Wednesday, June 17, 2009

...get that out of the way

I'll be away for a little while, somewhere in east Europe, on a sort of small 'roots trip' . It will start with locating the graves of my grandparents, cleaning their tombstones, litting candles, saying prayers...I'll sure miss your fabulous blogs from which I learn so much. In the meantime, I leave you to read and enjoy Woody Allen's brilliant tiny piece of writing (enlarge the picture).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stars gone out at the Herodeion

The Herodeion , on the south slope of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece, is a stone theatre that has hosted many musical concerts and famous artists throughout the years. Here's one of the most intriguing musical events: George Dalaras , the popular greek singer ,and Emma Shaplin, the young french Diva, in a....surprising duet with "Spente le Stelle" ("The stars are gone out").

(I must confess, I take seriously any performance of this particular song as I have very deep, traumatic feelings for it.. I was in the middle of listening to this song , when I got the news of the untimely sudden death of my brother. Later on, I 'stole' its music for a poem I wrote in his memory and I worked very hard on my voice (in the shower) to be able to sing it, at the memorial ceremony. I didn't do it in the end as it would have been a Fiasco.).

Orchestra. The guy with the bandanna should have definitely changed his outfit into something more appropriate to the nature and atmosphere of the 'Spente le Stelle". The drummer is cute and energetic, but that's not the kind of drum beat that usually comes with this kind of song. I'm interested in the Choir which is of utmost importance here ,echoing the events like in an ancient tragedy. We are, however, not offered a decent close-up of the choir, and that's a pity.

Dalaras opens. Oh ,my God, he looks and sounds distracted. Maybe he's had a glass of ouzo before the concert. I then take a look at Emma. I don't believe it! She's smiling, that's pure blasphemy! The song is a tragic one, it's about a betrayed, broken heart, bitter tears, despair, hopeless dreams, empty night, crying love... Perhaps she also had a glass of ouzo. Two orchestra players sitting right behind the singing couple, are engaged in intensive chatting. How dare they ?in the middle of the concert? They should be fired ! What instruments are they playing anyway, I see no instruments. Ah,well I remember now the two faces from another concert, they're bouzouki players, and there's probably no part for bouzouki in this piece, so they are jobless and feel free to chat.

The two guys seem to do more than just chatting, they are gossiping. Since I like a bit of gossip myself, I follow their glances . Oh, oh , I see... Emma and George are now holding hands. That explains it all; the distraction, the smiling, the loving eyes. Emma, poor Emma, He's got a reputation, He''ll break her heart. I must admit, however, they look lovely together and their kiss when leaving the stage made me forget all about the weeping song.

Oh well, I wish the diva, Good Luck with the charming greek prince, and forgive her for not delivering the song (which brought her big fame some ten years ago ) in a proper manner. I can understand.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Ben Bernanke (the chairman of the Fed) is printing dollars like there's no tomorrow.

Stanley Fischer (the Governor of Bank 0f Israel) is buying dollars like there's no tomorrow.

OK - Could be there's no tomorrow. With the intensive spread of nuclear power and the global warming which brings about natural disasters - the end of the world seems pretty real. Add to this, the major fact that God is very angry with us people, for violating the order and rules of this universe with migration ,pollution ,and globality - and you get the whole picture.

But what if there is a tomorrow ? Well, in this case, it won't have anything to do with the dollar. Let's face it, America is a superpower of debts.
The World Bank is quietly looking for a substitute to the old green bill, just in case...

So why are these two respectable economy professors playing the game of printing and purchasing dollars? It's my humble opinion that they won't tell us why because they have no idea why. They're both stuck in some old theory regarding the Depression of 1929-1933 and their every second word is "growth" -whatever that means.

Bernanke was Fischer's doctoral student. Israel got the teacher, America got the student ,and the world got a big monetary and economic Headache.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dear BEE, Why ME?

Once in a while, I get stung by a bee. When it happens, the pain is agonizing and I unwillingly produce a loud , high -pitched scream. Luckily, I'm a non-allergic victim as the pain and swelling occur locally only. Quick removal of the stinger and a cold water compress on the affected spot are of great help.

The strangest 'stinging incident' occurred to me years ago in a glass shop on the tiny Murano island near Venice. This island is a ten minutes ride by waterbus (vaporetto) from Venice and is based on glass industry. It has glass factories, glass showrooms, glass souvenir shops, glass-blowing demonstrations by professional glass blowers, glass museum, glass, glass, glass in various colors, shapes and qualities.
Quite a place with character.

Vivarini furnace, Vivarini bridge - Murano

Well, we were several people in the souvenir shop, and I was the one who got the sting !! I was "the chosen one". There was nothing about me to attract bees or humans. I was in simple plain clothes, no bright colors, no jewelery, no perfume, no scents, no flowers or sweets in my hands, bag, or around me . Nothing of all those things that are said to attract or irritate bees. As I recall, I was standing under a chandelier with fiery colors, maybe that was it.

When I delivered my 'operaic' scream, something on a shelf near me fell and got broken. The shop owner was in complete shock (broken glass is an ominous sign in many cultures and apparently he had seen nothing like this before), but he composed himself and behaved very gently towards me. He fetched me cold water compresses for the swollen spot until I felt less pain , and tried to cheer me up as only italians know how. Before leaving, I offered to pay for the broken item. The shop owner refused to take any money from me , even for the two items I chose to buy prior to the incident. He said he wanted me to leave with no hostile feelings for the place where I had experienced pain and misery.

The last time I got stung by a bee was two weeks ago in Jerusalem. I had to be at an office to get a certain document stamped & signed. I was very happy that the procedure took only 5 minutes , but my happiness was of short duration. As I left the building- oops! sting and scream. ( It was a cool, cloudy day and they say bees are angry on such a day).

In Jerusalem, if a scream like that is heard, security people automatically start looking for terrorists. When they learnt it was false alarm , the look on their face said something like that: "Shame on you , to make such a fuss over a bee sting, when we are struggling against Terror".
(Sorry, Fellows).