Friday, December 16, 2005
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Are Men Afraid Of Smart Women?
A woman from Sherman Oaks writes the Jewish Journal:
Your article on “A Single Problem” described my sitation as an intellgient single woman very accurately (Dec. 9). However, you only begin to touch upon the problem with Jewish men. In my experience, men say they would like a smart woman, but, in reality, do not. I find most men don’t really know what do to with an intelligent woman. I can tell you endless stories of dates where the lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc. did not have one intelligent word come out of their mouths. I am also very Jewish — I cannot wait until I have a family I can make Shabbat dinner for. Men don’t seem to be very interested in that either. I am not tall; I am not blonde. But, if I have to go on what the e-mails in my JDate account tell me, I am attractive. I am independent, make more money than most of the men I date, have my priorities straight and can fix things around the house (another skill I find most Jewish men lacking in). Did I mention I cook, too? I am all of the things men say they want, and then, when I am standing in front of them, they don’t know what do to.
I am 34, and yes, I feel my biological clock ticking. It absolutely pains me to say this, but I am starting to think I might have to have a child on my own or look for someone outside of my faith. I still have hope of finding my beshert, but that hope is dwindling.
I believe this woman is deluding herself. As smart woman Cosmopolitan18 has written, men and women end up with mates equal to them in intelligence (and other qualities). If there was a sizable difference in IQ, we would go crazy. What men (and other women) don't like is a woman who competes with him and feels the need to show off her intelligence. Like religion, intelligence is best carried lightly.
Most singles (men and women) I know who are in their thirties are unhappy about being single, but it is the women who overwhelmingly believe themselves superior to their male peers, and blame the men for their spinsterhood. Women display an inflated sense of their own worth vis-a-vis their male peers because deep down their greatest fear is that they are not worthy of love (while a man's greatest fear is that he is not competent).
I agree with women (and Jewish Journal editor Rob Eshman) that there are far more impressive single women in their thirties than men that age. Men (with few exceptions) only become impressive after marriage. Men alone fall apart and underachieve. Bachelors tend to be bizarre, anti-social, superficial, eccentric, and accident-prone. Without a wife and family to support, men tend to feel empty and worthless (at least this one often does, which is why he blogs so much).
Chaim Amalek writes:
If these women are so beautiful, then why didn't some guy snag them? And if they are so smart, then why did they let themselves age into their 30s and 40s without a husband?
You don't see far less well educated shiksas making that mistake.
These women were badly raised. Their mothers needed to warn them that men are looking for healthy young fertile women to bear and raise their children, not women with careers just like men.
Every woman should realize that a great rack and trim waist count for more than an MBA.
Bottom line: if women spend their most fertile (and sexually attractive) years working on their careers or education, they do NOT get anything on the back end to make up for the march of time. This is THE fundamental truth that women need to have drummed into their heads.
We need a new form of sex education that apprises girls of these fundamental facts. Otherwise we get smart women, foolish choices. The better course of action for a woman is to marry young (like 19 or 20), have a bunch of kids fast, raise them, and then go for a career in their mid to late forties. Such a plan would be consonant with what nature intends.
Amy Klein writes a sweet column:
I am a woman who left New York City — a giant metropolis of millions of people and millions of square miles — just because it reminded me too much of my ex-boyfriend: That street in Times Square where he first surprised me and kissed me; that restaurant on 14th Street where he told me he needed some space; the green chess bench on the Lower East Side where he kissed me one last time and told me he wanted me back; that club on the Upper West Side, where, years later, after a broken engagement (his), he drunkenly confessed he still loved me; that cafe in the Village the next day where he denied it all and blamed it on the wine. In the end, it had seemed like the whole city was a backdrop — scenery created solely for our relationship — so when that was over, I fled. I just couldn’t bear it.
The Ghosts of Luke's Future Warn Luke
Luke's hidden imam, Chaim Amalek, writes Dec 12:
If there is a God, He is showing Luke His favor by bringing to him Three Archetypes to close out his dating decades:
1. The haughty intellectual. In the nick of time, Luke sees that notwithstanding her pretensions to being a fellow traveler of the Jews or even a convert, she is still a haughty intellectual, and never would be able to abide by Luke's lack of credentials or decision not to engage in respectable work.
2. The strangely tolerant Israeli...
3.The young shiksa goddess with the heart of gold. Amazingly, not only does she fully accept Luke's career choices, she accepts his poverty and is as willing to support him just as her mother has been willing to support her father throughout his career as a writer. She adores Luke, but frets that they have no future.
Is not the choice crystal clear? In Young Shiksa Goddess Luke has everything he might rationally get from women, and in ONE woman: youth, fertility, mental solidity, intelligence, fine genes (better than Luke's), a clean vagina, a lovely and supportive family, professional connections, money, tolerance, and genuine love. A package neither the rapacious Israeli nor the Haughty Intellectual were ever about to offer Luke.
And yet Luke, Michael Jackson-like juvenile that he fashions himself to be, refuses to see the truth, and conspires to sabotage this, what may be his last chance for happiness in life. The countdown to 40 is underway, and the young women of FNL have already begun to sound the Tocsin against you, Luke. You must choose to become a man. You must choose Holly. We, the living Ghosts that are Amalek, Fred N, and Marc W are the Jewish Ghosts of Luke Future. Heed our warning! Either you join Holly in wedded bliss, or you join us. We've prepared a seat for you at our table.
Keep Hope Alive
Chaim Amalek writes Dec 15:
I fear that Luke's capacity for self-sabotage is once again coming to the fore. His report on some sort of internet shenanigans at...places him at odds with Holly's family, which would appear to be a rather close knit clan of people. Forced to choose, at this early stage, between Life with Luke and hearth and home, I fear that sweet Holly will choose the latter.
Let us stand back and consider Mr. Ford's immediate prospects. Tiffany is engaged. Arab Jewess seems to have dropped off Luke's radar for reasons that mystify. Veronica has been driven off for ideological reasons. If Luke alienates Holly, he he will be that much more likely to face a future in the near term in which the doors to Friday Night Live are shut in his face. He risks being extruded from the gene pool, thereby betraying all of his ancestors.
If I were you, Luke, I would send Holly some flowers, say something really nice about her Mom and Pop on your web sites, and take her to that place where that nice man set you up with a nice tab. Talk to her about your serious plans for the future, and her importance to you in it. There's still hope.
Chaim writes Dec 11:
The French have no future, because they admitted millions of hostile Muslim immigrants to do their work and because they were too busy having fun to have children.
Germany has no future, because the Germans traded their Jews for Turks.
The Republican Party has no future, because it traded secure borders for Mexicans.
Secular Jews in this country have no future as secular Jews, for similar reasons.
But you and Holly DO have a future - if you but embrace it, and play the traditional male role as the pursuer of the woman. Tell her you love her, that you need her, that the two of you, while different, can make it work just as it worked out between her mom and dad. You the fussy intellectual, she the bread-winner. You the spiritual searcher, she the materialist.
You and the Elles of the world? No present and no future. You and the Veronica's of the world? No future for her overeducated kind, so certainly none combined with you. But you and Holly. . . there is where the future can take root.
I'm Learning A New Way To Communicate
After six months of silence, I sent a Bible joke to someone important in my life ("Every man thinks he's marrying Rachel but he wakes up with Leah"). The problem is that there aren't many low-hanging Bible jokes/insights that this person has not already devoured. So if you've got any lying around, send them my way. In a perfect world, I'd send him a Bible joke a day.
A friend writes:
It’s not a Bible joke, but here goes:
What does a Jewish wife say when she wakes up and looks at herself in the mirror?
“He got what he deserved!”
I Took A Levitra And Studied Levinas
It's the worst thing you can do for your love life (aside from drink-and-dial).
Now I know that what I desire is wrong. It's all so clear now. Women are not just disposable parts of the male sexual economy. Eroticisms of voluptuosity are inauthentic face-to-face [doggie is a verboten because it is so animalistic] relationships that tarnish the purity of erotic love. (B.C. Hutchence, Levinas: A Guide for the Perplexed)
But I'm not content with such an insight. I want to go deeper. I want to get into French-Belgium feminist Luce Irgaray who opposes the view that the female is "brought into a world not her own so that the male lover may enjoy himself and gain strength for his voyage toward an autistic transcendence."
I completely followed that sentence until running smack into the word "autistic." I thought that meant retarded and I don't know what retarded transcendence means unless it is hot sex with someone whose IQ is below 80.
Irigaray argues that Levinas "knows nothing of communion in pleasure" where there's "immediate ecstasy" between lovers.
Me neither, Emmanuel.
Emmanuel Levinas -- does he allow for the erotic?
According to Irigaray: "Although [Levinas] takes pleasure in caressing, he abandons the feminine other, leaves her to sink, in particular into the darkness of a psuedoanimality, in order to return to his responsibility in a world of men-amonst-themselves."
Levinas argues that there are two types of erotic relationships. There's the atheistic kind where the partners mutually satisfy their selfish desires. Such eroticism is merely the play of self-interested carnality, and we wouldn't want that.
Female erotic nudity is but an "inverted signification," a "clarity converted into ardor and night." Wouldn't want that either.
The women reveals her nudity to hide her feminity.
"One plays with the Other as with a young animal."
