What if Ben and Seyyed were to come together and dance the Syrtaki?!

Wouldn’t that be Something!

Kind of like as I suggested earlier, if the Donald were to say:

We are all in the same family—grasses, seagulls, fish, fleas, and voting citizens of the republic…. the life of the Earth is more intimately connected than we might ever think.

There’s a coming together, for most of us anyway, at two points in our lives, at birth and at death. That is, appearances to the contrary, we’re not alone at these two points. At our birth those who love us are near by, joyfully waiting for us to join them. At our death (although of this I know even less of what happens than at my birth) our friends and family are there, seeing that we’re wanting nothing, like one  more profiterole, chocolate eclair, or banana split, as in the case of Art Buchwald.

I was reminded of all this and more recently while viewing on uTube a “coming together”of the two men, in Munich in 1995 at the 70th. birthday party of Michael “Mikis” Theodorakis, born 29 July 1925, and the Mexican-born American actor Anthony Quinn, Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca, born April 21, 1915  (died June 3, 2001), who starred of course in the film Zorba, for which Theodorakis adapted the music. It’s this coming together of these two not quite old men that got me thinking (and dancing).

Here’s a Video of their meeting, two of them, better of their coming together:


The warmth and joy of the video that I’m sure you will have felt if you’ve watched it, couldn’t be further removed from the present lives of two other “old men,” Benjamin Netanyahu, born October 21, 1949 in Tel Aviv, and the Seyyed Ali Khamenei, born in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad in 1939. Separated also by ten years as Anthony and Mikis, but also by religion, political beliefs, and most of all by their respective, what shall I call it, difficult characters.

NetanyahuNetanyahu is hard guy, pretty much as one of those hard guys who took us into Iraq (from which everything bad has followed). He could almost be a card-carrying member of the American neo-conservative Right, one who assumes in all his dealings with the world  the very worse of his opponents and acts accordingly. He’s tough, immensely admired by far right conservatives everywhere, the Evangelicals, the Tea Partiers and others of the United States. He’s extremely popular in Israel because they feel more secure with him putting an impenetrable wall between them and their enemies.

Seyyed_Ali_KhameneiThe Ayatollah while not soft, is of a softer figure than Netanyahu. And there are, in fact, probably only two things that keep him from being a full member of the human race, one being his long distrust, not entirely without basis, of the United States or the great Satan, and two being the Iranian hardliners of his own land, the real hard guys, probably only minority in the country, but whose support Ali needs to maintain his own pre-eminent authority in the Iranian ruling hierarchy.

That there may be some real humanity in this man I conclude from reading in a Foreign Affairs piece that his first love as a young man was literature, and that the book he admired the most, and still does, is Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. I’m also an admirer of Hugo and I would probably therefore find I had much more in common with the Ayatollah than with Netanyahu, who shows little love and warmth, of anything other than maintaining the pre-eminent power of Israel over the peoples, nations, and lands of the Middle East.

Anyway, in regard to these two men now widely separated by their lived experiences, would there ever be a chance of their coming together, say doing the Syrtaki, the Zorba dance? There are plenty of such dances in Israel. Wouldn’t that be something, wouldn’t that mean that man wasn’t the low-down creature that he too often seems to be, but truly the admirable creature that we would like to believe he was?


 

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