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Updated: 2017-11-18T16:11:38.702-05:00


The Best Intermarriage Discussion Ever


Between Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jeffrey Goldberg. It makes me really sorry I didn't go to a socialist Zionist summer camp.

Vote on November 4!


So, last time, we remarked on "hit a Jew" day.

Now, Vermont gives us "don't vote for a Jew" day - but not because the state itself has an institutional animus to the Chosen People.

Evidently, some very disturbed local political candidate in Vermont decided to put a bizarre, super-literal-reading-of-Leviticus screed in her "candidate section" of the state's election information publication. Thanks to the First Amendment, which allows people to say the most horrific and stupid things without government interference, the Vermont state government has to print it, since she is a candidate.

Special, "I'm not an anti-Semite" excuse? DNA testing shows that she's part Jewish. Because that, if true, is so compelling an excuse.

Hit a What Day?


Annie and I had this conversation in response to the fact that suburban St. Louis students are being punished for having a "hit a Jew" day:

ME: Next week: Jews hit back. Better hope they're the ACLU lawsuit kind, and not the King David Hotel kind.

ANNIE: No, they just organize a defense the next day in towns all over Persia. The king sealed it.

ME: That is why we must get a beautiful Jewess to seduce the King of Missouri.

ANNIE: Not it.

Any volunteers?

For the record, Melanie Blunt, first lady of Missouri, makes a relatively plausible Vashti (super-anti-Feminist interpretation found here).

Hatin' on the Persians


So, if you hadn't heard, Mattel, which makes Barbie dolls, is suing MGA, which makes Bratz dolls, which appear to be the children of Barbie and angels which caused god to flood the earth. The reason for the suit is that one of the principals of MGA worked for Mattel, and Mattel alleges that he came up with the half-space alien strumpet dolls on Mattel's time.

A verdict recently came out in favor of Mattel, but it's in doubt now, because one of the jurors was making ethnic slurs about Isaac Larian, the Jewish CEO of MGA.

The twist: I think Juror #8 was an Ashkenazi Jew, because the ethnic slurs were not about Mr. Larian's Jewishness, but the fact that he's an Iranian. I, sadly, occasionally hear the sorts of things that Juror #8 said from New York Ashkenazim, who evidently think that being Jewish is not exclusive enough of a club, or maybe to pretend that rich European Jews don't also have their fair share of swindlers and jerks. I don't really hear it outside the Judaic bubble, as Jewish/Iranian is more of a dichotomy there, and Iranians are (also sadly) associated with something a little more sinister than dishonest business practices.

I was of the opinion that no small part of being a modern Jew was getting over all the ethnic insensitivity that we ourselves have suffered in no small measure, but hey, maybe it was only to become middle-class so we can be even more prejudiced than our non-Jewish neighbors when it comes to the Middle East.



Saw The Dark Knight yesterday. Had trouble sleeping afterwards.

At the risk of sounding like someone's preachy rabbi, my take-away from the film was that the Joker is a catastrophe familiar to the Jewish people - no matter what you do, he comes with force, with malevolence, and destroys the virtuous just as easily as the condemned.

The only solution, it seems, is to accept that your virtue does not guarantee success, but that failure does not exempt you from the dictates of your conscience.

Od Yishama...


Not sure if anyone reads this anymore, but this seemed as good a place as any to post the news: CJ and I are engaged.

I guess that this is my equivalent of shouting it from the rooftops.

Well, the World is Certainly Safer for Doughnuts NOW...


I do not go out of my way to read Michelle Malkin. Nor do I go out of my way to find news about hasty meal entrepreneur and talk show host Rachael Ray.

Yet somehow, here they are, bleeding through into my reading today:
What happened was that Ms. Ray, a spokeswoman for fried starch purveyor Dunkin' Donuts, wore a garment that looked a lot to me like a houndstooth scarf in a television spot. Ms. Malkin evidently sees all objects with a pattern similar to houndstooth as resembling a keffiyeh (example), which in her eyes is per se a statement of solidarity with the intifada. So, obviously, it has to go off the air.
To clarify, there are three issues here:
1) Not all checked scarves are keffiyehs.
2) Wearing a keffiyeh doesn't mean that you're in tight with the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade or Hamas.
3) Wearing a keffiyeh-looking object should not be enough to get you booted from American television.
The third should go without saying; we're a plural society here, and it really should be OK to wear a clothing item that millions of people, some of them Palestinian radicals, wear. Most agree that general clothing styles, by themselves, do not mean you subscribe to certain beliefs; e.g. this Ronald Reagan shirt does not mean you support violent Communist revolution. Sometimes a patterned scarf is a patterned scarf.
Furthermore, even if Ms. Ray has a copy of Walt & Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby in her purse in that photo, as Americans we should be able to intelligently disagree about Middle Eastern policy without resort to blackballing doughnut commercials. Can we remember this again? Doughnuts. And coffee. Not policy.

