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Friday, April 14, 2006

Nice Jewish dog

It turns out our dog is well situated in our more-or-less-Jewish household. We had our seder the other night, and the dog loves both gefilte fish and matzoh ball soup.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

slightly sheepish about Daylight Savings Time

I was adamantly and loudly opposed to Indiana's going on Daylight Savings Time -- especially if we were to remain in the Eastern time zone, where we don't really belong. I made a point of asking whether perhaps Gov. Mitch Daniels' mother should have said more often, "I don't care what all your friends are doing. If your friends were jumping off a cliff . . . ."

So I feel compelled to report that I am enjoying having light so late in the evening. Taking the puppy outside at 8 p.m. and not needing a flashlight is pretty neat.

I am still indignant on behalf of the schoolkids walking to, and standing at, school bus stops in darkness or near-dark. But I must acknowledge that I'm getting something good out of the change.

Bambi and Hitlerjunge Quex

I was pondering the anti-human undercurrent in many environmentalists' world view, and wondering where it comes from. What leads people to view their own group as the enemy? One answer is: propaganda. Bambi is perhaps the clearest, but far from the only story anthropomorphizing animals and omitting any humanity from the human portrait.

I happen to know from family history that this sort of storytelling can have the effect I speak of. My father grew up a Jew in Nazi Germany (in Berlin). At age 12 or 13, he, like all Berlin's schoolchildren his age, were taken to see the Nazi propaganda movie Hitlerjunge Quex. This was the story of a young German boy with Communist parents, martyred because of his loyalty to Hitler and National Socialism. My father found himself profoundly moved by the film, identifying with the boy, and -- briefly -- hating those villianous Jews....

My husband, the Hoosier Gadfly, notes that religions preaching self-abnegation have had an appeal for centuries, with Medieval Christianity an important example.