Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wiki, Schmiki... I Survived a Triple Whammy!!!

It is the Monday after the first Triple Whammy of the 5771 High Holiday season and the fact that I'm eating HOBB's leftover turkey from Rosh Hashana dinner in the morning is an indication of my mental state.

What is a Triple Whammy, you may ask?

For those unaccustomed to the nuances of Jewish ritual observance a Triple Whammy is a three-day retreat from reality, a state of existential lockdown that occurs when a two-day festival abuts Shabbat. For those who abide by the rules of the religion, what this means is

  • No transportation
  • No communication (phone, texting,emailing,TV,internet, etc..)
  • No work
  • No creative endeavors (writing, filmmaking, painting, building, etc...)
  • Dress-up clothes
  • Lots of synagogue attendance
  • Lots of davening (praying)
  • Lots of meals
  • Lots of merriment
  • Lots of panic at the thought of all the stuff happening around you outside of the bubble of holiday observance
Rosh Hashana, which began Wednesday night, segued into the Sabbath two nights later. There was literally not even a second of secular time in this transition, creating what some wisecracking observer of Jewish life famously coined The Triple Whammy. I kind of feel like I came up with this phrase and maybe I did but so did many others, at about the same time. The phrase has a late twentieth century feeling to me, tasting of irony and a grudging fondness for the very observance that might just possibly be manmade, does not fit with modern life and drives us utterly mad.

In less than two weeks, the second Triple Whammy hits with the advent of Succot and the week after that, we get it again with Shimini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Please Google these terms if they are new to you; I have school work to complete after I post this entry!

And speaking of school work, I am probably posting as a form of procrastination for one of my J School assignments -- to contribute to a wiki. While I spent an inordinate amount of time researching the matter at hand -- the concepts of fusion and appropriation as they apply to art and culture -- I am freaking out at posting my research. I fear inadvertent plagiarism. I fear writing something utterly obvious. I fear not getting the links right. I fear being unmasked as some cyber-poseur.

Analyzing my anxiety, I understand myself to be suffering from PTWTSD -- Post Triple Whammy Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is not the wiki per se that poses such a challenge (okay, maybe it is, just a little) but the prospect of catching up on EVERYTHING, cramming the amount of life lived by normal people over the course of three days into a handful of hours.

And then there is the Mondayness of it all. The suckiness of Mondays is a universal truth. Having PTWTSD on a Monday is a heavy cross to bear.

But HOBB's delicious leftover turkey helps. So does the misappropriation of Christian imagery in the context of a blog post about the after-affects of Jewish ritual observance. But the fun is in the fusion. Or confusion. Or the fact that unless something science fictiony happens, Monday will eventually morph into Tuesday, which will be exponentially less sucky than today for a million reasons, chiefly because by then I am sure to have posted my wiki entry.

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