Elen sila lumenn omentielvo!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Questioning the Answers!

Or is that answering the questions? I get so confused....

Anyhow, continuing the answers to the Ask Me Anything! August 2010 edition submissions.

Glenn asks: In Mirror, Mirror, the evil Capt. Kirk has a device that allows him to destroy anyone he wants to, quickly and cleanly. There is not chance of detection -- the perfect crime. If you had been given this device years ago, say when you were 20, would you have used it by now?

Hmmmmm. Questions like this are always intriguing. Could the Magic Killing Device (MKD for short) do away with anyone on the planet with whom I want done away? Or is it someone I actually have to have met? Because it's not so easy to kill someone you've met, is it? (Or maybe I'm wrong here -- I'm pretty sure that most murders are committed by someone who actually does know their victim, so maybe just going around randomly killing people is harder, which is what makes it conversely more scary.)

Anyway, there are lots of easy answers, such as "I could've eliminated Osama Bin Laden in 1993." That certainly would have solved some problems, wouldn't it. Someone like that, someone deeply dangerous and likely to pose a danger for years to come. I wouldn't have used the MKD on, say, Timothy McVeigh after his capture and trial, because what would have been the point?

But then, there's obviously no way to know, but I suspect that simply removing Osama Bin Laden from the scene without a trace might have ended up having a whole bunch of other effects that were, possibly, equally distasteful. This was, actually, one of my big problems with invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein -- the question of "Do we have any idea what we're going to replace this guy with?" Because we can never underestimate the Universe: things can always get worse.

As for people I've actually known -- well, probably not. There have been people in my life whom I've disliked; in fact, there have been people in my life whom I've disliked with some degree of intensity. But I'm glad to say that there are no people in my life whom I've disliked to the point of sincerely thinking that the world would just be an all-around better place if they were busy fertilizing the daffodils, rather than exerting their carbon footprint upon the world.

So...would I use the device? To rid the world of a truly evil person, maybe. But I'm not sure.

>Redsneakz asks: Are there any kosher restaurants in the Buffalo prefecture of Blogistan, should I be moved to come that way?

I honestly never gave it much thought until just now. I don't think that Buffalo has an especially large Jewish population, for one thing. There's only one synagogue in the area that I specifically know of, and Googling some others, I see that there are others, but they're mainly in the city and/or the northern suburbs. There appear to be none at all in the Southtowns, where I live, and the Kosher section at The Store (the location where I work) consists of a single 4-foot section of grocery shelving. And we never carry Passover Coke. I'm not sure why Buffalo doesn't have more of a Jewish population, but Buffalo is heavily Catholic. I don't know if the one has anything to do with the other.

So, answering the original question, I again had to do a bit of Googling, and what I found doesn't seem terribly encouraging to the Kosher traveler. There just does not seem to be much that's Kosher 'round these parts, at all. A couple of delis, maybe a dairy place, and a couple of eateries in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I'm not surprised by this, really, given the small size of Buffalo's Jewish population and the somewhat spotty nature of Buffalo's ethnic cuisine. (If one includes "Kosher" among the general category of "ethnic", which I'm not sure is totally fair, but I'm only doing it here to illustrate the point.) Buffalo tends to have a lot of good places in some categories of ethnic food (Italian, Indian, Thai), maybe a handful of good places in other categories (sushi), and some styles are woefully underrepresented here (Kosher, dim sum).

In conclusion: a person observing a Kosher diet can eat here, but it will probably involve a bit of effort and not a great deal of variety.

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