Late on a busy Sunday, I am looking at a pile of newspapers I have not had a chance to read. I want to read them all (I would also like to go to Mars). There are the Sunday and Saturday W. Post and NY Times. There are two “Forwards” and one “Jewish Week” and one “Atlantic Times”. Oh, yes, and Saturday’s Wall Street Journal.
I started with the second section of this week’s “Forward”. I read through it slowly and found the articles interesting enough, but I did have to ask myself why I was reading it, and why I wanted to read the rest of the papers. After all, how much will I remember? And for how long?
For example, am I going to remember that Israeli/New York photographer Eilon Paz has been running around the world (after raising $41,000 on Kickstarter) taking pictures of large scale collectors of vinyl records, including one whose collection specializes in LPs whose jackets have been defaced by previous owners? Or how about the review of the memoirs of Paul Stanley? Who, you ask? You know, Paul Stanley, who used to be a member of KISS? Do you know that his off stage personality is much different than on stage, that he was born with one of his ears deformed, and that the biggest influence in his life is his therapist? How much of this will I remember? I don’t think that, if you ask me a week from now, I could remember his name.
OK, then there is an article that a music scholar has concluded that Handel’s “Messiah” is overtly anti-Semitic, and reactions from a half dozen other equally qualified scholars that say this is a lot of bunk. Will I remember this? Come to think of it — what is there in this that is possible to remember? Another article, equally valueless, tries to explain why so few quilters are Jewish, either in this country or in Europe. The conclusion is that everyone who is asked has a speculation (there are no experts on this question), but no one really knows. Anything anyone can remember in this one?
And something on the biblical level. Philologos (columnist with best pseudonym) believes that the “hyssop” that Moses referred to in instructing the Israelites how to spread the blood of the lambs on their lintels before the original “passover” was really marjoram, but badly and identically translated in each and every biblical translation. I am sure I won’t remember that. And another bible based article basing blaming taxation in general on Abraham’s belief in the necessity of tithing. (Yawn)
Or how about the review of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and the influences of early films of Ernest Lubitsch, such as “To Be or Not to Be” on it? (I saw the previews of this film – seemed utterly silly to me. “To Be or Not to Be” was funny, but also an anti-Nazi masterpiece.) I might remember the film, but this review? And finally, there was an article on whether women should be able to wear fringed garments (tzitzit), or whether only men should? These fringed garments are often worn by orthodox men, and they don’t really fit women, so they need to be re-designed. Will I remember? And ask me if I care.
So, I probably spent 20 minutes or so reading these articles, and another 15 writing this piece. Will I remember writing it? No. Will you remember reading it? Haha.