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review 2019-01-10 02:52
Notes from a Public Typewriter
Notes From A Public Typewriter - Michael Gustafson,Oliver Uberti

When Literati Books opened in Ann Arbor Michigan, the owner put an old typewriter out in the stacks, with a sheet of paper in it, curious about what might happen.  In his wildest dreams, he imagined a sort of never ending story, where each patron would pick up where the last one left off; a true community built novel. Pragmatically, he figured he'd end up with a lot of nonsense or jokes about bodily functions.


What he got was something totally different and totally special.  People wrote some silly stuff, but they also wrote poems, posed philosophical questions, proposed, broke up, and otherwise bared their souls.  After several years of collecting the daily contributions, Gustafson was convinced to collect his favourites into what became this book.


Notes from a Public Typewriter is short, I think I read the whole thing in about an hour.  It's almost purely a collection of what Gustafson considered the best, the funniest, the most touching.  There are photos of the shop and patrons throughout, and every few pages, Gustafson writes a short essay-type piece to introduce context to some of the inclusions.


The 5 stars is because this book, for all its simplicity, moved me.  By the end, it was hard to stay dry-eyed, to be honest.  I'm sure Gustafson has collected a LOT of dreck over the years, but the simple lines he included here were honest, heart-felt, and sometimes raw.  


I don't go looking for books that reveal what goes on beneath the surface, so I'm really no judge, but this one worked for me.  What is on the face of it an anonymous, ever changing, mass of humanity going in and out the doors of one shop, is revealed in this short volume to be instead the very definition of a community.

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review 2019-01-01 14:07
Worse than the book I just read
Notes on the Occupation: Palestinian Lives - Eric Hazan,George Holoch

This book heavily pushes the one state solution, although in the afterwords it's said that the author leaves this up to the people involved to decide on the best decision.   This author emphasizes how palestinians would want to live in peace next to the Jews because they say so, ignoring the facts on the ground that even before Israel was created, Arabs were murdering Jews or at best lived with them as dhimmis, with the Arabs allowed to decide such simple things as if Jews were allowed to go out in the rain.   


As for palestinians?   They didn't exist as an Arab people before Israel did, so there can be no contextual history as to how they treated Jews.   In fact, before Israel, Arabs despised being called Palestinians; it meant being called a Jew.   Jews are, in fact, the original Palestinians.  Look at the original Palestinian things: airways, run by Jews, owned by Jews, funded by Zionints, soccer team named after Jews, all Jewish players, flag with the Star of David and blue and white although in a different configuration than Israel's current flag.   Read the old headlines about Arabs invading Palestine, aka the British Mandate of Palestine.


Hell, read the quotes by palestinian leaders who claim they're all from Syria, Egypt and Jordan.   (That's why they have last names that are Syrian, Egyptian and Jordanian.)  I can'd deny that they've created a new identity as palestinians, but this was to eradicate Israel and Jewish self-determination.   They've failed, and hopefully they will continue to fail at this.  I mostly believe that there are many innocent people trapped alongside corrupt leaders and terrorists, who had the misfortune to be promised that they'd defeat Israel and the Jews, but were lied to again.   Just like when Arab leaders told their citizens to leave, they'd defeat the Jews and then take over Israel.   The Arabs left, but their leaders never defeated Israel. 


So, a bit of a tangent, but the point stands: much of this is starry-eyed naivety, in which Hazan nods his head: nod, nod, of course hamas aren't terrorists, nod, nod, of course you want to live with the Jews in peace, nod, nod.   He will claim pro-Zionists are biased, but forgets to check any of his bias.   He paints an ugly picture of Judea and Samaria; the Jews there can be very alt-right, as far as Israeli politics go, and I condemn their attacks on palestinians.   However, I sigh a world-weary sigh: perhaps if palestinians weren't trying to strip all Jewish history from Judea and Samaria, starting by erasing these areas by renaming them "the west bank", or trying to stop Jews from visiting holy sites within Jude and Samaria, there might be less hostility.   An argument, I should point out, that Hazan himself makes at points: if palestinians had the ability to do thing and go places, there would be less 'resistance.'   There's never terrorism, there's 'resistance.' 


The forward was laughably inaccurate, by someone just as blinded by the palestinians and just as biased.   Not polemic?   This might be the most polemic thing I've read recently, including articles.   Unbiased?   It's unabashedly unbiased, using the 'aw, shucks, I'm not biased at all' schtick to trick uninformed readers into believing this absolutely massive steaming pile of bullshit.  


From a French Jew no less.   That's how antisemitic France has become; the Jews are leaning right into that.   I'll be taking Zionist things out the library next time, I think, if I can find similar books.  I really enjoyed the on-the-ground aspect; it wasn't dry, or boring, or anything that needed to be backed up with anything other than a small amount of notes at the backs of the three chapters, one for each area Hazan visited.   (His prose was simple and clean, and I really enjoyed how easy and fun and quick that made this reading, too.)


I didn't have the time to go back and check out everything else on Israel again, mostly because I got a call and had to rush to checkout and call someone back.   I plan on going back tomorrow and returning at least two books and spending an hour or two just looking at all the pretty, pretty books on Israel...  


Because delving into palestine has made me realize how much I absolutely crave reading about Israel.

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text 2019-01-01 02:41
Reading progress update: I've read 102 out of 113 pages.
Notes on the Occupation: Palestinian Lives - Eric Hazan,George Holoch

"How can such homogeneity of violent hared be created and maintained?"  


I dunno.   Maybe you should ask the people who murder Jews, and call for the death of Jews.   They seem more homogeneously, violently hateful than anyone else, and they're all the part of the population you claim to be talking to. 


Given that you promote the whole starry-eyed, incredibly stupid line that hamas is about civil services and not terrorism, though, I doubt you're self-aware enough to realize this.

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text 2018-12-31 02:38
Reading progress update: I've read 79 out of 113 pages.
Notes on the Occupation: Palestinian Lives - Eric Hazan,George Holoch

"'We are against the recognition of Israel.   But the Israelis have nothing to be afraid of; we have a tradition of living in harmony with the Jews.'"


Oh, really?


Rasmeah Odeh, a convicted palestinian terrorist who lied to enter the U.S., is finally deported back to Jordan.   She murdered two Jews in a restaurant for being Jewish. 


Watch as Leila Khaled relives her terrorism against Jews and is applauded.


Watch palestinian terrorist Ahlam Taimimi laugh finding out she killed eight Jewish children, saying she'd thought it was less.


So tell me again how you live in harmony with the Jews, you lying asshole. 

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text 2018-12-31 02:21
Reading progress update: I've read 60 out of 113 pages.
Notes on the Occupation: Palestinian Lives - Eric Hazan,George Holoch

Oh, no, he's going to justify their denial by saying it's because it's used to justify persecuting them.   (Not true; it's used to explain why the Jews need their own state, and happily it's on their ancestral, indigenous land that was occupied again and again before given back to them.)


HIs light finger wagging doesn't quite express the disgust I'd expect a Jew to feel at hearing how widespread this revisionism is, but it's clear he'd love a palestinian state at the expense of Jewish lives, so...   I trust him zero percent.

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