My new Think Again column asks the (obvious, I think) question: “Shouldn't the Iraq War have finally killed the "Liberal Media?"
One question that if you read me at all regularly you know constantly confuses me is “What do the US leaders of the BDS movement think about Hamas?” I always suspected this, but now it’s official, at least if you take Sara Schulman as your guide. They don’t. Amazing, I know, but how else could a leftist lesbian feminist activist support a movement that is virulently and violently opposed to everything for which they profess to stand?
And since I don’t like to be personally abused from my left without also catching flak from my right, I note with regret that The Israel Project is being taken over by one of Washington’s foremost Jewish McCarthyites, ex-AIPAC flack Josh Block. In the universe of The Nation, I am often accused of being no better than AIPAC on the issue of Israel/Palestine, and so it's funny that in the universe of AIPAC I get the no-less ridiculous accusation of actual anti-Semitism. Anyway, Block’s appointment is bad news for honest, respectful discourse about Israel and the Palestinians but good news for Sarah Schulman and BDS, since behavior like Block’s often pushes people in the camp of BDS, simply out of distaste for the hardline tactics of the Israeli right-wing. What neither organizations will do, I can promise you, is further the cause of Middle East peace or improve the lives of the victims of its violence.
Alas, the Forward piece whitewashes Block’s nastiness and exploitation of the anti-Semitism issue, which is particularly ironic for me, since it was a trigger for my decision to resign my gig as a columnist there. I wrote a letter to the editor about it, which has received no acknowledgement, alas. If it remains ignored, I’ll throw it up here next week. In the meantime, I look forward to slanderous attacks on my character from both organizations in the not-too-distant future.
And speaking of genuine anti-semites—and believe me, I do not use the term lightly or without evidence—The New York Times has a wonderful feature on Majora Carter, Betrayer of the Poor and Powerless whose interests she apparently exploits to enrich herself, (and incidentally) a shande on the good name of the Bronx High School of Science.
Alter-reviews and this week’s list
This week’s list is: “Musicians who are generally considered to be lame or kind of a joke, but are actually really good and in a few cases, genuinely great.”
I was inspired to choose it because I came across two genuinely amazing YouTube videos featuring Tom Jones and Janis Joplin and Tom Jones with Crosby, Stills Nash & Young. That reminded me that I forgot how much I really liked Jones’s last two albums: the gospel one that came out the summer before last and the new one, which is sort of gospelly, Spirit in the Room, which begins with a killer “Tower of Song” and also has a wonderful “Just Dropped In,” another classic of my misspent youth. So if you think Tom Jones is lame because he kind of reminds you of Engelbert Humberdink, you could not be more wrong. Now I just need to see him live. A friend of mine, who took his mom’s cleaning lady saw him once and said, “He’s not just great; he’s James Brown-great.”