Wednesday, May 16, 2007


An initial salvo into the world of unfettered spilling of soul into the public domain. The concept is revolutionary, as far as Im concerned. Whatever happened to locked leather journals, stashed under the bedframe? Away with private thoughts. This is me! I exist! Although reeking of narcissism and existential angst, you have to admit, it's compelling as hell. If you're any good, and people respond regularly with insightful feedback, an entire community is born, a community unavailable to us in non-cyber (so-called real) life, as we mindlessly pass through our waking days like automatons, driving the same routes to work, having the same superficial conversations with colleagues you know nothing about but have known for years, distracted by talk radio, ipods, sports scores, our minds cluttered with the nothingness. Maybe the modern mind isn't made for solitary contemplation with pen and paper. We make a deal. If we are going to, god forbid, think creatively, constructively, or insightfully, then it has to be done so everyone else can see. The age of exhibitionism. Watch me. Read me.

Anyway. I am a surgeon. I will be writing about the world of medicine on occasion. But not always. I recently finished Jeffrey Goldberg's "Prisoners", a non-fiction work about his relationships with palestinians during and after his time as a prison guard at Ketziot in Israel. He develops a friendship of sorts with one man named rafiq. Rafiq ends up in Washington DC after his release to complete a PhD in mathematics. They meet repeatedly over the course of a few years time. And they dont waste time talking Redskin football. Always the conversation drifts to the "problem" and potential solutions. Goldberg is an unabashed Zionist, so don't go looking for some "can't we all get along" fluff treatment. There seems to be a fundamental schism between Jews and Palestinians that may very well be unbridgeable. Each side takes an uncompromising position based on respective theologic dogmas that are not negotiable. How can that be resolved rationally? It's interesting how the two men come to this conclusion, yet remain friends. The unfortunate triumph of tribalism and ethnic loyalties over individual relationships. Very well written. Highly recommended.

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