back to school in a difficult time

by marjorieingall on September 9, 2014

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.)

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ray rice addendum

by marjorieingall on September 8, 2014

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.

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jewy-not-jewish young adult novels

by marjorieingall on September 7, 2014

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.

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And wait! I have MORE THOUGHTS on Jewy-not-Jewish YA!  [click to continue…]

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bad apologies! in real simple!

by marjorieingall on August 12, 2014

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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.

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never read the comments necklace

by marjorieingall on July 25, 2014

From Etsy. Could be yours. Probably should be, if you write about Israel, circumcision, vaccines and banned books. AND BY YOU I MEAN ME.

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mendy and the golem

by marjorieingall on July 24, 2014

198385_370715419685475_218560746_nIn 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.

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…it would be a piece about Jewish parents choosing not to circumcise.

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more bylines!

by marjorieingall on June 19, 2014

1. Tablet magazine column on why Jewish camp is so “sticky,” as they say. (It’s not the bug juice.)

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(I do not think these children are Jews.)

2. Real Simple piece on how hiring a home organizer is better than couples therapy. In the July issue, doesn’t seem to be online.

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Read whatever you want. (Except for dumb articles in Slate.) But you should TOTALLY feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children. Let me tell you how I know this. I read three used books from the 25 cent bin while standing up in a thrift store waiting for my daughter to finish looking at small purses shaped like monkeys. And I had a revelation: Children’s literature SUCKS.

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These books are very didactic and have ugly art. My daughter’s boredom with small monkey-shaped purses could not happen quickly enough! Therefore, I must extrapolate with my powerful powers of extrapolation that ALL children’s books are didactic and have ugly art. Children’s literature is about escapism, instant gratification and nostalgia, and also sniffing ammonia.

I don’t know why you’d think there was any value in Where the Wild Things Are or Sylvester and the Magic Pebble or The Snowy Day or Corduroy or Press Here or The Arrival or Bread and Jam for Frances or Stellaluna or Eloise or I Want My Hat Back! or The Carrot Seed or Harold and the Purple Crayon or The Maggie B or One Morning in Maine or Not a Box or Flotsam or The Red Book. Because I have read THREE PICTURE BOOKS while standing in front of a rack of teeny rashguards, so I know that all children’s books are bad. Also, what’s all this fuss about violins on television? We should have MORE violins on television! I saw that Leonard Bernstein concert and it was just lovely!

Sure, some might find it strange when a very young woman like myself sounds like she’s channeling an unholy combination of Emily Litella and the Church Lady (references I’m sure I don’t know because I am so dewy, which is probably due to the clean New England air that filled my not-at-all-intolerant-or-ill-informed youthful lungs). Some might think, “Wait! Isn’t ANY form of literature a wide tent? If a person doesn’t like two or three books within a given genre, whether that genre is YA lit, children’s books, fantasy, true crime, sci-fi, romance or literary fiction, does that mean he or she can make sweeping unintentionally comedic Gilda-Radner-esque judgments about ALL the books in that genre?” Oh sure, some might argue that when a person cites The Westing Game and Tuck Everlasting as examples of the given genre she is disdaining, books that are actually MIDDLE-GRADE NOVELS AND NOT YOUNG ADULT BOOKS, i.e. NOT the ostensible genre she is critiquing, she reveals the great gaping depths of her cluelessness.

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SOME might say that. But look over there! A giant!

So my point is this: Children’s books only lead to children becoming hoarders, frightening animals and disassembling electronic devices. You can read this genre if you want, or tell yourself this genre has value or whatever, but you’re wrong. Wait, I didn’t mean YOU, I meant all the other people doing what you’re doing.

My ignorance is my security object.

 

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today’s byline news

by marjorieingall on May 28, 2014

I have a piece in the current (June) issue of Real Simple about apologies (thank you, SorryWatch!) — it’s not online, alas. I have a piece coming up in the July issue, too. I’ll post about that when it’s on newsstands, but for now let us say that I am amused by my own damn self.

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