On To Karl Ove Knausgård, Re: Your Tortured Feelings for the Gays

Why are we assuming KOK didn't intend for his speaker's blatant ignorance of his idols' homosexuality to be noticed? Galloway didn't specifically highlight that the book could cause some readers to understand homophobia as normal (as he suggests KOK ought to have done). He highlighted the author's potentially homophobic perspective. But given the macho-asshole fear evident throughout the book, combined with the contrast between KOK's thoughts on homosexuality in general and his opinions of the gay people he talks about, I don't think he says "being gay is bad," so much as, "the fact that I've been socialized to be homophobic is bad and uncomfortable for me as an artist and a person living in the 21st century." And while this struggle may not be as meaningful, nor as striking, nor as difficult as others; it is common to- and resonates with much of KOK's vast readership.

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 12:33 pm 1

On Life After Zionist Summer Camp

Allison isn't pushing an agenda here, which is almost unheard of in this issue. I think that she deserves more credit for using her writing to express the feeling of ambiguity that makes it easier to just latch on to a convenient polarized figure. She knows too much to be convinced either way, hence her frustration with being a moderator for people who don't want to change people's minds, they just want to make the opposite side look stupid.

Here, I think, we see an honest and open portrayal of what it's like to truly open to new ideas. The breaking down of her absolute Zionist background is part of this. Allison seems to resent the conflict of the two poles in her life, and I think her fault is that she sees this as a defect and a drain. This feeling which she so eloquently portrays is that of being authentically informed. So informed, in fact, that she cannot take one side without question.

If you see a flyer that says, "Get Informed!" it doesn't mean "I want you to know about this issue." Instead, it's a euphemism for "help us defend our side." What we see in this article is an uncomfortable abundance of knowledge. It’s almost disappointing how intimidated we 'free-thinking' readers get when convenient biases are left behind and we're left to decide how to skew an honest account of the most valuable Israel experience into polarized boxes all by our sophisticated, open-minded selves.

Posted on June 16, 2011 at 2:04 am 3