Playing Catchup

Having inflicted a month of Presbyterian politics on my reader recently, I’m committed to not overdoing the whole Olympia Co-op thing (even though I suspect this will be one of those seemingly trivial cases that turn into a nationwide lesson on the perils of allowing the BDS virus into an organization).

So what have we missed while the Olympians have been turning from a friendly community into armed camps? Well:

1. Thanks to the tireless effort of Code Pink and friends, Ahava sales have gone through the roof. (Nice to know the whole Buycott thing is making its way so strongly from Canada to the rest of the world.)

2. Can you believe it! Another BDS hoax. In this case, the Ma’an news agency announced that Israel’s Tara dairy company had moved its factories off the Golan Heights in order to avoid having their products boycotted in the West Bank. Quite a coup, except for the fact that Tara has no factories on the Golan Heights and never did. Oops! (Hey, why let reality get in the way of a good story.)

3. Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), those tireless BDS activists, have presented their divestment case to TIAA-CREF. And TIAA-CREF has responded by saying “didn’t we tell you guys to fuck off last year?” (I’m paraphrasing.) Like a bad pickup artist, JVP lists receiving a response from CREF as a great step forward, without highlighting the fact that this response took the form of a Dear John letter.

4. My kids and I have watched both Bill and Ted movies (Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey).

You know, those last two items give me an idea. (Are you pondering what I’m pondering?)

Stay tuned…

Hampshire and The Brain – Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Hampshire and the Brain

For those who need to catch up: Part 1 Part 2

When we last left our heroes, Brain had just activated the Hypno-Hat which had begun to work its will on the Hampshire Board of Trustees…

Pinky wanders to the top of Brain’s robot suit where the Hypno-hat now encloses Brain like a command center. Pinky opens a small door in the side of the hat and wanders over to Brain’s side.

Brain: It’s working! The Hampshire Board of Trustees is coming under my control. Are you thinking what I’m thinking Pinky?

Pinky: I think so Brain, but why would they call themselves Hamas if they can’t eat pork?

Brain: No Pinky. I’m thinking that this is just the first step to global divestment domination! Once Hampshire divests, then all the dominos will all start to fall. Framingham State will be next… then – who knows – Oakton Community College, the University of Nebraska at Kearney, even – dare I say it – the greatest prize of all: Brown!

As Brain continues to rant, the door to the conference room opens and Alan Dershowitz walks in. Still hidden beneath the Hypno-Hat, neither Pinky nor Brain notice as Dershowitz sneaks up on the robot suit, pulling a pencil from behind his ear and sticking it into the mechanism of the hat’s whirling disk. The machinery begins to seize up.

Brain (inside the now shaking command center of the Hypno-hatted suit): Something’s going wrong Pinky!

Pinky: Whooooooo! This is fun Brain!

With the pencil stuck in the mechanism, the hypno-wheel seizes up. Unfortunately, this causes all of the disk’s angular momentum to be transferred to the suit which begins to spin like a propeller.

Pinky and Brain: Waaaaaaa! (Tumbling about.)

The suit crashes into an electrical panel on the wall which causes it to discharge bolts of lightning. The force of the shock sends the suit careening through a plate glass window where it tumbles three stories to the Hampshire quad below, exploding and sending the two lab mice flying into the sky.

Brain and Pinky: Ahhhhhhh!!!!!

Pinky and the Brain finally crash-land on the grass near the burning debris of their now destroyed suit.

Brain (looking charred and scarred): Now that is going to sting.

Brain looks up to see the Board of Trustees staring down from the broken window, somewhat bewildered.

Inside the boardroom, President Hexter shrugs and the Board returns to its seats.

President Hexter: Now where were we? Oh yes, all in favor of the SHUSH proposal to invest the remaining $9,562.15 of Hampshire’s endowment in Israeli Bonds say Aye.

All: Aye!

President Hexter: OK, I guess we’re done here. Who’s ready to head out to the water park?

All: Me!!!!! (grabbing towels, donning sunglasses and wrapping inflatable animal life preservers around their waists, the entire Board rushes towards the door).

Back on the ground, Pinky finally gets up and notices little Stars of David dancing around his head.

Pinky: Oh look Brain, it’s Morgan David!

