}

Introducing JewPop: Digestible Jewish Goodies In Bite-Size Morsels

JewPop

I’ve decided to do a weekly/bi-weekly round-up feature of buzzworthy news ripped from the Internet, both the mundane and offbeat, for Jewlicious.

This week’s post, for your weekend reading pleasure, is entitled I Smell A Rat, But Does The Rat Smell Me?

  • Cancer is the hot headlining topic of choice. That’s the word from the 2008 Presidential race and incidentally Jonathan Alter’s Newsweek cover piece entitled, “How I Live With Cancer.” I applaud the sensitivity and attention to this cause, but the yellow LIVESTRONGâ„¢ obnoxiously plastered on the cover’s background is a little gratuitous. [Eat The Press]
  • Israeli professor at Haifa University sets up shop at the University of Exeter in the UK where he hopes to open a center for Palestinian Studies and stage more organized boycotts on Israeli products. Only problem is even the British don’t want the tsoris. [YNET]
  • Gilbert Gottfried is just a big kid playing dress up pretending to be funny. [Gawker Stalker]
  • The divorced single dad who nearly drowned his kid to save his new cell phone is in love with a JAP who’s almost as self-absorbed as he is. Quelle surprise! [Chai Expectations]
  • I’m not digging on Jewschool’s latest design. It’s giving me some serious sensory overload. Please go back to your regularly scheduled design STAT. [Jewschool]
  • Pesach wearing you down? Try some new recipes. I think one of two are guaranteed not to make you too aware that you’re really just recycling a variation of matzo/salt and matzo/sugar and matzo/oil and salt. [Jewbiquitous]

40 Comments

  1. VJ

    4/8/2007 at 1:48 am

    Not an auspicious start there Beth. You’ve totally misconstrued Amishav’ post from Chai Expectations above. He saved his kid and drowned his cell phone in that one episode. The ‘JAP’ you describe he described as Just About Perfect. And kid, this is blogging. Nearly everyone who has one is ‘self absorbed’ in one way or another. But most can read & interpret a bit better. So just to be clear, I’m not complaining about the cheap shots because, hey where would blogs be w/o them? It’s just a cheap hit & run job from a ‘scan’ of a blog that you must have arrived at by googling ‘JAP’. It’s a misrepresentation of his blog. ‘Nuff said. ‘VJ’

  2. Passionate Life

    4/8/2007 at 2:19 am

    I second VJ on this. Your really goofed Beth with your superficial glance at a blog and portraying probably one of the nicest most thoughtful and caring bloggers, Amishav of Chai Expectations, in a horrific manner.

    We have all hyped a headline or byline for a bit of attention but you have crossed WAY over the line. Shame on you. I hope you have the decency to make amends and edit this post or post a retraction and apology for such a vile portrayal.

  3. themiddle

    4/8/2007 at 2:38 am

    I dunno. Beth may have missed the story a bit, but in general both of her points are on target. First of all, Amishav may be a very caring person and may love his children, but he really shouldn’t have left his son who cannot swim in the pool by himself even for a minute. This is why he damaged his phone, right? He was also upset at his ex for being upset at him for being irresponsible. The post focused to some degree on the ruin of his phone, although I guess it proves that he’s a nice guy that he admits that his kid is more precious to him than his phone.

    Second, his blog is entirely about him and how he relates to the various people who come into his life. That can fairly be considered self-absorbed. I don’t know whether it’s fair to call JAP self-absorbed just because she doesn’t want him to, uh, stray, but it’s one way to interpret the situation.

  4. Passionate Life

    4/8/2007 at 2:59 am

    Themiddle,

    Had a bit too much wine over Pesach? The purpose of blogging for most people is to air your thoughts and feelings about things in your life or your interests. That certainly does not make one self-absorbed.

    That’s like saying anyone who has a job is self-absorbed because they care about making money for themselves.

    I don’t know, Beth & TheMiddle, what would you call people who have nothing better to do with their time than to write nasty things about good decent people for no reason?

  5. themiddle

    4/8/2007 at 3:13 am

    Excuse me, Passionate Life, I only write nasty things about people when it’s well deserved. You are welcome to check my posts to verify.

