Wednesday, November 03, 2004


I have more than one friend that is absolutely devastated and shocked by the outcome of yesterday's election. I would imagine that there are large groups of voters who are wondering what happened? I had pretty much resigned myself to four more years with this administration after I saw a presentation of this documentary. My friend Robert has been working on it for months and he has been educating me on the realities of touch screen voting since even before that.

Quite simply I believe that this election was a done deal before anyone ever went to vote. Karl Rove has been stealing elections since he was in college. He's really good at what he does. All those revved up citizens for change never had a chance. No matter how many people showed up to vote the reality is that there was electronic voting with no paper trail in all of the swing states. The software is not secure and, as shown in the election in Georgia just a few months ago, the numbers can be changed to reflect whatever outcome is desired by people who are nefarious enough to subvert the democratic process.

So yesterday I picked up my Rx for Valium and spent the evening drinking wine and riding a mellow buzz. I watched a little election coverage, but news journalism ain't what it used to be so I turned to "Manhunt" on Bravo. An insipid show about the search for the most gorgeous male model in America, the alter ego of America's Next Top Model. An insipid show yes, but it's cute 20-something boys who spend a lot of time showing off their pecs as they're drenched in water or oiled up.

And I prefer to know that my reality is being edited for my entertainmnet and highest dramatic impact.

The craptastic election coverage was still pretending it's got credibility when actually it's just a really mediocre reality show edited to spin whatever opinion the White House wants the viewer to have.

However, I was so incredibly relaxed last night that the last thing I remember is the commercial break as the announcer said, "stay tuned for the surprise elimination!" I totally missed the elimination of Paolo who was hot, but annoyingly into his hair and his body. The kind of singlemindedness that can cool the heat. I tried to imagine what it would be like to date a man who was so into the way he looked. Um, yuck. Even so it was way better than falling asleep listening to Tucker Carlson, James Carville and whoever that weird looking man was with the white hair, black eyebrows and vulture-like posture, all sniping at each other.

And I guess the surprise elimination announcement accurately described how many people felt when they woke up this morning. But they were relating it to Kerry, not Paolo.


As I was driving around running my errands last night - the pharmacy and dinner to go - I was so aware of the people who were out and about in my neighborhood. They were all Korean (pharmacy) and Hasidic Jews (dinner to go). I am fascinated by both cultures but lately I've been really fixating on the Hasidic community.

This may be because I take a short cut on my way home through a neighborhood that is chock full of shulls and boasts a very high population of Hasidic jews and now that it's dark at night I am hyper vigilant not to accidently run them over as they walk across the street in their very dark clothing. I feel protective of them as they walk in groups of men and boys, and women and girls. The littlest boys walk with their moms, but the sexes don't mix, even when they're walking down the street. I love the boys, not yet men, in their too large suits and seemingly oversized hats balanced over beards still sparse. I can't help but stare at the husky men in their fur hats and their stolls hanging to their knees, their full beards, some shot through with grey resting on their barrel chests. I imagine their resonant voices raised in prayer.

It's as if they came from another time. Or from the cast of Fiddler on the Roof.

Which was on the other night. The night I couldn't sleep last week. I got caught up in watching Fiddler and it brought back memories of seeing it over and over again with my friend Debbie when I was in fifth grade. Her family was Jewish. Her father was a German Jew who had survived the concentration camps. Everything I know about Judaism I learned from spending time with Debbie and her family. I loved going to Friday night supper - the ritual of her mother with the lace scarf over head singing the prayer over the candles. I loved going to temple after dinner. I loved Mickey Greenberg.

So anyway, I'm watching Fiddler on the Roof and there's the scene, my favorite scene actually, where Tevye has to tell Golde that even though their daughter is promised to the butcher, Lazer Wolfe, a gross old man, in a marriage arranged through the matchmaker, he's promised her that she can marry her true love, the tailor, Motel Camzoil. He looks over at his sleeping wife and then screams as though awakending from a horrible nightmare. Golde wakes up and asks him what's wrong and he tells her that Fruma Sarah, the butcher's wife came to him and told him that any woman who marries her widowed husband will die! There's a song in this dream sequence sung by Golde's dead Grandmother and all the other deceased family members as they dance around the cemetery and it goes:

A blessing on your head,
(mazel tov, mazel tov)
To see you daughter wed,
(mazel tov, mazel tov)
And such a son-in-law
Like no one ever saw,
The tailor Motel Camzoil

It's a really catchy tune. And last night I watched a group of Hasidim cross the street as I waited at a stop sign and I started singing it. Out loud. The windows were closed THANK GOD!

And I've been singing it, silently, in my head all day.

Which, I suppose is better than being devastated by the outcome of this "election". Of course it could just be that I am a weirdo and this is my supressed stress related reaction.

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