Because I can't figure out the meaning other type of erotic relationship according to Levinas, I'll probably never taste it.
From now on, when I study philosophers on love, I'm sticking to Air Supply.
ChaimAmalek: I saw the Museum of Natural History's new Darwin exhibit (you don't get things like that in LA, do you?). Did you know he married his first cousin and had ten kids with her? ChaimAmalek: So first cousing f---ing can work out.
Luke: Yes, there's a famous book about it
ChaimAmalek: The torah?
Luke: The Moral Animal by Robert Wright
ChaimAmalek: Ah, I have it somewhere.
ChaimAmalek: Arabs love to do that. ChaimAmalek: And have tons of kids. Maybe a certain degree of consanguinity and fecundity are linked.
Luke: I fear that Emmanuel Levinas does not make room for the erotic
ChaimAmalek: Levinas sounds like another in that regretably long line of Jews whom over-educated goyim fall for hook, line, and sinker. Marx and Freud being two of the more recent ones. Along with all those Hollywood Juden.
ChaimAmalek: I read that Elizabeth Hayt's introductory sex column in the Post yesterday.
ChaimAmalek: Yet ANOTHER such column by a woman. email@example.com She waited too long..... You should write her, seduce her via email, then share her emails with us when it is over. She does not look at all hot.
Luke: what does "autistic transcendence" mean?
ChaimAmalek: It means the author likely is a feminist.
ChaimAmalek: It's like "fecal luminescence" or "paranoid sexual prototensor." It's bad; it means the author is a crazy feminist who likely owns cats.
ChaimAmalek: you date her next?
ChaimAmalek: It won't work.
ChaimAmalek: You just can't feign respect for it
ChaimAmalek: This s--- is painful to read.
ChaimAmalek: This is what happens to women who neglect to f---, get pregnant, bear the kid live, and raise him.
ChaimAmalek: Abortion, cats, feminism, madness.
ChaimAmalek: The one good thing I have to say about this sort of feminism is that if it did not exist, these people would be blowing themselves up in public places.
Why so many excellent bloggers in LA?
Joseph Mailander of Martini Republic writes to Cathy Seipp:
The situation is just like any other cultural situation in Los Angeles: musicians, playwrights, actors, and yes, now, bloggers (who are simply writers), are all here in fabulous surfeit because the choices are either here or NY, and most would rather simply starve than both starve and freeze. As 95% of all actors are not working for pay at their craft at any given moment, so too 95% of all writers.
As to the Times institituonal relationship to the blogosphere---they're simply wetting their pants, one easily sees, both in print and in personal contact. So they keep trying to diminish bloggers as a different, lesser type of writer. (Indeed, the ungainly slug "Outside the Tent" announces as much).
Three weeks ago I was right smack downtown going south on the Harbor, and a Times scribe called me up. To yell at me. For excerpting a single sentence from an email he sent me and putting it up on in comments at a site. (I didn't even mention his name as the email sender, I just said, "Times scribe"). But he went off, and it was just like Lynn was yelling at me. He didn't want anyone at the Times to know that he even was occasionally emailing mere bloggers. I was all the way to the 105 and he still wasn't finished.
Bottom line: the Times isn't pleasing anybody in the blogosphere right now, because it feels it can't afford to. It feels very threatened that 95% of the best writers in town on any given moment aren't writing for it and now can publish their thoughts to an appreciative audience any time they like. There's absolutely nothing they can do about this situation; they can celebrate, they can patronize, they can diminish, they can hector; but nothing changes the levelling brought on by self-publishing. People who like to read will gravitate, more and more, to the 95%, who have a greater shot at aligning with their own temperaments; and as more writers recognize that they have all the gravitational pull, they'll feel better about themselves as standalones in the blogosphere, and less and less obsessed with what goes on at the Times.
Robert Newmyer, 49; Independent Producer Made Two Dozen Films
Robert F. Newmyer, a prolific independent film producer who worked on "sex, lies and videotape," "Training Day" and "The Santa Clause" movies, died Monday while on location in Toronto. He was 49.
Newmyer, a partner in Outlaw Productions, was an industry veteran with more than two dozen film credits.
The news of his sudden death — caused by a heart attack that had been triggered by an asthma attack while working out at a Toronto gym, according to friends — spread quickly through the entertainment industry, in which he was well-known for his passion for filmmaking.
...Although his production company at one point had a long-term deal with Warner Bros. — for which he produced the Denzel Washington-vehicle "Training Day," among other movies — he also was working on such eclectic fare as "The Lost Boys of Sudan," a film about refugees of the Sudanese civil war.
I interviewed Newmyer for an hour in 2002. That shows you how important I am.
What do you think is the single worst idea in history?
Author Peter Watson says: "Without question, ethical monotheism. The idea of one true god. The idea that our life and ethical conduct on earth determines how we will go in the next world. This has been responsible for most of the wars and bigotry in history."
NYT: "But religion has also been responsible for investing countless lives with meaning and inner richness."
Peter: "I lead a perfectly healthy, satisfactory life without being religious. And I think more people should try it."
Challenges in Shidduch Dating or Why Does He Want to Know if She Wears Open Toe Shoes?
That's Rabbi Dale Polakoff's topic for the Dec. 22-25 OU West Coast Torah Convention. The theme for the weekend is "The Polarization of Orthodox Judaism."
Three Cynical Jews Warm Their Hearts At A Black Church
10:30am, Dec. 11. Cathy Seipp calls me from her cell phone. She's parked outside with her sulky mumbly 16-year old daughter Maia Lazar (takes her father's last name). They've both been to church twice before in their entire lives.
I come out (carrying the black leather King James Bible my parents gave me in 1975) and we drive five minutes to the Church of Christ in God at 3600 Crenshaw Blvd in South-Central Los Angeles.
I have a nightmare vision of Cathy and Maia finding Jesus today so I carefully instruct them not to rise when first-time visitors are asked to do so. I don't want them signed up for any Christian literature or prayer circles. I am adament that when the preacher makes the call for all those who want to accept Jesus Christ to come on down to the front that my two friends stay rooted to their seats.
Maia plans to get a divorce so she can be like her mother.
She's perfected the habit of mumbling questions to matters you've just answered in your past sentence. For instance, when I say, "The church is at 3600 Crenshaw Blvd in South-Central," Mail responds, "Where is the church?"
When I say, "It is the evangelical Church of God in Christ," Maia asks, "What type of church is it?"
Inside the church, I bombard Cathy with cynical comments to fight off the intense love and God-intoxication (unlike anything I've experienced in 99% of synagogues though I believe in the divinity of Judaism and have no such belief in any other religion).
Shortly after Bishop Charles E. Blake asks those who want to accept Jesus to raise their hands, I see Cathy's right hand sneaking upwards. I panic and yell at her. She assures me that she only wants to scratch her ear.
Bishop Blake recalls that as a young man at a conference, Dr. Robert Schuller took him under his wing (causing the other clergy to wonder "Who's that Negro with Robert Schuller?").
Blake freely uses the terms "Black" and "Negro," but never "African-American."
Throughout the two-hour-service service, Maia looks pointedly bored, asks Cathy a series of disconnected questions about priories, and repeatedly signals to know what time it is. Perhaps it is the strain of being a few minutes late to her brother's trumpet recital that has thrown her for a loop.
Cathy and I generally ignore her.
My final cynical jabs at Maia during the altar call finally jolt her out of her depression and she smiles for the first time all day and becomes human.
My friends pay for church (enclosing a $5 donation, $25 each is suggested) and then I pay for lunch at a kosher restaurant on Pico Blvd.
I take Maia under my wing, treat her like a mentally retarded niece and order for her. She likes that.
I suggest Maia go to the Black Wilberforce University in Ohio (the oldest black university in America).
Wearing my black undertaker suit, I try to hide my Christian Bible as I walk home.
Jesus be praised, the Dallas Cowboys beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-28.
Where, you overpaid fools, was Little Green Footballs?
Cathy Seipp writes in The LAT:
"Politics runs heavy too," staff writer Scott Martelle wrote, "with intense, phlegm-flecked rants…." That would be spittle, obviously, in such an instance, not phlegm, and thanks a lot for making me stop to consider the difference. Then there's his strange reporting and analysis. "Blogging has yet to break out of its relatively small corner of the Internet," he (mis)informs readers. "Only about 5% of all adults contribute to blogs."
I'd guess that also less than 5% appear on TV or write for magazines, so are these enterprises therefore minor corners of the media world?
Staff writers at The Times often turn in very little copy (one story a week is not atypical), which means some are getting paid around $2,000 per mediocre, grudging piece. Wouldn't it be better to spend that money on freelancers (or bloggers!) who, if they can't work themselves up into something worth reading, don't get paid? Let the heads roll, I say.
Phrases I Could Live Without
[So-and-so] reminds the reader...
[So-and-so] goes on to say...
Levinas writes sagaciously...
The way in which... [Just use "The way..."]
In order to... [Just use "to."]
We don't have a future. [Darling, just concentrate on whatever we have that's good in the present.]
Quit! Stop that! Don't! Stop that! Don't...Stop that!...Don't...Don't...Don't stop. Don't stop! Oh, don't stop!
Brokeback Mountain - It's a universal love story!
Mike writes: "Every single review I've seen goes out of its way to characterize it as a universal love story with characters that just happen to be gay."
