Why does Apple still think it’s cool?

15 Sep

iphone-5s-site

Have you seen the new iphones? I’m super impressed by the advertising. Not really. The fact is Apple can sell anything. The marketing is just ridiculous by now though.

Here’s the new iphone page. Right in the middle is the product splash. On the bottom, of course, same stupid videos people in 1999 couldn’t get enough of. This year we have some clone of Steve jobs taking his place doing a promo. In the middle, authoritative tech guy with an Australian accent (Im assuming, I havent seen the video) somehow pulling off a v-neck at 50 -respect- And on the right, a video showing how you can become  accepted by your betters. The genius part this year is the introduction of two classes of iphones.

The lower class is the 5c, where c stands for cheap and cute, and the higher one is the 5s, for serious and superior. The reason apple had to make the lower class this year is because once Apple released its phone to all wireless carriers, it became not special. The carriers decided to give it away cheap with a plan and suddenly, every  kollel guy has an iphone 4. The iphone 5’s higher price didn’t make any difference because even though the technology is a little different, it looks and feels the exact same as the free one and is too obviously just a rip-off for douches. Apple stopped being special shiny crap, and just regular old crap. What they needed was some top-down product segregation, the old fashioned way. One that lets people know immediately if you’re white or black. Or colored. Colored is a good word here actually because that’s exactly how people know if you’re a joke or not. The 5c is plastic and colorful (tagline: ‘For the colorful.’  Brilliant.)  And the 5s is metal, with only 3 metallicy serious colors (it comes in actual Silver and Gold this year, along with I’m on a super serious call right now Grey). So basically, if you’re a kid from a poor family you can have the 5c. If you’re an adult, it comes with a ‘Kick me’ sign.

I Don’t Like The Tisha B’av Routine.

16 Jul

itchemeyer:

I wrote this a while ago but thought of it again this week when someone mentioned how they taught her about tisha bav in satmar girls camp. I still dont get anything out of tisha bav because of this.

Originally posted on yeshivaforum:

I don’t like Eicha. I don’t like kinos. I don’t like listening to videotaped mussar speeches. Why not? Well, I want to throw out some intelligent sociological reason to make it seem like I do things because I’m smarter than the rest of the plebes, but I feel stupid lying anonymously to other anonymous people over the internet.

So it’s not because the language is archaic, or that I’m desensitized to graphic descriptions, or even that modern Jewish tragedies emotionally dwarf something that took place in antiquity. Those all sound nice and logical. But the real reason is because They made me do it. They forced me to do it when I didn’t want to and terrified me with horrible things that would happen if I didn’t.

Care about the Bais Hamikdash being destroyed! Care about us losing Yerushalaim 2000 years ago! Didn’t you just sing, “If I forget you…

View original 336 more words

New thing to do for July 4th

7 Jul

rainbow cake

Apparently there’s this new thing to do during the 3 weeks that’s funner than not taking a haircut and going up to the mountains for visiting day. It’s called Rainbow. I had no idea what this was until a frum pothead mentioned it to me on facebook, but basically its this weekend in Montana where you get to be a hippy and smoke up naked in the woods with other dirty or dirty-wannabe type people.

First off, ok, first off, both wtf? and yes. Second, how come we aren’t doing this already? When did it become not ok to hang out naked and get high? Ok, so no women allowed in the clubs because it’d just become a huge orgy. And halacha. (Women can make their own clubs if they want.) Anyhow, like I was saying, it was obviously normal at one point. You go into the JCC and its basically impossible to find a spot that hasn’t been taken up by naked old people. This is 90% what your grandparents go to any “center” for. The only enclosed building old Jews get together in and keep their pants on is shul. And if Russians went to shul, even that would be fair game. My God can you imagine? The kiddush? Right after davening, it’d be nudity and vodka and herring. Ughhh.

Ok you can’t bring a proof from Russians. Obviously, they have they’re own rules. They lived through the gulags and Siberia and, well,  they’re just insane. And they have balls of steel. Very old and gross balls of steel. My point is it’s our right as human beings and Jews to get naked and high. Our great-grandparents didn’t suffer through a thousand years of cold sunless Polish winters- and the rest of the year, and the poritz, and rubles, and cossaks, and bringing the chicken to the shochet for shabbos through the mud, and cleaning the dirt floors for pesach, etc.- so we could sit in our clothes and be sober. If they could see us now in America with our barbecues, and not being pogrommed, and summer, and freedom, I’m sure they’d want us to be naked and drunk or high at least some of the time. Your Bubby is looking down, ok, probably not your Bubby. But your Zaideh definitely wants you to get stoned and eat barbecue naked this weekend.

The Lord: Abraham, Part II

24 Mar

Image

Cut back to scene.

God: Seriously Gabriel, if you could just, you know, look at this objectively, you would really like him too. I know you.

Gabriel: No. You and Abraham chat. OK? Me and you smite.

