Monday, September 13, 2010

Now Is Not the TIME to Cry "Wolf!"

Those who know me well know that when it comes to anti-Semitism, I don't generally keep my mouth shut. If I see or sense anti-Semitism, I respond to it, and openly. The "nice" thing about anti-Semites is that they are quite often direct and open, unless they are using criticism of Israel to mask their anti-Semitism, in which case their anti-Semitic views are subtle but still, generally, easily discerned.

So, today, when I read today in the Jerusalem Post intense criticism of an article published in a recent issue of TIME magazine, reportedly titled "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace" and authored by one Karl Vick, based in Jerusalem. I was deeply disturbed and ready to join "the bandwagon of justice".

Or at least I was ready to saddle-up and join the justice posse until I found the article online, and reading the few short paragraphs available there, I saw in italics the following message at the end:

This is an abridged version of an article that appears in the Sept. 13, 2010, print and iPad editions of TIME magazine.

At that moment, when I saw that "disclaimer", I knew there was more to the story than just what people were gathering from the title on the cover and the relatively few paragraphs shown in the abridged version on I knew, instinctively, that my intense desire to post the article on Facebook would have to wait until I had the full story...literally.

Being in South Korea, I do not have easy access to print versions of TIME, but I do have an iPad. So on my lunch break, I went to a nearby cafe in Mokpo that offers free WiFi, downloaded the TIME app and made an in-app purchase ($4.99) of the issue in which the supposedly anti-Semitic article titled "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace" appears.

And was immediately flummoxed.

Looking through the contents of the Sept. 13 issue, I couldn't find the article. I know that a story's title on the cover isn't always the same within the pages of a magazine itself, but...I was kind of annoyed. Of course, this was because I was looking at the images for a Star of David or something like that, and not the subject listed underneath ("Israel")...but setting aside a discussion of my more vacant moments for another day, what I ended up doing was going back to the cover, tapping in the middle of the Star-of-David-of-Daisies, right on"Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace"...

Et voilĂ ...

A funny thing happened, though, at that moment: The article it took me to was titled as "The Good Life and Its Dangers". Nothing particularly anti-Semitic about it. Nor could it be surmised that familiar anti-Semitic tropes would be found in an article whose blurb appears (under the title) as follows: "Israelis feel prosperous, secure - and disengaged from the peace process. Is that wise?" On first glance, not particularly...anti-Semitic on the part of TIME. Or wise, on the part of my fellow Israelis.

What followed, in the article itself, were - by my count - twenty-four paragraphs to judge it by. And the more I read of it, the easier it was to discern that people - the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) included - were apparently judging the article not by the 24 paragraphs seen in the print or iPad editions, but the mere five (yes, "5") that can be seen on I'm no mathematician, but 5 is a lot less than 24, any which way you look at it.

Undoubtedly, the article's title as it appears on the cover was unfortunately named, ill-conceived, insensitive, and quite possibly deliberately designed to portray Israel in a negative light. Based on that alone, as I began reading I steeled myself for an anti-Semitic blow...that never came. Ultimately, the most anti-Semitic thing about the article was, in my estimation, the title as it appears on the cover...but not in the magazine itself.

At the end of this post, you will find several images posted - eachtaken from my iPad this afternoon, images of the full article. I want you to look at both the abridged version, as it appears on, and the unabridged version, available both in print and on...well, my iPad. When you have time, if you have time, I want you to read both versions of the article and decide for yourself: Is it anti-Semitic? Was it meant to be? Or is this all much ado about nothing - or, at least, nothing like what so many think it's about?

I will leave it to you to decide for yourselves if the article merits the following criticism from ADL head Abraham Foxman, who said of it, "The insidious subtext of Israeli Jews being obsessed with money echoes the age-old anti-Semitic falsehood that Jews care about money above any other interest, in this case achieving peace with the Palestinian...At the same time, Time ignores the very real sacrifices made by Israel and its people in the pursuit of peace and the efforts by successive Israeli governments of reconciliation.”

I, for one, disagree that this is the subtext of the article. Then again, I read the whole thing.

