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From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

If anybody in or around Columbus is interested in experiencing something that’s a complete antithesis of the execrable pseudo-conference going on at the Ohio Union, check out the International Festival going on at Vets’ Memorial. I was there today, and I had a blast. And after last night it really restored my faith in humanity, to say the least. There's all sorts of people there, of all shapes and sizes, colors, ages, cultures, backgrounds, religions, languages, etc. I talked with folks from Ethiopia, Iran, Ecuador, Israel, Germany, and myriad other places. Everybody was happy and friendly and having a brilliant time. Unlike the pseudo-conference, the atmosphere isn't permeated with hostility, self-indulgent bitterness, self-righteousness, dishonesty, and stupidity. And there's all sorts of great of food, much of it free. I tried all types of stuff I’d never eaten before, including a funky Hungarian cabbage dish and a Ukrainian pastry (both excellent). There was a marvelous Suzuki violin recital, along with various dance and music presentations. There are booths with exquisite china from Poland, handmade clothing from Ecuador, handmade toys from Russia, and on and on. There was even one of those human statue guys. And if you’ve ever wondered what Bazooka Joe looks like in Hebrew, stop by the Israel booth.

Unlike the Ohio Union, where Israel, a small country one-fourth the size of Ohio, is being demonized, denigrated, and maligned, here countries and cultures are being celebrated. It’s a really nice event, and I had a good feeling the whole time I was there. Check it out.

Screw the hate fest. Come to the goodwill fest.

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