Monday, February 27, 2006

Do YOU know Gladys Kravitz?

A rude, albeit clever comment said something like, "Are you living in a time warp? Are you stuck in the 1960s? How many 20 year olds actually know who Gladys Kravitz is?" I had referred to Gladys Kravitz as the prototypical Yenta, who was a character on Bewitched from mid-60s to early 70s. Right when I read the comment, I remembered part of my Jr HS and HS life trying to figure out some kids.

There is a significant difference between girls who listen to Goyishe music and watch TV for their enjoyment, and those who do so to simply exhibit rebellion, and to ooze "cool." When you ask them to list their favorite artists, they are likely to call on Eminem, Pussycat Dolls, Rhianna, Ciara, Mariah Carey (thinking that she's a new artist, LOL)Beyonce...anything that is cool and played on Z-100 at that given time. If you ask,"Well, what do you know about Billy Joel?" They ask, "Who?" and look bewildered. PLJ plays too much old stuff for them, so they don't want to know all that stuff. After all, walking around singing "Jenny, I've got your number...867-5309..." from Tommy TuTone (however you spell it, LOL) will not deem them as cool. They must be singing, "Oooh, boy you lookin like ya like whatcha see, won't you come over and check up on it, I'ma letchu work up on it..." from Beyonce.

I clearly remember in HS, there was a group of "cool" teenagers singing POD in the hallway. I should have asked them if they knew Elton John's "Candle in the Wind." (either one-the Marilyn Monroe or Princes Di)

It's clear from what someone knows, and what someone listens to, what their true intentions are. They might actually enjoy the music and listen to Classic Rock and old stuff, and rare songs from artists that they like. A few years ago, I had "Vacation" from the Go-Gos stuck in my head. I walked around singing it all the time, people musta thought I made it up. Ya can't really accuse someone who was born in 1985 of trying to be cool when singing a song from that year, or thereabouts.

The same goes for TV. Sure they don't know who Gladys Kravitz is. Because Bewitched is NOT cool. But I'm sure they'll list you all the contestants on American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars. I remember discussion about the Bachelor surrounding me in HS, but luckily the only names I know from there are the tire guy--Firestone, Ryan Sutter, and Trista Rehn. (Was that the Bachelorette? Whatever)They'll be able to tell you what's going on on Desperate Housewives and The OC--(aren't babysitting jobs the best??) But ask them anything about the Cosby Show, or All in the Family (my personal Favorite)or Roseanne, (my other personal favorite) they'll look at you like you're watching the wrong TV.

It's clear who has the genuine interest, and who watches it simply to be considered "cool." When I discuss TV with my people in Brooklyn College, it's clear they have an interest in shows beyond what's on in 2006. Perhaps these young Jewish teenagers use current TV as a tool and nothing more. They need to show that they're not LIKE everyone else. Just because they're wearing a uniform, no boots, no sneakerish shoes, and no stripes on their socks, it doesn't mean that they're just like the kid next to them who doesn't even know about American Idol altogether. (If that's possible, anyway.)

So basically, why familiarize yourself with Mike and Gloria Stivic (WHO??) when you've got Rory and Logan?

Monday, February 20, 2006

I Eat Bugs

I love how these people "in power" make these announcements, and the whole world stops because of it.

So last year (or something) it was the Sheitels. They were made with Indian hair, and all that. So it's Avodah Zarah. Out of the clear blue. One day, someone decided to resurrect this panic from 30 years ago. Sure, people have been wearing sheitels since then, but one day, it wasn't okay anymore. So there was a DAY, one day, where people didn't wear sheitels. They wore hats, they wore snoods, they wore tichels, and the people who wore sheitels felt all guilty about it. But then we never heard from it again, and the very next day, people wore sheitels. Something tells me people just do this to keep life interesting. Oh, and to make money.

Then there's the whole bugs in the water thing. So some guy decided to make a lot of money selling water filters. Because the same water that we have been drinking for years is now infested with Copecods. So every restaurant, bakery, bagel store---anywhere you can buy food, boasts, "we filter our water." I don't wanna get into it because some Rabbanim say you need one, others don't, and it gets all hairy. But it seems to me that there is some CEO in his office laughing at the hysteria.

Finally, there's the whole Romaine lettuce thing. So for all of us who have been eating Dole all this time, suddenly there are tons of bugs? And the powerwashing won't do it? And then you have the battle here, about whether they're visible to the naked eye, and whether that makes a difference. It gives people something to talk about besides other people. I just don't get it though. Some stores still only sell Iceberg, and others have the Romaine (gasp!)lettuce restored with Hechsheirim. Nobody ever told anyone if it was resolved, when, or how. They just appeared in my Kosher supermarket one day. But there are people who still won't eat Romaine lettuce. Oh, and FORGET about fresh broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes...

I don't want to Chas V'shalom express a lack of Kavod for our Gedolim. If they are behind these things, they have good reason.

I do, however, not appreciate the corporate minds, and the "politics" that go on behind the scenes throughout many of these "crises." (You know, the water crisis, the lettuce crisis, the sheitel crisis....)

"Did you see any Romaine in ______? ........Do you filter your water? .........Oh sorry I can't eat in your house...My Rav says this, yours says that....My sheitel is from ________....... Mine is synthetic...."

Somehow, Jewish life in Brooklyn would not be the same without all this juicy watercooler discussion.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Gedolim Cards

Some guy decided to make these “Gedolim cards.” Great. So naïve little me thought, “This is great. This is such a wholesome thing for these kids to get into instead of these perverted pointless baseball and basketball players. They can learn so much from the Gedolim, they’ll familiarize themselves with these important people…” I daydreamed.

But once I heard how the system works, I wasn’t surprised, just disgusted. They are sold in a sealed package, so you have no idea which cards you are getting. You also get an album to fill. The guy made more of some cards, and very few of others, so these kids are forced to continue to buy and trade and extort, because who needs 10 of the same card? And you keep getting the same ones over and over. The goal is to be among the first 5 to complete the album. You turn in your album, and you win a free trip to Israel, a bicycle, a set of Sefarim…and other prizes.

This struck me rather strange. I would think the goal of this is to have the kids focus on people that truly contribute to society and Torah, and once they have the cards, they can learn more about them, and consider them role models. But this twist in the system is typical of the Jewish money-hungry mind. He makes the parents spend a lot of money buying packages of cards. The kids compete with one another. They aren’t collecting them for the right reasons. They only want them so they can turn them in (which is defeating the purpose) for a prize.

That doesn't make any sense to me. He's abusing the fact that the Yeshivish community is more willing to spend money on Jewish themed products. So these mothers are shelling out the big bucks...and it's completely against what it stand for itself. These Gedolim are for simple lives, involved in Torah-not immersed in materialism and all that. I just don't get it.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Not Like I Couldn't Have Told You Myself....

For all you guys who think I'm a total mixed-up bird-here's the proof. User Test: The Orthodoxy  Test.