I will leave it to you to decide for yourselves if the article merits this observation from American Jewish Committee acting Director Ed Rettig: “Leaving aside the libelous nature of the article (what awful people don’t care about peace?), its internalization by decision-makers would be catastrophic...The false belief that Israelis are indifferent to peace will prevent them perceiving the conflict as it really is, and cause a misreading of developments.”

I disagree that the article is libelous, and I disagree that Israelis are indifferent to peace. Again, the impression that this is what the article is asserting is left in part by the title on the cover, but isn't borne out in the text of the article itself (in my honest opinion).

And I will leave it to you to decide for yourselves if the article merits the following hits from "Yet, unbelievably, Time Magazine paints a picture of crass, wealthy Jews so busy with buying and selling that they have no real desire to make peace with the Palestinians,"and "In the case of the Time Magazine article, the straw man so painstakingly described are a couple of shallow-sounding Israelis who care only about money, say they don’t care about anything else, and even imply that they might be dishonest in their business dealings."

Considering that more than just "a couple of shallow-sounding Israelis" were interviewed for the article, I think this criticism is way off. Again, it seems blatantly obvious that the only basis for such criticism is a reliance on the abridged article (five paragraphs long) rather than the unabridged article (twenty-four paragraphs long).

Anyway...I know I'm asking of you a significant investment of your time and thought processes, but please...oblige me. Israel is undoubtedly and undeniably the subject of a perpetual anti-Semitic smear campaign by various media outlets, politicians, and countries throughout the world. This article, however, is not representative of that, and making it out to be will only distract people when truly abhorrent examples once again show themselves.

Furthermore, as the imbroglio over former White House correspondent Helen Thomas's comments regarding Jews a few months back showed, being charged with anti-Semitism can cost people their jobs. This is, I think, overall a good thing...but only when people who are actually anti-Semitic are the ones finding their positions threatened. Knowing our "power," in this respect, we should use it wisely ... sparingly ... responsibly.

On some websites I've seen people posting the address of TIME magazine, so offended Jews can write and complain.

I'd urge them to read the full article (posted below) first, not the abridged version.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Crazy Thoughts of an Expat

If I knowingly break another country's immigration laws, would ideologically dogmatic American liberals consider me "innocent" the way they consider "innocent" those who break our nation's immigration laws? Or, as is likelier the case, would I be patronizingly admonished to respect the laws and culture of foreign lands, were I to share with such liberals a temptation to do the opposite? If I were caught by another country's immigration authorities, would American liberals go to bat for me - or recruit help abroad - the way they go to bat for illegal immigrants in the USA?

What I'm also asking is, "What makes America different?"

The standard argument that, "Well, we are a nation of immigrants," doesn't quite cut it, as the days when a man or his family could alight on American soil and begin a new life relatively free from the constraints of immigration laws (that, once upon a time, didn't even exist) ended a long, long time ago. What immigration laws and border control practices are in place in America exist for various socio-economic, political, security and health reasons...and a great many of these are reasonable, sensible, and quite good. Similar arguments can be made about other countries.

So, again...what is it that makes the United States of America so (and now I'm going to use a word modern liberals - Obama included - loathe to use to describe the USA) "exceptional", with regards to our immigration practices? How is the logical leap made that allows someone to argue against the enforcement of our immigration laws at the same time they defend the right of other countries to enforce
their immigration laws? Is that right? Is that fair to Americans? Does "You don't have to follow our laws, but we have to follow yours," make sense?

Without intergovernmental reciprocity on that score internationally, it doesn't to me...and even then, with such reciprocity, it really wouldn't make sense, would it?

And, wouldn't it be kind of, sympathize with illegal immigrants of a certain ethnicity within America, but then deny the same sort of sympathy to an American - regardless of his or her skin color - living and/or working illegally in a foreign land? Or is it not "politically correct" these days to point out hypocrisy...unless a conservativ
e is at fault? I'm just wondering all this, you see, from the perspective of a seasoned, itinerant expatriate. I'm not now breaking any immigration laws, nor do I plan on doing so in the future. I'm just curious.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

If Only History Would Repeat Itself...