I don't like to see movies (or read books) about homosexuals (or alcoholics or drug users or cross-dressers etc). The subject makes me queer. I think all movies that show two men kissing should have big fat warnings on them. I don't know how many movies I've rented because they are supposed to be wonderful love stories or highly erotic and it turns out that they're gay.
The only way I'll voluntarily view such material is if my young hot heterosexual date promises me certain rewards for so doing. But then, to get that, I'll do almost anything (not prohibited by the Torah).
Remembering Meir Kahane
The founder of the violent Jewish Defense League was born Aug. 1, 1932 (29th of Tamuz) and murdered Nov. 5, 1990 (18th of Heshvan 5750).
He is the subject of book Robert Friedman's book "The False Prophet." Stephen Green reviews:
True, the cast of characters immediately around Kahane who people his primary creations, the Kach party in Israel and the earlier Jewish Defense League (JDL) in America, are the incompetent, demented rejects and misfits you would expect in groups which shoot and firebomb those with whom they disagree, frequently killing and maiming innocent bystanders in the process. Blind hate is not terribly complex and ultimately not very interesting.
As with any terrorist group, however, it is not the principals themselves but the environment in which they develop and thrive, the direct and indirect source of support, which get--or should get--our attention. And in this respect, The False Prophet is a well written, worthy effort. It is also repeatedly, purely shocking.
In December 1969, Israeli Knesset member and Gahal Party official Geula Cohen travels to New York to convince Kahane that the focus of JDL’s violence in America should not be blacks and their organizations, but the officials and facilities of the Soviet Union, which represses Jewish activists at home. Over the next two years, a small covert group of Israelis plans, directs and funds a campaign of bombings and shootings in the U.S. and Europe, culminating in the firebombing of concert impresario Sol Hurok’s office in Manhattan, in which a 27-year-old female secretary is killed. The members of the directorate of this operation, who move frequently between Israel and Kahane’s headquarters in New York, include Cohen, Tehiya Party Official Pessach Mor, future Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, and several top officers of Mossad.
In May 1973, Kahane, from Israel, writes an associate in New York that... “if we can’t get someone to shoot a Russian diplomat (anyone), we are Jewish pigs and deserve what we get.” In another letter he instructs a high school-aged female and JDL member to arrange for her teacher to invite a Soviet diplomat to her school to speak so that a JDL hit team could assassinate him. She is to phone the press afterward to take credit, “if no innocent person is killed.” The Israeli military intercept these and other similar letters, and Kahane is subsequently arrested and convicted in Israel for conspiring to commit acts of violence in a foreign country. He is released with a suspended sentence. U.S. authorities take the matter more seriously, and revoke Kahane’s probation stemming from an earlier felony conviction for manufacturing fire bombs. Kahane’s attorney produces as character witnesses the chief of the cancer division of a New York hospital, a prominent local rabbi and several persons flown from Israel at the expense of (then) Herut Party chief Menachem Begin.
Friedman names the names in this book, of people who have assisted and continue to assist Kahane’s acts of mindless violence. And they are names you will recognize. They are entertainers who assisted with rallies, the intelligence communities in two countries (in the early days) and American industrialists who have provided Kahane’s various little groups with their operating funds.
Even more surprising are those who violate the canons of their own professions to help Kahane on his way—judges in both Israel and America who continue to issue suspended sentences for conviction after conviction, fellow orthodox rabbis who take no internal action against a self-admitted adulterer, IRS officials who do not revoke the tax-exempt status of front organizations used openly to raise funds for the political campaigns of the Kach Party, and most galling of all to me, newspaper editors (notably the New York Times) who alter the texts of articles to protect the man.
Friedman traces Kahane’s gradual descent into paranoia and his fascination with ever more extreme forms of violence and instruments of political action. By the mid-1980s, Kahane was openly calling for the “liquidation” of liberal Jews in columns written for a New York Jewish publication, and was giving speeches in Israel in which he referred ominously to the need to take care of the Arabs “once and for all.” The JDL had by this time become too tame, too “liberal” for Kahane’s taste. What was needed, he told his inner circle, was a network of small covert cells which were trained in assassination.
But it is not Friedman’s exposure of Kahane’s actions of dementia which have landed him in trouble with many reviewers in the “mainstream” press. It is those names, and that support from that same mainstream, particularly in Israel and in the American Jewish community, so carefully detailed in the book.
One does not complete a reading of The False Prophet without wondering why Kahane is shown such tolerance, and whether, if his cause were American nationalism, or Irish or Puerto Rican or any other than what it is, he would be allowed to walk the streets a free man.
Rabbi Kahane had a big platform in the New York Orthodox Jewish paper The Jewish Press. In its December 9, 2005 issue, it prints a couple of glowing tributes to Kahane. Yeshiva University graduate Elliot Resnick writes:
Unfortunately, fifteen years and more than 1,300 Jewish deaths later, Israelis still seem to lack Kahane`s sense of urgency. Rather than take action, they utter the inane phrase "It will be good" like an incantation that will magically transform their reality. Is such complacency in order? Or has the time perhaps come for Israelis to reexamine Kahane`s ideas in light of all that’s occurred since his death — and, at long last, do something?
Shelle Benveniste, South Florida Editor, writes in The Jewish Press: "Rabbi Meir Kahane...was a talmid chacham [scholar], erudite and one heck of a tough Jew."
Meir Kahane was a false prophet. He was the equivalent of Jacob Frank and Sabbatai Zevi, offering Jews a false hope. That much of what he proposed (such as imprisonment for Jews who swam in Israeli beaches with non-Jews) was sanctioned by Torah law shows how deep the moral problems are in Jewish law.
Kahane was a sexual predator (not with children). He preyed on vulnerable women. One with whom he was having an adulterous affair threw herself off a bridge and almost died in 1967. The New York Times covered up the story.
Kahane prowled the streets for prostitutes. His knowledge of Talmud was shallow. He had no patience for sitting and studying texts. He was a rabblerouser. His spiritual descendents include mass murderer Baruch Goldstein and agitator Irv Rubin.
In my experience of Orthodox Judaism, from talking to people to reading pamphlets and books, those who comment favorably on Kahane outnumber those who speak against Kahane by about five-to-one. This reflects a growing tribalism in Orthodox Judaism, the abandonment of universalistic ethics, and a hatred of the outside world.
Everything Is Illuminated
Chaim Amalek writes me:
As I see it, everything is coming together in your life at this time. You are at a key nexus among divergent paths, with the correct way fully illuminated. Your rejection by the young Jewesses at FNL; the dire warnings concerning the Jewess...; your contretemps with the increasingly irritating.... All against the backdrop of...'s welcoming...
It's as if the heavens themselves were guiding you on the path you must take in life. It isn't a conventional path for a Torah Jew such as yourself to be sure, but then what about Luke Ford is conventional?
Luke Unchains The Agunot
I'm reading Chaim Grade's novel The Agunah and I realize that I can no longer stand by while women are suffering. If you are chained to a husband who has refused you a Jewish divorce, email me and I'll send you back a bill of divorcement so you can remarry. I fear that it takes someone of my stature in the religious world to tackle this great problem.
Rabbi David Wolpe: 'What Would You Be?'
Friday Night Live. Temple Sinai in Westwood. 7:10pm.
I see a couple of FNL volunteers I know and strike up a conversation. Neither of them offer my the flyer they're giving to everyone else. Finally I force the issue and ask for it. It's a list of coming ATID (for Jews 21-39) events.
"This is not for your age group," says the young woman who gave my memoir to New Orleans relief.
"Excuse me," I said, as Rabbi David Wolpe walked past, leaving his office for the sanctuary. "I'll be 39 until May 28, 2006."
"Uh oh," she replied. "This is going to end up on your blog."
I turn away and talk to an acquaintance of mine. About 15-years ago, this Russian immigrant was working in his parent's store when some black men entered and beat him severely with pipes. He almost died.
He was left crippled in body and soul.
He has to make arduous journeys by bus from the Valley to get to events such as tonight's. Sometimes he'll have to wait over an hour for the next bus.
Over the past 12 years, I've looked out for him and explained away his social foupes to those not in the know.
Tonight I ask him how he's been.
"Not good," he says. "Everybody is single in LA. The FBI runs tests on people. They tell you, 'How many Jews and Germans can you fit in a Volkswagen? 24. Two Germans in the front seats, two in the back seat, and 20 Jews in the ashtray.' If you object to the joke, they sterilize you. They sterilize the drinking water."
He went on in this delusional track. I'm horrified. I had no idea how mentally ill he was. After five minutes of trying to disabuse him of these beliefs, I walk away depressed.
I sit behind four cute Persian women in their early 20s but my mind is on God and His moral demands. The greater the temptation, the higher my Torah observance.
Rabbi Wolpe notes that the most common question we ask someone after learning their name is "What do you do?"
He suggests that tonight we ask each other, "What would you do (if you were not in your current job)?" He instructs us to ask a stranger.
I ask the Persian girls. The pharmacist says she'd be a magician. I say I'd be a literary novelist.
On the bima (platform), cantor Craig Taubman whispers to Rabbi Wolpe, "I wonder how Luke would answer the question."
9pm. I try to get into the ATID afterparty. The man at the door asks me my age. I indignantly insist I'm 39.
