy's ability to make me laugh while reading about a potential nuclear holocaust.

I've been thinking a lot lately, maybe too much, about the very real possibility of Iran dropping an atomic bomb on . . . me . . . and what that means. And what I believe. And what I'm willing to die for. And what I want to live for. Another post for another time . . . but meanwhile I am truly freaking out. I'm seriously starting to function under the assumption that I have about 18 months to live. Another post for another time. And maybe it's time to call my therapist . . . because either there is going to be a nuclear holocaust, or not. If I believe not, then no problem. If I believe there will be, or might be, then I just have to decide whether to stay or run away. I'm not running away. So, if I'm going to stay, there's really no point in freaking out, because freaking out won't cause the Boogie Man of Iran to not try to wipe me and everything around me off the map. But, see, the mind might say "there is no point in freaking out, I'm not going anywhere no matter what," but the survival instinct is saying "living in the Middle East is definitely the most illogical thing I've ever done. And that's really saying something."

Another post for another time.

Anyhoo, I had a very nice Shabbat at the home of my friends Ari and Sarah Beth. You know, it's Chanukah. And they live in Chashmonaim. How could I not go? It was a veritable UYO reunion, too, with 5 of us staying in the house who had been to the course, and another who lives down the street who came over for dessert on Friday night. That was really nice. And I have to say, being at Ari and Sarah Beth's home always lifts my spirits. I had sort of a cruddy week last week, so I needed it.

Hopefully, what with chanukah and all, this week will be better. I also have a LOT of work, thank God! In the next 4 weeks I have 7 large stories due, plus a corporate writing assignment (helping a company write a business plan. Yes, I understand market analysis-ese, though not as a first language by any means). So, 'tis good.

Happy Chanukah.

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