Brain swats away the stars which dissipate in a huff.

Brain: Stop that Pinky, it’s bad enough after that headline-hogging shyster Dershowitz ruined our scheme and destroyed our suit. How could he have known about our plan? How?

Dershowitz walks up to the two still-dazed lab mice.

Alan Dershowitz: Isn’t it obvious Brain?

Dershowitz pulls his own head off which turns out to have been a robotic rubber mask atop a mechanical suit similar to Brain’s now destroyed one (although shaped like Alan Dershowitz’s body). Protruding from the top of the robot’s is the larger-than-usual head of a hamster.

Brain and Pinky simultaneously: Snowball!

Snowball: Yes, Brain, Snowball you’re oldest and most devoted enemy. And once again I have proven there is no plan you can create that I cannot demolish. Nyahahahahahahaha!

Brain: Oh yeah! Well Pinky could have ruined this plan without your help. You, you big Zio-ninny!

Pinky: Good one Brain!

Brain: Thanks Pinky.

Snowball: I have no time for this idol chitter chatter.

The sound of rumbling can be heard as rockets fire from the shoes of Snowball’s Alan Dershowitz robot feet, launching the villainous Hamster and his mechanical body into the sky.

Snowball: Shalom Suckers!

Brain helps Pinky get up and dust themselves off.

Brain: Come on Pinky, there’s just enough time to get back to the lab for tomorrow night.

Pinky: Why? What are we going to do tomorrow night Brain?

Brain: The same thing we do every night Pinky, try to get Hampshire College to divest from Israel!

They’re Pinky, they’re Pinky and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain.

Allah Ahkbar!


Hampshire and The Brain – Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Hampshire and the Brain

This latest piece was done on a dare from my reader.

In one of the final pieces I wrote on the Hampshire BDS conference, I made reference to the Hampshire Students for Justice in Palestine’s “Pinky-and-the-Brain” type schemes to get Hampshire on board the BDS “bandwagon.” This is a reference to a 10+ year old Warner cartoon series featuring a pair of genetically engineered lab mice who every night concoct a sure-to-fail scheme to take over the world. This intro clip doesn’t do it justice, so anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about (at least more than usual) should feel free to remain bewildered.

Hampshire and The Brain – Part 1

Pinky (running on a wheel in his cage): What are we going to do tonight Brain?

Brain (turning towards the camera): The same thing we do every night Pinky: try to get Hampshire College to divest from Israel!

They’re Pinky and The Brain
Yes Pinky and the Brain
One is a genius, the other’s insane
They’ll do their very best
To get Hampshire to divest
They’re dinky, their Pinky and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain

Scene 1: Pinky is playing with a keffiyeh, trying desperately to tie it around his head in a form that resembles Israel. Unfortunately, his attempts leave the scarf looking more like the former Soviet Union. Brain, in the meanwhile, is tinkering with some undisclosed technology.

Pinky: Look at me Brain! I’m Yassir Aeroflot!

Pinky puts his arms in the air and begins running around the cage. Brain grabs him by the snout, causing his keffiyeh to fly off.

Brain: While I appreciate your attempts at solidarity with the downtrodden, my cretinous companion, we have no time for such tomfoolery. For tonight, I have come up with my most ingenious plan yet for getting Hampshire College to remove investment’s that benefit the Zionist Entity from its $10,000 endowment.

Pinky: Are you going to send out press releases pretending the college already divested?

Brain: Pinky, think for a moment. What imbecile would believe a press release coming from a set of experimental laboratory mice? Why the idea is almost as ridiculous as a press release from a student group claiming to speak for the college. No, in order for such an announcement to be taken seriously it must come directly from Hampshire’s administration and Board of Trustees. And in order to secure such an annoucement: Behold, the Hypno-Hat!

Brain pulls off a sheet covering his latest creation: A top hat featuring a spinning hypno-wheel bolted to its brim. Pinky starts staring at the wheel, his head spinning in circles.

Brain: Just a few minutes of exposure to my Hypno-Hat and Hampshire’s Board of Trustees will do whatever I command. And I shall command them to sell off the $437.85 they currently have invested in the state of “Israel”.

Pinky (getting dizzy as he continues to stare at the hat’s spinning disk): That’s great Brain, but why do you have quote marks around “Israel?”