If my twink appeal is fading this quickly, I don't exactly see why I should spend $8 a week on Grecian Formula.
Over Shabbos, I gave up on Levinas: A Guide for the Perplexed (anything written by or about the French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas is a waste of time, if you want some face-to-face communication, and you're a hot woman, don't waste your time with this tripe, email me for the real thing), and finished The Rise Of David Levinsky (starts awkwardly with cliches, seems like an inferior version of What Makes Sammy Run?, then it gains steam, like me when I'm getting some attention).
The Chronicles Of Narnia
Chaim Amalek writes: "This cute new CS Lewis movie, The Chronicles of Narnia, will do more for Christianity than any of Steven Spielberg's movies has ever done for the Jews."
The Levinas Society
Their motto is: "Where "two" is greater than "three"!"
As Dennis Prager notes, depth is inversely proportionate to the number of people in the conversation.
Who wrote this crap introducing the Levinas Society? Webmaster/ English grad student Sol Neely.
This is pretentious: "working toward effecting the ethical..."
"As new generations of young scholars continue..." If they are new generations, then they will be young. "Continue" is a lame verb.
This whole sentence sucks: "As new generations of young scholars continue to comment on Levinas' insights and develop the work of his translators and exegetes, the need for a broad society aimed at coordinating the important work occurring throughout the Americas is clearly evident."
"prolific interest..." Prolific is not the right word to modify interest.
"The multiple purposes..." Of course "purposes" are multiple...
"(1) to assemble an organizational structure for the purposes of coordinating society activities;" Such crap writing.
"face to face with one another..." Of course it will be "with one another" in that context. Superflous.
"mutually edifying and social atmosphere..." Sounds like a circle jerk.
Levinas was not a Talmudic scholar. He used the Talmud as a pretext to teach his own worldly philosophy.
Chaim Amalek writes: "I think the Levinas Society is a joke. The announcement reads like a parody of academic gobbledygook. You should cut and paste it, use it for something."
If the Levinas Society website is not a joke, but rather a message shaped for its audience, what does that tell you about the audience?
The Levitras Society for the Analytical Deconstruction of Penile Dysfunction
Based on the pioneering work of Frankfort School Dielectician Yonah Shimmel.
Scholars across the disciplines are pleased to announce the formation of The Levitras Society. Inspired by Lithuanian-born philosopher and Talmudic commentator Yonah Shimmel (1906-1995) and contemporary Levitras scholarship, we propose developing a formal society to coordinate and enhance critical work and collaboration across the pornographic disciplines. The goal of this society is to facilitate a broad and dynamic community of persons working toward effecting the ethical in political, feminist, religious, critical, literary, pedagogical and philosophical realms.
Iranian Threats are the Real Deal
Chaim Amalek writes:
What is the reaction within your respective communities to recent statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for the eradication of Israel? These statements followed others by Iran's Grand Supreme Religious leader calling for Iran to develop atomic weapons and then use them against the Jewish State, again with the same aim. Say what you will about these people, they say what they mean and mean what they say.
Also, they seem to be getting smarter. Why wasn't Israel established on German soil after WW 2? After all, it was the German state that was to blame for the Holocaust, so why put Israel on Arab soil? (Yes, I know religious Zionists have an obvious retort to this argument, but most of the Larry David/Barbra Walters/AVN-type Jews cannot make use of that line of reasoning, given their general disbelief in Torah.)
Is it too much to hope that Steven Spielberg manages to melt their cold Muslim hearts with his cinema before it is too late?
From what I have read, Israeli aircraft do not have the range to mount a sustained air compaign against Iran, which, given the number and dispersal of Iran's facilities, is what would be required. And even then it isn't clear that they'd be able to knock it out. Iran is much larger, more distant, and stronger than was Iraq when Israel attacked it a quarter century ago, and is not preoccupied with a war (the Iran-Iraq war). Unlike the Iraqis, who had essentially one key facility, the Iranians have gone deep and dispersed their nuclear assets all over. Some things you just can't destroy with conventional weapons delivered air, and it is pretty certain that American soldiers are not going to be sent in to do this from the ground. Of course, the IDF might be permitted to fly from American bases in Iraq, but that will make things pretty messy for us, and it still might not work.
As for the logic of putting Israel in the mideast, what is the moral logic, if you are a secular Jew - that the Torah, a book most secular Jews regard as a fable, says "this land is your land"? Secular Jews don't believe in Torah, and if you don't believe in Torah, so what if there once was some sort of Jewish state there 25 centuries back? The Arabs were not responsible for the Holocaust, the Germans were. Would it not have made more sense to carve Israel out of German territory, as compensation for what they did? Maybe Stalin could have been prevailed upon to turn those portions of German soil that he handed over to the Poles to the Jews instead, with New Jerusalem where Berlin or Breslau or Konigsberg once stood, and we'd not have this terrible mess in the middle east.
Israel represents too many Jewish ova in one tiny basket that can be incinerated with just a handful of nuclear weapons - and Iran is eager to do the job.
Free advice for CBS News: Forget Katie
She’s a former cutie who’s been temporarily retooled into a glamour puss. She’s pushing fifty. She’s not going to age well, physically or emotionally. And people don’t like to work with her.
My Response To Jeff Wald's Lawsuit
Wald's complaint and my attorney's response filed this week.
Cathy Seipp's 39th Birthday Nov 17
I'd wondered why I hadn't heard back from Cathy in a few weeks and I was trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Tonight I suddenly realized I had forgotten her birthday (unlike the kindly Lewis Fein who always takes her out for a nice meal) November 17. Perhaps you too had forgotten her 39th birthday.
My friend Tiffany Stone is engaged. Mazol tov to the lucky guy!
Peter Braunstein and the Lure of Rogue Celebrity
I'd never encountered that term, 'rogue celebrity,' until Dawn Eden used it in a phone conversation with me night before last, and I realized it was a pitch-perfect way to describe much of my recent thinking, and hers as well, about Peter Braunstein.
How to Win a Man's Heart and How to Turn it to Stone
Claudia asks: "Help a few sisters figure you men out. What do men appreciate more in a woman - stylish clothes of the sort that a professional woman might wear to work, or the hot lacey things she might wear beneath them? We Sex in the City viewers have opinions on this, but want to know what you men think."
Dear Claudia: First of all, watching "Sex in the City" for tips on how to appeal to a man makes about as much sense as asking your date to help change the litter boxes for your twenty cats, or taking your man to a gay bar to watch men open mouth kiss one another, or (worse) listen to some feminist harridan give a lecture on what is wrong with America. Just don't do it. But back to your question. What works for me is a woman who is willing to take care of me when I'm having a hard time taking care of myself, such as when I'm down with the flu or battling a nasty case of the runs. A woman who is willing to brave infection by showing up on my doorstep with some piping hot chicken soup is worth a lot more to me than a woman who spends lots of her discretionary income on drugs or HBO or even stylish business attire. And as for undergarments, we heterosexual men care more for what a woman looks like when she is not wearing anything, than we are concerned with what she looks like in this or that article of homosexual designed clothing. Just don't be the sort of woman who while always there for the good times is not there for me when my tummy hurts and I'm vomiting all over the place.
So ladies, if you want to make a good impression on your man, take care of him when he is feeling down and he will come to think of you as a suitable replacement for his mother (who did likewise when your man was a small boy). Just make sure you are hot looking when you show up with that soup, and you will be on the inside track to winning our hearts for marriage.
Luke says 'Cut her loose'
Dear Luke: The girl I'm dating keeps pressuring me to marry her. I love her and all, but we are both young (she is 27 and I am 29). I want to keep my options open (what if someone way better crosses my path?). We have been dating for a year, and all is well. We get along fine, and the sex is great. I don't see a reason to change anything. How can I keep her and the situation the same? Boy Goy in Riverside
Luke Answers: All that I can counsel you to do is that which is ethical. How can one tell when a course of action is ethical, if he (as I suspect is the case with you) has no internal moral compass such as is provided by the world's monotheistic faiths? One way is to identify points of agreement among the Jew, the Christian, and the Musselman. Sometimes there is no agreement, and the rootless cosmopolitan is left adrift on a sea of moral choices, but other times - like this one - there is total agreement, and ever thinking person should know know what to do no matter where he looks for guidance.
Let her go. Her fertile time on this planet is limited, and she obviously wants to use it to find a man who loves her enough to marry her, settle down, and raise a family with her, all before she ages too much, and you are not that man. You may think that you are both quite young, but your (smarter) girlfriend knows that 27 is getting ripe for a woman who wants a traditionally full life of children and marriage, and that she is at the latter end of her prime years for attracting a man for this purpose. You are not the man for her - in fact, you are more boy than man, a Peter Pan type who just isn't willing to live life as an adult. I expect to nearly get run over you in some public park in twenty years as you, grinning while wearing your ancient ipod, attempt to live the life of a youth on your roller skates, cutting me off as I accompany my nearly grown kids on a stroll along the boardwalk of Venice Beach. You'll be drooling, imagining yourself to still be a youth, unaware that you are the object of derisive stares and comments all around. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. The important thing is for you to cut her loose while there is still time for her to find someone better than you, and let her move on.
I have a nasty flu
I've finished Toni Morrison's Beloved. Not sure which experience was worse.
