Awaiting Armageddon


Perspective Is Everything

Now right up front, Israel is my home, bli safek (without doubt). My children are born here. My billionaire ex-wife has a legally locked me into the country (it’s how they do business here). I’m not going anywhere.

So, I am here for the duration, good or bad (think latter). However, I invariably have to ask myself: How the hell did I ever end up living here?

Granted, I am Jewish. But I was never particularly religious or Zionistic. Nor was I particularly unhappy living elsewhere. In fact (save for my not to be mentioned ‘tax problem’), I was doing just fine. So why am I here? The answer, to me, seems obvious: Mossad Honey Plot.

How else to explain the years of walking down the mean streets of New York City, it’s beautiful women habitually avoiding my gaze as though I were the Elephant Man.

Then all of a sudden on one warm, summer day while crossing the streets at 43rd and Ninth Avenue, a gorgeous, young sexy banking heiress – from Israel (wink wink) – smiles at me as though I were Paul McCartney and it was 1964.

I walk her home. She ‘invites me up.’ And then she agrees with the one religious conviction that I did have, Moses 11th Commandment: The onus for birth control lies with the woman. Halleluyah. It’s all so obvioius.

But, thanks to the passage of time, my bitterness at this perceived entrapment has given way to a more practical frame of mind. And even though I’ve come to understand what all my fellow citizens understand – life in Israel is far from easy, we must stay positive. Personally, for my part, I try to find the good in everything to do with Israel, no matter how totally mindless. It helps me fit in.

For example, after an architect friend visited recently, we returned to my apartment in the heart of the ‘White City’ where he glumly confessed: “You know professionally, I find Tel Aviv to be pretty much a bland, soulless dump.” At which point I went over to my window, yanked back the curtains and said – “Yes, it is dump. But look – at least I have a view!”

The true source of this new found positivism lies in my children. They are fine boys, both born of Israel. And my now ex-wife and I are proud but separate parents. On the good days, they are her sons, ‘The Sons of Zion,’ she fondly calls them. On the bad days, they are mine, ‘The Sons of Sam’ (Samerdink).

Yes, I’ve come a long ways in terms of attitude and experience. And I firmly believe that ‘the self can know nothing but its own modifications’ (commonly called ‘solipsism,’ or by it’s more common vernacular, the ‘You Know What You Know’ theory). I myself have lived in places as remote as Alaska and Australia, as foreign as Panama and Los Angeles, and as totally backward, inbred and uninhabitable as Scotland. And I now know what I know.

And that is this: From 2003-2006 I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland where I spent three years performing some 82 times as a stand up comedian. I was short-listed by the BBC for their 2005 New Comedy Awards.

And during this time I went mano-a-mano with just my wit, my broad shoulders, a microphone and most importantly a pseudonym, against some of the most bloated, drunken, hateful and hostile audiences conceivable in some of the most low-down dive pubs/club/bars imaginable (think Paisley, Scotland).

A truly enlightening chapter of my life from which I gleaned these three higher truths:

1) They really hate Americans there; 2) They really really hate Israelis there; and 3) There is nothing more frightening than drunken, feral teenagers who have no parental guidance (which makes up the bulk of the Scottish populous).

And, having lived in Scotland for 1,095 days, I can honestly say this: I may have really disliked Israel when I first moved there in the 1990’s, but after three years in a land that was living proof that ancient man could – and did – migrate too far north – it was really great to get back to Israel, where children have a purpose (and don’t stagger around like drunken zombies).

In the end, perspective is everything, even if one suspects he may be destroyed by Iran – in the end.

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