Days Late, Dollar Short


I guess I'm too late for an "April Fool's" post, but I did just see this banner ad on a popular news website:(image) Looks like the life insurance industry is courting my dollar these days.

A milder post on politics


CNN's exit polls are hilarious. I just don't get what people are thinking.

For example, in the exit poll of last night's Mississippi Democratic primary, 41% of the electorate indicated that they would not be satisfied if Senator Clinton won the nomination. However, of that 41%, 13% still voted for Senator Clinton.

And only 7% of the voters said they were "dissatisfied with both choices." So some people in Mississippi don't want Senator Clinton , but voted for her anyway. Don't ask me why.

Or, on the other side of the coin, of the voters who thought Senator Clinton was "the most qualified to be commander in chief" in the Missouri exit poll, 13% up and voted for Senator Obama. I guess, if you parse "commander in chief" restrictively enough (one might even say "Bill Clintonian"), you could make a case that Sen. Obama is likely better at all the non-commander-in-chiefy parts of the Presidency, and that would outweigh his deficiency. But that's really debatable.

In Arizona, Rep. Ron Paul's support, by division based on church attendance, was largest among people who never go to church (11% of those voters). In Texas, it was among people who go to church monthly (7% of those voters). Rep. Paul is skeptical about evolution and personally anti-abortion. So maybe Texas's votes make more sense. Or not. Hard to tell with a candidate who has an independent group putting his name on a blimp.

Let's Throw Some More Bombs - Higher Education Edition


That's right, it's time for another Controversial Opinion™ by your favorite Jewbiquitous contrarian.Recently, I got into a fight on the internet about higher education. I rarely say clearly what I mean in a comment or forum post, and this was no exception. I strode into an argument about whether Connecticut should offer in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, and my argument was:U. Conn. sucks.Well, it wasn't that simplistic. But I did make the mistake of injecting one policy argument into another; I really didn't care about immigration, per se; just college prices.Instead of rehashing the crap I said the first time, let me rephrase it:The two most prestigious schools in the United States, Harvard and Yale, are, if not exactly free for the kind of illegal immigrant students who tug on our heartstrings (i.e., poor-ish children of laborers), so significantly tuition-reduced so that they are state-school affordable (Yale, as a bonus, happens to be in Connecticut). There is then a short list of other schools (depending on where you are, ten to thirty) for whom, like Harvard and Yale, the names also open up doors and it doesn't matter what they cost, the debt is worth it; check your local labor market for which these are, although Chicago, Stanford, and U.C. Berkeley are probably always there. There are then a whole bunch of schools that are, while somewhat selective, somewhat known as "good," but basically offer nothing more than an expensive credentialling service. This would be where U. Conn. falls in.I come from this from the law school angle (which IS a credentialling service), where the top 10% of every law school can hope to snag a plum job, but outside of that top 10%, if it's not Harvard, Yale, Chicago, or (insert most famous local school), anything lower means a hard slog for jobs. The roughly 190 law schools in the United States hire law professors almost exclusively from Harvard, Yale, and Chicago (with a little Penn and Stanford thrown in), all of whom have done prior judicial clerkships and published, so it's not really like there's a huge difference in the education or scholarship of law professors between NYU and NYLS.The only real difference, as far as I can tell, is school selectiveness as a measure of overall talent; NYU can get, generally, the more intelligent and more ambitious students. But if you're not one of the "elite of the elite," the fact that I tested modestly better than a CUNY student on the LSAT (and got into a better school as a result) is not a reason to hire me if the other person did better in law school, and legal employers know this. I can't imagine that other sophisticated employers don't know this; therefore, I would posit that, unless you know you can get into the top-scoring group of students at your university, you should reduce your "class" (and price!) of university until you can expect to be an honors student, unless you can get into a name which no one will care what your class rank is. As such, all colleges that are not in the small clique around Harvard are overpriced to the extent that they cost more than vocational schools or community colleges and deliver the same benefits to their students.This, of course, does not apply to academics. But for the "bachelor's degree and then on to the cube farm unrelated to my degree" track that is so much of middle-class higher education, it's just not worth it. * * *Honestly, I think the mindset creating the University of Richmond vs. Fordham vs. Pomona vs. Adelphi vs. Hofstra vs. University of Memphis gradations make college applicant teens (and their parents) waaaay too crazy and give an unrealistic view of what most of the thousands of colleges in America offer. And it drives the prices up for everyone. As for illegal immigrants, that's a story for another day. I basically [...]

