My Recent Breakup

May 14, 2012

I recently broke up with my ex.

We had been in a dysfunctional relationship for quite a while now, but things were really taking a turn for crazy-land lately. I needed out!

So, I left my ex to fend for himself, stupidly thinking- “who would ever go out with someone like that?!”

Turns out, not only can he do better than me, lots of other people like his kind of crazy.

True, he’s had to limit his relationship prospects to the big fish and leave me and millions of other poor souls behind.

But hey, when even Ban Ki Moon calls you up to congratulate you on your breakup, it was me I guess, not him. Me and my stupid knowledge of the five principles of a democracy.

It wasn’t that much fun while it lasted, and now that its ended, I’m thinking it’s gonna be a lot less fun.

If I was you, I wouldn’t date this guy:

Image

But hey, that’s just little educated me saying.


Why is Everyone Mad at Scientology?

January 21, 2012

Just watched a BBC Panorama docu called The Secrets of Scientology. A friend had sent it to me telling me it’s very interesting.

Here’s where our differences came up- she found it unbelievable these ppl think they’re a religion, I find it unbelievable that anyone thinks they aren’t.

As far as I’m concerned they have all components of a religion:

  1. A theory not supported by any evidence that contradicts scientific findings to-date
  2. Blind followers that pay money and have other people tell them what to do
  3. Teaches ppl the meaning of life, gathers their confessions and uses them against these ppl

So then, why is Christianity a well respected religion, but Scientology viewed as a cult? Because Scientology threatens to take believers away from what is ‘mainstream Christianity’ these days.

just another retarded believer

Man was that an easy one to solve!


Turns Out I’m Stupid Like The Rest Of You People

January 20, 2012

I’m finally ready to confess my most recent mistake.

No, adopting a month old doggy with worms was not one of them.

Yes, going to medical school because 6 boring hours of kitchen duty in the army left me thinking where my life was headed, was the retarded mistake I made.

I wasn’t supposed to be a doctor. I was supposed to be something, anything, that requires talking a lot. Maybe the new Ellen, maybe a Hyde park sunday regular… Not a doctor.

Cause that requires focus, consistency, the belief you can save ppl’s lives cause u know how to. Qualifications. None of which apply to me, Ms.Tahel Ilan, a professional ADD, BP, lost soul, whose biggest accomplishment to-date has been keeping my dog alive for a little over a week.

So, other than fairly quickly realizing which Kindle book will be a good read and which won’t, I seem to be at a U intersection: sliding down and up between a complete lack of motivation to wake up before 12 pm, and the thought that maybe if i wake up at 9 and watch a few hours of tv, I’ll be able to reboot my life right after that and a second cup of coffee.

Smoking kills, But! when you’re sitting around waiting for nothing in particular and watching your dog sniff things, you sometimes come to the realization that it may be the only thing to hold on to.

Man, it’s moments like these that leave me wondering- WTF is my dog dreaming about right now?!


Justice. Social Protest. Um- Whatever.

August 14, 2011

Watch THIS short CNN clip, or else just guess what I’m writing about…

 

Let’s see if I can put my disorganized thoughts into logical sentences:

At first I thought all these tents would fall apart within a few days because there’s no way anyone would take that seriously. They didn’t make any claims. Nobody knew what exactly they were complaining about and it seemed more like a spontaneous summer camp in the middle of a city rather than some big social demand for justice (whatever that word means to these people).

But then, more people signed up for camp, and soon enough, the whole damn country was going to camp, and soon they even started writing their own camp hymns and songs, and somewhere around the 3rd week or so we started to hear a demand here and there.

Let’s see, I heard something about the expensive rent that people are paying in Tel Aviv. Then I heard the kindergartens there are also expensive. Then the political left got involved. And camp froze. This was the first time a social protest hadn’t been assigned a hand. Was this a protest of those people with a watch on their right hand or the people without a watch on their left? Anyways, the left joined in. The right stayed out. For about 5 whole minutes till they realized that the left held out and hadn’t milked the cow yet.

