Free Leaf

"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold..."

Location: Falls Church, Virginia, United States

I have a lot more questions than answers, but I just keep asking. I constantly want to leave, but somehow manage to stay. I am both perfectly happy and completely miserable because of it. I think I am misunderstood but that could just be a huge misunderstanding, either way I guess the best way to put it is, "I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong."


Free Leaf 101

Without even noticing yesterday I threw up my 100th post. Making today #101 and as with those great 101 classes we used to take this is gonna cover a lot. I guess I could have done numerous posts on the different topics but I’d rather speak briefly about a few.

Walk on Water

Last night I watched this movie for the first time. It was not my first attempt at Israeli cinema so I sort of knew what to expect as far as quality and having to deal with subtitles due to my limited Hebrew. Eytan Fox who directed this movie as well as Yossi & Jagger (the movie about gay Israeli soldiers) and The Bubble did a really good job in my opinion. The movie is driven by the characters and has so many underlying issues that it tries to discuss that at times it gets confusing but overall I really liked it. Of course I am nostalgic for all things Israel so that helps. But the movie does show some very true and real emotions that are not often confronted.

The film featured five languages and three countries, as well as dealing with racism, hatred and homosexuality. I don’t want to write a review, there are enough out there, so just read one. But I will discuss the topics in my own light. Starting with the homosexual aspect, which really does play a very small role, which is only lightly touched upon, but I think that is the right way to do it, gays are everywhere but they aren’t everything. I did find revealing that a gay Arab can fit in much better in Israel, even if he is hated and discriminated against, better than in Arab countries for the most part. The film also confronts the leftist view of Suicide Bombers briefly, the Israeli main character doesn’t seem to care about how bad their lives are to make them kill themselves he even calls them animals. And maybe he is right; I will touch on that later in this post. The third most prominent interaction is between the Israeli Mossad agent and two German grandchildren of a Nazi, it is actually this dynamic that got me thinking the most. After all most of the WWII generation is moving on and the grandchildren are beginning to have children of our own. And just as I am the descendant of Holocaust Survivors, Germans my age are likely descendants of the perpetrators of the Holocaust. I can see how it creates an awkward dynamic. What would I do, how would I feel if I were confronted with a person whose grandfather was responsible for the loss of my Grandfathers entire family or my Great Grandparents on my Grandmas side? I really don’t know.

The New Science of Siblings

Time’s cover story is about how siblings may effect who we are more than any other factors in our lives. More than parents, peers and genetics and they make some good points, I have yet to finish the article but thought it was worth mentioning in the context of what has been going on with my friends. In the article it is posed that we learn so much of our social skills from dealing with our siblings. So, it is my guess that someone growing up with two younger sisters would ultimately interact with others differently than someone who grew up as a younger sibling or with brothers or a different mixture. I think my case is also a little different in that not only was I the oldest brother to sisters but we grew up without our dad. It might explain my care giver status amongst my friends and the reason that I put myself through the torture of being a Fraternity president, a job that closely resembles babysitting. It also might be why my friendships with women are easier than other guys. I am sure it has helped me in relationships in the past and I hope my sisters were helped by interacting with me so much in our youth. We spend a lot of time growing up with our siblings, more than you really notice, there were times when my sisters have been my best friends and still to this day I talk to my little sister almost daily, not that she listens to any of my advice, and though my other sister and I have drifted apart I have a feeling that we are only across a bridge as opposed to an ocean. Maybe, I find my friends so frustrating because my social interactions were formed dealing with girls and that’s why I just cant see eye to eye with my friends in a dispute?


Obviously the world is watching what is going on in the Gaza strip lately with cautious eyes. Some feel its excessive force by the Israeli military intended to collectively punish Palestinians. Others here in America look on in awe and respect at the way Israel is taking no holds barred attitude to get back one of its own. Today, I read Krauthammer’s article in Time on the cycle of violence and he makes some good points. While, I do not like the fact that the everyday citizen is mixed up in this I also think it is time that Palestinians took some responsibility for not having peace. Israel withdrew from Gaza and since then 1000 rockets have fallen on pre-67 Israel. Gilad was kidnapped behind 67 lines, while two of his comrades were murdered. There are no leaders in Gaza, none that care about the welfare of the everyday Palestinian, if there were, if they truly cared about their own people they would have taken the opportunity in Gaza to show the world that they can govern themselves and put their people first over the “struggle”. It has not happened and it won’t happen until someone with enough strength to lay down their life for the cause takes the helm. And I don’t mean the way a murdering terrorist lays down his life by blowing up innocents, I mean laying down your life by making hard decisions for peace that may ultimately get you killed at the hands of your own radical people. They need someone who would recognize Israel and stop the bullets from flying long enough to build an economy and infrastructure. It also wouldn’t hurt to start properly teaching the youths that Israel does exist. I lived in Israel when there was still peace in the late 90s but I also remember when my sister lived there and the news of clubs being bombed on the news. It all needs to stop but Hamas seems to be moving backward instead of evolving the way many thought they would. I could go on and on with posts like this but this is not my real focus and that should be enough for now.

Voice of a Generation

Another thing discussed in Time was the lack of a Voice of a Generation (VOAG) author. Since this is one of my common complaints I found the article very interesting. Essentially every generation has always had that one author, not necessarily the best, that really defined the life of that era. Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Kerouac, Salinger to name a few but who has defined life in the late 90s or 00s? Maybe the new generation just doesn’t need a VOAG or maybe we need one more than ever. Maybe we are so diverse that no one author can uniquely describe the American experience broadly and deeply enough to make others witness them as the VOAG. Or, maybe they have just moved to other art forms. Still, I do kind of long for the past of some of those authors; I loved On the Road and the Dharma Bums as well as the Catcher in the Rye. I just wonder if years from now someone will read a book about this generation and wish they could have been part of it the way so many of us do for periods past?

I know this might be too long for some but if you made it this far thanks for reading. If you just skipped to the end hoping for it all to tie together, go take your adderol and come back. Things don't have to tie together, they just have to be on my mind.


Blogger adieu tristesse said...

Interesting reading... and it is most definitely true that some things don't need to 'flow', but rather, they can just be. I came upon your blog by chance (and perhaps due to the excessive amount of free time I have on this co-op job). What's amusing is that I used to live in Israel... I must say that, for me, the nostalgia is also ever-present. Again, your thoughts were quite discerning…


11:48 AM  
Blogger Leaf said...


Thanks for stopping by, come back as much as you like. I do my best blogging from work, the beauty of being on a government contract is the free time. It is of course always nice to talk to people who have lived in Israel, its a powerful place and hard to explain to others. I only was there a short time but it was the most at home I ever felt. Maybe I will go back someday. And I will make sure to check out your blog.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Asian Mistress said...

"...the torture of being a Fraternity president, a job that closely resembles babysitting."

That was classic.

12:57 AM  

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