Every now and then Cathy will look over from whatever she's reading or watching on TV and say, "I know this is a stupid question, but..."
And they're normally not stupid questions. She asks good questions and sometimes I have the answer and sometimes I do not. She asks because while I won't pretend to be smart about any one specific area, I maintain a healthy level of what I call "journalist knowledge". Which means I'm not a genius at many things, but knowledgeable about a lot of things.
An unkind way might be to say a mile wide and an inch deep, but that's not too far off the mark. I'm very good at Jeopardy and recently scared the hell out of Cathy by going more than two straight weeks of knowing the answer to final Jeopardy.
I say this because if Cathy turns to me the next few days and asks me what's going on with Israel, Hamas and Gaza, I'm just going to sit there with my mouth hanging open. Oh sure, I could mention something about the politics of the situation, ending of ceasefires, religion and more. I could get fancy and mention a West Wing quote about all the above might be true, but what it boils down to is that it's hot, dry and there's not enough water.
But then I see something like this and I realize I have no damn idea. By the way, no kidding, that link contains a strong image. Some of you might not be able to handle it, and I'm thinking especially of those of you with small kids.
But then, because that image isn't horrible enough, you get to read the words underneath and realize there's a pretty decent chance the body of a child was deliberately placed there by Hamas. As a prop, to make sure photographers get the right shot that will outrage people.
I swear to God, I read that, got up and walked away from the computer and tried very hard not to cry.
I will never understand the Middle East. Never. And there are days like today I'm deeply grateful for that.
1. Not my idea - Garbage
2. World keeps turning - Tom Waits
3. Across the universe - Fiona Apple
4. The future is X-rated - Matthew Good Band*
5. Slow hands - Interpol