Oct 26, 2010

Pardon Me, Does This Come in Purple?


Nothing says, "Come on back to my shag-carpeted studio for bong rips and K-Tel 8-tracks!" like a hairy Jewish guy in a low-quality suit.

Given this understanding, I don't know why I was so surprised to hear that George Zimmer, founder of The Men's Wearhouse, donated $50,000 in support of Proposition 19, the California ballot measure to legalize marijuana.  According to The Atlantic, Zimmer is largely responsible for funding the Yes On 19 campaign's first television advertisement.  You can watch the ad, which features retired San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara, here.

And to think, I always assumed that funny smell in The Men's Wearhouse was Ban-Lon.

P.S.  Don't forget to check the pockets of that rented tux before you return it. 


Oct 25, 2010

Jesus Loves Me This I Know, for Homer Simpson Tells Me So

courtesy of Fox TV

It figures. Just when I’m about to write a scathing post regarding the latest revelations of abuse and cover-ups within the Catholic Diocese of San Diego, the Vatican goes and does something completely awesome.  And by completely awesome, I mean claiming Homer Simpson as one of its own.
According to Fox News, “The headline in the semi-official Vatican newspaper, the Osservatore Romano, recently read: ‘Homer And Bart Are Catholic,’ and backed it up by arguing the family prays before meals and that the show explores issues such as family, community, education and religion in a way that few other popular television programs do."
Father Francesco Occhetta praised the show, claiming, “The Simpsons remains one of the few TV programs for kids in which Christian faith, religion, and the question about God are recurring themes.”
Are irony and sarcasm lost on Occhetta? Or does the priest actually have a finely tuned appreciation for satire and social commentary?  Regardless, this whole thing makes me want to pop some popcorn and invite the good father over to watch Sarah Silverman's Jesus Is Magic.
Sadly, Simpsons producer Al Jean says the Vatican is mistaken in its assumption.  From Fox: 

"We've pretty clearly shown that Homer is not Catholic. I really don't think he could go without eating meat on Fridays -- for even an hour."

He also said the Simpson family attends the First Church of Springfield "which is decidedly Presbylutheran," and pointed out that Homer and Bart only considered converting in the 2005 episode.

Aw, Al.  Why can't you just play along? With the 10,000 pages of previously concealed evidence of abuse being released this week in San Diego, the church could use a little levity this week, not to mention good press.  And in my opinion, the appointment of Homer Simpson as Unofficial Mascot to the Vatican would be worth the porcine cartoon character's weight in communion wafers in that regard.

Mmmmmmmmmm...communion wafers...

Oct 23, 2010

Is That a Pubic Hair on Your Coke or Are You Just Happy to See Me?


Don’t get me wrong, I love my Real Housewives and I am obsessed with Jersey Shore's Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, but once in a while this trash-TV junkie hankers for a hunk of meatier real-life drama. And that’s when I wax nostalgic for the 1990s, the golden age of reality television.

That’s right, I’m talking about William Kennedy Smith. I’m talking about the Menendez brothers. I’m talking about Heidi Fleiss. And don’t get me started on O.J. Make a bitch wanna slip on some Bruno Maglis and do the Tootsie Roll.

That’s why I gotta give props to Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She’s bringing Long Dong Silver back, one pubic hair at a time.

How?  Well, it seems that earlier this month, Mrs. Thomas left a message on the voicemail of Anita Hill, the woman who, nearly twenty years ago, accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, accusations that prompted the now-infamous, sexually charged confirmation hearings reality entertainment that, in retrospect, makes Jersey Shore look like Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.


“Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas,” it said. “I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband.”

Why did Mrs. Thomas wait all these years to contact Ms. Hill? For days, the Internet has been abuzz with speculation that the call (placed at 7:30 on a Saturday morning) was nothing more than a case of drunk-dialing. Those who have heard the recording, however, claim Mrs. Thomas' voice sounded lucid and coherent.

So, was this really just a quest for closure on the part of Mrs. Thomas? Or was there something else, something a bit more diabolical, going on?

