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Jul 12 2013

Do Our Kids Get Our “Ironic” Jewish Jokes?

By at 12:54 pm

paula deenJust like with the interracial family Cheerios ad controversy, my mailbox promptly filled up with friends wanting to know what I thought about Paula Deen, her allegedly racist remarks, her mea culpa tour, and her subsequent exorcism from TV, cookbooks, etc… (Once again, I understand why I’m most people’s go-to-person for such issues.)

Unlike with the interracial Cheerios ad controversy, however, in Ms. Deen’s case, I know very little about the story beyond what I summarized above. I haven’t followed it except via unavoidable headlines, and so I really have nothing to say.

But, it did get me thinking. So, so many things get me thinking. (There was a saying in Stalin’s Russia: The less you know, the sounder you sleep. Explains why I’ve never been able to do so, I guess.)

When my mother and I returned to the USSR in 1989, 13 years after my family first emigrated to America, I met with some former friends of mine, now in college. One of them explained to me how the African students that were brought over to study in Soviet universities were “no fun at all. They don’t want to party or have a good time. All they care about is hitting the books and getting their university degrees.”  Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 12 2012

Eight Nights of Hanukkah Gift Mistakes

By at 12:45 pm

Yes, of course, anyone who gives your children Hanukkah presents is super-nice, thoughtful, and should be thanked for being such a good person. That being said, here are eight Hanukkah gifts that should be marked “return to sender.”

1. “Sand art” kit: I’ve said it before and will say it again: anyone who gives your child a sand art kit secretly hates you. They don’t hate your kid–they hate YOU. Because there is no imaginable scenario in which the opening of the box of sand art does not end with you having arguably toxic sand permanently embedded in your floor, clothing, and home generally. On the plus side, now someone no longer hates you in secret! Read the rest of this entry →

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