The Fad Is Ruined


Someday, I will write a post about the Jewish community and Obama. My Google Reader runneth over with starred stories from this, that, and the other as to whether the Illinois Senator is "good for the Jews," "good for Israel," or vice versa (or, my favorite, the New York Jewish Week story as to why those questions are irrelevant).

This is, however, not that post.

Instead, I report that a friend of mine, in a post about lesbians, has revealed to me that the Wall Street Journal has already reported on the LOLcat craze, making it totally uncool.

Therefore, I risk significant levels of uncoolness if I try to one-up the LOLJews website, which, at least according to my repeated hitting of "refresh," only has three pictures.



Regardless of your opinion of Caitlin Flanagan, her article in the current Atlantic Monthly about Katie Couric is a must-read.

The Hasmoneans, and Us


I, too, read the Slate piece by Christopher Hitchens, remembering as I did that this is a man who professionally hated on Mother Theresa for a while and just published a book titled God is Not Great. And I actually liked it, although the Sherbs tells me that Mr. Hitchens's history is a tad reductionist and simplistic.

Hanukkah should be a time of a little philosophical soul-searching for more liberal Jews, because Hitchens's piece builds on a fundamental truth of Hanukkah: we're celebrating the butt-kicking of one society because our religious fanatics weren't comfortable with it. Sure, there's a forced assimilation component to the Hellenic side, as the closest they got to religious tolerance in those days was "we'll let you worship your gods if you also worship ours," but, to a great extent, this was a war to define us as a particularly religious nation.

I'll still be lighting the candles, because, even though I don't like the Hasmoneans and I'm a little suspicious of holidays based on the Apocrypha, I don't have a good enough theological reason not to and I like fried food something fierce. But I take Hanukkah to, in part, warn us of what happens when we get all we want religiously - we can then become big jerks to one another. It seems that the UK chief rabbinate and some Israeli rabbis are in conflict over conversions - mostly because some people seem to want to speak for all Judaism despite getting their position through having support in only a small minority. Just because we've had some big wins doesn't mean we get to be jerks. That's my lesson for the season.

Hannukah: Festival of Backwardsness?


I came upon this slate article indirectly from a frequent, yet anonymous commenter of this blog (sorry if it annoys you that I'm blogging on this, but it was just too extreme to let slip, and I'm in finals and therefore easily distracted). All I have to say is whoa. That is quite a strongly worded piece directed against Hannukah. Ah the joys of journalism and the internet, where one does not need to cite sources or hold a reasonable respect for the subject of one's inquiry (though in all fairness there are plenty of academics who do the same thing but with bigger words). I'm not saying the history is not generally correct. Though my historical knowledge of this subject comes from a freshman class I mostly slept through, I believe the general facts is somewhere in the reasonable range of the truth (obviously feel free to correct me). But the tone is, well lets just say, not really compatible with our societies generally p.c. pluralism.

Before I continue I should note that the article was written by Christopher Hitchens, and he is definitely not a man who shies away from controversy to say the least. But irregardless, it does raise some interesting questions for us..

If I can guess correctly, our readers are probably thinking one (or many many) of these opinions (hows that for precision?):
1. This is (insert adjective) anti-semitism
2. This is (insert adjective) secularism primarily, but also anti-semitic
2b. This is secularism, but walks a fine line between secularism and anti-semitism
2c. This is secularism, not anti-semitism
3. This is correct, but seriously this author must have (insert non-sexist noun)
4. other (who is Zie to tell me what to think?)