    In answer to your question about the purpose of blogging, I have to say that perhaps it’s me but the blogs I read or that interest me rarely include content about people’s daily activities or personal life to any significant degree. Sometimes things come up when someone is seeking to make a point, but being focused to a significant degree on one’s personal activities, interaction with others, others’ reactions to the writer, etc. is a very different matter.

    Having said that, I’ve never read Amishav’s blog until today. He’s a good writer, his stories are easy to follow and his intentions are good. He’s clearly in a tough personal period and maybe this is one way for him to address it. There are no rules about what people should or shouldn’t write or what readers should find interesting and I wish him all the best.

    By the way, Amishav, if you read this, you have no reason to go to California and should give JAP a chance. She seems to know what she wants and likes you enough to demand that you focus on her. That sounds like a much better bet than the one who went far away…

  6. ck

    4/8/2007 at 4:49 am

    Well, his blog is 2 weeks behind. Whatever decision he’s made about JAP, it’s already been made. That having been said, whatever topic it is you blog about, if you put yourself out there, you ought to expect people to respond, and not all of the responses may be positive. I think Amishav has a thick enough skin to handle some well deserved criticism. He seems like an OK guy and I doubt he needs you to defend him.

  7. Chutzpah

    4/8/2007 at 6:27 am

    Skimmed the blog. He’s a good writer and seems like a good guy.

    Here’s my prediction for how it’s going to go down, remember, I write these things: he goes to California, has sex with Cally girl, then comes homes and realizes that traveling for sex isn’t worth it when he’s about to start getting it from JAP. He’ll cut Cally girl loose nicely via phone.

    He’ll date JAP for about 6 months during which time the sex that he’s getting from her will make him more confident about his ability to attract women.

    Eventually he will start to find fault with her and decide she is a big BLT. He’ll tell her they need to talk and that he needs his space, & that maybe they should see other people. After all, he’s only divorced a year or so…

    Once he starts sleeping with someone else, he’ll break up with JAP.

    Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

    By the time he hits 50 he’ll be dating 30 year olds.

    Nothing Personal Amishav…I’ve just been around enough “nice divorced guys who aren’t playas” to see what happens to them once they get a taste of freedom.

    It also could go the other way: He sleeps with her for 6 months during which time he “grows in his Yiddishkiet” and decides to wait until he finds someone on his “madrega”, which means he will marry the next girl he dates who doesn’t let him sleep with her because she’s frum.

  8. Beth

    4/8/2007 at 8:40 am

    Keep in mind that I’m employing heavy satire here. So heavy it’s DRIPPING.

    Blogging can be extremely sarcastic.

    Enuf said.

  9. ck

    4/8/2007 at 9:55 am

    Come on beth. Admit it. You’re a mean and spiteful bitch! Own it. Be it. Accept it.

  10. Beth

    4/8/2007 at 10:03 am

    I’ll be tucking my tail between my legs now and polishing my horns.

  11. Nathan

    4/8/2007 at 10:28 am

    My observation is that most people who wore those livestong bracelets look like they never lived a strong day in their lives. Mostly the kind that were pretty well connected to the unawareness matrix.

    and as for Gawker, please those people are all Conde Nast wanna be so badly it taints even the small amount of amusing credibility/creativity they have. ie they would sell it all to eat in the cafe.

    Ynet has a cookie recipe that is pretty good, but right now I am praying for Pesach to be over because I have never desired anything more than I desire a Rye and Swiss grilled cheese right now.

  12. Nathan

    4/8/2007 at 10:32 am

  13. Steve

    4/8/2007 at 12:28 pm

    I really didn’t get the satire in that comment.

    Having read Amishav’s blog, flippant, cruel and dismissive would seem to characterize this blurb more accurately. Sorry I really didn’t see the funny.

    As to his situation, I think its pretty clear that Amishav went to Cali and had a final talk to resolve issues with CaliGirl and then came back to JAP.

    The hint is right there on his blog on March 30 “while JAP and I know what happened…” implying that he and JAP are still in contact.