Wish you were here, Cathy. You could see my human side. I'm not the Nietzschean super-hero you've built me up to in your mind. I'm much nicer when I'm sick (my mother and others maintain).
Chaim Amalek writes :"Tell her that the reason you never asked her was that you were using it strictly to get laid. It was your "get laid after treating bimbos to a hot meal" tab, and you held her in too high esteem for that."
'It Would Be Better If Women Stayed In The Kitchen'
My Orthodox friend Dan had a great Sabbath. He heard a terrific line from a Chasidic rabbi: "Every man thinks he married Rachel, but he wakes up with Leah."
Saturday night, Dan took a female friend who was in Chasidic thought to melaveh malkeh (Saturday night celebration-Sabbath continuance) with a Chasidic rebbe. Everyone was told in advance that in honor of the rebbe's religious beliefs, men and women would be in separate rooms.
Men sat around a table. Women were supposed to stay in the kitchen but a couple of stubborn women came out and sat in the back near the men. Women in the kitchen got antsy because they didn't feel a part of the celebration. So a stream of women poured into the men's area.
The rebbe's translator said, "It would be better if women stayed in the kitchen."
The women didn't like that.
The rebbe gave a clove of garlic to everyone who wanted one. He said that garlic on a Saturday night would open up 364 channels to heaven.
Dan told a friend that taking garlic was a not a good idea for a date.
His friend told him that taking a date to a rebbe's tisch was not a good idea.
Go shorty! It's your bat mitzvah
50 Cent, Aerosmith among acts gettin' rich performing at private functions.
Rocker Steven Tyler wears a statute of Jesus around his neck during his Bat Mitzvah performance.
It All Begins With A Blowjob: Jewish Concerns about Intermarriage
That's the title of my new book.
Too often a man thinks that because a woman will swallow his seed that she will automatically make a good wife and mother. It ain't necessarily so.
Chava Himmelman (whom I once tried to date) writes me:
The antisemite we know how to deal with - we can smell him coming a mile off, and when he gets close, we know what to do with him. Between our laws, our lawyers, and our Torah, we have the practical strength and moral wisdom to quarantine and dispose of these animals before they can even open their mouths. You may think that only the Muslim, when he comes at us strapped with explosives, can penetrate our outer defenses and hurt us. But that is wrong, DEAD WRONG.
The greatest threat that the Jewish people face today is not the Muslim or the Nazi or the religious right, it is the Shiksa, even when she is armed only with a head full of blonde hair to cover her empty smiling head and immodest clothes to cover her unrealistic body. It is she who is responsible for the decline of the Jewish Community throughout the lands of the Western World, and she does this through two mechanisms.
First, every time a Shiksa snares a Jewish man, she ruins the Jewish prospects for one Jewish woman, who must deal with a world in which their now is one less Jewish man for her to marry, and one less Jewish family to come into existence. Thus, she destroys the Jewish possibilities for two Jews and what would have been their children together. But then things get worse. Much like antibiotic that exerts a "zone of inhibition" about its immediate point of contact with a cultured Petri dish, so too does the shiksa inhibit the formation of Jewish marriages even far removed from the Jewish man she infects with her shiksa charms. When Jewish men see that their Jewish friend is dating with or married to some blonde shiksa, they become that much less willing to "settle" for the more robusto charms of the mature Jewish woman, and the process repeats itself multiplied over. For every Jewish man who succumbs to the Shiksa, ten Jewish women become doomed to die without issue and ten Jewish men die without any Jewish children to mourn their passing. This is the Shiksa menace.
Do the calculations, Luke, and you will see that in terms of demographic loss, the Shiksa is this generation's Zyklon-B gas. She may be pretty, she may be adorable, she may be great in bed and she may even mean well, but she is gravedigger to the entire Jewish people. And you call yourself a Jew!
Luke notes: I wanted to date this women seven years ago, before she got old and fat, but she would not give me the time of day. In fact, she tried to have me expelled from a temple merely for asking her out. As Amalek reminds me, "If Shiksas were good enough for Moses, then they are good enough for Luke Ford."
Ivor Davis In Jewish Journal On Steven Spielberg's Movie Munich
Universal, Dreamworks and the rest of that gang did not cooperate in the behind-the-scenes story. Davis landed a source who worked on the movie.
Pot Vs. Torah - Which Is More Subversive?
I called a girl I know a "pothead." She called me a "Torahhead." The discussion degenerated from there.
Chitchatting With Girls
One of the benefits of being a writer is that one's perceptions of life are so much keener than those of ordinary persons.
As a result of my keen perceptions, I'm bombarded by emails from loose women who enclose intimate photographs of themselves as cunning ploys to distract me from a life of Torah.
I happened to mention to one (I'd never seen) this week that I found tattoos repulsive. She replied: "Then you'd definitely be repulsed by me. A large percentage of my body is covered. I've been getting tattooed for twenty years now. I was supposed to be in Suicide Girls a few years ago, pre SG scandals. But then I decided I was fat and never sent them any pictures."
It reminds me of the time during Friday night prayers that I absentmindedly asked a Holocaust survivor if he'd ever experienced anti-Semitism.
Robert Scheer's New Website
Burt Kearns writes:
"Truthdig" looks to be a lot like his pal Arianna Huffington's blogsite, without all the annoying, moronic celebrities.
Random words from the inaugural homepage:
Iraq... Saddam... Venezuela... Fidel Castro... white phosphorous... agonistes... sexual freedom... homosexuality... Alito... Frist... China... athiest... toxic spill...
Joseph Mailander says it is Scheer stupidity.
Be they rockin’ rebel [Aerosmith, Tom Petty], gangsta rapper [50 Cent], tabloid witch [Stevie Nicks], or hifalutin’ media-bashing prick who hasn’t been allowed near a 13-year-old girl since one turned up comatose in his hot tub [Don Henley], you pay them enough money and they’ll play at your little girl’s bat mitzvah.
Losing My Religion
I've gone out with a wide variety of women over the past few months. There's only one thing they have in common -- they all want me to violate the central tenet of my religion -- not picking up the check.
If I didn't want emotional intimacy so bad, I wouldn't put up with it.
Chaim Amalek writes: "Would that we lived in a more tolerant world, this might have been a wedding celebration."
FBI Agent Who Helped Bust Max Hardcore A Few Weeks Ago Is Herself Busted For Shoplifting
Sounds like Patrick Livingston (former FBI agent who was busted for shoplifting) all over again.
The Washington Post reported Nov 23:
An FBI agent in the anti-obscenity unit in Northern Virginia was charged earlier this month with shoplifting from an upscale department store at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax County, according to court records and police.
About 1:20 p.m. Nov. 10, Agent Tracy Fortin, 44, was spotted by a loss-prevention officer at Lord & Taylor allegedly walking out of the store with an article of clothing valued at less than $200, according to Officer Bud Walker, a Fairfax County police spokesman.
What other anti-porn activists turned out to be freaks? Father Bruce Ritter was a member of the 1986 Meese Commission who molested boys:
The book, Broken Covenant, by Charles Sennott, describes the rise and fall of Father Bruce Ritter. Beginning in the 1970s, Ritter, a Franciscan priest, founded Covenant House, a series of shelters for runaway or homeless youth in the United States, Canada, and Central America. At the same time, Ritter was creating a personal empire and tapping into a million dollar slush fund to seduce young men. Ritter was forced to resign in 1990 after 15 young men came forward and described an identical pattern of sexual abuse by the priest.
Charles Keating stole from Savings and Loans.
May A Jew Help Dress A Shiksa's Christmas Tree?
The shiksa is an atheist and views the tree as a pagan symbol.
May he sing a Christmas carol while he does it (wearing his tzitzit and yarmulke)?
Who is Club Owner Jacques Chrysochoos?
Taken from a cached msnbc search engine page:
Jacques Chrysochoos, owner of Howl at the Moon and Hustler bars on Bourbon Street, said his clubs need about $1.5 million a month in revenue to remain profitable. That means about a million visitors a month. "We're ready. We can reopen. But who is going to come?" Chrysochoos said.
Is Jacques a partner of Larry Flynt and Harry Mohney in their Hustler club ventures (10/19/03 article)?
Chrysochoos barred from SEC for "outside activities," 5/21/04:
El Masri's Atlanta-based attorney, Hassan Elkhalil, said El Masri complained about Chrysochoos to the National Association of Securities Dealers. That led the NASD to evidence that Chrysochoos participated in outside business activities without notifying Shields & Co. Among the complaints was one that he raised $1.3-million from investors in 2000 in private securities transactions.
Chrysochoos, Paul Bilzarian, Ernie Haire III & the FBI, 9/4/05:
Chrysochoos, 34, is a businessman who operates Louisiana nightclubs and restaurants and is starting a Tampa mortgage brokerage company. He resides in a $1.07-million Harbour Island home and enjoys an $854,900 retreat on Clearwater Beach and a $850,000 Sunseeker Predator yacht.
A former securities broker, Chrysochoos was disbarred by the National Association of Securities dealers two years ago after failing to notify his firm of outside business investments in New Orleans clubs like Ragin' Rooster and Howl at the Moon.
Chrysochoos was left wondering last week just what remains of his New Orleans ventures after Hurricane Katrina.
"We have probably 400 employees in New Orleans," he said. "And 90 percent of them don't have homes anymore."