Crazy right? Personally, I think there are ways to say something like this that seek to elucidate the facts and not merely anger a community. History can be told from an unlimited number of viewpoints with an unlimited number of agendas. Almost every year I come upon numerous articles that discuss Christmas as a commercial holiday lacking any actual religious meaning or historical fact. However, I do not know if I have ever read someone saying that Jesus represented backwards ideas and therefore to celebrate his birth is to deny enlightened thinking. hmm..

when did we stop appreciating a good metaphor?? Literalists make me seriously angry! Really takes some of the beauty out of life eh? Try reading Shakespeare literally... really doesn't make much sense. end of digression.

So, what do y'all think?

Grad School and God


It's been a really long time since I have written. Granted, Harley may be the only person to have noticed, as I am new and only sometimes interesting... but here goes Jewbiquitous, you new method of procrastination!

This may seem paradoxical, but the vast majority of divinity school students could not care less about God. Granted, this is not a true religious institution but an institution of religion. My university prides itself as being uber academic and empirical evidence means everything and conviction close to nil. Perhaps as it should be -- I know if it were the other way around I'd high tail it back to the east coast. However, would it kill us to show phenomenology (briefly, studying religion from the side of or inside religion) a little respect? Why do the Godless chose to study the exact theologies and communities they largely reject? Because its freaking fascinating.

However, I have been wise in choosing philosophy. I can talk about God in a million different theological or rational frameworks and accept or destroy God at will based upon my superhero like rational skills. (hah!) In my line of work, God is a concept just like subjectivity or beauty or thought itself. I can say Kant's idea of God is flawed (this is a what if, I'd rather not argue this point) in the context of Kierkegaard's philosophy/theology (hat tip nature boy) and it really does not have to mean anything but a grade to me.

But eventually philosophy has to mean something. Ideas matter. Or at least I like to tell myself that. You can turn on the evening news and hear watered down Enlightenment ideas being spewed that may seem passe in philosophic circles but are still in full swing in the actual social world. So in that case, don't we have a responsibility to show a little respect? If i say God is bullshit based upon a logical proof or scientific fact (uh Dawkins) and would it really matter to you?

There is always a theological answer that trumps reason, if the individual cares more about theology than science. I don't know how familiar y'all are with Christian theology but Schleiermacher might have had one thing correct- our feelings and intuitions matter and they do not always line up with reason. But then he went and ruined everything by saying Christianity is absolute (and it almost always is... unless you are reading Maimo or something). My new grad school friend who I will call truth man, would just say that feelings are a result of complex actions and chemicals in the brain. Well yes. But that is a really boring way of experiencing the world. If I am just a series of complex chemical interactions, they why would any of this matter at all. Because it feels like it matters. And I truly believe life is mostly about getting through it without causing too much harm to anyone, especially ourselves. But I digress, the point is... sometimes its just nice to have a little love with my morning helping of rational proofs.

So if some of you out there believe in God and want to write books about God's love... I will be interested to read that. Perhaps. But in the end, I'm probably just another critic.

I do not Love Frank


I just finished Loving Frank while on a plane yesterday. Although I really enjoyed Devil in the White City I was pretty ambivalent about reading Loving Frank.

Both are about Chicago, at least sort of, both feature architects and artists, and both have some historical fiction. Seems like my cup of tea, right? WRONG.

You see, I actually have an issue with books. It's one that I'm a little embarassed about, because I feel like it makes me seem immature, naive, and unworldly. And here it is: I actually can't get that into books whose protagonists do things that I don't approve of. I couldn't feel sorry for Frank and Mamah because they were both adulterers. Their spouses weren't abusive, cared for them, and their lives were nice. They both selfishly left home and family in the pursuit of "happiness."

I just can't get behind that. I couldn't feel bad for them, no matter the censure they recieved because a) they were adulters and fairly irresponsible, leaving others to clean up their mess at home, and b) they KNEW what would happen. Frank was well-known and Mamah well-respected in their community. It should have come as no surprise that they'd be shunned and censured. Does it suck? Yes. But it isn't shocking.

I did manage to cry at the end anyway (I won't tell you why, it'll ruin the book--although Pedant believes, and I sort of agree, that you can't ruin historically-based books because presumably the story is common knowledge), but I didn't love the book. There were some interesting feminist and philosophical ideas (Mamah Cheney was apparently friends with Ellen Key) but it mostly felt like a whiny "the world is against us, boo-hoo."