On March 5, 1770, a clash between British soldiers and local citizens in Boston, Massachusetts ended with the deaths of five men. Tensions had been high for some time prior to the incident - the presence of Redcoats enforcing unpopular laws imposed on the Colonies by Parliament was deeply resented - and New England was a powder-keg awaiting only a match...and what would shortly thereafter become known as the "Boston Massacre" stood a good chance of being just that. It was in the interests of many at the time to avoid open rebellion - war - and so a middle ground was tread: A trial would be held for the British soldiers and their commander. Justice would be served.

Defending the British soldiers being accused of murder was the man who would, several years down the line, become the first Vice President of the United States, and our young Union's second President: John Adams. Passions were high, and as is often the case today with regards to Israel, people had already made up their minds about the guilt of the accused. If ever there was a more thankless job, it was being the defense lawyer for British troops in the wake of the Boston Massacre. By the time the trial opened, the event had been immortalized by Paul Revere in an engraving likely familiar to anyone who has taken an American History class.

But Mr. Adams handled himself quite well, though he knew the odds were stacked against him. An avowed Patriot, he nevertheless gave the men an honest defense. He argued that the Redcoats were faced with what was effectively a lynch mob. If, as they claimed, they were being threatened and felt endangered by "a motley rabble of saucy boys, negroes, and molattoes, Irish teagues and outlandish jack tarrs," then they had the legal right to fight back. At most, they could be found guilty of manslaughter - not murder - if they hadn't been in any danger but were instead merely provoked. In the end, the jury agreed with Adams.

They acquitted six of the eight soldiers, perhaps ultimately swayed by an argument made by Adams, as true and applicable to our world today as it was back in Colonial times: "Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." As for the two other soldiers, they were convicted of nothing more than manslaughter: Further evidence that the jury agreed with John Adams's argument that the soldiers had some justification for opening fire. As for the soldiers' commander, one Captain Preston, he too was acquitted of any crime.

Stop and think about that for a minute: British soldiers accused of murdering five people in cold blood - accused of carrying out a massacre - in 1770s Boston, Massachusetts (a hotbed of Patriot sentiment) were able to get a fair trial, and were defended by no less than John Adams, one of the more prominent Patriots of his day. The Redcoats were ultimately judged not by the dictates of passion of the common people or the wishes of the Sons of Liberty or New England's inclination to rebellion, but by the stubborn facts of the situation they faced (for instance, there were those in the mob yelling at the soldiers, taunting them to "Fire!").

Fast forward from 1770s America to the modern Mediterranean: On May 31, 2010, a flotilla put together by a Turkish organization suspected (with good reason) to have ties to Islamist terrorist groups throughout the Muslim world challenged an Israeli naval blockade of a strip of land ruled by Hamas, an Islamist Palestinian terrorist group committed to the eventual destruction of the Jewish state. As predicted, Israel's navy intercepted the flotilla and - after giving fair warning - proceeded to board a ship, the Mavi Marmara. Nine people died in what was described immediately thereafter by international media as an "Israeli attack".

Not twenty-four hours would pass before the incident earned the democratic State of Israel yet another trip to the United Nations Security Council (Jerusalem really ought to have its own key to the place, it's there so often), though it's worth noting that an unprovoked North Korean attack on a South Korean naval vessel (the Cheonan) this past March, in which 46 sailors were killed, has yet to earn Pyongyang any sort of censure by the august UNSC (incidentally, China has yet to admit its DPRK ally might be even possibly responsible for the attack...while Obama's USA once again threw Israel to the wolves. Who has the better friend?).

Turkey in short order recalled its ambassador to Israel and declared its former close alliance with Jerusalem to be at an end (honestly, though, we who pay attention saw this coming). The EU has condemned Israel, yet again. Al-Jazeera has predictably devoted ample time and resources to vilifying Israel. And China - reluctant to accept the findings of an international investigation into the Cheonan sinking that found its unstable, unpredictable, nuclear-armed and despotic North Korean ally responsible - wasted little time in saying the People's Republic was "appalled" by Israel's actions (no investigation needed, apparently!).

In contrast to the trial of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre, which took place nearly 240 years ago in a hostile political environment and yet proved unimpeachably fair, it is all but impossible today for Israel or any of its soldiers to get a fair trial anywhere...except in Israel itself. Whereas once it was possible for Redcoats in Colonial America to be acquitted of a crime by arguing on behalf of the unalterable "state of facts and evidence", today Israeli soldiers are judged guilty by an outside world that makes judgements based not on stubborn facts, but "whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion."