Ernie Haire III and Vincent LoScalzo ("Law enforcement agencies have identified him for a decade as head of the Tampa Mafia.") 11/4/01
Asked Out By A Girl
When I came to the United States in 1977 for sixth grade, I was shocked at how aggressive girls were (and these were good Christian Seventh-Day Adventist girls, and as I grew older, I realized it didn't matter the girl's religion). I've been asked out by females innumberable times in my life. I'm often too passive to make the moves and I'm happy to let the lady do it.
It's humiliating to ask out a girl and be turned down. My rule (which I don't always follow) is to gauge a woman's interest by how many questions she asks me. If she asks me nothing about myself, she has no interest in me (I once talked to a young woman for three hours and she didn't even ask my name). If she asks many questions, she's strongly interested.
Dennis Prager says he's never been asked out by a girl in his life, but he reports his son David (at UCLA) was asked out by three different girls last week.
Prager wondered, where does this come from?
I say it's part of the egalitarian nature of American society. Females are now taught that they don't need to be passive about what they want.
I asked a younger female friend if she'd ever asked a guy out on a date. She replied yes.
I said: "It's wonderful to live in a liberated country like America."
She replied: "Right. It's just a shame America doesn't require women to wear burquas and remain outside of the professional world."
I said: "No need for sarcasm. We've lived through the death of irony."
She said: "Not sarcasm -- I was pretending I was you, and envisioning what I might really believe if I was you."
I said: "That's cool. You enjoy pretending you're inside of me, and I enjoy pretending I'm inside of you."
She said: "Sicko."
Throughout my life, females have called me a "sicko" and a "pervert" for simply sharing my feelings. That's no way to nurture open-faced Levinasian communcation.
Marc Levin's Protocols of Zion
Chaim Amalek writes:
The film tries to show how morally superior and tolerant Jews are by using Trannie Jews and Red Jews and irritating Jewey Jews to make some bad points. So the guy has a huge portrait of Che on his wall - does that make him morally superior to the goyim? Does wearing women's clothes (for a man)? Or declaring opposition to all national borders (save Israel's, presumably)?
The guy who made this, who is in your kehilla, seemed totally clueless. And he just could not hold his own in debates with Shvartzes or Muslims. In the movie, he asks them, "Why do you hate us when we are such wonderful people?"
Painful to watch, and I think as he put this movie together he figured out that he was losing some of the debates, so of course he ends the movie by reaching to the Holocaust. He taped that segment at the MOT, in which some survivor describes hard times in Nazi Europe to the goyim assembled.
Why do all these Jews named "marK" spell it with a c?
From the Jewish Journal:
“Marc Levin is a truth seeker and courageously rushes past taboos and PC language to deliver a scary, human and often funny film,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “One other important fact he discovered is how unavailable too many Jews in Hollywood are to confront the uncomfortable new-old phenomenon of anti-Semitism.”
Secret Minutes of a Meeting or a Hoax?
(Note: the following transcript recently arrived on my doorstep via third class mail. As the sender chose not to identify himself, I am unable to vouch for its authenticity. But neither am I able to prove that it is a fraud, or identify any statements within as false. - Luke)
NOTES OF THE RECORDING SECRETARY: The [illegible] meeting of 5766 was summoned at the grave of (name erased) at (name erased) cemetary. Beneath the full moon appeared the caftan-clad forms of the summoned.
[Preliminary notes deleted.]
Rabbi Gadol: The goyim are getting restless.
Rabbi Spiel: No, we can still control them.
Rabbi WS: Why do you say they are getting restless?
Gadol: I recently attended a screening of two movies, both of which were done in the Seinfeld way, with lots of breezy jazzy dialogue that the goyim have historically favored.
Rabbi Lulav: Shvartze music, but with words!
Spiel: You mean this rap?
Rabbi Chaim: It isn't the same, but it is close. We make the one, but market both.
Rabbi WS: Get back on point. Gadol: the first was the film about protocols. (laughter is heard) In it, one of your boys says that Jews are a nationally corrosive force, and that's whey we fight the existence of national borders for the goyische nations of the world.
Rabbi WS Are you certain that he said that?
Ha Rav X: And what is wrong with such a sentiment?
Gadol: What's wrong is that it was revealed to the goyim. How much longer will they support Zionism when Zion depends on such strong borders, if they know that we aim to deny the same to them? Gadol: And then there was this Sarah Silverman movie, where she mocks Christianity, and admits to harboring a desire to kill Yosele Pundrick yet again. I saw goyim in that theater who were not laughing.
WS: Are you sure?
HWD: And why should we care what stupid beasts think?
Chaim: because we need such beasts to survive. Or would you rather see France happen here? Our princes are losing sight of history. (murmurring here)
Rab F: I've seen this too. Our younger people, and some who are not so young, seem to have lost touch with what the goyim are thinking.
Chaim: And are suspect for being jews. this internet identifies them. That web site, may it's name be forever blotted out, was running lists of every Jew in media and Hollywood before we took it down after _______'s murder. But with this internet, the damage was done, and the names are in circulation.
Gadol: Then we put new people in?
Chaim: Not just new people, different people. I propose that we groom specialized goyim to shoulder some of the burden. Reliable people nobody can accuse of being Jewish.
HWD: This is a shanda.
Chaim: Why? We do this all the time. We used the colored in the south, so why not goyim in the -------?
Gadol: but goyim are not to be trusted.
Chaim, no, they are not, but I know of a special case, a goy who has been trying for years to become one of us (much derisive laughter in the room). His name is Luke Ford (more laughter), and he works in (****) [gales of laughter]
HWD: Enough with this mishegas! Besides, if he is a ger, then he is not a goy, is he. So he's no good. Chaim: Respectfully, I disagree. To begin with, he has a goyishe name and goyishe blood, so nobody looking at him will think "oh, just another Yid telling me what to believe." But more than that, even his tenuous connection to our flesh can be broken, and I know how.
Gadol: Kavode [respect], kesef [wealth], or . . .
Chaim: women. We could send some good goyishe women his way, the kind who revere the Jewish people. Eventually, one of them will win his heart and lead him away from us.
Gadol: but not too far away. I see.
HWD : You with the prostitutes.
Chaim: No, that's not what I'm thinking of. I have several candidates in mind whom we have been grooming. The first woman is a gentile, who is much like him. We could use her to win his heart.
Maurice: And what if she abuses him? Goyim have no hearts!
Rav: This is why we are losing our grip. Chaim, continue.
Chaim: Anyway, I know this man well. I believe that I can convince him that his destiny is not to be one of us, but to be a gentile who follows the Noahidic laws, a man who does not worship false Gods, including that one, but who knows our ways and respects our thinking and needs. Such a man could be promised a special place in the world to come, and...
HWD: Success in this world. Now I see where you are going with this.
Chaim: Yes. If I can just find the right woman to send his way. I'm working off of the list provided by _________ for this event, farsighted was he.
Gadol: So we detach him from the body of the Jewish people with a woman, a good woman or maybe women, and provide him with a good living.
Chaim: One in which he wields influence over the goyim, as a goy, on our behalf.
Maurice: Oy, why not sell them more liquor?
Gadol: Let him continue!
Chaim: He is the model of who we need now. We've take this as far as we can on the backs of the Spielbergs and the Morey Povitch's. Now let us harness some reliable goyim to be our bullocks. (Transcript ends here.)
I know of a Chaim, of course, but "Chaim" is a common Jewish name, and the others I cannot even guess at. But if true, it would explain certain odd occurances in my life of late, occurances that have been pointed out to be by, well, Chaim. If you have any ideas as to the source of this material, kindly call me or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beloved By Toni Morrison
Ilana writes on Amazon.com:
Sometimes I miss the old days when the goal of a writer was simply to tell a story, and the meaning that could then be extrapolated therefrom was due to universal symbols that came from deep within the writer's unconscious mind. With the advent of Freud's theories and modern psychology, writers became more "aware", and as such, more consciously manipulative of literary elements such as symbolism and psychological depth in their creations. Beautiful works of immense psychological depth and universality have been the main result of this new awareness, but as Ursula LeGuin says, "To light a candle is to cast a shadow." This new awareness in the modern writer has led to a brand of writing which is so consciously manipulative and heavily loaded with symbolism and double entendre that depth and subtlety are the first things to be sacrificed. It's like being able to see the hands of the puppeteer while watching a puppet show, or the cameramen in the background while watching a movie: the reader becomes aware of being manipulated for the writer's purposes, and the art of writing becomes a game in which the writer attempts to score points by being as "deep" and symbolic as possible. Ironically, the more the writer tries to be deep, the more shallow the writing becomes.
Such is what I believe to be the case in Toni Morrison's "Beloved". There is too clearly an attempt to be "deep" through the use of symbolism, to the extent that even the characters are symbols. I could not summon up a grain of empathy for any of the characters, the title character least of all. They are inhuman, fulfilling their respective symbolic functions and nothing beyond that. For example, I found it unrealistic that at the slightest questioning Sethe would launch into long stories of past experiences--it was too obviously the writer's way of grabbing the opportunity to inject more pain, more suffering, more symbols, rather than the spontaneous desire of the character to tell her story. Similarly, I found Sethe's loss of control over her bladder at the sight of Beloved's face to be, in a word, ridiculous...not to mention unbelievable.
