Thursday, June 16, 2005

Backlog of tidbits

Some thoughts I've had during my blogging hiatus. In no particular order:

  • The Deep Throat revelation got me thinking about the aftermath of Watergate and the affair's many direct and indirect consequences, most of them negative. But the worst of them by far: The election of Jimmy Carter.

  • When I first visited Israel in the 1980s, it was impossible to find American-style peanut butter. Peanut butter in any form was not common, but the variety available here was "natural" peanut butter, otherwise known to a typical American kid as "yukky" peanut butter. No sugar, no preservatives, no stabilizers. The oil would separate from the butter, leaving an oily layer on top of the jar that you had to blend in by hand. Yuk! Once in a while you might find a shop with American peanut butter, but it was expensive.

    Israel has changed, and so have I. American brands of peanut butter are now easy to find in Israeli supermarkets (though still not that popular). But my tastes (and diet) have changed too, and I now hardly touch the sweetened, processed, emulsified, industrial stuff. To find natural peanut butter, however, you now have to get to a health food store, or at least the health food section of a large supermarket. And you have to pay extra for it.

    At least you can't find anything resembling American "bread" in Israel!

  • Since moving to Israel, I've rarely missed celebrating two days of Yom Tov. One is enough, thank God. The exception is Shavuot. It's deprived to start with, lasting only one (or two) days, compared with the week-long Pesach and Sukkot. But the clincher is the Tikkun Leil Shavuot. After learning Torah all night long and then sleeping till noon, I simply need a second day of Yom Tov to recover. (Irony: In the time of the Temple, Shavuot was the only festival which would never have been celebrated for two days, even in the diaspora.)

  • I saw Revenge of the Sith. Good fun. The sets were tremendous, with an impressive attention to detail, making fantasy worlds seem utterly real. It seemed a shame at times how briefly some of them appeared on screen. Anakin was the main disappointment - the acting, not the character. His lines were dry and cliched, and the delivery was stiff and lifeless. And the film lacked some of the levity of the original trilogy, but then again this was meant to be the darkest film of the series.

    After the showing, I thought about Sarah's spoilerless post about Anakin's father. She "totally called it", she claimed. But I was sure nothing in the film even referred to Anakin's father. Googling around various fan message boards, I see that the identity of Anakin's father remains hotly debated, and that Lucas probably meant to leave it ambiguous. I'm not sure which theory Sarah "called", but I'm skeptical.

1 comment:

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

jimmy carter was definetly the worst disaster, hurricane redneck