Haim Watzman is a Jerusalem-based writer, journalist, and translator. He is the author of “Company C: An American’s Life as a Citizen-Soldier in Israel” and “A Crack in the Earth: A Journey Up Israel’s Rift Valley,” which will be available as ebooks this week. Haim was a 2008 finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. His blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:
My Dad and I never watched the Superbowl together. Nor the NBA championships, the World Cup, or the World Series. In my family, the only person who watched sports on television was my grandmother, who never missed an Indians or Browns game. So I grew up with a warped sense of manhood. Watching guys throw balls around was for old ladies. My Dad and I did our small-screen-mediated male bonding on election night.
So I’m happy to report that when this post appears I’ll be on my way from Jerusalem to Denver to spend my first election night with Dad in more than three decades. Tuesday night he and I will be munching pizza and popcorn as we watch the returns come in and tally electoral votes and Senate seats.
Dad, a longtime newspaper reporter, was my first coach in political analysis, as well as in writing. His politics are liberal Democrat; his style is terse, simple, and to the point (he would disapprove of the previous semicolon and these parentheses). So it’s not surprising that I occasionally try my hand at political satire. At its best, it’s a genre that forces readers think about their beliefs in a new way. Furthermore, it can help those of us jaded by the horserace coverage that all too often passes for political journalism to remember that politics is as much a necessary part of our lives as love is, and that it’s important that we get both right.