And let's be real here: Beloved is annoying. As a character she is flat and even vaguely revolting, as a symbol she is overdone. The "poetical" chapters with her and Sethe are some of the most blatant attempts to be deep that I have ever come across--and for that reason they fail utterly. That the pseudo-poetical writing should have won so much acclaim is an insult to those who can truly write poetically and are less appreciated. A combination of repetition, disjointed prose, and heavy symbolism does not make poetry; more often than not it makes bad writing.
One of the central problems I had with this book was that it was based so entirely on a symbol: the ghost of Beloved and her coming back from the dead, for the simple reason that this device never rang true. Certainly magical realism has been done before, but that doesn't mean it's easy. In a story which is set in a world which is otherwise the same as ours, it's difficult to suspend disbelief enough to take the "ghost" theme seriously. The fact that all the themes of the book ultimately tie in to the ghost theme lessen the overall impact of the story.
Certainly the suffering the characters go through is horrific, but if the reader is to actually feel their pain, the story must be believable and the characters must be real human beings. On both counts this book suffers. The writing does not handle reality on its own terms, and instead plunges into pseudo-mysticism and self-conscious symbols, both of which give the reader license to feel completely detached. The style of writing is itself almost painful to read, so much does it embrace the very worst of modern writing without its good points: almost every sentence is full of symbols, and the stream-of-consciousness style often does not sound as if any effort at all was put into it--as if having an editor would have detracted from its "depth".
This book addresses the noteworthy issue of black slavery, but the pseudo-mystical approach and heavy-handed symbols reduce it to a pretentious prize for pompous academics or a tear-fest for the overly emotional. If you do not fall into this category, you are advised to steer clear.
Jesus must really love his orphan Luke
Chaim Amalek writes: "You've been blessed with so many fine Gentiles. Considered in light of your economic circumstances, your successes with women in the last year have been extraordinary. Were all men able to achieve such wonders with so little, the economy of the world would collapse. Or women would have to work a lot harder."
The Islamic Assault On Free Speech
A little over two months after van Gogh's murder, Islamic extremists struck again in the Netherlands. In January 2005, the Moroccan-Dutch painter Rachid Ben Ali was forced into hiding after one of his shows featured satirical work critical of Islamic militants' violence. The combination of this and the van Gogh murder caused even the New York Times to ask, "Can angry young Muslims dictate what is and is not acceptable in the traditionally open-minded world of Dutch arts? In the last few weeks, it appears the answer has been yes."
Rabbi Lawrence Kushner Reviews Bee Season
It is a beautifully photographed but unsatisfying rendition of Myla Goldberg’s beautifully written but unsatisfying novel of the same name. Despite its disappointments, however, "Bee Season" inadvertently offers some highly instructive insights into the state of religion--and, specifically, Kabbalah--in America today.
How Necessary Is Sharing The Same Language For A Relationship?
I used to think that talking was overrated. Now I'm not so sure.
A friend replies: "I wouldn't worry too much -- like your friend says, you can't "suck on a sack of nouns.""
Faith Vs. Reason
Dennis Prager on his radio show: "No one can give me enough data to get me to give up my belief that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. My belief is impervious to data. I admit it."
Richard Wright's Native Son
The first two-thirds of the book are as riveting as anything I've ever read. The last third is crap.
Howard Stern's Final Weeks
Burt Kearns writes:
Back in May, A Current Affair ran-- and Doug wrote and voiced, Reefer Madness style-- a segment on Stern’s girlfriend, Beth O. It was chock full of ”Beauty and The Beast” references. Predictably, Stern did a bit on it the next morning, claiming to be offended that we focused on his ugliness. He railed about Rupert Murdoch and his young bride and said he was going to seek out embarrassing photos of the Murdochs and A Current Affair personnel. He vowed to “make their lives miserable.”
The next day, Stern said he’d no longer discuss the segment. We later got a tip that Stern’s people had gotten a call from someone at Fox, warning that if he took on Mr. Murdoch, A Current Affair would run a story on Howard’s daughters. Case closed.
The LA Family
An ex-gangster writes on HollywoodMafia.blogspot.com:
The Boss is Shakes "Pete" Milano, his brother Carmine was the Underboss but he did the flipper thing. Carmen was the second Underboss in a row to defect. The first being Louie Dragna who did the smart thing by getting rich and getting out with his millions intact. There were four Capo's Louie Gelfuso...Dead Mike Rizzi just dead. Jimmy Caci is off parole and active in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Jimmy is well connected back east so he does get around. The other Capo is Louie Caruso who has a place in Westlake and a place in Arizona. Louie has done his time for the Las Vegas case and he may still have a parole hanging. Louie is young, but not really well connected to the East coast. The prison sentence might have helped him. I do not think he wants to step up and become real active. He does hang with the bikers and enjoys Mixed Martial Arts fights. Louie knows the FBI is on him. Rocky a made guy has left to where it is that he crawled out from. Rocky Zangari was not much more than a bookmaker anyway. Bobby Milano is still singing in bars around Palm Springs, I think he may do the old age home circuit in the winter. John Vaccaro is out and in Las Vegas. He is the man to take it if he wants it. Fat Steve is still locked up and has sometime left. He is also in the Nevada Blackbook now. The other kid Tommy I heard might have been upped, so maybe he is number two. He hangs with his own blood so who knows with him.
Mike Esposito, he is close to Shakes, but he runs his porno and plays golf. Speaking of Steve Cino he pled guilty along with pornographer Kenny Guarino and Big Chris Richichi (dead) to attemping to bribe a union official in Las Vegas. Kenny had paid Big Chris over a million dollars to protect his pornography empire in New England. Big Chris was a Gambino Capo.
Bottom line is the LA Family is in sad shape. They can come back quick like that mold in your walls. The Sicilians could seize control or a qualified man could step up and take it into this new century. Denver has like five guys and they all are rich and do well.
Two Orthodox Jews Go To Church
My friend Kenny is a convert to Orthodox Judaism from Christianity. He's going out with Sarah, a woman who's moved to Orthodoxy from a secular Jewish upbringing.
They had coffee Thursday morning. Sarah asked him questions about Christianity. She asked him to take her to church. He readily agreed.
He asked around and received a recommendation to go to the Church of God in Christ at 3600 Crenshaw Blvd in South-Central Los Angeles.
Friday, Kenny got an email from Sarah: "want to ask u if it's not dengeres to be with all the black people in the church? if it's not a dangeres neyborud, just cheking?"
He assured her it would be safe.
He told her he'd pick her up at 7am for the 8am service. Eventually, they settled on 7:30am. It was a ten-minute drive to go 4.6 miles. They park outside the cathedral. They walk in. Everybody's black. Many people are friendly. People are friendlier than they are in shul.
Kenny and Sarah don't stand for the official visitor introductions. They can't help clapping and swaying with the gospel choir. They feel that their own prayer services in synagogue are puny compared to this.
They start spotting the occasional white and yellow face.
Kenny turns around to shake the hand of a beautiful young white woman but she hugs him instead and says, "God bless you."
Bishop Charles E. Blake is funny and charismatic, drawing a passionate reaction from the crowd. He preaches for 35-minutes and then calls on people who want to accept Jesus Christ to come upfront. Kenny and Sarah don't move. They are not in church to seek religious truth. They want sociological understanding.
The crowd has built to a thousand people.
Services finish at 11:30am.
Breakaways From West Coast Chabad Director Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin
* Rabbi Shlomo Shwartz, former head of UCLA's Chabad house, now at ChaiCenter.org. PO Box 66861. Los Angeles, CA 90066. 24 hour message - 310 391 7995. Schwartzie's email: email@example.com
* Rabbi Benzion Kravitz of JewsforJudaism.org. I've seen Rabbi Kravitz go up (out of the blue) to a Gentile security guard at a shul and start telling him about the Jewish view on the Messiah. The Christian guard was taken aback and then amused.
* Rabbi Shmulik Naparstek of the Living Judaism Center.
Rabbi Cunin's son Mendy was running UCLA's Chabad house with huge outreach programs and large Sabbath dinners. But Big Mendy fell out with his father and the more financially-astute son Chaim is running the show.
What Phillipe Rushton Can Teach Luke About Love
Eastern Advisor ("Ramses") turns the tables on this blog by lecturing Luke on what he's doing wrong.
You know Luke, your problem is that there isn't enough of Kevin Federline in you. Rather than wait for the perfect woman to come along, why not take full advantage of all the women who are "good enough" and who would be better off being taken advantage of by you than by some other dude? You need to read some J. Philippe Rushton, specifically "Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A life history perspective."
Consider Wilson's r-K hypothesis. Within the animal kingdom, there are, broadly speaking, two approaches to reproductive success. The "r" form calls for having lots of young, but providing each of them with a minimal of care. The "K" form calls for having few offspring, but investing a great deal in each of them. As Rushton notes, "At one extreme the great apes exemplify the K-strategy, producing one infant every five or six years and providing much parental care. At the other extreme, oysters exemplify the r-strategy, producing 500 million eggs a year but providing no parental care...This cross-species scale may be applied to the immensely smaller variation among human groups."