  14. Passionate Life

    4/8/2007 at 2:19 pm

    Themiddle,

    Thank you for being a mentch and taking an honest look at the situation.

    CK,

    Sure it’s fair for people to comment and give their opinions on bloggers. But this wasn’t a criticism this was a false, biting, negative blurb that seeks to portray a man in a certain light to hundreds of people who have never heard of him.

    People disagree with his actions and comment about it on his blog or elsewhere and that is 100% okay. You can say that he is making a mistake or being self-destructive etc, that kind of stuff is fair game. But this goes far beyond the bounds of menchlichkeit. This was a bullying takedown that is completely uncalled for. This was portraying a person as something he is completely not, in a very disturbing manner.

    Beth,

    I think Steve put it quite eloquently.

    I don’t know you Beth so I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are not nasty and were just trying to find a snarky way to portray Amishav’s blog. But please realize that you did go over the line. It’s not just my sentiment but a number of other commentators here as well as anyone who takes a few moments to read Amishav’s blog.

    I just posted some excerpts from today’s New York Times on my blog that is so apropos of this situation:

    “Now hecklers even have their own movie, a documentary that opens at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26. The film, “Heckler,” argues that hecklers have grown not only more conspicuous in recent years, but more scathing, as more people feel emboldened to partake in public criticism, perhaps in part because the culture of blogs and online user reviews has created a climate where everyone is a critic — and a harsh one. It’s not enough to give performers a simple thumbs down. They must be personally lambasted, humiliated, even virtually willed out of existence.

    “It’s a new generation, and there are a lot of people who say they have more of a feeling of entitlement,” said Michael Addis, the film’s director. He added, “They feel like they should be getting the attention.”

    … But what is driving all this vitriol? One factor, at least where the Internet is concerned, said Mr. Addis, is that “sex sells, but hate really sells,” and helps bloggers draw traffic. Mr. Kennedy believes that Internet meanness, which flourishes on media gadfly blogs and pop culture Web sites…

    … The psychological term, Dr. Forni said, is the “disinhibition effect,” where people express themselves more openly or bluntly online than they would in person. The old filters — namely, good manners — atrophy offline, and the result is a cultural narcissism: people think that only their feelings and opinions matter.

    … But she did stress that not every spoiled child is a heckler waiting to happen. “You also have to have that hostility within you. Heckling is a self-centered, narcissistic activity.”

    End of excerpt

    I hope this is not you, Beth. Good people recognize when they have gone over the line and may have done something hurtful or inappropriate. You are a talented writer and critic. Let’s have a do over. Take an honest look at Amishav and then write a review that more accurately portrays his blog.

  15. Liz

    4/8/2007 at 2:20 pm

    Satire is a great thing if you can do it well. Beth you did not do it well. Quit while your ahead!

  16. themiddle

    4/8/2007 at 2:28 pm

    Chutzpah wins Cynic of the Year. By the way, what’s a BLT in this context?

  17. Ro

    4/8/2007 at 2:36 pm

    Satire or not it was in poor taste.

    I don’t think I’ll be visiting this site anymore.

  18. themiddle

    4/8/2007 at 3:50 pm

    Yikes, Liz and Ro share the same IP so if we lose one, at least we’ll still have the other as a reader. 😉

  19. Ro

    4/8/2007 at 4:46 pm

    Actually you lose two. This is a shared computer!

    Thanks!

  20. Chutzpah

    4/8/2007 at 4:53 pm

    I thought she asked him if he thought of her as a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwich…maybe I got that wrong.

    And I’d like to thank the Jewlicious Academy for my new title.

  21. Chutzpah

    4/8/2007 at 4:55 pm

    Oh, and it’s
    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    You can havea really bad hair day if you do it the other way.

  22. VJ

    4/8/2007 at 5:27 pm

    Oh well, I for one was trying to figure out where the BLT was coming from. I was coming up croppers:
    [http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=BLT]

    And part of my innate charm is that I sound almost exactly like how I write here & elsewhere. Indeed, I’m a bit more circumspect in print. But again, all that is required here is a bit of adult reading comprehension, and a willingness & ability to be able to write accurately & perhaps even honestly about your experiences. Many are ‘good’ with only one part of the latter half of that equation, and mistake the ‘honesty’ of their reactions for an accurate assessment for what went down. This of course is a very common error.

