Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mosquitoes and The Jews

Tiki Torches and the Alt-Right: We have all been monitoring the terrifying events in Charlottesville - and their almost-as-terrifying aftermath.

As Abq Jew and many others (see The Tragedy in Charlottesville) have pointed out, hatred, bigotry, and violence such as we have seen this week - on one side in particular - do not arise naturally. You've got to be carefully taught.

The attention of Abq Jew and of many in the news media has also turned to the Alt-Right's use of store-bought, mass-manufactured, citronella-scented tiki torches in lieu of, shall we say, manlier alternatives - you know, the Indiana Jones type.
A tiki torch is a bamboo torch originating in Tiki culture, but increased in popularity and spread to other places where it is a popular party decoration and can create an island aesthetic to outdoor decorations. 
The common style is to have a bamboo stick with a container of flammable fluid at the top, and then a lit wick drawing from that container. 
The popularity in America rose in the 1930s and further increased in the following decades.The TIKI brand of torches, common in the U.S., was launched in the 1950s; since 2001, the brand's products are made by Lamplight Farms Incorporated, a W. C. Bradley Co. subsidiary based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

The result of the Alt-Right's tiki torch choice (and it is a choice) is the appearance of their hate march and demonstration as something more like a neo-Nazi hate luau.

Which in turn has caused the Tiki Brand to distance itself from those white nationalists who used tiki torches in Charlottesville.

Although the members of the Alt-Right have learned to hate, there are so many things they have never learned: how to love, how to honor, how to respect.

How to get along with one another.

Or how to make a proper torch. Fortunately, the Art of Manliness website offers An Illustrated Guide for How to Make a Torch.

If only the Alt-Rightists could follow simple instructions.

Rabbi David Wolpe, of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, posted on Facebook:
The week has been painful and dispiriting. The single, simple truth is that seeing one's President hesitate, even for an instant, to condemn, anathematize and revile Nazis is soul crushing.
I know this will unleash demons on this page. If you interpret or see this in political terms then your world is too binary and simple.  
Or rather, it is not simple enough. For the simple truth is that anyone, left or right, who equivocates, who "on the other hands" this question, has debased themselves.  
If you love our country, if you are Jewish and love your people, if you care for the decency of our flag and its integrity, if you cherish the remarkable, scarred history of this nation, you have to say 
"This is wrong." 
And you have to call on the President to do what Jews call teshuva - repentance.

Those who are kind to the cruel will end by
being cruel to those who depend upon our kindness.


We as a society cannot tolerate intolerance.

Abq Jew wishes all of us a
Sabbath of Peace, Love, and Understanding

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