Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jews in Blume, Political Kvetching and Other Notes

After all that spiritual light and sound, it's harsh to have to crash y'all back down to earth. But somebody's gotta do it.

But before we do, one more note about Darshan, about which Sera has written so eloquently. There's a song in the brilliant rock musical Passing Strange that culminates with this joyous, gospel-tinged refrain: "Music is the freight train on which God travels."

K, peeps: The meeting will come to order with some new business.

First off, if you're in L.A., c'mon down to Blumesday on Fri. night, 9/19, at M Bar. It's a fantabulous tribute to author Judy Blume (née Sussman) featuring selections from Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, Forever and other perennials read by such delightful local talents as Jill Soloway, Melanie Hutsell, Maggie Rowe and our own Joanna Rubiner (among others), with music by the sly and saucy Candypants. The night will be hosted by the inimitable Ronna and Bev; it was organized by scrumptiously sexy Oregonian Jewess Joanna Miller and is sponsored by Jill's cool feminist org, Object. And if you look carefully, you just might see your beloved VHJ blogerati in attendance.

Now, on to politics. First: some Jews in New York are having a rally to express concern about Iran and invited Sarah Palin to speak.

Bad Jews. Bad.

Maybe the fact that she quoted renowned anti-Semite and avowed racist Westbrook Pegler (who cheerfully advocated the assassination of RFK) in her acceptance speech should tip off any self-respecting Hebrew that associating with Palin is a shandeh. Then there's her general religious fanaticism, her opposition to abortion even in the case of rape and incest, her sickening abuses of power, her promotion of the brutal slaughter of majestic Alaskan wildlife via helicopter.

I know, right?

Unfortunately, the organizers of this event subscribe to the misbegotten view that anyone who supports Israel (even if it's for Armageddon reasons) is also a pal of the Jews. They deserve to be kicked in the shins, but at the very least you can e-mail them and tell them what a fucking embarrassing mistake it is to make Palin their spokesmodel. Go here to find out how.

And in the meantime, we're just going to go ahead and say it out loud: Sarah Palin and her wingnut ilk are a bigger threat to the Jews than Ahmadinejad. How you like us now?

FANTASTIC BREAKING-NEWS UPDATE: The excellent activist org JStreet reports that Palin has been disinvited, thanks to lots of angry messages. Good work, Jews!

Yeah, the VHJs are ready to endorse a candidate. It's Barack Obama. Shocker. And we want you to help Obama win. Jews have a special role to play: Convincing the Floridian mispuchah – you know, bubbie and zayde and Aunt Rose and Uncle Max – that all the bullshit they've heard about our candidate is just that. This is being accomplished with something called The Great Schlep. It's sponsored by The Jewish Council for Education and Research (JCER), and you can find out more (and donate) here.

Simon went to go phone bank for Obama in the neighborhood, and guess what? He hated it! Calling two pages of swing-state voters felt like having nard surgery. Bugging strangers at home is not his thing at all. So he went to the organizers and they put him to work doing data entry. The clickity-clack? Much more comfy. Point is: We can all make ourselves useful.

And maybe this little post will do some good in this sorry old world.


The Minstrel Boy said...

good for you sime!

the dominionists like palin scare the stuff right outta me. i can't see much difference between what they want and what the terrorists want.

good on you for doing what you can.

music is a good thing. for me, it's always been more than merely a career (ok, i didn't do jingles for love, but you know what i mean), but something that i would have had to do anyway had i not been lucky enough to find ways to make it pay.

it's essential to me feeling human.

obama/biden 08!

Alana said...

Hi Simon. Thanks for the post. And thank you for volunteering your time for the Obama effort. As my kid says, "Black men are smart, and Obama, he's even smarter. I listen to him."

So, FYI: my kid asked me the other day if he could become a Jew. His passionate curiosity aside, not to mention his evident and innate desire to empathize and connect with those outside our current cultural norms in Oregon, he'd like to "know some Jews," "have a barmitzvah," and "some Christians don't know how to understand Jewish stuff, and that's stupid."

Also, I'm certain he has a crush on Sera. Hey, the kid's eleven: bout time for a serious crush. Besides, Sera is super hot and super talented, so who could blame him? He has good taste.

Perhaps the two of you would make my son an honorary Jew. Or recommend a rabbi who wouldn't mind entertaining his interest.

I'm sure I can work something out.

BTW: Sera! We'll be watching the SN premiere tonight. :-)


Simon Glickman and Sera Gamble said...

Alana: Simon here. As far as we're concerned, anyone who wants to be called a Jew is already an honorary Jew. But presto change-o, here you go-go. And your boy has excellent taste in women, fo' sho'. But he should know that a Bar Mitzvah is no cakewalk; I'll be blogging sometime soon about my nephew Jonah's recent traversal of that milestone.

More good news on the Jews for Obama front: an excellent editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times from a prominent rabbi denouncing the smears, and a new organization called Rabbis for Obama ( Barack on with your bad selves!

Alana said...

Thank you, Simon. My son appreciates his honorary status. Anything I should expect? We look forward to the Bar Mitzvah post. Also, excellent news on the Jews for Obama front. Take care of yourself.


KELSO'S NUTS said...

Excellent post. There's a horrible thing going on with this Florida bullshit. I'm not in touch with that scene because my father's side is all Russian Jewish gangster and my mother's side is all Latino/German Jewish broke teachers and social workers and writers and that whole deal. I live in Panama.

So, I never had the actual Great Uncle Max and Great Aunt Sadie experience for myself. I grew up in Manhattan in the 60s and early 70s speaking Spanish, English and a little Russian and Yiddish and my grandfather died in a US prison.

But I got the free ride to prep school and a great college and I was able to pay for my own Master's from UCLA. I am not UNAWARE of the Max and Sadie scene!

The problem for Obama in Florida is that the Maxes and Sadies, like John McCain a lot, they adore Joe Lieberman and they think there's a chance that Sarah Palin is Jewish based on her first and last name. Minister Farrakhan freaks them out and they are scared of tunkeles. Let's face it.

What helps Obama is that he and Michelle went to the same kinds of colleges and grad school as their grandkids. More importantly, Reps Wexler and Wasserman-Schultz have been doing a great job stumping in the Prostate groves for Obama and when the Clintons and Obama hit South Florida together that could do it.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I'm with Simon. Every campaign I ever worked for wants me to work the phones, but I find it very upsetting. That kind of stuff doesn't roll off my back easily. So I always end up begging to stuff envelopes or anything that takes me away from the rejection and rudeness.

Ymina said...

Wonderful post Simon! I couldn't agree more, I don't have any living grandparents anymore, but if I did I would be on the first flight to New Orleans Louisiana to tell my Zaydie and my Granny Peggy to vote for Obama! I have been spouting the Obama love at Kline Galland Nursing Home and its been a pretty positive response so far, however I do find that I need to repeat myself over and over again because some people are just so darn forgetful. But thats ok, when November 4 comes around I'll make sure to have OBAMA posters all over Kline Galland, just don't tell the local rabbis.