You Can Bank(sy) On It

October 23, 2008

Sorry for not writing yesterday. I wasn’t at work, and that’s where I tend to do these blog things.

 

On Tuesday/Birthday night, I went to Zuma (http://www.zumarestaurant.com) – a fabulously pretentious and overpriced Japanese restaurant in the heart of Kensington in London. (It’s about a 2 minute walk from Harrods) Me, I would have been happy to go somewhere that didn’t make me feel like a complete fraud sitting at the table, but I guess that’s just me, and this feeling was probably a precursor for the late-in-the-evening (and somewhat heated) conversation I had with my step father about lifestyle vs happiness vs money, and how, in all honesty, I really didn’t feel an overwhelming need to be rich to be happy. ‘Maybe’ he countered ‘it’s because we have it’. ‘Perhaps’ I replied ‘but it’s you that have it, I’m rich by proxy, and actually earn fuck all.’

 

We’re a witty, witty bunch ladies and gentleman.

 

Oh yes, and we had an argument in the car on the way there, too.

 

A while back, I went to see a street art exhibition organised by Banksy, a prominent British graffiti artist. (see here: http://www.banksy.co.uk/) Anyway, my sister had remembered about this, so for my birthday, she bought me a coffee table book of Banksy’s work – probably the sort of thing a ‘keeping it real’ artist would hate, but the thought was very much appreciated – and discussion of our opinions on his work inevitably followed.

 

It wasn’t in the book, or at least I hadn’t got to it yet, but I made a reference to the piece of work Banksy did on the walls that Israel put up around the West Bank barrier wall thing, namely this one:

 

 

(and I think there were a few more just like it) It’s a really beautiful, touching piece of work.

 

I mentioned that it was one of my favourite pieces of modern art, being that it drew attention to an abhorrent, ghastly travesty of human behaviour. My father was not amused. We are a Jewish family, and apparently, being Jewish means one should blindly applaud every action that Israel takes against its enemies.

 

Mentioning my disgust at this particular action, I was told not to be so stupid and to explain why. I replied that as people who were systematically persecuted throughout history, and whose country’s formation was a direct result of an aggressor’s human (or lack thereof) behaviour, and whose people have an all too recent memory of what it is like to ghetto-ise a population, Israel should know a lot better than to close off the West Bank, and that it was deliberately divisive, and really not going to help the peace process it that region – not to mention the people within those walls who have grown up being told that they are a displaced population, whose land was taken from them. I’m not entirely sure that ‘their land was taken from them’, but you can bet your ass that’s what Palestinian parents tell their Palestinian children, and, unless you’re blind, you can see their point of view. Maybe it takes a Jewish person to say that without sounding like a racist.

 

Anyway, a long argument followed, and I was nearly – or so it felt – thrown out of the car for suggesting that the country of Israel, it’s army (which I have been in, by the way) and it’s actions are not ‘whiter than white’.

 

We eventually made it to the restaurant intact, ate, had more heated discussion, and made our way home.

 

I think it was at about 10pm that I decided not to go to work Wednesday. Recently, I have been filling my time with a great deal of things – people, activities, and it’s all because I have been trying to avoid my own feelings of guilt and anxiety about not doing the work I should be doing for my degree. Of course, I am completely aware of it, and the more I avoid it, the more I put pressure on myself and the worse I feel about it.

 

I haven’t been taking enough time for myself – not even nearly enough – so I’ll admit it; yesterday, I pulled a ‘sickie’. I figured I could spend the day doing work that mattered, and try and right some wrongs.

 

It didn’t exactly go to plan.

 

I woke up at about 7.30, setting my alarm so I could email my boss to tell them I was ‘sick’. After sending the email, and reading the remaining 3,547 Facebook posts wishing me ‘Happy Birthday’, I got back into bed as it was bloody freezing. Next thing I knew it was 10am – I never sleep that late.

 

I have to admit, I was annoyed with myself for sleeping so late, and still feeling the residual anxiety of not doing my work, and I ended up doing nothing until, in a huff, I left home at 2, got to Central London, tried and failed to do some shopping, and found myself in a Starbucks, drinking tea, and desperately trying to absorb my textbook. I met my friend Alex at 5, who wants me to help with something I won’t talk about here until it actually happens (if it does) and made my way to class, bumping into one of my classmates at a coffee shop. I had actually wanted to read Freud ‘Interpretations Of Dreams’, which I had bought to read for my class in the hope that it would get me in the studying mood, but being English, I didn’t want to be rude when I was invited to join her (we were both eating a sandwich and drinking tea) and say ‘actually, no, I’d just like to left the fuck alone.’ Being English, though we of course recognise that we would never say something like that, we are always concerned that this is the effect of the message conveyed – no matter how politely it is put.

 

What upsets me most about this class, and the work associated, is that it could not be easier. But such is the pressure I am putting on myself – to succeed, and to be the absolute best – that I have actually pressured myself into a corner, where I am utterly petrified of getting it wrong. Typical pre-process David behaviour. The thing is, this class ends with an essay which is 1500 words. 1500! I could write that in my sleep. (this blog is already 974 words!)

 

The class was great. I have a great teacher, and I seem to be the one asking the most questions, or challenging where I feel appropriate. More importantly, I seem to be ‘getting it’, the only question left is of self-discipline, and facing myself.

 

I need to be taking more time for myself than I am at the moment, that is for sure. The good thing is I am realising this, and doing something about it.

 

This morning, instead of burying my head in my iPod or a newspaper on the tube, I began reading chapter 7 of Freud’s ‘Interpretation of Dreams’.

 

The book, and indeed the wider picture, may prove a harder slog than I initially imagined.

 

Until tomorrow friends, I bid you good day.

 

All my love,

Closed Box

 

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2 Responses to “You Can Bank(sy) On It”

  1. posteret Says:

    Ah, there are some topics it is just not worth broaching with parents! With my Dad it is immigration. We just don’t go there as it will always cause a row! I won’t ever persuade him he is wrong and vice versa so we just bypass the topic now.

    I hope your Mum is feeling better and not stropping over fish…

  2. UrbanVox Says:

    In my family the no go topic is God… although, my mother insists in discussing it.
    You see… she is am ordained Bishop and I REALLY hate everything about christian mainstream. It wasn’t always like that… but all you need is to read the bible to see how wrong most churches are… And how they limit who God is because of narrow-minded thinking…
    Ah.. BTW… I am an ordained priest… can you see how conflicting is the situation??? 🙂
    why simplifying things when you can complicate it!?!?!?! 🙂
    BTW… my grandfather was Jewish…and telling any word short of divine about Israel with him was aking to be torn into pieces with pre-conceived arguments… I know how u feel… 🙂


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