Friday, August 1, 2014

On Israel, Palestine, and Endings

Preface: I know little of Israel, or Palestine. I know just slightly more about endings. This is where I stand today. Tomorrow I will learn something new and change my mind.

One facet of globalization is the spreading of a particular American behavior – the unwillingness to accept 'defeat'. Americans (generally speaking) are conditioned to re-attempt until a victory, however Pyrrhic, is won.

This manifests in my own life an an unwillingness to stop pretending that I'm going to be an economically sustainable entertainer at some point in the future and just get a day job already. It's really really hard to just let go of a decade's worth of work and effort(s). To accept it as a 'sunk cost' – a losing investment that will never pay off.

What do they say about compulsive gambling and investors that refuse to sell?

Winning brings its own difficulties. For one, it's never the payoff you hope – it's only enough to keep you wanting another win. “Hey, I just won a local songwriting competition! Justin Timberlake better watch out!” - the battle revelry of my fragile ego.

This is the conundrum of someone who's chosen to be defined by the battle and not the outcome – the trappings (layered reference!!) of a certain life are preferable to the unknown. What's the line about “..mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed?“

Whether accepting defeat or claiming victory, each of which are loaded with their own nuances, one is ultimately accepting an ending and a commitment to a new form of living.

In my myopic view (today), my sense is Israel cannot imagine a future in which they are not at war with “Hamas” or some enemy, they have become accustomed to this way of life. It gives them immediate meaning and purpose. No wonder nationalist tendencies run so deep.