So then the doctors remembered (50 years later )that they’re being mistreated and hopped on over to the barn. And soon enough, there was not a single individual in the state of 7 million that didn’t have some connection to this agricultural summer camp. By now of course the cow is dead, how much milking can one cow suffer?

And then, when I counted up the numbers and realized that everyone, literally all different sides of the political scale were complaining, I thought to myself- this democracy thing is actually working. It’s not that someone is feeding off the other. It seems we’re all suffering equally. I mean, they’re all protesting at the same protests- on the same side of the street, with the same slogans. They’re sharing tents.

So, I ask myself, what exactly can be a positive end to this summer camp? When all the parents come to pick up their kids, what can the councilors do so that the kids will tell their parents they had a great time? Should they lower the rent? Cause then the owners will be mad. Should they lower the taxes? Cause then people will be laid off and they won’t be happy. Should they pay the doctors more? Well, yes actually.

Finally, the million dollar question: are we being lied to? We’re told this is a social protest. A people’s cry for justice and welfare. But who are these people protesting for? Who are they demanding welfare for? FOR THEMSELVES. Hardly the altruism one would expect from people flaunting around the word ‘justice’ as if it were the word ‘and’. Hardly reasonable coming from people crying about capitalism and the free market.

Um, excuse me assholes– you’re so busy crying about yourselves that you haven’t even taken a moment to realize that the guy crying next to you is crying for the exact opposite thing in the same protest?

But, you know what? That’s not actually why they’re assholes. It’s not because they lied about it being a social protest. It’s not because they’re confused. It’s not because they’re getting louder now that summer camp is about to end.

It’s because NONE OF THOSE THINGS ACTUALLY MATTER. Even before I went to medical school, in my heart I always knew that putting a Band-Aid on a patient that just had a limb chopped off, simply won’t cut it. It’s easier, it looks nicer, it’s cheaper, lets us walk away quickly as heroes before the whole thing explodes, but hey- doesn’t really solve the original problem.

Oh No!! Can I really be saying that all these hundreds of thousands of people are so stupid that in all their yelling they don’t even know what the problem is??? Yes. I’m really saying it.

You know why taxes are high? You know who doesn’t pay high rent? You know who has subsidized transportation and education?You know whose paying for all of it?

I think you do.

And you know who has the highest unemployment rate in the world? Who doesn’t have the healthcare we’re complaining about? Who isn’t allowed to transport where s/he wants to go? And whose responsible but isn’t paying for it?

I think you do.

And if you don’t, it’s probably because those songs from summer camp have a much nicer tune to them.


Traveler’s Guide to: Bosnia and Herzegovina

March 17, 2011

After having just returned from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH), I realize that there is practically no useful information in travel guides or online.

I’ll sum it up here and add links wherever necessary. The post is divided into:

  • General information
  • Sarajevo
  • Mostar
  • Srebrenica

General Information:

Currency: Konvertible Mark (BAM): 2KM=1Euro

prices: 2km=beer/cup of coffee/ pack of cigg. 7km=cevap+drink/burek+yogurt drink 30-50km=hostel/motel

Basic vocab: zdravo (hello), hvala (thank you), oprostite (excuse me), mozete li me pomoci? (can you help me?), gdje je to? (where is it?)

Food: local traditional foods include- cevap, burek and yogurt drink, bosnian coffee, baklava. It is not customary to tip.

General Advice: lose the street maps. You don’t need them. Bosnia is about walking around and if you walk around any of the places mentioned for just 1 hour, you’ll see everything without even trying. In Mostar I recommend turning into random little streets and climbing up old stair cases. Actually- I recommend that for all places.

Transportation: as a general rule in Eastern Europe- bus is always preferable to train. The view is usually much better, it’s much quicker, it’s cheaper and it gives a better feel of the country. I recommend doing that whenever it isn’t too big a hassle= direct bus lines between where you want to go.