Despite the uphill PR battles it regularly faces (and often, loses), Israel doesn't give up in trying to use stubborn facts in defense of its actions. It's a good - if idealistic - and straightforward strategy, though our civilization has progressed to a point where we don't have the patience to sit and view or listen to the facts of an issue, whether its Israel's latest military action or a law on illegal immigration in America. We're urged to "feel", discouraged from "thinking". We're content to let 24-hour news network anchors or op-ed columnists do our thinking for us.

It's so much easier, isn't it? Letting others do your thinking for you.

Yes. Yes, it is. ;)

But interestingly enough, the State of Israel this time around has an unwitting ally in its usually clumsy efforts to defend itself with stubborn facts: YouTube. According to the Jerusalem Post, the most popular video on YouTube for the past day or so (with over one million views) has been a posting by the Israel Defense Forces of its raid on the flotilla approaching Gaza, consisting of footage of Israeli troops dropping down onto the aforementioned Mavi Marmara and those Israeli soldiers being assaulted with weapons of various kinds and levels of lethality.

The footage even shows one soldier being thrown off the side of a ship:

Another video shows the same scene, but from a different perspective - the deck of the ship itself:

Activists are seen here attacking Israeli soldiers with a stun grenade, a box of plates, and water hoses as they attempt to board the Mavi Marmara. Note, this is before the soldiers boarded!

Here you can witness Israeli soldiers discovering that some of the activists on a ship flying a white flag are using real weapons against the Israeli boarding party:

And it wasn't as if Israel didn't try to avoid a confrontation, before the raid commenced:

Despite the best efforts of CNN, BBC News, Al-Jazeera and other news organizations (but not FOX News, according to what I've seen) to censor such footage from Israel's raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, footage that could prove Israel isn't the bloodthirsty, barbaric monster that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, the EU and Turkey portray it as, people are finding it and watching it and, likelier than not, making up their minds for themselves (Al-Jazeera's raid footage hasn't proven nearly as popular).

In contrast to its treatment by the news media, Israel might just be able to find itself judged in the court of public opinion according to...facts.

If only the Redcoats had YouTube...but then, they had John Adams. We don't. So...YouTube it is...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Flotillas and Fools

By now you all - in one way or another - have probably heard about what went down in the Med today.

A flotilla of ships, attempting to break Israel's blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, was boarded by Israel's navy and...things didn't go so well. At last count, 9 flotilla participants died. According to what I've read, several of these purportedly "peaceful" activists attempted to grab the weapons of Israeli soldiers. I've also heard that the activists (who apparently have a big problem with Israel, but not so much with Hamas) might have had crude weapons of their own, using them to assault - maybe even stab - Israeli soldiers, whose perseverance and bravery I salute.

I've been looking at the prominent role being played by Turkey in all this - you can do your own news searches regarding this, as I wouldn't want to deny you the "fun" and I'd rather not be your sole source of news..hint, "IHH" - and after some considerable consideration, I wouldn't be surprised if Turkish PM Erdogan intended for things to go this way, in order to have political cover to further downgrade the state of Turkish-Israeli ties. I'd say the Turks were counting on Israel reacting strongly, though they might not have expected such consequences as this. Or maybe...they did?

All they needed were a few willing agents provocateurs, a little money slipped under the table by voilĂ , Israel looks bad before the world (like
that is new), and Turkey has a "good" reason to call in an Israeli ambassador or other consular official, dress him down, all as cover as Turkey gets cozier with Syria and Iran. Heck, Turkey's already recalled its ambassador to Israel (so quickly!). And who can blame Turkish protestors for trying to storm an Israeli consulate in Istanbul, even if - perish the thought - whatever protests "spontaneously" erupted were, in fact, pre-planned and well-coordinated?

They need only say, "Look what Israel did!" and understanding is born. Especially, in America, amongst devotees of the Huffington Post, acolytes of His Awesomeness Barack H. Obama II, and supporters of J Street. Meanwhile, though the Muslim world as a whole doesn't exactly need another reason to bash Israel, a brief perusal of Al Jazeera's English website this afternoon showed me they'll still gladly run with whatever they get.