God: Gabriel…

Gabriel: Uh, are we smiting now?

God: God. Fine. “Abraham.”

Abraham: Yes Lord?

God: I’m going to destroy sodom and gomorrah…. letting you know.

Abraham: What?

God: Yeah. No secrets. Relationship. For all time.

Abraham: No I mean-

God: Ltr? Communication is key. Trust me on that. 2400 years I’ve been here.

Abraham: No, I mean sodom and gomorrah.

God: Oh. What about? >Gabriel, get the heck in here right now!<

Abraham: How could you do that?

God: Yo that place is mad evil. Trust me. >Gabriel you’re missing it! You are seriously going to regret missing- oh there you are. Awesome.<

Abraham: I…I do, of course. But, and please excuse me, but are there 50 righteous men in the city to spare the city?

God: Wait I’ll check.

Gabriel: Oh my god…in sodom…

God: Right?

God: No Abraham. Sorry.

Gabriel: Ha ha!

Abraham: Wait! Lord, please.

Gabriel: Whoa. The balls on this guy.

God: I told you! Did I tell you? No, go sit in the back and mope. Dude I tell you you’ll like something, dude- you. will. like. it.

Abraham: Will you spare it for 30 righteous men?

God: Yes.

Abraham: …………….And-? Wait… no thirty men.

God: You got it.

Abraham: Ok…

Gabriel: No. Way.

Abraham: Please Lord…

Gabriel: Oh. My. God. I love this guy. Seriously? I love him.

Abraham: …would twenty work?

God: Yup.

Abraham: And…

God: Nope.

Abraham: Wow.

God: Yeah. E.Vil. I sent in my destroying angels-

Abraham: Wait! Please! Are there 10-

God: You didn’t let me finish. I was saying I sent them in and a mob just asked Lot to “Bring them out”-

Abraham: But, 10?

God: “-so we can rape them.”

Abraham: ……….”So we can rape them.”

God: Yeah.

Abraham: Shit.

God: I know. Good try though. I love you man. Keep up the good deeds and kindness. You rock.

Now on History Channel: The Lord: Angels and Abraham

24 Mar

ImageRiding the popularity of their hit miniseries, “The Bible”, The History Channel commissioned a team of cameramen to go behind the scenes for a Lord’s eye view, in “The Lord”.

Previously on The Lord…
God’s 3 angels appeared to Abraham and promised him a child the next year. The Lord said, “Shall I hide what I’m doing from Abraham?”

Pan up to God in heaven.

God: Shall I hide what I’m doing from Abraham?

Gabriel: Well, I’m not sure-

God: Uh, rhetorical, Gabriel.

Gabriel: Right.

God: Abraham’s my boy!

Gabriel: Right. I know.

God: You still have a problem with Abraham?

Gabriel: I never said that.

God: Your tone.

Gabriel: There was no tone.

God: Gabriel…

Gabriel: Fine yes. Im hurt. OK? There I said it. Abraham’s your new friend and what about us?

Michael: I statements…

Gabriel: Fine, what about me?

God: But Abraham’s the man.

Gabriel: And how do you think that makes me feel?

God: Listen Gabriel, we’re friends, but Abraham and me are just different. We have something really special. Remember? He smashed the idols, jumped into the fire? Want me to go on? Abraham and me are like this.

Gabriel: And me?! I worship you!

God: Yeah…it’s kind of creepy.

Gabriel: Creepy?!

Michael: God, whoa come on.

God: Ok Im sorry. Its nice. We’re really good friends Gabriel. We’ve been really good friends for like thousands of years. I wish you could just be happy for me-

Gabriel: You want me to jump into the fire? Is that it? I would. I’m just invulnerable, so I can’t. And you’re holding that against me. And Ok Im not complaining but I didnt ASK to have super powers. Ok? If you want me to jump into fire why don’t you ask? I’m not a mind-reader.
God: Come on man, don’t make this weird. Come here.

Gabriel: No, I just don’t get it-

God: Come on Gabriel. Come on. Hug. Ohh. There we go.

Michael: Awww!

God: I love you man.

Gabriel: Yeah…ok.

God: Come on, smile.

Gabriel: Mmmm Ok…

God: Yeah! Ok guess what, I have a surprise. We. Are. All. Going. To flip over sodom and gemorrah!

Gabriel: Ha ha! For real? Man, that place is a cesspool of evil. I was wondering when we were going there…

God: Right now guys. And I’m going to tell Abraham.

Gabriel: Oh, just do it. You don’t have to involve me.

God: Gabriel…

Gabriel: Just give me some space.

God: Ok….But it’s going to be fun, I promise.

Gabriel: Yeah…Just call me when we’re smiting.

God: Ok man.

Cut Scene to something else.

 

Would I be good in Kiruv?

