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“Not all fights are worth having. Some things don’t matter. Others are puerile and ought to be beneath rational adult discourse. If a fellow adult approaches you on the street, looks you straight in the eye and tells you that his daddy is richer, stronger, more attractive than, or otherwise superior to your daddy, the proper response is none at all.
This intuitive wisdom, usually learned on the playground, is often blithely ignored in clashes over politics and identity. Some if it can be chalked up to what I’ve started calling McFly’s Law – the almost irrepressible desire to respond to any affront, regardless of how silly it is, lest it go visibly unanswered. In other cases it is more inexplicable.
But in the case of the Israelis and the Palestinians, this irrational aversion to looking away takes on a hysterical and existential ardor. It is a reflection of the fetishization of the conflict and dangerous fantasies of total victory, and with that the obviation of any need to compromise. The conflict ceases to be a local tragedy and transforms into a pervasive force that penetrates seemingly unrelated areas of contemporary life, history, and culture.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Blackface. I’ve been writing about, and researching – and opposing – racism for more than thirty years. And make no mistake: blackface isn’t funny. It’s racist. Ask Megyn Kelly. A year ago, the former Fox News star was filming a segment about..."
"Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” may be a “political phenomenon,” according to CNN, but it’s also a misnomer, twice over: The photos that supporters end up with aren’t technically selfies—campaign aides snap them—and no one waits in a line..."
"In the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, there is an old postcard from the city aquarium of a large sea turtle with four boys straddling its back. The turtle lies flattened upon a pathway in front of a fence. At the feet..."
"As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed."
"That seems to be the emerging bipartisan consensus. “On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition,” writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. “Our..."
"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."
"Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the..."
"The last time Netflix asked me “Are you still watching?” I had to think really hard about it. Was I still watching? Or at least enough to make my $16-a-month payment worth it? The subscription economy can be a wonderful thing. We don’t have to..."