In any event, this shit is crazy. If I were Orrin Hatch, I might just reference The Exorcist right about now. But I'm not, so I won't.

Oct 19, 2010

Tore Up from the Floor Up


I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’ve always been a pretty good student.

Then I went to beauty school.

The “school” part was easy for me; I scored 100% on most of my tests on Diseases and Disorders of the Skin and Scalp, and aced my essay on Salon Management.

The “beauty” part—well, that was another story.

When our first set of grades came out, I learned, much to my dismay, that we had been graded on personal appearance. I got a C.

“Ju need to ware maykup,” Miss Lupe told me during our midterm conference.  She picked up my hand and studied my gnawed-at fingernails. “¡Híjole!  Ju need a mahnee-cure.  And maybe dress more fancee, no?  Like a cosmetologist. And jor hair," she shook her head in desperation. "Ay.  Ees no good.”

Needless to say, I was mortified.

I mean, sure, I was kind of a low-maintenance gal.  No, I did not see the purpose in getting up an hour early to put on makeup and style my hair, only to spend the day with a bunch of other students and a truckload of demented $6 wet-set clients from the senior center. And yes, I've been called a "hippie".

But a C? Really?

Could it be that college had prepared me for taking tests and writing papers, but failed me on a more important level? My mother’s voice rang in my ears: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Shut up, voice!

Well, my first, completely elitist instinct was to scoff at the school’s misplaced priorities. Sure, this was beauty school, but if I knew how to make other people look good, why should my own looks matter? Shouldn’t I be judged on my abilities rather than my looks?  Hey, I SCORED HELLA HIGH ON MY SATs, goddammit!

The feminist in me even wanted to take off my bra, douse it with Aqua Net, and light it on fire right in the middle of the waxing and facial area. But eventually I resigned myself to the fact that looking good might not be such a bad thing after all. Besides, the teacher’s pet in me longed for approval and, moreover, a grade higher than a C. And so I invested in a little MAC Studio Fix to even out my complexion.  I learned that a little lipstick goes a long way.  I started wearing heels and pantyhose to school. I even tweezed my eyebrows and got a full set of acrylic nails.

Anyway, I was reminded of Miss Lupe’s gentle chastising today, when I heard about an email circulated at Columbia University-- coincidentally, one of the schools I attended before embarking upon my career in cosmetology. Reading it, I couldn't help but think that, in my case, the memo had come a decade or two too late; although, I can safely say that nobody ever had to tell my scholarly, low-maintenance ass to bathe. Um..ew? Gross. 

From Dealbreaker:

To: ‘ibc-members@bettyblue.gsb.columbia.edu’
Cc: ibc-board@bettyblue.gsb.columbia.edu
Subject: [IBC] Personal hygiene

Dear 1st Year Members,

It has come to our attention (through complaints from IBC board representing firms they are going to full time) that some of you may not have followed personal hygiene basics during recruiting events. We understand that it is an incredibly intense recruiting period, and is very hard to find time for yourself, but this is a friendly reminder on some dress code and personal hygiene basics:

§ Brush your teeth regularly, or have a mint/mouth refreshers before going to recruiting events (avoid chewing gums)

§ Carry anti-perspirant with you if you are worried about sweating. Don’t wear too much cologne/perfume

§ Carry a sewing mini-toolkit, in case your suit hems need an emergency sewing

§ Professional haircuts

§ No backpacks with you

§ Men – no tacky cufflinks or watches (with no crazy patterns, silver is preferable to gold)

§ Women – wear (preferably skin colored) hosiery and always carry an extra pair in your bag

§ Women – if it rains, do not show up in rain boots, no matter how cute you think they are

And again, if you have ANY concerns, please do not hesitate to share with the IBC Board!

A reminder, yet again, that all I really need to know I learned in beauty school.  Sigh.

Oct 10, 2010

A Soup Nazi for a New Generation



Or, at least that’s what Pamela Geller says.

Indeed, the cuntservative hatemonger blogger is outraged that the Campbell’s Soup Company recently has agreed to label some of its products “halal”, the term used to indicate that food has been prepared in accordance with Islamic law.