In conclusion, my book club sucks at picking books, we totally should have read Peony in Love.



I just had a "bagel sandwich" from Cosi. The bagel, if you could call it that, was a puffier version of the flatbread, squared off at the edges, and with a hole in the middle.

I now know what other ethnic groups felt when white people stole their music. I thought I felt this when I discovered that some companies sell blueberry bagels, but I really feel it now.

If you can't eat creamed pickled herring on it unselfconsciously, it's not really a bagel.

Super Bug


Sigh. I'm embarrassed. It's been a while, a really long while, since I've blogged. I didn't go on hiatus on purpose, but I should admit that Jewbiquitous was never labor of love for me. Since the Queen of the World died, it's been more of a chore to blog than a pleasure, mostly because it feels like an echo of her, being the spawn of a comment she once made to Annie and me.

In the beginning of August, Annie mentioned that she was leaving out workplace and that she was planning on quiting the blogosphere. I have not hidden that I miss her here and that I'm thrilled when she decides to post, regardless. I left our office a couple weeks ago and I haven't had it in me for various reasons to sit down at the computer and write. Maybe it's the process of being in transition (to another job, to grad school, maybe to a whole new state!) or maybe I was never built for blogging in the first place. But I do think things and discuss things and I miss writing them down. So I'm not gone, so much as more periodic, now that my full time job involves writing applications and going on lengthy interviews.

On a related note, part of the reason I've been away is that I had a super bug: an antibiotic-resistant sinus infection that knocked me on my ass for the last month. Two rounds of antibiotics and several trips to the doctor later, I am finally healthy. A few observations (I know how y'all love lists):

1) Despite the name, a "super bug" does not give you super powers. It just super sucks.

2) Every time I write "antibiotic," I'm tempted to put a dash in there (anti-biotic).

3) Upon canceling and interview and worrying to my dad, in an email, that the interviewers would think I'm a wuss, he responded, ""If they think you're a wussy, have them call me. I don't raise wussies. Or geraniums, for that matter."

4) Marion Barry is absurd.

... And we're back.

Shabbos With Squanto, Et Al.


The Kvetcher dug up Harley's post from a year ago about Thanksgiving and is not happy with it. The whole controversy is whether or not those Jews who take a more stringent view of Torah and halakhic requirements should celebrate the U.S. Federal Holiday every third Thursday in November, or whether one should avoid it like those temple prostitutes that buzzkill Rashi warned us about. The Kvetcher thinks it's a silly controversy, born of those who just like to pick fights with the secular world.

I'm actually inclined to agree, for the most part. You never hear any controversy about whether or not it's okay to celebrate such traditional American burnt meat festivals like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day, even though you tend to get a lot more Christian god-references in the music on those days. We can take this to the ad absurdum: President's Day Sales - does taking advantage of the discount bring on the wrath of the Divine?

I think there's a reasonable line to be drawn between being a holy people apart and being complete wet blankets about the universe, and looking down on Thanksgiving is the wrong side of the line.

Plus, I love stuffing.

Two Quick Things:


1) I just read How We are Hungry by Dave Eggers, and have come to realize that, despite What is the What, I don't really like Dave Eggers. Or short stories.

2) I may be going public soon with my identity. Most of the three remaining readers know who I am already, but it will certainly make it more difficult for me to stalk ex-boyfriends using this name (NB: kidding! I'll still stalk them.)

Also, as a side note, unrelated to either of those points, I learned how to use a paper bindery-thingy today. And let me say, that I am soooo coool.

