Tel Aviv Diary March 3-7, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - March 3-7, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 3, 2016

Prokofiev today - the kids enjoyed it. I stayed outside because there weren't enough tickets (ostensibly. i stayed in the cafe and tried to get my back in place, doing little exercises and reading Edgar Keret.) There was much that I learned anyway. 1. took granddaughter from Ramat Aviv to pick up the grandkids from kindergarten and nursery in Tel Aviv. Her reactions allowed me to see it all through different eyes. "This is Tel Aviv? It's very neglected. Covered with graffiti. Why don't they clean it up? And the noise? the traffic..." Usually I go to Tel Aviv and see the color, the variety of people, the excitement. But the differences between Ramat Aviv and Tel Aviv, differences I've taken for granted for so long, became suddenly clear. Allenby, for example. One of my favorite streets. When I first moved here in '72 I was overwhelmed by the beggars there. Now the beggars are the least of it. The cheap stores, the whores, the tourists, the artists, the eccentrics. And the decaying buildings. The deserted movie theater that wasn't even built when Ezi's father took photographs of the market from his bedroom window on Allenby in 1925. what an amazing fast life that is lived here. so much experience. If you want to see the photos Bandi took, they are here. In fact the entire site of Bandi Gut's photographs are listed at Haifa University and can be viewed here

2. I love edgar keret.

March 4, 2016

At 8 this morning I was at the orthopedist. By 9 I was back in bed with some amazing muscle relaxant that reminded me of good medical weed, unable to move except to occasionally change channels. So don't expect much from me today.

A few years ago, when the new computer we bought just before Ezi came down with stage 4 lymphoma kept breaking down and Ezi discovered there was web talk about a malfunctioning element in that model, we went to small claims court as soon as he improved. The computer had swallowed up 2 months of work and a great deal of time and energy taking it in for repairs in between chemo treatments, and I was plenty mad. We had an entire book of evidence proving our case. But just before we were due to go into the courtroom, the judge disappeared and so did the defense. When court finally resumed, we never got a chance to say anything. We were offered a settlement by the judge of coupons to buy new stuff from the defense's company and shown the door.

O felt like an idiot. It seemed so blatant to me that we had been screwed in court. But i had no way of proving anything. And we were worn out from the process of putting together a great claim.

So in the past months when numerous cases were being questioned on various television programs, it all seemed familiar to me. Of course our case was minuscule and no one went to prison and de facto we won, but the number of miscarriages of justice that have been aired lately put into question the entire system.

March 5, 2016

Edward R Murrow had this tv show called "You are There." It was a dramatization of moments in history like the Boston Tea Party and he would say at the end, "What kind of day was it? A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our time, and you were there." I think every day, even a quiet shabbat with little kids, in which nothing is done to further peace, to clean the planet, is a historic day.

March 6, 2016

I just burned myself. I signed a group letter from Israeli poets saying they would not participate in the poetry festival in Metulla under the directorship of Benny Ziffer because he has written over and over about the permissability of pedophilia for people of the arts. I have read his words many times and thought he was just trying to get attention, or being funny, because i really like the guy. Benny Ziffer is a good writer and has a very specific taste that is not mine but is cultured and admirable, and his editorship of the literary page in HaAretz has brought a great deal of culture to the 'masses' - including a dozen articles of mine. i would not like to be a party to harming him in any way.

But I have a thing about that issue. I don't mean pedophilia specifically but the fact that artists should be able to behave as they wish, that they have to take risks with morality and try all kinds of different aberrations in order to create. I hate that. i really really believe that people who create have a responsibility to society to be good people. they have to know all kinds of experiences but they don't have a right to behave badly, and certainly not to harm any human being. Or animal.

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

To Karen Alkalay-Gut home