17 Oct

Sometimes I wonder if I’d be successful doing kiruv. Or rabbanus. Off the bat, you’re gonna laugh, I know, and the pros and cons here don’t paint a great picture either, but I wonder if the actual baalei teshuva/geirim/spiritually-minded in the audience would care to weigh in here.

Cons: 1. I can’t look at Jewish propaganda. A Jewish grandfather and kid laughing with white yarmulkes on and some Israel/family ad makes me cringe. An interenet meme hijacked by some mitzvah motivator makes me want to find a slightly overweight man in a suit with a black hat and trimmed beard and punch them hard, repeatedly. (You want to see someone profaning holy things? Foul Bachelor Frog promoting shacharis with only the barest pretense of humor evident.)

I can’t stand the davening. I barely ever do it except maybe once a week in shul, and then I leave out all the stuff that makes my skin crawl. Which is basically every other sentence.

I can’t imagine having to represent Judaism every second of the day. Wait, I kind of do that with my yarmulke on all the time. But that’s off sometimes, like at the beach. Plus, I don’t have to do public events and get my face plastered all over.

Pros:

1. I like people listening to me.

2. I hate my job now.

3. I actually know the Jewish religion/philosophy/practice really well.

4. Hot women will suddenly be approaching ME for conversation.

5. I’m a pretty good speaker. I’m funny, and I can spin a pretty good vort out of most parshios out there. With life lessons thrown in at opportune moments.

5. Everything I say will suddenly have the weight of 3500 years of serious tradition behind it. Proxy respect, you say? My ego can’t tell the difference!

Now on to questionable areas: Would prospective religion seekers like my ideas? I can see it going both ways. Very broadly, here’s my outlook summed up in a hypothetical kiruv conversation.

Rabbi Dicker, Will I find ultimate truth in frum Judaism?

It really depends. I don’t know you well enough. It’s definitely possible you’ll be very happy for a while. Of course, then you might become even more depressed after investing your life in it and hating it. I’m not touching this one.

Is the Torah true?

Oh god. I don’t know. OK, probably not. Wait, wait! I’m just speaking rationally. You know, statistically speaking, with all the other competing traditions out there. And all the unbelievable myths, and antiquated beliefs you’ll undoubtedly find while learning through it. But really, Joanne, why does it matter?

Why does it ma-?

Yes. Let’s look at the facts on the ground here. Clearly people have a need for religion. Look at you, growing up in a secularized, rational, environment, looking now for that old time religion to follow. It’s hard going into the world by ourselves. Maybe biologically, we need this emotional support to be happy in life. Go to the most remote, ancient, primitive, villages on Earth, and they’ll all have sacred rituals that connect them with some higher forces. Just accept it and be happy. And if you’re being smart about the whole thing, while you’re at it, why not choose the one with the rituals that don’t creep you out, and that you’re already kind of familiar with, and that brings back those positive childhood memories of going to grandpa’s house?”

Hmm? Anyone think my spiel has merit? Think it’ll win me enough congregants to make Anshei Agnostics a success?

You know what? It doesn’t matter. Because at it’s essence, isn’t kiruv really just about showing a nice, smiling family around a shabbos table to people who are too emotionally screwed up to ever have it? I can do that. Shit, who am I kidding? I can’t pull that off. Maybe I’ll become a male stripper.

Shabbos Robes Are Sexy

2 Sep

Guest Post By: For Real

Say What- ? 

This story actually happened to me this past Friday night:

David: Hey, I’ve never seen anything like this before on you

For Real: This is what is commonly known as a Shabbos Robe

David: I know, I live in Brooklyn too…..but I’ve never seen YOU in one….(gazes in adoration)

For Real: You’ve seen me in ugly stuff before- sweatpants, my high school uniform-  what’s the big deal?

David: This thing is so girly! It’s like a real dress! And it unzips in the front for easy access! This is amazing!

For Real: (Bursts out laughing) Do you know how much virtual ink has been spilled about how UGLY these things are? How these robes symbolize the eventual breakdown of the female body from childbearing and how chicks stop dressing up for their guys?

David: You’re overthinking this. You look good in this and that’s all that counts!

For Real: (Still laughing) You grew up in a world where women can wear whatever they want and you like SHABBOS ROBES! Here I thought “Yeah, now I’ve known David long enough not to have to get dressed up” and you’re taking this AS getting dressed up! I’M DATING THE ONLY GUY IN THE WORLD WHO LIKES SHABBOS ROBES!!!! I WIN!!!! (Start doing victory dance on Ocean Parkway)

David: (Laughs at victory dance) Well I win because I’m dating a girl who likes wearing stuff I like

For Real: David, can I tell the world that there is one Jewish guy who likes Shabbos robes? There are these blogs where Jews whine about Jewish things like that and I want to prove that there is another view on Shabbos Robes.

David: Sure, we’re not using our real names, why not?

(Ed: This story makes me feel good. There’s something nice and comforting and all-around feel-good about it. Good luck For Real! Thanks for the story.)

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