A Mishmash of different things


1. I read Away with my book club. I liked it, and so did the roommate. No one else did. It was my first book club meeting, which was interesting. A varied group of people, and just like in class, there are some people who are smarter or more intellectual than others, and you can't tell the others to shut up because they are adding nothing to the discussion. I really liked the girl who was leading the discussion, though. If I remember correctly, she's a teacher.At any rate, you should all read it and let me know what you think.2. A little while ago, Esther Kustanowitz emailed me (and her whole list) a blog posting by XGH about how Esther missed the point in dating. Or she isn't dating correctly. I found his piece to be very interesting (no, seriously) and it made me think about a couple things:A. We're told from childhood that we're "special" and "unique" then we grow up, are thrown into a new environment (often a city, it's easier to date and get married in a small town/small pool) and told to find someone like us. It's a pretty large order, especially for those who don't have a tight-knit community and the automatic filters of Orthodoxy. It can seem so overwhelming, so people HAVE to define boundaries, (like I want someone who covers her hair, but wears pants) if only to be able to start selecting.B. We're also told that we shouldn't "settle," but also that "no one is perfect" and that "people can change" but "you shouldn't try to change someone." So what are we supposed to do? Pick someone whom you like the way that they are, but maybe they could be better, but they have to be pretty good already, or else you're worried that you could "do better." It is all a bit confusing. When people are "too picky" I think it comes from a place of not knowing HOW to choose, and making, sometimes arbitrary decisions.As a corollary to that: while the characteristics that XGH lists (looks, money, family, etc) shouldn't be the only ways that you measure a possible mate, neither should you ignore them. For instance, I have an ex whose family was totally crazy. It wasn't just an issue of when we saw them, but also the example it set for him in terms of interpersonal relationships. He was really nice most of the time, but didn't get that when you're angry, you can't make personal attacks against someone you love. Well, you can, but you shouldn't. It made it impossible for me to be around him anytime that he was frustrated or angry, because I'd be worried that he'd take it out on me. I found myself avoiding conflict, etc, etc. Same sort of deal with looks. If you aren't attracted to someone, you just aren't. That is fine. You shouldn't canonize some ideal of beauty and look for that, but if you happen to have a thing for redheads (as I used to), or smaller women, or whatever, that isn't a bad thing. You have to build a life with someone, and that includes an intimate life. If you aren't attracted to them, your relationship, no matter how spiritual it may be, is not complete*.C. I believe that if you are unmarried up to the age of 30, that it is possible that it just didn't click for you (I also believe that, on some level, everyone has the love life that they want, but we can talk about that later), but after 30 maybe you should start looking at yourself. The longer you stay single, the more set in your ways you get. That said, I'd rather be single at 35 than compromise and marry some guy just for the sake of getting married. XGH and I might disagree on whether or not marriage is an end in an of itself. [...]

At Last My Love, At Last


I went to Chicago. It was beautiful. The weather was warm, but not hot, clear, and gorgeous.

I had two goals:
1) Take public transportation
2) Eat at Ken's

Sadly, I accomplished neither of those things. I was on a business trip, so I either walked or took cabs (but one of my co-workers, who lived in Chi-town gave me the grand tour from the cab), and I ate a lot of salad, but no Ken's. Stupid co-workers who eat stupid treif.

At any rate, I did walk around a lot. I had a drink at the top of the Hancock building (95th floor) and saw all of Chicago laid out for me in lights. I drank some local beer (and non-local tequila) and heard a great deal about aforementioned co-worker's love life. I also spent a lot of time in hotels, in meetings, and in a business suit (which makes me look like an old lady). This, however, was not Chicago's fault.

I called CJ from my hotel room to let him know that I loved the city. His response: "That's nice. You can love it from New York." LAME.

Don't worry though, I am still gathering a group of friends who will all move to Chicago together in a few years. I actually have 10 people who've committed. We'll see how well it works out, seeing as I can't even get anyone to move to the East side.

Oh well. I can dream.

Do you know what happens when a Jew is struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else.


Well, Well, take a look at this:
In short, Halle Berry made an anti-Semitic comment that was poorly edited out on the Tonight Show. Now, I certainly don’t have any problem with the comment itself. Guess what everyone, the secret is out. Some Jews have big noses. As far as negative stereotypes go, there are far worse things to be saddled with. Off the top of my head I’m having trouble remembering them, but I’m sure I’ll think of some as soon as I’m done brushing my teeth of the blood of Christian babies.

No, the real concern here is that Halle’s Berry’s poor decision making has now hemorrhaged out of her ability to pick a good script and into her sense of humor. After Monster’s Ball it has indeed been a slippery slope for Miss Berry; Gothika, Die Another Day, Catwoman, Robots and Perfect Strangers. FACT: If you added up all the dust collected on copies of these films at your local blockbuster you could give the entire state of Texas asthma. Thank goodness for all that good country air.

Oh, and she’s also the weakest link in the X-Men movies.

At least she had enough common sense to ask Leno to cut the bit. What’s kind of damning in all this is her excuse:

"What happened was I was backstage before the show and I have three girls who are Jewish who work for me. We were going through pictures to see which ones looked silly, and one of my Jewish friends said [of the big-nose picture], 'That could be your Jewish cousin!' And I guess it was fresh in my mind, and it just came out of my mouth. But I didn't mean to offend anybody. I didn't. I didn't mean any harm."