In response to the new labeling, Geller has called for a boycott of the Campbell Soup Company, a movement she believes will make Americans safer, and not just by lowering the level of sodium in their diets.

Because I know whenever I slurp down a bowl of Chicken and Stars, I want to raise my spoon to Allah and launch a jihad—I mean, doesn’t everyone?

Kinda makes you wonder why they don’t change it to Chicken, Stars, and Crescent Moons...


Oct 4, 2010

The J-unification of America



The other day, in the Lucky supermarket in East Oakland, I saw an elderly black woman purchase a bottle of Manischewitz wine.

There are not words to articulate the joy this gave me.

Of course, it’s possible that this woman was one of the few black Jews residing in the Bay Area. Perhaps she was a Felasha woman purchasing the bottle for a traditional Shabbat dinner. Indeed, the PC Bay Area-ite in me wants to acknowledge the possibilities in that regard, to resist the urge to laugh at what might very well be the sacred beliefs of another.  Alas, restraint is not my style, and such acknowledgment would make the whole thing—while of undeniable cultural interest—less satisfying on an comedic level than if this were just a nice black lady about to enjoy a glass of cloyingly sweet cough syrup wine with her pineapple-glazed Virginia ham dinner later that evening.  And thus, it is the ham scenario I choose to believe.

There is something indescribable that affects Jews on a supreme level when we see small elements of our culture accepted, even adopted or co-opted by our gentile brothers and sisters.

I think this is especially true for those of us who grew up in communities with few Jews.   I'm speaking about those of us who sang every Christmas carol known to man in elementary school holiday festivals, while year after year performing the same tedious arrangement of Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel, conducted by our music teacher (and neighborhood pastor’s wife), Mrs. McGinnes. To this day, I cannot look at a dreidel without a momentary fantasy of what it would have been like to cram a big one down Mrs. McGinnes’ whiny, soprano-pitched throat.

Indeed, for some of us, our culture was so rarely represented outside of our homes, that when we do see it in the context of the gentile world, it evokes a sort primal giddiness generally reserved only for the most delicious of surprises, like loud farts in the public library, or a dog fucking a duck

One time, when we were at my grandfather’s house having a Sunday breakfast of schmaltz herring, smoked whitefish, lox, bagels, and bialys, my dad made his usual joke about inviting a few of my Irish Catholic friends over for a nice slice of herring. Again, this was not a new routine, but nonetheless one which was met with uproarious laughter every time. Go figure. The idea of a small Christian child gnawing on a stinky slab of fatty brined fish was a bit of humor that never seemed to get old in my family. However, my grandfather, for whom herring was a thing of such profound beauty that he actually wrote a novella entitled Speaking of Herring, this time responded somewhat seriously:

“Give it time. Just look at all the publicity bagels have gotten, thanks to those meshugana Lender brothers and their little frozen hockey pucks. The goyim love bagels. Someday, herring will make the big time, too.”

Sadly, decades later, my grandfather's prediction has not come to fruition , although, as a nation, I believe we've become Jewier than even he might ever have predicted. Indeed, schmaltz herring still hasn’t made the big time, but what we have instead is Andy Cohen  sitting on his sofa next to NeNe Leakes, hawking MAZEL shirts on Bravo TV. And meanwhile--speaking of mazels--Fergie and Will I. Am are shouting, Mazel Tov! and  L’Chaim!, as fans of the worst band ever raise their pimp cups in fist-pumping celebration. 

Is Jewspeak the new Ebonics? Is meshuggah the new hyphy? Maybe not, but WTF?  I even heard the word "tuchis" the other day on a Kohler faucet advertisement. 

And while it may not be as satisfying as a shiksa chowing down on stinky, salty, schmaltzy goodness,  I think my grandfather would still get a kick out of the fact that you can now get Bacon and Cheddar Egg Mit Bagel at any one of the many Noah’s Bagels retailers throughout the country.   Good for the Jews?  Debatable.  Good for a laugh?  Definitely.

Also, speaking of herring, if anyone knows where I can score a schmaltz herring in the San Francisco Bay Area, please message me. Thanks.
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