Bosnia is a country for coffee/tea stops. You’ll most likely be doing that every hour 🙂

Bosnians are incredibly warm and friendly people. Talk to them, ask them anything. Even the ones that can’t speak english will end up having a 2 hour conversation with you!

Sarajevo:

The main train and bus stations are right next to each other. Between them is the central post office (Posta).

There’s an ATM next to the bus station.

All hostels and motels are downtown. To get there you need to take tram #3.

Directions to get to the tram: if you stand with your back to the station, to your right will be a a building with blue neon writing Sparkasse and next to it an importanne center.

You walk toward it and you’ll notice that along the walk is the american embassy (huge american flag is a giveaway).

You’ll see the tracks in front of you, you want to take the ones going away from sparkasse (you need to cross the tracks for those).

Best to get off the tram at the first stop after it makes a u-turn. To your left you’ll see the famous fountain.

Tram Tickets: at many of the tram stations you’ll find a little booth (blends in with the station so search well!) with a man inside. A 10-ride pass will cost you 12.81km. Otherwise, you can get tickets at many of the local kiosks. Ticket checks are frequent and make sure you get on at the most front or most back door- which are closest to the stamping machine.

Be sure not to miss out on the large cemetery next to which runs a steep uphill route to a lookout over the city.

Other useful info:

Sarajevo street map

Bus station website (not very reliable), phone number: +387-33-213-100

English to Bosnian translation website

Lay of the land: Sarajevo (a city of 600,000 ppl) is a long strip between 2 mountains. Along the strip runs the river. At one end is Downtown, at the other end is the Turkish University complex.

Mostar:

Buses leave Sarajevo every 2 hours from Platform 12. NOTICE- there is only 1 bus every day that goes back to Sarajevo. It leaves at 16:00 from platform 4. You’ll probably have already befriended the driver’s aid on the way to Mostar so most likely he’ll call you over with a smile 🙂 (2.5 hour ride in each direction).

Taking the 8:15 bus leaves you off at Mostar at around 11:00, which gives you plenty of time to walk around before the bus back.

Price: 24km for a return ticket.

From Mostar it’s also possible to continue to Dubrovnik (Croatia) by bus.

Once in Mostar, if you stand with your back to the bus station, start walking left. soon enough you’ll come to a grey, blown-up building with lovely art (whatever survived) on it’s walls. Walk down the street to its right and you’ll reach a city map right outside the memorial garden, further down is the river.

Srebrenica:

NOTICE there is only 1 bus a day from Sarajevo to Srebrenica. It leaves at 7:10 from platform 11. There is also only 1 bus a day that goes back to Sarajevo. It leaves at 16:30 from Srebrenica’s bus station (4 hour ride in each direction).

Price: 32.50km for a return ticket.

Make sure to ask the driver to leave you off at: Do Memorijalnog Centra Potocari. It’s the cemetery and memorial center, 10 minutes away from Srebrenica. Once you’re done there, it will be no problem catching a taxi right outside that will take you to Srebrenica (3km)- ask the taxi driver to drop you off at the Muzej.

In Srebrenica are several mosques, churches, and a Muzej (museum) with archeological items that had been dug up locally. When you reach the building, walk to your left and climb to the second floor.

Outside, to the right of the building, is a little cafe. After which you can head down in the direction of the bus station. Next to it is a restaurant Zora where you can have lunch and wait for the bus back.

General Info:

The big white mosque near the museum is beautiful, ask to be let in.

Outside the memorial center is a souvenir shop– they sell some books and documentaries in english- I recommend the documentary Beyond Reasonable Doubt and the book The Broken Childhood of the Children of Srebrenica.

**I haven’t included info on sites to see- those can be found in guides/online and aren’t actually that necessary as you’ll see everything alone, and there are english explanations near most of them**

Mostar, Herzegovina (Photo by: Tahel Ilan)

Have a wonderful trip!


If Children Are The Future, The Future Will Be Bloody

March 9, 2011
  • Child Arrests are the single most detrimental part of the occupation.