Don’t you see? It’s ok, because the joke wasn’t Halle’s at all. It was one of her Jewish friends/assistants. Despite this tired old equation of having “x friend=not prejudicial against x”, I honestly don’t believe that Halle Berry is an anti-Semite. Unlike some other celebrities I could name (but I won’t because it would be apocalyptic…o), Halle Berry doesn’t strike me as having an agenda of any kind. She’s just an actress with a steadily declining career that, in an effort to promote her sub-Paul Haggis Oscar bait, slipped up. I don’t think people should be banned from making off-color comments in service of comedy, especially if they’re satirical. What irks me is that it’s such a staggeringly unfunny bit. Facial photo morphs? Really? Didn’t we all get over this when Goo came out in the early 90’s. I’m not offended as a Jew, I’m offended as a funny person. And believe me, I’m funny. My black friend told me so.

thank me later


First of all, if you have never heard of Dinosaur Comics click this now. Seriously. So hilarious especially for the dorkier set (not to make any judgments on our readership, but I think I am changing lives). I thank my buddy science guy for the revelation. Heres a taste:


PS. alternately, this could just be another thing you all already love, or harley has already posted on, and I could as always just be behind the curve. :)

Smoke, Mirrors, and Sexy Witches


Stop telling me what to do! Seriously, STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!!! "Sexy should be the way you define it--free from peer pressure and the influence of a junk culture." How about free from the endless commentary from all sides about how we should and shouldn't dress ON HALLOWEEN, for hell's sake. Last year (wow, really, a whole year ago), Annie blogged on Jews and Halloween and how we love it (or don't, actually, love it at all). I'm astounded that I didn't blog about Prettyboy's infamous Halloween party or the costuming I witnessed there.For the record, there was more skin there than at market day in a nudist camp. There was even a young woman in assless chaps. 'Nuff said.I went as a gangster, with a cigar and fedora and suspenders. Perhaps my lack of decolletage (and did I mention the assless chaps?) is why Prettyboy claims I dress like a nun (I don't, for the record, dress like a nun). At the time, I thought to myself: I can be sexy without being a sexy nurse or cat or witch. I can even wear pants and be sexy! Plus, it's Halloween! Who cares if I'm sexy (well, um, I did. Prettyboy and I had just started casually dating and I'll admit to wanting to be the hottest chick there. I didn't anticipate assless chaps, but I think I pulled off my own version of hot. My own, much more covered, not purposefully attempting to make that statement, version of hot.)Yet now, upon reading Debra Condren's Huffpost post (redundant), all I want to do is slap on a pair of chaps and go marching through Times Square. Look at my ass! It's Halloween! Woo-hoo!I probably won't, there are appropriate times to remove one's clothing and inappropriate times (no comment from the peanut gallery on this one, please). Likewise, I define how and where I want to be sexy (the answers: in any way I damn well choose and anywhere). I think that's the point. Sexy isn't about what you wear, so all this endless chattering about clothed and unclothed is all distraction from the real issue: the commodification and objectification of women's sexuality. I know, big words, I'm sorry, but it's true. These commentators aren't talking about clothing, they're talking about women. And in only addressing one aspect of a women (her body parts, her outfit), they're removing her humanity. Do the endless commentators on women's dress realize that they're compounding the problem by objectifying us? Condren claims that women are disempowering themselves by wearing revealing clothing on Halloween; that the true way to be empowered is to cover up. Yawn. Wasn't there just a book written on the subject?Once again, it's all how men perceive us: Single and looking? Consider the type of partner you want to attract when you'recontemplating how you'll present yourself to the world, even for just one night.Remember: the brainy, fully-clothed-yet-somehow-mesmerizing-librarian look attracts a totally different animal than does the Playboy Bunny who has nothing substantive to say or do. Think about it. Step out as Tina Tequila and you'll attract a like-minded buffoon.Does no one else see the irony of arguing feminist values from "dress like that and no nice man will want you"?Think about the issue in terms of discussions about hip hop lyrics. Talking heads mouth off endlessly on their crassness and violence, without addressing the race and class politics underlying their creation. It's a way of pretending to talk about the issues without actually [...]