    Trying to actually hire folks who have some command of the English language and some moderate ability to write simple descriptive paragraphs, we manage to reject about 90-95% of all applicants. This of course is no mean feat, and we grade on a ‘wicked’ curve too. We just managed to rid ourselves of one of our best producers, who was a willfully sloppy, lazy & mean drunk who we managed to pay about 80K for literally part time work.

    So accuracy in reporting always counts. Everywhere. Even when you’re reaching for yet another hoary Jap joke. But all this really matters if you ever want to try and write for a living. There are very few places that will pay you consistently well for sloppy reporting. Sure the newspapers will do it, but for how much longer? Ask any of the older staff. There is none, right? Cheers, ‘VJ’

  23. themiddle

    4/8/2007 at 7:12 pm

    Well then, bye Ro and Liz.

  24. Amishav

    4/9/2007 at 11:10 am

    P. Life, Ro, Liz- thanks for sticking up for me when I wasn’t around to do so myself. You are wonderful people- thank you so much.

    As for the person who writes the tag lines for this blog- I would ask- again- that you please not misrepresent me. Again- I was not saving my phone and letting my kid drown. Events were the opposite of what you describe. I pointed this out to you previously. Please stop painting me in this light.

    More coming up on my blog- http://www.chaiexpectations.blogspot.com

  25. ramon marcos

    4/9/2007 at 11:12 am

    I do like this “tidbits” idea. Not that it’s a new idea but it does add a nice element to the Jewlicious blog format. Keep doing it and keep screwing up enough to piss people off and get some traffic going Beth.

  26. kate

    4/9/2007 at 11:43 am

    Ami comes across as such a sweet and sensitive soul.

    Next time, pick on someone who deserves it.

  27. ck

    4/9/2007 at 9:43 pm

    Oh Amishav. You should be thankful for all the traffic you got, and the attention. You were amply defended by your fans and the classy thing would have been to simply let it slide.

    Besides, you admit to being flawed and inadequate. You have no problem pointing that out – so why react when someone else does? The Beth’s provocative description made me read your blog for the first time and it’s not half bad for something so self-referential. I may even come back! But more importantly, I read your side of the story and I don’t think you’re a creep. You should be thanking Beth rather than getting all self-righteous. Not that you’re not entitled to it of course, but often, restraint is indeed the better part of valor.

  28. Chutzpah

    4/10/2007 at 12:09 am

    Beth rocks!

  29. Amishav

    4/10/2007 at 1:03 pm

    CK- Actually, my traffic didn’t spike because of the link and I didn’t get any additional new links to my blog because of it- I’m glad you found my writing entertaining and I’m glad you dont think I’m a creep now. I don’t think you’re a creep either.

    Just to clarify (not to get self righteous, but indeed just to clarify) I did let it slide. I didn’t get into any nonsense with you or Beth or anyone. I just asked again, as I did when she brought it up the first time, for her to please quit describing me as an uncaring father. I think its reasonable to ask for that consideration. I love my children very much.

    I won’t be checking back after today. I hope every one had a wondeful pesach season.

  30. Chutzpah

    4/10/2007 at 5:43 pm

    Given what Amishav actually did, I’d say my prediction was overly optimistic and gave him way too much credit.

    I’d rather date an illiterate man who had the balls to pick up the phone and say “listen babe, I don’t think this long distance thing is going to work out for us, and I’m not going to come out. Let’s please move on to dating other people and I’m really happy we had some great times together,” than some fucking SPINELESS WIMP with a PH.d who hides behind a keyboard and writes an email which says”we’ll always have Paris” . GAG!

    His invitation to “hear her thoughts” doesn’t make it any less disgusting. Whether she calls him on the phone or writes, whether she’s nice or hurt or mean, it’s not going to change his mind and make him go out to Cally on a regular basis to be a good,caring boyfriend, so he effectively dumped her via email, which I find cowardly and very typical of dating in the internet era.

