IN OTHER WORDS...

By Oren Rawls

Published March 21, 2003, issue of March 21, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Gleanings From the Media

Continental Divide: It’s not just London Bridge that seems to be falling down these days in Europe, judging by articles in several European newspapers translated and reprinted in the April issue of World Press Review.

“Europe is cracking,” Leopold Unger writes in the February 11 issue of the liberal Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza. “Thirteen years after the loss of the common enemy, on the first try, the unity of the West is unraveling like an old sweater. The West is torn. Saddam is laughing. Iraq divided his enemies.”

The cause, Unger argues, is an alliance among countries with divergent interests. “Today Europe doesn’t have — and never has had — a genuinely common and cohesive foreign policy, not to mention a defense policy.… [I]f Europe wants to be taken seriously, its foreign policy and its input toward preserving democratic values cannot come down to an anti-American fixation.”

Unger’s sentiments were echoed in France by Jean-Marie Colombani of the liberal daily Le Monde. “What is the strategic doctrine that Europe would propose as an alternative to the preventive war sought by the United States? When have our heads of state and government ever dealt with this issue in a concerted manner? What can they suggest, even at a minimum?” The 21st century, Colombani writes, “demands the emergence of the Old Continent as a power that is peaceful but not pacifist, and that is a full partner of the United States but not its satellite.”

* * *

In Da White House: Meanwhile, back on this side of the Atlantic, The Nation is lamenting the return to political prominence of the macho man.

“The once-mocked figure of the dominant male has become a real-life hero,” writes Richard Goldstein in the March 24 issue of the liberal weekly. “From Colin Powell dissing the French as cowards to Donald Rumsfeld raising his fists at the podium, the Bush administration bristles with an almost cartoonish macho.”

Pop culture paved the way for the return of the “neo-macho hero,” Goldstein argues, with rap artists such as Eminem leading a backlash against feminism. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, he says, politics followed suit, from the commander in chief on down.

“These two young patriarchs seem utterly opposite,” Goldstein writes of President George W. Bush and Eminem, “but they have fundamental things in common. Both are social conservatives who stand for a male-dominated order. Both owe their appeal to anxiety over sexual and social change. Both offer the spectacle of an aggrieved man reacting with righteous rage. These qualities, which once seemed dangerous, now read as reassuring. The macho stance that once looked stylized is now a mark of authenticity.”

Goldstein places machismo firmly at the center of American foreign policy, arguing that the cultural attitude underpins the Bush administration’s designs for Iraq. “Male grievance has found a geopolitical target in Saddam,” he writes. “Sexual revenge has been sublimated into military payback. Underlying this process is a sense of the world as a jungle where friendship is transient, danger is everywhere and one can never have enough power. This is the classic rationale for macho.”

* * *

LSDeity: “Drugs,” Lawrence Bush writes in the March-April issue of the secular bimonthly Jewish Currents, “provided a generational experience of spirituality on a par with the ‘Great Awakening’ of early American Methodism or any other wave of evangelical revivalism that has swept our country throughout its history.”

Fear of nuclear extinction among baby boomers, he writes, “helped to drive the baby boomers away from science and rationalism and toward religiosity.” The search for spirituality, he argues, led many during the 1960s to explore their “mystical consciousness” through the use of LSD.

“I, too, exposed myself to psychedelic drugs numerous times in my teens and found my experiences to be deeply fortifying to my identity,” Bush confesses. “Psychedelics did not, however, convince me of God’s existence, of the illusory or handicapped nature of my waking consciousness, or of there being ‘deeper realities’ just beyond the horizon.”

* * *

Paper Honeymoon: In a special edition devoted to media matrimony, the “Love Beat” column of the weekly New York Observer reports this week on the engagement of Ira Stoll, managing editor of the New York Sun, to Aliza Phillips, features editor of the Forward. According to the Observer’s Anna Jane Grossman, the pair met in 1999 when Stoll was managing editor of the Forward and Phillips came to work as his assistant. The romance only began, however, after Stoll “split the Forward to work for the Jerusalem Post in May of 2000,” as Grossman delicately puts it.

Working at “rival publications” appears to take some maneuvering; “I don’t tell him what’s going to be in the Forward the next week, and he doesn’t tell me about some hot scoop he’s working on in the Sun,” Phillips told the Observer. They are said to be planning “a Conservative Jewish wedding” sometime in December.






Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.