Sure, Turkey could openly repudiate Israel (and by extension, the West), but that wouldn't look so good, now would it? Especially not if there's still the slightest chance the EU might one day consider possibly letting the Turks join their club, even nowadays when it might not seem to be the best club to join. But if you get Israel to be your unwitting fall guy, many more people than might otherwise see your perspective now will. You can go your own way and hardly be accused of further abandoning your country's secular roots and longstanding partnership with Israel, after an event like this.

One also can't discount a major role by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which of course stands to benefit from the international media's focus switching from one regional pariah to another. After all, the more the int'l media focus on Israel and its actions (policies, etc), the less they'll be talking about Iran, it's despotic regime, and that regime's nuclear program. You know something ain't kosher when Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has the gall to call Israel's actions "inhumane". What a spectacle! Pot calling kettle black, much?

This is also, in a way, exactly what North Korea needs at the moment. I'd be willing to bet money that this flotilla incident today is enough to get Jerusalem hauled before the UN Security Council before North Korea's torpedoing of a South Korean naval vessel (with 46 fatalities) in March gets Pyongyang censured by that body. Never mind, of course, that Israel gave fair warning before boarding the ships, and that North Korea's attack was surreptitious and unprovoked. It's the way of the world: Blaming Jews (and/or Israel) works.

Call me a cynic, but don't tell me I don't have justification to be cynical!

This just seems to have gone too badly - for Israel's image, and the flotilla participants' lives - to have come about by mere happenstance.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Turned On the Faucet. This Came Out.

It's funny. What's funny? I don't know. That's just the first thing that popped into my head. I was wondering what to write, somewhat concerned that nothing was coming to mind, and's funny. That's what popped into my head. Come to think of it, I just repeated myself. I said popped into my head twice. Why did that happen? How did it happen? Oh, shit. Does it really matter one way or the other, why or how? Is it going to affect my future, wondering about that? I don't know. Which is why determining the worthiness of spending time wondering about it is either much or little, depending on the moment. Depending on the moment. Shouldn't it be depending on the moments? No, probably not. Moment to moment, that's what it depends on. There's no need to pluralize that which needn't be so.

Needn't be so. That sounds somewhat archaic. I read too many older things, maybe. Too much or too little, because the writing today often pales in comparison to what was written in the past. Take Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work about the Great Boer War. I spent about 20 minutes today perusing that on my Kindle for Mac, and the only thing that caused me to cease my reading was...well, my memory is fuzzy on just what it was that inspired me to stop. It could have been hunger, or thirst, or a need to pee. Hell, it could have even been a hard-on. I'm not really sure. And the funny thing is...heh, it's funny...that at the time of this writing, the moment - oh, there's a connection - I speak of took place just a short time ago. Just a few hours, ago. Why did I put that comma there? Fuck if I know. I don't know myself half as well as I think.

Anyway, what was I saying? I digress. No, I wasn't saying that. I digressed, that's it. So anyway, I was reading the author of Sherlock Holmes' work about South Africa. I bought it months and months ago, while I was still in Coree du Sud. Wait, why the fuck did I just write South Korea in French? What purpose does that serve? What does it add to the narrative. Wait, is this a narrative? Wait, why the hell am I saying wait so much? Okay, back to the story. Doyle's words regarding the failings of British policy in southern Africa don't read like a modern history narrative. They might as well be a novel, for the way that they collectively enrapture me, instill in me a desire to keep on reading until something or other - again, I can't remember what - distracts me enough that I decide to pull myself away from the book and abandon it for a while.

Distractions. They're interesting, aren't they? Of course they are, otherwise they wouldn't distract us to begin with. They wouldn't command our attention. Mind you, when I started writing this bit about distractions, I was meaning in the more general sense that they are interesting. The very act of being distracted isn't so strange, but that we get upset about it. We're told we need to focus, focus, focus, keep our eyes on the prize, maintain our trek toward whatever the goal may be. But like I said, distractions are interesting. And perhaps even more interesting is what it is that distracts us, as I said before. I, for one, am particularly distracted by a woman's pretty face, or - as is just as often the case - the bust situated just beneath it. I can't be honest? You want me to say a woman's face is all I look at?