  31. Chutzpah

    4/10/2007 at 7:03 pm

    Coward/creep…same thing.

  32. Chutzpah

    4/10/2007 at 7:06 pm

    Katey,
    Please don’t date recently divorced men, you clearly are not going to be able to handle it.

  33. VJ

    4/11/2007 at 2:02 am

    As always, all this would make slightly more sense if people actually took the time to read anymore. Chutzpah, it was a weekend. One. Weekend. Not a relationship. Just an (unconsummated) pleasant weekend. Not even up to the standards of a ‘one night stand’. He still respects her in the morning. She’s due no agonizing discussion & over analysis here or elsewhere. Not really. Not even enough material for a proper soap opera any sense of the word.

    Reading comprehension, people. It beings at home, with you. Again as always, Cheers, ‘VJ’

  34. VJ

    4/11/2007 at 2:05 am

    That last line in the first paragraph of my post in #33 should read: ‘There’s not even enough material for a proper soap opera in any sense of the word.’ Sorry for any confusion. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  35. Passionate Life

    4/11/2007 at 8:45 am

    I must say I am with VJ on this.

    Chutzpah, email is a phenomenal tool that allows one to express ones feelings and point of view while giving the other person an opportunity to digest what his or her partner is feeling without the instant reaction that may be regretted later. Cali girl can take some time to consider what Amishav is saying and then calmly respond to the concerns that Amishav is making. Basically Amishav is saying, I am who I am, and I deserve to be accepted for who I am, sadness and all.

    Chutzpah, if you paid close attention even though Amishav introduced Cali girl to his shul and community she broke off with him and left him in the emotional lurch. Currently they are NOT in a relationship, only exploring the possibility of reentering one, so he is absolutely justified in expressing his concerns via email. It would have been a different story if they were in a relationship, although even then, email can be a useful tool to discuss aspects of concern without the immediate emotional reaction, but not necessarily for a final breakup. (Which this is not since it leaves open the door for Cali girl to address the issues Amishav has with her and possibly still give it another go.)

    Relationship dynamics are always tricky and vary greatly from couple to couple. If you don’t feel comfortable with a particular method of communication don’t do it. But you also don’t have to be a judgmental jerk if something doesn’t work for you to castigate someone else for having their own style.

    Viva la difference!!!

  36. Chutzpah

    4/11/2007 at 9:52 am

    If someone can’t communicate via telephone with a person, they should NOT consider “exploring the possibility of a relationship” with that person.

    People hide behind email. The number one reason relationships fail is because of poor communication. If “talking” as a particular method doesn’t work for a person, then they should not be in a relationship until they learn how to do that.

    Here’s my dating rule: once you’ve gone offline and met in the real world, email is only good for sending funny viral videos, love notes and confirming meeting place & times.

    If talking doesn’t “feel comfortable” then someone in the “dynamic” is chicken shit.

  37. Tom Morrissey

    4/11/2007 at 10:21 am

    Show me a couple that relies on e-mail for significant emotional communication, and I’ll show you a couple that’s circling the drain.

  38. VJ

    4/12/2007 at 5:52 am

    For the record, Amishav did try to call, several times. She did not answer, hence his very acceptable & respectful email. He’s a sensible guy, if the gal won’t pick up the phone, you email. Others prefer Western Union for that personal touch. But Dooh! They stopped doing real ‘telegrams’ in the 1990’s. And again, they were Never a couple. One weekend does not a ‘couple’ make. Again context makes a difference here. Me, I send all important messages by my fav carrier pigeon, ‘Speckled Jim’. He’s been missing for awhile now… Cheers, ‘VJ’

  39. themiddle

    4/12/2007 at 1:44 pm

    I haven’t dated in a while but I always thought that if a gal doesn’t pick up the phone, you cut off all contact cuz it’s clear she does not want to bear your children.

  40. Chutzpah

    4/12/2007 at 5:49 pm

    You have to give a woman at least a 24-48 response time to call back, she may want to let things “marinate” first or she may have a career or family demands that are taking first priority. Jeez.

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