This week in Tablet Magazine: Come for the cultural appropriation, stay for the grammatical errors!
I am not anti-tattoo. I applaud creative, personal, artistic work. And to address an issue that came up on Twitter: I think it is possible for non-Jews to have thoughtful, well-done, attractive and respectful tattoos in Hebrew. Olympic swimmer Fabien Gilot, in my piece, is an example; his tattoo has actual personal significance, and the lettering is well-done and well-placed.
But to get back to the mockery, here is a bonus (ugly) tattoo, cut from the story because it’s not actually Hebrew: Singer Lily Allen has a Star of David, along with symbols of the other major world religions, tattooed on her wrist. Along with a communist hammer and sickle, a smiley face, a ripoff of Keith Haring’s barking dog, and Homer Simpson’s head. Because of course she does.
Not really. But I did take issue with my colleague Yair Rosenberg’s characterization of a Milwaukee kerfuffle (involving a public school, a sukkah, the definition of the separation of church and state, and the role of the local Jewish Federation). I read the piece while sitting in a miasma of bleach at a Brooklyn hair salon, read the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article that Yair used as his source material, and emailed the powers-that-be at Tablet that I wanted to do a rebuttal. By the time my new lavender-white streak was done, I’d written a response.
What Yair sees as a sinister, demoralizing, defeatist move by Federation I see as a triumph of collaboration and democracy in action. WHOO.
Not Nicolet kids’ sukkah. Our sukkah. Which is ALSO at a private home and not a public school.
Whoops, last week I did a Tablet piece for Yom Kippur about what I’ve learned from doing SorryWatch. I’m sorry I forgot to mention this but you should have known anyway.
I hate thinkexist and goodreads quote lists and all those dumb quotation-compilation sites. THEY LIE LIKE RUGS. If you can’t track down a book, paper or speech in which the person said the thing, ASSUME THE PERSON DID NOT SAY THE THING. And do not pass it along!
I was once quoted in a NYT story about my discovery that neither Plato nor Philo ever said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Somehow someone on some web site decided that *I* had said it, and for a few months, all over the Internet, the line was attributed to ME.
PLEASE CHECK YOUR SOURCES, HUMANITY. [click to continue…]
A pretty personal essay in Tablet magazine this week, about my new ambivalences and anxieties at a time when antisemitism is on the rise. (Again.)
Quick hey. Back in May, SorryWatch (my side project with fellow writer Susan McCarthy) covered the footballer-dickweed’s lousy apology for beating his wife. We also called out the Ravens organization for being supportive of Rice (aka HORRID and VICTIM-BLAMEY) on social media. Given today’s news, I updated the post.
This week’s Tablet magazine column took a look at contemporary YA novels in which being Jewish is part of the characters’ lives, not the whole megillah (as it were). I was interested in contemporary, romantic stories that reflect the lives of most Jewish kids in America today, and therefore do not contain Nazis, neo-Nazis, Cossacks, labor strikes, repressive ultra-Orthodox parents, heavy-handed moral lessons, garden-variety antisemitic assholes, crises of faith or general torment about being Jewish. (Please don’t complain to me about the illustration. I know it contradicts the story.)
Read all these books (links to buy and more importantly, REASONS TO DO SO are in the Tablet piece). I apologize for not having a damn clue how to lay them out horizontally in a nice normal line in WordPress. YOUR MODERN WORLD FRIGHTENS AND CONFUSES ME.
And wait! I have MORE THOUGHTS on Jewy-not-Jewish YA! [click to continue…]
The piece I wrote for Real Simple back in June, about how NOT to apologize, is now online. Feel free to read it and to check out SorryWatch, the wee yet impassioned blog Susan McCarthy and I do together.
From Etsy. Could be yours. Probably should be, if you write about Israel, circumcision, vaccines and banned books. AND BY YOU I MEAN ME.
In Tablet Magazine this week, a look at Mendy and the Golem — “the first kosher comic book,” as its tagline had it. Basically I went off into a research K-hole on the history of Hasidic Jewish comix. It’s fun to explore the ways in which very religious people adapt pop culture for their own purposes; I devoured Daniel Radosh’s Rapture Ready, and once I start watching clean-cut Orthodox boys singing Taio Cruz ripoffs, I am lost in an out-of-body hypnotized Maccabeats spiral.