So, according to New York magazine, a local woman has quit her job and, with her husband earning a "low-six-figure income," she has decided to raise children and not work at all! What an amazing specimen. But this isn't your grandparents' housewifery. "This is not the retreat from high-pressure workplaces of a previous generation but rather a more active awakening to the virtues of the way things used to be," claims New York magazine, discussing how said lady rubs her husband's feet when he comes home. ("Active awakening"! I'm really stuck on that language. I think it says that on a package of live yeast in my refrigerator? Also: [...]
You know I love me some cultural studies wonkery. And yet sometimes it goes a bit off the rails! The incredibly esteemed Joseph Massad, of Columbia, may maintain a tricky position against the creation of "the homosexual" as a class in the "Arab world" (quite complicated backstory here, but, for a less nuanced take, "gayness as identity is Western and therefore colonialist, so we shouldn't support people there who choose to identify as gay even when they are, you know, getting murdered by state actors"), but his work overall is brilliant.
But also he is now revealed as the least fun TV critic OF ALL TIME, as [...]
This Nathan Englander story in the New Yorker is pretty great! And in my favorite genre of story, which is "people in a house talking."
"Passengers disturbed by another passenger's actions led to a US Airways flight from La Guardia Airport to Louisville being diverted to Philadelphia this morning." TERROR IN THE SKIES! The 17-year-old passenger was, it turns out, praying. "An officer said the passenger was 'wearing a device on his head' that had straps hanging from it." So yeah: "disruptive passenger," praying teen, whatever.
We get mail! In fact, we are on some crazy email lists, including one run by some guy named Tony Caputo. (He needs a Tumblr, bad!) Today he finds hope for the future in the writings of Ben Stein, who is the only Jew he likes. (Besides Jesus, I guess.) Good work, Ben Stein-your ramblings from 2005, about how Christmas bushes are fine with you, have put you in good company in the (mostly imaginary! Except to crazies!) culture wars.
Man, everyone is beating a hasty retreat from association with Brian Schroeder, who set fire to a chapel that contained the remains of 9/11 victims. The former editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review, also a former Duke theater major (wow), was on deferral package from the firm of Sidley Austin. (You remember those: getting well-paid to do pro bono work for a year?) Except now he is not, as his employment offer just evaporated. Anyway, at least the Jews are happy to sit this one out.
Sad news for fans of self-hatred: An expert on Jewish Iranians is casting doubt on this weekend's speculation that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a Jew whose family changed its name to avoid discrimination. Professor David Yeroshalmi, commenting on the assertion that the Ahmadinejad clan's original moniker of Sabourjian means "weaver of Jew prayer shawls," disputes the conjecture.
If you are interested in real estate or fashion or entrepreneurship, this history of the Bal Harbour mall is pretty fascinating. The Shops at Bal Harbour, if you don't know, just north of Miami Beach, holds last year's record for retail dollars made per square foot in the U.S. It is full of trees and turtles and koi and ashtrays and crazy-rich people. And its original success is based on low base rents with a percentage of store revenue for the landlord—as well as a pretty crazy geographical noncompete, which has since been greatly eroded. The percentage rent thing is smart, when Bulgari and Graff and Van Cleef are [...]
There's not a single Holocaust joke in the stage version of "Old Jews Telling Jokes."
Nearly fifteen years after it was declared that Asians are the new Jews, Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court apparently means that Jews are the new WASPS. I'm not sure what it all signifies, but clearly there is an opportunity somewhere for an ethnic group with moxie and hustle to snap up the vacancy these two promotions have created. I'd suggest Italians, but, you know.
"About ten years ago, I was doing a weekend of Christmas concerts, accompanied by a fine regional symphony in California… Minutes before I walked onstage the second night, a nervous representative of the orchestra board appeared in my dressing room to tell me that my program was 'too Jewish.' Wow, I thought, who knew that orchestra management played practical jokes on artists moments before their shows? My laughter turned to disbelief when the stuttering gentleman said that there had, in fact, been complaints." -Michael Feinstein, the popular standards singer who looks so much like a cross between Barry Manilow and Jimmy Fallon, has an op-ed in the [...]
Is Israeli organized crime getting out of hand in Los Angeles? They are kneecapping rabbis.
You know what the Coen Brothers don't get? Jews! With the exception of Barton Fink, the brothers have peopled their off-kilter productions with goyim of the windswept American interior, constructing wonderfully absurd, dark and surreal tales with a restraint that makes the madness seem perfectly plausible.
But they've never had much time for Jews.
Their Jewish tin ear has left them clueless as to how Jews really talk and interact and prevents them from understanding the characters they've constructed. As a result, the words they've put in their characters mouths simply don't ring true, which is a problem if truth is the essence [...]
The folks at Old Jews Telling Jokes-find our favorite joke told by and old Jew here-have netted a print deal: "The book will feature hilarious, irreverent, and sometimes bawdy jokes told by 'old Jews' (both men and women, all over 60, including Ed Koch, Daniel Okrent, and Harry Macklowe), and the fascinating stories behind both the jokes and the tellers." There is also a DVD. I would say something using the Jew phrase for "congratulations," but I am too lazy to Google it right now.
Politics apparently continued over the winter holidays. What did that crafty Barack Obama do while the rest of us were worshiping the Baby Jesus or whatever? He is suggesting that America allow Chuck Hagel to be the Secretary of Defense, that's what! Who would let Chuck Hagel do something as important as overseeing the continued American defeat in Afghanistan, when he has controversial opinions about The Gays and Israel?
But, like all cabinet battles, the controversy around Chuck Hagel is both a) limited to Politico reporters/editors and the people who actually read the Politico, and b) not really about the Defense Department but actually about right-wing Christians who hate gays [...]
The Ragbag, which you should totally be following or RSSing or whatever, introduces us to the world of nasology, "a belief founded on long continued personal observation that there is more in a Nose than most owners of that appendage are generally aware." Here's a description of one particular type of proboscis that is near and dear to my face.
"I feel sorry I'm not Jewish sometimes." -Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) discusses "Eight Days of Hanukkah," his first foray into Hebraic balladry. "Anything I can do for the Jewish people, I will do. Mormons believe the Jewish people are the chosen people, just like the Old Testament says." You'll want to stick around for the part where he seductively unbuttons his shirt and whips out his mezuzah. There's plenty more here.
"There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves. By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation's pennies and trying to preserve our country's wealth and our economy's viability to give all an opportunity to succeed." -Two South Carolina GOP Chairmen in an op-ed praising Senator Jim DeMint. DeMint subsequently denounced the piece, because, you know, who wants to be compared to a Jew?