Friday, December 28, 2007

Identity Politics and Acne

Oh, really, this is my perfect life, that one string of comments could tackle both of these issues simultaneously. I'm not even kidding. The mundane and the paramountly important, all rolled into a day. That's what life really is, and I appreciate your thoughts

I am going to resist getting further sucked into the, um, theological debate that has been raging, but I do welcome it, and I do feel that reading the comments--or the blog at all, of course--is always a choice. I'm grateful that you continue to make it. But heady politics is no reason to not send me a link to your fabulous butternut maple cream pie, or whatever. I'm just saying.

New wondertime columns are here and here.

We've had a warm and wonderful holiday so far. Have you? What's the best thing you've eaten? Do you pray? How would you treat the recurring wart on Birdy's foot? I want to know everything.

yours adoringly,

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jew eat yet?

It's funny timing to log on today and see that there's a small storm brewing in the comments about the Jew thing, since had my digital camera been working, what I was going to post was a photo, with the caption "Jews for Jesus," of Birdy playing with the antique porcelain creche I bought yesterday at the Salvation Army. I could really have offended everyone that way! But it's lovely, that creche, and Birdy loves the story of a baby born in a manger, and it all seems perfectly in keeping with our vision of an easier, happier world to live in.

You don't know from Jews poking a little fun?

It's actually fine with me to say you were offended: I am still political enough, even in my old age, to value dialogue over silence, alienation, abandonment. I do think it's a good practice, though, not to make those comments anonymous.

Would I say to Ben "Jews say 'Oy'"? Sure. Or I would say something more like "Many do." It's part of the culture, part of the Yiddish language. Just like you would say that Mexicans say "si" for "yes." Would I tell him that Jews are greedy wealth-mongers who would take a pound of your flesh over, say, a bad subprime mortgage? No. That's a negative stereotype. Do Jews tend to make fun of themselves? Yes--it's part of a centuries-long survival strategy.

But let me just say: I am all for worrying about stereotypes. Some of them just happen to be embedded in complex ways within particular cultural practices. But let's talk about it (she said, like a person who used to teach critical thinking to college students. . . sorry.)

Newish columns are here and here.