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Tomatoe, Tomahto

Friday, 11 January 2008

You see my Blog Rating over there on the sidebar?? G-Rated. Suitable for all audiences. Now, Phyllis commented “I like your “blog rating” on the sidebar. like i was doubtful” and I have to agree that I would be hardpressed to find any objectionable material here in Frume Sarah’s World. What was mindboggling to me, however, is when I did a scan of the site, the word that came up as censurable was…

POOP.

Yep. Not crap (which I think is waaaaaay worse), but poop.

Come on. Would it even be possible to blog about life with three kids and never discuss bodily functions? In fact, Frume Sarah has shown considerable restraint in these matters.

Or maybe what is objectionable to one person is perfectly acceptable to another.

Take Hava Nagila. Boy, has this caused quite a bit of chatter on Jewish listservs! It’s been flying back and forth ever since Lauren Rose’s version threatened to shoot up to first place on the charts across the Pond during the Yuletime. In case you’ve been under a rock, here it is:




The negatives first: vocal ability is nothing outstanding, her Hebrew pronounciation is just plain wrong, her outfit is unmodest (to put it mildly), her dancing is incredibly sexualized, and the English lyrics are **shall we say** a variation-on-the-theme.

But as my friend Tevye likes to say, “On the other hand…”

1. Sexuality is everywhere. I would love to shield Poppyseed from much of what popular culture is representing as feminine — or should I say, misrepresenting. I don’t like the idea that our culture sends a strong message to girls that sex sells. I really do believe that it has a danger of objectifying women. However, that is the trade-off of embracing the predominant culture. I am not prepared to move us back to the shtetl. Though there are days… So one might argue that at least she’ll be singing a Jewish song.

2. It is rather refreshing to have some visual associated with us than a shtetl Jew dressed in the garb of 18th century Minsk or Lvov. Though I do feel a kinship with our heritage and our more traditional lantslaite (plural of lantsman), it is important for non-Jews to see us as belonging to normative society. As much as I love the Barry Sisters and their version of this song, this video just reinforces the sterotype.

Watch:



See what I mean?

I can't say that I'm comfortable with the Lauren Rose version. Perhaps a sign that I'm becoming an old foggie, I don't know.

But on the other hand...

It's kinda nice when Jewish music crosses over to the mainstream. And it sure as heck beats "I Had A Little Dreidle!"

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunday, 13 January 2008 1:06 pm

    poop, eh? that’s interesting. i’m not sure i want to run my blog through that site:-) if i do, i’ll let you know….

    i’m also not sure how i feel about the hava nagila….it’s always interesting to see how the world interprets us…

  2. Monday, 14 January 2008 7:52 am

    Am I an “old fogie” or as we say here an “A.K.” (short for the not much nicer Yiddish term) because I like the Andrew Sisters version better?

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