About Those Resolutions

Hello 2016, Goodbye 2015, Happy New Year everyone!

I’m here to confess another little tidbit. I’m an amateur guitar player. I’m very serious about being an amateur, I’ve been doing this for close to 30 years now. Never had the time, nor the inclination to become professional about this either. It’s too much practice if we want to get down to it, and quite frankly, I am not one to play for a crowd of any kind, so why bother? So yeah, I can pull off some pretty nice tunes (rhythm guitar, forget solos), but that’s just for me, myself and I.

It’s a real kick for me to succeed in playing a riff I like. If I can pull it off, it doesn’t really matter if it’s just part of a song with 10 more riffs. It’s about the chord progression. If I can make it from chord 1 to chord 3, or 8 or whatever without messing it up, I’m satisfied. Those in my immediate proximity might be very irritated until that happens, but what can you do…

Great chord progressions start somewhere, go through some turmoil and can only end with a resolution. You might not understand what I’m saying, but trust me, every riff you like is resolved one way or the other. It’s that chord, or note that let’s you release that breath you were holding. That final note that, only once played, a new progression starts. It’s the progression of different notes that takes you on an emotional ride and the resolution is the satisfying end. It could very well be a surprise, but it is absolutely satisfying.

Stories are like chord progressions. They too, have a beginning, middle and end. They too, take you on an emotional ride, and… yes, they too, should be resolved in a satisfying way.

What does it mean to resolve a story?

Well, stories (good ones) are based – in a nut shell – on the gap between what a character wants, and the hand that life deals her. That creates problems. These problems need to be resolved by the time we put the book down.

Otherwise, we remain frustrated.

Note, that I keep using the terms “resolve” and “satisfy“. These absolutely do not mean that every problem is resolved to our hero’s best interests. It does not mean a “happy end” and it does not even mean our hero stays alive…

It only means that every question raised during this emotional ride gets answered in a logical (logical within the story) and believable way. No loose ends. No little sub plot left hanging. No “leave it to the readers” as in – let them write the end of the story. Yeah, an end might leave things for the reader to ponder, but it’s up to the writer to answer the main questions, to show how each story line ends – even if the end is not absolute (say, a couple gets married – we don’t necessarily have to know if they stay together or have kids [Only if it’s directly tied to an open story question]).

Think about the best books you’ve read. They may differ in many ways, from style to subject matter. One thing I absolutely guarantee they have in common – being great – is that they are all resolved with a satisfying ending.

I sincerely hope that 2015 is ending in a very satisfying way for all of you – and this time I do mean a happy ending. Let’s all ride into the sunset with the loot and the girl, and live happily ever after.

Happy 2016 everyone,

 

The Matrix and God Are Blowin’ In The Wind

If I asked you to name the first Bob Dylan song that comes to mind, what would it be? Continue reading

Between the lines of peace

Hi all and welcome back to my humble site.

You know, being an Israeli in the US, I repeatedly find myself functioning as an unofficial ambassador. I’m not sure that the Prime Minister would approve of everything that I say. In fact, I’m pretty darn sure he’d fire me at once.

The most common thing I’m asked to comment on is, of course, “the conflict”. You know, that seemingly never-ending conflict of interests between the state of Israel and it’s neighbors, mainly the Palestinians.

So first of all, nothing from what I’m writing about today is the official government line, by any stretch of the term. And secondly, It is not my intention in this piece to start a “whose fault is it?” or a “Who started?” debate. I think this is done on plenty of other websites which, unlike this one, promote division and well… conflict. In addition, I don’t want to be part of the problem. I hope to be a humble part of the solution.

What’s my opinion about the conflict? I would dearly want it to end. Today. Right now if it’s convenient to everyone.

The point of today’s post is that, surprisingly enough (well, not to me. I knew this all along) – so do most of the people (and I’m talking about people here, not politicians) involved in this.

Last Friday, while reading an interesting column on an Israeli newspaper (LINK – It’s in Hebrew… sorry) I was pleasantly surprised to see that what I thought all along, is validated by some pretty interesting numbers. The columnist dedicated a good paragraph to a survey, conducted by researchers at The university of Maryland and presented at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, and highlighted some really important points.

Now, it’s a good thing that the writer had read through the whole survey, as statistics could be interpreted and manipulated so easily. One would read through this survey and get the feeling that all is lost, if one didn’t read between the lines – which the writer did.

Here are the points I wanted to bring up:

  • 54% of Israelis and 41% of Palestinians expressed support of a defined agreement that was presented to them. This agreement is based on existing offers that are on the table. Nothing significantly different to what was discussed so far!
  • When the people who disagreed with the above were asked for their support, assuming “the other side” accepts the deal, the Palestinian support rate jumped up by 18% and the Israeli by another 9%! Making it – 63% of Israelis and 59% of Palestinians!
  • Past experience shows that the support of an agreement rises even further after signing, so we’re talking about roughly 2/3 of the population.

If you ask me – THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN.

So why is peace eluding the region?

No, Roger Waters, it’s not because Israel is Nazi Germany. It isn’t.

And no, Mr. Lieberman, it’s not because “The Arabs” don’t want peace. They do.

It’s plain as Yogurt, reading the above, or simply living in the middle east – PEOPLE want peace!

It’s because someone is making money off of our backs! Someone is pulling the strings that bind the politicians on every turn.

Now, we may look at this and do what we always do – nod our heads and say “well, so what?” it’s only a survey. Who’s going to read it?

What’s missing in this equation are leaders with “testicular fortitude”… Leaders who don’t think about the loud and violent minorities who object to a compromise. Leaders who’re willing to listen to the people. The people couldn’t say it any clearer – we want to live in peace with our neighbors.

Let your voice be heard! Spread the word that the people have spoken! Let the leaders know they’re elected to benefit the people.

Speak for peace.

Here’s the LINK to the survey – read for yourself.

Until next time.