And you know where this goes - Rushton asserts that blacks are more like the oyster, and Chinese more like apes, with whites somewhere in between. I won't go there, as my upbringing and personal ideology forbids it, but I will say that you should be more like an oyster and less like an ape. To be specific, you need to think less about finding the perfect woman with whom to grow old and think more about taking advantage of what "good enough" women have to offer you in the here and now.
I understand that there is at least one such woman in your life right now, who is sweet on you but you, in typical Luke Ford fashion, are just looking for reasons to queer the deal with her by objecting to this or that aspect of her life (as though yours were any better). Stop it. Enjoy the moment, and run with it like a Kevin Federline would. Make things right, sweet talk her, tell her you love everything about her life, that it meshes with yours, etc. Get her pregnant. Do you then cut and run? Well, maybe in the days before Roe v Wade you would, but not now, no sir. You get even sweeter and more reliable, at least until very late in the third trimester. And then, once the little urchin has arrived, you take stock. Is there another woman with whom you might want to have kids? Ask yourself what Kevin Federline would do. (And note how free from racial animus I'm making this.)
Someday you might well meet the perfect Mrs. Luke Ford. But until then, I suggest you think more like oysters and insects, and less like apes and elephants.
'My Woman is Ashamed of Me'
Fischel from Brooklyn writes Luke: "I thought my girlfriend and I were getting along well, and we have good times in the sack. Only she won't invite me home to visit her folks - ever - and she often disrespects me for what I do. (Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I was looking forward to meeting her folks, but I ended up spending it alone eating a turkey dog at the local 7-11 with some Asiatics.) I'm a rag-picker, and I'll admit that most people don't hold that in high regard these days, but it is necessary work, and it pays better than you might think. And it isn't as though my girlfriend were doing brain surgery, either - she is a tattoo 'artist.' Luke, can people make a life for themselves as a couple when one side is ashamed of what the other side does for a living?"
Fischel, the short answer is "no." The somewhat longer answer require of you a heart-penetrating examination of this question: can one side convince the other to switch to more socially acceptable work that both sides will be happier with? Perhaps you could switch from rag-picking to collecting cans and bottles off of the sides of roads. And perhaps she could switch from helping dermatologists provide their daughters with lux bat mitzvah parties to say, teaching middle school kids in the inner city, or real estate work. There are lots of jobs out there, and there must be some middle ground where you would both be happy. But it takes work and a bit of accommodation on both sides, and unless there is some real love there, we both know that isn't going to happen.
On the other hand if the sex is really good, and you otherwise like being with one another, yes, it can work out even though you both will forever be ashamed of the other. Love is like that.
Money, Mobsters, Murder
The sordid tale of a GOP lobbyist's casino deal gone bad.
CONSIDER KIDAN'S MOTHER, Judy. Remarried to one Samuel "Sami" Shemtov, she lived with her husband in a stately home on Staten Island. Shemtov was a businessman with interests in New York and Miami. He had fought in the Israeli Army. Although Judy didn't know it, a substantial part of his fortune was in pornography and sex shops, including a chain of stores called "Sensations." ("It's very clean, very nice," Shemtov told the Miami Herald in 1995.)
One night in February 1993, a Mercury sedan sat outside the Shemtovs' house, the engine running. The driver, Chris Paciello, aka "Binger," aka Christian Ludwigsen, was a low-level associate of the Bonanno crime family. A few weeks earlier he had heard from a friend, Joe Eisenberg, who had heard from a former girlfriend, Carol--former wife of Sami Shemtov--that the pornographer kept thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars in a safe in his house. Shemtov had not told his second wife about the safe, where he kept the money he had made in his sleaze shops.
Big Tits Vs. Big Vocabulary
Which is more important in a woman?
My friend Chaim Amalek counsels: "Big tits beat out a big vocabulary. You can't suck on a sack of nouns."
A woman replies: "Of course that is true for some. Then again, "big tits" can be purchased, where as a "sack of nouns" cannot -- which means I can have both, but blondie the bimbo cannot."
Hatred of Naturally Blond Women is Racist
Chaim writes: "Of course I was speaking of naturally large breasts. The fake ones no more count for being large than Xerox copies of $100 bills count for bearing a likeness of Benjamin Franklin. By the way, why are bimbos so often characterized as blond? Some of the smartest women I've known have been natural blondes, and I'm sure that if you tested all of the natural blondes in this country, you'd find their mean I.Q. to be at least as high as that of the black haired women here. (Some would go further than that, but I am too much of an Upper West Side Liberal to follow such people.)"
'We Have No Future'
I've heard that exact phrase (and its equivalents) from a dozen or so girlfriends in my life. I must be some great guy.
Maybe it's just me, but I don't find it conducive to a passionate love affair to be reminded that "we have no future."
I've never had a relationship that could lead to marriage (though I've often dated women I could envision marrying, they could never envision marrying me and vice versa). I've never had a relationship that's lasted a continuous year (I've had several that lasted close to a year). Over the past five years, I've only had relationships with non-Jewish women who have no interest in Judaism.
I'd be ok with my going-nowhere relationships if I wasn't constantly being reminded by the various women that "we have no future." I think one crystal-clear conversation about the matter should be enough. Anything repetitive of that strikes me as cruel. I don't repeat to a woman, "I could never marry you." Why do women repeat to me, "We have no future"?
In a few minutes, I'll get an email from Cathy Seipp saying, "We have no future." Then I'll email her back some appalling question and she'll reply: "Have you checked your lithium levels lately?"
Next time I run into that obstroperous woman in a dark alley, I'm gonna growl, "Scream and I'll kill you."
What a gaping literary hole...
Khunrum writes: "Luke do women tell you this after taking a glance at the van and hovel?"
Why Is The Jewish Journal's Annual Book Issue So Dull?
I defy anyone to give me an example of anything compelling in it (aside from Amy Klein's singles column). Why do they trot out such leaden prose week-after-week? Because it's safe and easy.
You may ask if I have an example of my own work that I regard as compelling writing on a Jewish writer? It just so happens that I do (the 977-word essay at the top of the page). I shopped it around various Jewish weeklies and secular outlets six months ago and nobody wanted it.
You may ask why I think this writing of mine is superior to the ponderous pieces in this week's Jewish Journal.
I'll answer you with some of Tom Wolfe's rules for compelling writing (and Amy's singles columns often have these good things):
* Dramatic scenes.
* Realistic dialogue.
This is another favorite piece of mine (though it has nothing to do with writing on writing).
Holocaust Film Appeals To Believers And Skeptics Alike
HAMBURG—Critics describe Die Lange Eisenbahnfahrt (The Long Railroad Trip) as the first Holocaust film to give a fair hearing to memorialists and deniers alike. "At last, we have a cinematic exploration of the Holocaust that portrays both sides equally, instead of fostering further divisiveness," reviewer Hans Kerlemann wrote in Der Spiegel. "The film's acknowledgment of anti-Semitic feelings in Hitler's Germany, coupled with its scenes of people boarding packed trains, is especially powerful." Die Lange Eisenbahnfahrt opens in select cities on the first day of Hanukkah.
Don't Hide Your Gay Tendencies If You Want To Become A Priest
"It would be gravely dishonest for a candidate to hide his own homosexuality, regardless of everything, to arrive at ordination," the document states. "Such an inauthentic attitude does not correspond to the spirit of truth, loyalty and availability that must characterize the personality of one who considers himself called to serve Christ."
Hysterical New York Women Who Have Sex With Their Bridesmaids
Cathy Seipp writes:
I'm always fascinated at seeing these New York female media types up close, unnerving though their edge-of-hysteria manner can be.
Another example of this was New York Times freelance fashion writer Elizabeth Hayt, author of the new memoir "I'm No Saint," about her dysfunctional romantic life. As I recall from the acidly critical review in the New York Observer last month, one memorable scene in the book describes Hayt having sex with her bridesmaid the night before her wedding. The audience of mostly political bloggers quickly grew restless at the panel on fashion blogging, but I was fascinated by how Hayt fairly dripped with self-importance. I mean, her intense self-regard actually almost seemed to ooze out of her pores.
"I think blogging is absurd," she began. "I don't really care what laypeople think; I'm a reporter. About fashion. And lifestyle."
David Ehrenstein writes Cathy:
Aaron Sorkin "interviewed" [Maureen Dowd] aftter a fasion and was (inadvertently of course) hilarious. He noted how imposing it was to be speaking with an ex-girlfriend in a temple . He asked "Well how was I?" and Mo said "You were great." That seemed to unnerve him more than if she'd said "You were a lousey lay."
What was even odder was the fact that she was complimenting him for creating male and female characters on The West Wing that she liked -- particularly Allison Janney. She said she always loved the Tracy-Hepburn movies because they suggested the kind of male-femle dynamic that she hoped would win the day, and that she saw this in much of The West Wing. But he didn't respond at all.
She told a very funny/scary story about a visit to Saudi Arabia where even though she was walking around beiung shown the sights by a top official was stopped on the street by the secret police and informed "We can see the outline of your body through your clothes" and told she must buy a Burkha ASAP. And this in a place where "the stores are selling the sort of lingerie you can only find in Vegas." So they wanted her covered from head to toe while standing next to the crotchless pantie display! It wasn't until she showed them she was leaving town that night that they elected to leave her alone.
She was intrigued by my Mafia Princess analogy re Judy Miller and Baba Wawa.