Monday, August 27, 2007

Location, location , location ...

Back in July, I was having a conversation with my aunt about her possible trip to Israel to come visit us. We were discussing her options when the inevitable question of security came up.

"Listen," she said, "I just don't want to go anywhere where I'm going to hear gunshots."

I looked at her, quite surprised, and said, "Where do you think I live? We live in a good neighborhood."

I don't blame her. I am fully aware of the effects of the media on peoples' perception.

I was reminded of her comment today when I was thinking about where we live in Tel Aviv. Tafat and I were discussing whether we live in the center of the city or in the south. I offered that we live in the southern part of the center — or in other words, south-central Tel Aviv.

Now to any good Jewish boy from L.A. the first thing that is supposed to come to mind when one hears the phrase "south-central" is gunshots and gang violence. Back in la la land, they even went so far as to ban the use of the phrase "south-central Los Angeles" because of the negative connotations.

This is of course not the first time I have lived in "south-central." Back when I was in college in Madison, I couldn't help but giggle every time the news broadcasts talked about life in "south-central" Wisconsin.

Of course life in Madison bears little resemblance to life in "south-central" LA, and neither does life in Tel Aviv. I just wish people knew that, so maybe they wouldn't be so afraid to come visit.

Then again, isn't that why they banned the use of the term "south-central" in Los Angeles, to change the way people perceive that part of the city. Maybe they’re right? After all, I am fully aware of the effects of the media on peoples' perception. So perhaps life in "south-central" isn't even like life in "south-central."

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