(videos of child arrests in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh can be found on Joseph Dana’s blog, here)

How someone with the IQ of at least an earthworm, can’t figure out on his own that arresting mass amounts of 12-16 year olds in the middle of the night, not only doesn’t deter them, but in fact forces them to actively resist the occupation, is a mystery to me.

Though in itself, the fact that the young generation engages in resistance to an illegal, oppressive and dehumanizing force is not a bad thing, it is well to remember that this engagement manifests itself in one of 2 ways: Violent, or non-Violent.

When (never-o.k-in-my-book) violent, it simply helps propagate the stereotyping of Palestinians as the terrorist enemy. It often results in these kids giving their lives for the cause and presents a convenient excuse for the vicious cycle of their arrests to continue.

When (commendably) non-violent, it’s deemed illegal by the Israeli authorities, therefore leading to more arrests and, once again, not allowing these children any way out of the vicious cycle.

For one, because it sends a message to the younger children, that chose to engage in non-violent resistance, that this is a dead end. It furthermore once again actively pushes these kids into practicing violent forms of resistance.

(I refuse to open the ‘what constitutes violence’ question. Mainly because I see no point trying to explain to racist bigots that stone-throwing is not in the same ball park as tanks, live ammunition and excessive amounts of tear gas).

  • To complete the picture is the ‘difficult-to-grasp’ Israeli ignorant-arrogance.

It is what allows a majority of Israel’s 7 million citizens to remain uneducated, unaware, racist, narrow-minded, militaristic and oppressive.

The non-violent resistant grassroots are the forefront of the optimistic belief that positive change can happen.

 

It is essential. It is commendable. It is invaluable.

Bilin, 18/02/2011 (Photo: Tahel Ilan)

 


Umberto Eco Rings My Bell

March 7, 2011

I remember seeing a movie on the documentary channel, when I was 12, about the rise of Fascism in Italy. Everything I saw and read about totalitarian regimes of this kind or another, was intriguing. However, there was a divide between me and the stories. I didn’t feel them. I didn’t personally relate to them like I would to events in Israel’s history.

This is why I’m currently overwhelmed. After having just finished reading Umberto Eco’s ‘Five Moral Pieces‘, I realize that for the first time in my life, reading an Italian’s thoughts on fascism just isn’t out of the ball park anymore. Almost everything he mentions hits close to home and reminds me of things I’m reading in the local news, or even things I have personally experienced.

I’ll paste some excerpts from “Ur-Fascism” (eternal fascism). For Eco- thoughts on the definition of Fascism. For me- a disturbing realization of the state Israel has reached.

There can be no advancement of learning. The truth has already been announced once and for all.

(He explains, as part of the first point ‘Cult of Tradition‘. Referring to the original “grain of wisdom” traditionalism surrounds).

Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism… the age of reason was seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense, Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.

Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action’s sake. Action is beautiful in itself, and therefore must be implemented before any form of reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes.

For Ur-Fascism dissent is betrayal.

Fascism grown…by… exacerbating the natural fear of difference. Ur-Fascism is therefore racist by definition.

…at the root of Ur-Fascist psychology lies the obsession with conspiracies, preferably international ones… The easiest way to construct a conspiracy is to appeal to xenophobia.

The disciples must feel humiliated by the enemy… but… must nonethless feel they can defeat the enemy. Thus, thanks to a continual shifting of the rhetorical register, the enemy is at once too strong and too weak.

For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, a “life for stuggle”… life is a permanent war.

Ur-Fascism cannot do without preaching a “popular elitism.” Every individual belongs to the best people in the world…

… everyone is trained to become a hero… heroism is the norm. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, it should be noted, he usually manages to make others die in his place.

For Ur-Fascists individuals have no rights, and the “people” is conceived of as a monolithic entity that expresses the “common will.”

I’ll finish with another quote:

We must make sure that the sense of these words is not forgotten again. Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in civilian clothes.