Brain: Never mind that now, Pinky [turning off the hat before his companion falls under its spell]. For tonight we shall achieve the greatest triumph for BDS in ten years.

Pinky: But wait a minute, what about Katie Couric?

Brain: Not CBS, you dolt, BDS: the global movement for boycott, sanctions and divestment against the so-called “Jewish state.”

Pinky: Oh right Brain! Oh wait, no. No. Your hat is really whirly-twirly and everything, but how are you going to get it in front of the entire Hampshire board?

Brain: I’m glad you asked that, Pinky. [Walking towards a computer which he operates with a pair of robot arms typing on the keyboard.] For as we speak, a six-point ballot I have created using my free SurveyChimp subscription is winging its way to every Hampshire student, alumni and teacher, including everyone who has ever visited the Eric Carl Museum. Behold!

Brain’s ballot/survey appears on the screen that reads the following:

We, the Undersigned, agree to the following six point plan for Hampshire College:

· Free beer in the dining hall
· Bongs installed in the public lavatories
· Sabbaticals extended to every month containing the letter R
· An end to ROTC recruitment on campus
· Free Eric Carl finger puppets for each museum visitor

Pinky: I can’t read the sixth point Brain. The print is too tiny.

Brain: Let me magnify it for you friend.

Brain hits another button which zooms in on the tiny print which now reads:

· And we declare The Brain to be the sole, legitimate representative of the Hampshire Student body

Brain: Now let’s see what has transpired since my petition hit Facebook a half an hour ago.

[The screen indicates that the petition has been signed by 800 people.]

Brain: Yes! The student body has unanimously declared me their spokesmouse. And tomorrow we will present our demands to the Hampshire Board of Trustees!

Pinky: Oh, nummy!

Go to Part 2

Clip Show 6: A New Generation of Gnats

Now this one may represent my desire to unnecessarily “get the boot in” one more time, but the bombast associated with the self-evaluation of the event really left me no choice. After all, a group of kids getting together to plan how to effectively lie to the public while simultaneoulsy lying to themselves hardly seems the equivalent of The Greatest Generation.

And so, in conclusion…

I wrote recently about events like the BDS conference at Hampshire College being primarily about the BDSers themselves, an event adding up to little more than a group hug during which the divestment crowd could sing their own praises and crow about their unquestionable virtue.

While I’ve grown used to the self-important bombast that turns up whenever I give folks like Hampshire Students for Justice in Palestine a gentle ribbing (especially one that ends up taking up the bulk of the first page of Google search results for “Hampshire BDS”), nothing I could ever write would rival the near parody level self-congratulations of this piece.

A few Divest This operatives attended the Hampshire event last weekend (they were the girls wearing fake beards if anyone who attended is reading this) and gave me the skinny on what went on. Naturally, I was most curious about how the BDSers managed to spend an entire weekend ginning up the troops while having to work around the little detail that their Pinky and the Brain-type schemes have met with nothing but failure over the last eight years. With zero colleges choosing to divest after all that time (and Hampshire providing an abject lesson to college administrators nationwide on what can happen if you give the BDS crowd the time of day), with churches running from their program, with “right wing” groups like J Street abandoning their squalid little project, how would they apply their innovative imaginations into spinning excrement into gold? Envelope please!

It turns out that the utter lack of real BDS victories is more than made up for by the fact that AIPAC, J-Street, et al have been forced to react to their activities! In other words, condemnation from their enemies is proof positive of not just relevance, but unstoppable political momentum! Come again? Can anyone play this game? Does the divestnista’s endless harping on Israel and its supporters mean our success if finally getting to them? That we’re now too unstoppable to ignore? Or is it only the BDSniks who get to demand we agree to the endlessly changing terms by which the success of their “movement” is to be judged? In the past, I described BDS as resembling a lame pickup artist that highlights the sheer number of their unsuccessful advances as proof of their sexual prowess. But their latest interpretation take the metaphor one step further, whereby everyone in the bar asking them to keep their hands to themselves or get out is further proof that they must really be getting somewhere!

I’ll return tomorrow with a description of some real heroes of the Happy Valley, not self-important, self-described “Giants,” but simple happy warriors with their hearts in the right place.