Wednesday, March 16, 2011

EZ Reads 3/16/11

Well, at least the blog is readable right now; we hope to have some more changes over the coming weeks. For anyone interested in joining my NCAA pool, the rules and payment how-to info (1/$10 or 3/$25) are on the site; here's the link. Good luck! The password is ezzie11. I estimate about 60 brackets once everyone finishes entering theirs - a nice number.
  • Jameel has a really interesting post about the Origins of Purim.
  • Seth Godin on when things are declared "dead":
    Great music wasn't created by the first people to grab an electric guitar or a synthesizer. Great snowboarding moves didn't come from the guy who invented the snowboard... No one thinks Gutenberg was a great author, and some of the best books will be written long after books are truly dead.
    Only when an innovation is dead can the real work begin.
  •  Yaacov Lozowick with an interesting side story from the Fogel massacre: Some Palestinians are not only shocked by what happened, but speaking out in public about it.
    I've been reporting in the Palestinian territories for many years, and the responses I recorded today in Shchem (Nablus) really surprised me. They seem to show a substantial distance between the PA leadership and regular people. The leadership (he cites Abbas and others) are muttering a condemnation of the murder, mostly not in Arabic and not in front of their public, and then they're condemning Israeli settlements. Nothing new here. On the other hand, I went to Shchem today, and was very surprised. People on the street were willing to condemn the murder unequivocally, in Arabic and in Hebrew, with no embarrassment, in front of the camera, and even identify themselves. [He shows some examples]. I've been covering the Palestinian territories for years, but this I've never seen before. In the middle of town, publicly, people had no compunctions openly to condemn the murder of children.
    Lozowick continues with some intriguing reasons why this may be the case, and I think some of them are quite possibly true; I would add that the speed and access to media likely helps as well. Interesting, and hopefully the beginning of change in the region. Eldar's report, including the interviews with Palestinians in Shechem, is translated on YouTube as well.
  • One of the worst pieces I've read in a while (and that's saying something) - an article questioning why the Maccabeats' video doesn't include women. Really? An all-male acapella group? Silliness.
  • Kosher on a Budget de-clutters and gains - peace of mind and some savings. I've done this and wholeheartedly agree. (I actually need to do this again...) Organizing makes it a lot easier to see what you need - and what you don't. It's tempting to think that if you buy something then something will be simpler, but often it's easier to just tidy up a bit.
  • A Soldier's Mother on words that break your heart.
  • Tikkun Olam reprints Caroline Glick's fantastic essay.


  1. That IS a horrible piece. One place she says:

    "One can argue that the Maccabeats are an all-male a capella group. There’s no reason they need to have women singing in their videos. And many in the Orthodox community might take issue with women singing in deference to the halakhic considerations of kol isha, the prohibition on men listening to women’s voices lest they become aroused."

    then she says:

    "Fair enough. But the Maccabeats’ failure to deal with the presentation of women sadly reflects a broader issue in Orthodoxy, namely the inability of so many Orthodox institutions to include women in their public culture."

    So either she understands or she doesn't. It's amazing to see the ridiculous conclusions that the fight for equality leads to. A male accapela group has to be questioned for not want having women. Um...can't we just leave it at that and not fish for some grand conspiracy?

    Clearly, the writers has a specific ideaology. And thats fine. But using the Maccabeats as an example only goes to show how fanatic and ludicrous this ideology of equality can get at times.

  2. Jameel has a really interesting post about the Origins of Purim.

    Thanks for the good word.

    However, I did that post.


  3. Aw, thanks so much for linking to my post! I wish that the rest of the house was as decluttered as the linen closet and the kitchen! (I'll get there eventually... although my kids may be married before I do!)

  4. There are nonJewish, non-religious male a capella groups that also don't include women. It's because they're MALE a capella groups!

    (Like The Beelzebubs, for example.)