Friday, October 12, 2007

"Perfecting" Jews

A certain right-wing pundit recently stated in an interview that she thought Jews needed to be "perfected." The same woman has said in the past that we should send people over to the Middle East to forcibly convert the Muslims to Christianity, which would make them more peaceful (apparently she missed the history class about the Crusades).

Suffice it to say that I don't think her remarks are even worth dignifying with a response. Like Howard Stern and Don Imus, this woman makes money by shocking people. Like Stern and Imus, it's not even entirely clear whether she believes the outrageous, insulting, divisive things she says, or whether she just says them to get attention, publicity and of course, money. Why should I give her the publicity she seeks?

Frankly, I am far less concerned about her and her remarks than I am about the state of a society that makes such things profitable. I know that a lot of people gleefully listen to "shock jocks" and read extremist literature (both right and left) not to learn anything, not to understand anything, not even because they agree with it, but only for the sheer amusement value of seeing what outrageous thing these pundits will say or write next. Of course, once those outrageous things have been said, the bar is raised and the pundits must say or do something even more outrageous to get attention. It is a vicious circle, and there is no end to it in sight.

But one person responding on a news article about this situation made an excellent comment that suggests a way forward: if a blowhard speaks and no one is there to listen, does she make a sound?


morningstar said...

She's a tired performance artist, who will always have enough patrons on the fringe to keep her in kibble. I doubt it matters that she alienates most rational folks (e.g., advocating repeal of the 19th amendment) so long as she collects her check at the end of the day.

JewFAQ said...

Performance artist: an excellent way to describe her, MorningStar! But unlike, say Andy Kaufman wrestling women, most people think this woman is serious. The most entertaining part of her shtick is watching conservatives scramble to disown her inflammatory remarks after they have paid good money to have her make them.

Molly said...


This has nothing to do with this post, but I couldn't find another way to contact you (although maybe I'm just not sufficiently caffeinated yet).

First, I wanted to thank you for the JewFAQ site. I'm just starting on the road towards conversion to Judaism, and if I have any questions, I can almost always find the answer on your site or if not, I can find enough information to help in a further search. It's become an invaluable resource for me.

Second, I wanted to bring your attention to the fact that a link to "The Transliterated Siddur"on the "List of Prayers" page isn't working anymore.

I hope you have a lovely Chanukkah, and thank you again!