"I did not learn to cook, either. Instead I have become a superior dinner guest. I am wonderful to have at your side while you cook, particularly if you give me a glass of wine, and also to have sit at your table, because I will appreciate your food in a deep, emotional and highly verbal way." —Awl pal Jami Attenberg reminds us that the key ingredient in chicken noodle soup is "guilt." In other news, her wonderful novel The Middlesteins has been picked up by German publishing company Schoffling & Co. It's fun to imagine the conversations at the office about how to handle the retitling of [...]
"In one episode of 'The Sisterhood,' Brian and Tara plan the theme of the bar mitzvah cake. 'How about Christ in the Torah?' Brian asks. 'Amen,' Tara answers."
How "Baby It's Cold Outside" Became America's Secular Christmas Anthem, Despite People Claiming It's About Date Rape
Betty Garrett and Red Skelton, reversing roles in the song's 1948 Hollywood premiere.
This Christmastime, last Christmastime and for many holiday seasons past, writers and commenters of the Internet have gathered to argue over the holiday classic "Baby It's Cold Outside." The conversations and accusations are rarely about the song's merits as a Tin Pan Alley jazz-pop composition. Instead, we wonder if the playful exchange of the man and woman is actually the loaded conversation before a sinister date rape. Or is the whole song just a harmless relic of a bygone time when "The answer is No" meant not "No," but "maybe just a half a drink more," [...]
"Now the brand has retrenched, with a label that brings back 'Goldenberg’s' and resembles its original design, a regional rather than national growth strategy, and an advertising and marketing campaign that celebrates its heritage." —Goldenberg's Peanut Chews are my all-time no. 1 ranked favorite candy bar in the world. I was very disappointed in 2004, when they changed the company changed its wrapper design, and, as today's Times puts it, "removed the historically prominent 'Goldenberg’s,' which was thought to sound too homespun for a national player." More so because, Yeah right! Too "homespun." That was the most egregious example of self-loathing assimilation we'd seen since Ralph Lipshitz changed [...]
I've never heard anyone say an ill word about the Berlin Holocaust Memorial! And yet here is a fairly thorough take-down. The title doesn’t say “Holocaust” or “Shoah”; in other words, it doesn’t say anything about who did the murdering or why—there’s nothing along the lines of “by Germany under Hitler’s regime,” and the vagueness is disturbing. Of course, the information is familiar, and few visitors would be unaware of it, but the assumption of this familiarity—the failure to mention it at the country’s main memorial for the Jews killed in the Holocaust—separates the victims from their killers and leaches the moral element from the historical event, shunting [...]
"Parsons’ impetus for working with Cohn was to celebrate everything he loved about both old-time singing cowboys and California culture, a look he dubbed 'Cosmic Americana.' Hundley calls the look 'an embrace of classic with a psychedelic edge,' which became part of the Gram Parsons legend. 'Nudie,' she said, 'was the embodiment of that presentation.'” —Tablet's Jason Diamond writes about the late Country-Western designer Nudie Cohn—who was named Nuta Kotlyarenko when he was born in 1902 in Kiev.
It's nice to know that there's no "controversy" so stupid that Abe Foxman won't be ready with a comment about it.
If you saw any of the X-Men movies, was there any doubt that Erik Lensherr—the young man who goes all Uri Geller when the Nazis put his parents in Auschwitz—is a Jew? Followers of the 50-year-old X-Men comic books have different opinions. Some say "Magneto" (or Magnus or Erik, whatever you like to call him) is actually of Romany blood. (Nazis, you may recall, also massacred Gypsies, homosexuals, Communists, Poles, Czechs, Russians, Ukrainians and Freemasons.) But in the form of actors Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender, Magneto has a concentration-camp tattoo identifying him as Jewish. Does this matter? Aren't most comic-book heroes also of the Chosen People? Of [...]
"Will you tell your children that a liberal government will increasingly marginalize, dismiss and weaken the support for and the safety of the Jewish state?… Will you explain that whatever their personal beliefs, tax-funded institutions will require them to imbibe and repeat the slogans of the left, and that, should they differ, they cannot have a career in education, medicine or television unless they keep their mouths shut?… Most importantly, will you teach them never to question the pronouncements of those in power, for to do so is to risk ostracism?" —Right-wing "convert" David Mamet appeals to American Jews' sense of parental guilt as he encourages them to [...]
“Space tourists are usually high-income earners whose survivors can use high-powered lawyers—insurability for private space travel flights is a big issue at this time." —Space lawyer Doug Griffith talks to Fast Company's Neal Ungerleider about the growing field of space law.
"After being ejected from the Zoo, and then the park altogether, anti-Semitic Elmo was taken away in an ambulance for psychiatric observation."
"Terror experts called in after Turkish villagers mistake bird for Israeli spy… because it had overly large nostrils"
"The past remains a painful subject in Lviv, and there have been few public efforts to deal with the city’s dark Jewish history. And so a young Ukrainian entrepreneur sensed an opportunity. He opened Under the Golden Rose, a theme restaurant that he says honors the city’s Jewish past. It’s a place where diners are given hats with peyes attached, nibble on matzoh, and are encouraged to haggle over food prices…"
As a non-Jew who watched The Ten Commandments every Easter/Passover as a child and occasionally marries into Jewish families as an adult, I have been deeply disappointed with the reality of American Passover Seders. Expecting buckets of lamb blood for door painting and ominous bearded nomads reciting death tales from memory, instead I got people talking about college basketball around a glass-and-bronze dinette set piled high with unsavory seasonal items from the supermarket. That nobody at the table really believed in G-d never helped, either. How is He going to strike us all dead when he doesn't even exist?
While there's a lot more interesting food options for Pesach today—[...]
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 [...]
"In the current study, researchers statistically controlled for race, age and gender, but introduced a story that primed participants to dislike some of the people they were observing: half were presented as neo-Nazis, and half were presented as likeable and open-minded. All study participants recruited for the study were Jewish males." —The study itself found that "liking or disliking a person can affect how your brain processes actions" but I think that part above is the best.
The White House nominee for the head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics not only went to left-wing Harvard, not only worked at the nefarious New York Fed, is not only married to a professor of sexy, sexy evolution (it's true! He studies sperm!), but, just like pretty much half of the bankers and lawyers in New York, she also sent her kids to Jewish summer camp, according to this shocking report in The Daily Caller. As you know, Israel is anti-America, because it's not actually in America, and also they let women serve in the military and have you heard about this whole "kibbutz" thing? Where they [...]
Here's a picture of two hot guys trying to get married. In 1971.
"If there were such a thing as a perfect Jewish joke—and who is to say that the Dayenu is not it?—it would never finish. Ours is a religion of suspense. We wait and wait, for a God who cannot show Himself and a Messiah we would rather never came. We await an end, as we await a punch line, to a narrative that has no end. And just when we thought it was all over, it begins again. What are the last words of the Dayenu? 'It would have sufficed us …' But by now our ear demands another clause, another gift, another setback for God to overcome. There [...]