But see, just there I was distracted. I wasn't thinking about me, but about you. What do I care what you think, about what distracts me? The saying might be, judge not lest ye be judged, but we all do it anyway, and file an least, in our minds we do. We know, or think we know, when we're being judged, and we rush to defend ourselves. Why? How well do those who are judging us know us? Not that well. So when I write about how cleavage manages to distract me even in a bookstore - where not much besides is able to easily disrupt my attention - there's a part of me that knows that whoever is reading this has suddenly come to certain conclusions about me that may or may not be accurate. They certainly aren't the whole story, those conclusions. So why do we care so much that they're being made?

Alright, enough of that. I'm not a philosopher, I don't need to try to answer questions others who believe they are philosophers spend plenty of time worrying about on their own. I think for myself, of course, but ultimately the bigger questions about why we worry about what we worry about don't affect me all that much. The questions don't get in my way when I'm reading a book. They don't normally bother me when I'm watching TV. They stay out of my line-of-sight when I'm wandering around a tourist attraction. Obviously, they pop into my head - there it is again - when I'm writing, but that's what happens when you lift off the bridle of the mind and just run with it. Thoughts you'd rather not have but aren't ashamed to have force their way into your consciousness, and if you're in the process of writing, they're added to the evidence.

The evidence of what? The evidence of the writing, of course. The tangible, readable shapes you now see before you. They are evidence that, one way or another, I have been thinking. Maybe I haven't been thinking all that profoundly, but then, who needs to think profoundly except those who believe they have to think profoundly? My reputation - such as it is - doesn't depend on any such notion. I could think about banal, vulgar things, and then write about them, for days on end. Well, not literally for days on end. I'd need to sleep, eat, shower, brush my teeth, masturbate, drink water, drink juice, drink beer, etc. And when you get right down to it, I probably wouldn't be able to keep up the banal thread for long. Sooner or later, I'd involuntarily try my hand at profundity again, realize I don't need to, and then write about it all.

What in that last paragraph, that preceding collection of words combined into sentences, sticks out at you right now? Don't think too much about it. Just think, and say. Well, think it, at least, 'cause I can't hear you and if you're talking out loud to yourself there's a good chance you'll have some explaining to do later. As for me, what sticks out is...well, fuck. I don't know. I'm not sure what there is to remember in that last paragraph, whether there's anything in there that I should be remembering more than any other thing accompanying any other thing. I just kind of repeated myself, but I don't care and didn't mean to do it. I, well...fuck it. I actually want to talk about something else, but damned if I can think of what. I'm not in command of this process. It's just happening, flowing freely, like the Nile, the Jordan, the Han. Rivers.

Rivers! That's what I can talk about. I can talk about the rivers I've seen. Such as the Mississippi, and the Nile, and the Jordan, and the Han, and the Yarkon, and the...well, there was a really dirty river in Daegu, Korea, but I can't remember the name of it at the moment. It was really dirty, as I recall from research the dirtiest in Korea, but...what does it matter? I'm talking about a river. Or rivers. Say, is it redundant to speak of multiple rivers? Does it matter, in the greater scheme of things? It sounds weird, to say there are multiple rivers on our planet. Shouldn't it be enough to just say, there are rivers on our planet? Doesn't that speak for itself, the plural of river? Obviously, if there is more than one river, there are rivers. It stands to reason that if there are rivers, they aren't just found in one spot, but many. Hence the plural. Rivers.

Okay, time to write about something else. How about this: Writing. Am I writing right now? There are many books about writing and being a writer. But am I writing? No. I'm typing. I'm the author of this, yes, and it could be said that I authored it and whoever said it wouldn't be wrong. But, as I said, did I write all of this, pen in hand, paper in front of me? No. If I'm being literal, practical, then I can't say that what this is is writing. It's typing. On a MacBook Air in a cafe at a Barnes & Noble in Tucson, Arizona, USA on March 31, 2010 at 8:26:26 p.m., or 20:26:39 if you're in the military or in a country other than the United States of America. Shit, digressed again. Writing. Erm, typing. These words have not been written, not in the traditional sense. Not in the literal sense. So why do we call people who type books, writers?