Feature Feedback

Comment here on our two latest features, “Guilty Party” and “We Will All Be in Shul for 15 Minutes.”
As per Guilt & Pleasure itself, I didn’t want to editorialize and interject myself into the story. So I’d like to say that I actually really like the ‘zine. Which is probably why it’s perceived as being so threatening. They really did a bang-up job, and ya just gotta give props where they’re due. The whole thing is available as PDFs on the site, by the way. So if you wanna try before you buy, I say give it a whirl. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Also, I think, Felicia Herman made one of the most astute points that could have easily been missed. “I think that everyone’s in this for the same general mission of enriching Jewish culture,” she said, “and enabling more people to access it through modes that they’re comfortable with.”
That’s the Jewschool/Jewlicious relationship in a nutshell. CK, Laya and I actually hashed this out over Shabbat dinner a couple of weeks ago. Admittedly, we’re a hard pill for some folks to swallow. We put some pretty crazy ideas out there partially to push the envelope, and partially cuz we’re just firebrands who love driving uptight people bonkers. Jewlicious manages to give small doses of Jewschool’s fire over in a way that more people can easily handle. And that’s totally cool by me. At the end of the day, we’re both out to promote Jewish culture and to push the community forward in one direction or another.
Gawker Guy put it like this: “Jewschool is the Meat Puppets and Jewlicious is Nirvana.” Harry pushed it even further saying, “Jewschool is The Melvins and Jewlicious is The Foofighters.” Either indie rock metaphor you care to use, the truth is, people have different musical tastes. Nirvana took the Meat Puppets rough and raucous music and made it more listenable to a mainstream audience. The Foofighters then took that music to an even wider audience. Sure, they watered it down a bunch. But at the end of the day, everyone’s still rockin’ out. The Meat Puppets and The Melvins may remain obscure, but their fire lives on. You can also still own both band’s catalogues, and love ’em both for their own merits, know what I mean?
And I guess that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

20 thoughts on “Feature Feedback

  1. As a person who remains largely on the sidelines of this shit, as someone who entirely arrived at an interest in jewish civilization by himself, with little formal Jewish education early on, I think that more is better. You can hash out whats good for the “community” at large, but I like think small, literally – all of these projects target people who are searching for an authentic space to explore Jews who explore themselves. but why aren’t we building hip programs for middle school and high school students who go to public school, who look to other american cultural traditions, etc? Personally, I love the dialogue that a vast array of Jewish cultural publications creates, but I think we need to think about physical spaces, physical insitutions, etc.

  2. thanks for the great article dan.
    i say bring it on. guess what, i can handle reading more than one magazine a month! i heart zeek (have written for it even), i heart jewschool, i even heart jewlicious. perhaps i will move on to hear g&p as well.
    i love all this stuff. i love roger and jules. i love bar mitzvah disco, (even if their t-shirts are derivative hardee har.) i love josh weinberg, ultimate bar mitzvah disco-er.
    the only way i oculd possibly love these people more is if they’d fly me to utah too mwa ha ha.
    i have no beef with jewish funders and i don’t really think it’s cool for the younger generation to reflexively be all “shove up your ass” to them. UJC et al speak for those who take the time to get involved. if you don’t like it, show up and make your voice heard. quit yer whinin’. no one said our institutions have to be run by “the other.” join in.

  3. Foo Fighters? FOO FIGHTERS?
    Harry: You broke my heart.
    If I may be allowed to use a reggae metaphor, Jewschool is like Peter Tosh and Jewlicious is like Toots and the Maytals. Maybe the stoned crazy angry man made a few good points sometimes, but nobody can resist “Pressure Drop.”
    Naw, naw. We coo’. We coo’.

  4. Dude! I like the Foo Fighters. The Colour and the Shape is one of the most rocking albums of the last ten years. And Michael, my point was in terms of accessibility. Hummous today?

  5. Heh. I guess I can accept that.
    Hummus today not good, unfortunately. This brother has skipped ulpan and Modern Jewish History enough times to be skating on some serious thin ice with the university I’m currently trying to get to accept me as a transfer student. But hey, Dave is probably up for it.

  6. As much as I love Rav Marley, he didn’t make reggae happen, he just was a brilliantly gifted songwriter who made a splash in the major developing styles of Jamaican music in the ’60s, often but not always paired with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, starting with the Wailers’ ska stuff, followed by their somewhat-inferior rocksteady output (much of which wasn’t so good because Peter Tosh had the reins while Marley was in Delaware) and finally their late ’60s/early ’70s classic reggae.
    But who actually invented reggae, as in, who came up with the musical innovations that made it distinguishable from rocksteady? Lee Perry and the Upsetters, dude. All the way. The Wailers were the instrument through which Perry focused his musical ideas, which resulted in the Soul Rebel sessions, and Marley took the new music after his split with Perry, aided by (Jewish) Chris Blackwell and Island, to an international audience which was ready to hear it.

  7. it is indeed true that lee perry was the tour de force behind reggae, but marley is the one who brought reggae to the world. also, if you want to talk about stoned angry men, lee perry is way worse than peter tosh. you should’ve seen him last week her in jtown. ugh.
    what i really want to know is WHO SHOT KING TUBBY?!

  8. I actually really wanted to go see Perry and Mad Professor, just to say I had (and of course No Protection is awesome), but I couldn’t make it happen. I’m aware of Perry’s utter insanity, but still…would have been cool.
    I hear if you listen to King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown backwards after having smoked an etzpah of hash, the ghost of Augustus Pablo will rise from the wax and tell you the secret of King Tubby’s untimely death. But don’t try it at home.

  9. the part in the feature article that said that this Guilt & Pleasure stuff was hatched inside the walls of a major Jewish funding institution but that, hey, that’s okay. well, that struck me as pretty dishonest. it sounds like a bunch of people had some ideas, and found funding for it.
    to try and smear it as otherwise, then distance oneself from the smearing … well, i understand the desire to police the lines between what’s indie and what ain’t, but it is not cool. deal with what people do, not your spin on what they do.

  10. your description is more apropos of heeb. “a bunch of people had some ideas, and found funding for it.” jenn bleyer had an idea, got her friends on board, and found funding for it.
    reboot, on the other hand, is a project of the andrea and charles bronfman philanthropies. the whole thing is facilitated by acbp on acbp dollars. it is overseen by the vice president of acbp. its participants were hand-picked specifically for their abilities to put together projects like this.
    it’s like the difference between a garage band and a supergroup put together by a record label.
    who’s smearing it? at the end of the day, guilt & pleasure is a great ‘zine, whether it has indie cred or not.

  11. All the reboot stuff is nice, and the mag and book are nice, but there is something to be said about how it was hatched and what it means for social entrepreneurs.
    acbp piloted an in house program, handpicked the participants and then developed the projects to fund. Okay, no problem there, its their money and the method doesn’t change that the product is good.
    I like the indie rock metphor. Matzat, jdub, hadar, kfar, sharsheret- what have you – are the indie rock of Jewish projects. Underfunded, scraping by, entrepreneurial, creative and efficient by definition, successful because they’re grass roots. Reboot is like the major label. Lots of money to produce the idea and market it, slick maerials, offices, seminars, retreats- the works.
    But it doesn’t do much for the “grass roots” bubbling-up projects that are already out there. Which is where the energy and connectivity seems to be coming from, and if what we’ve all be sayng about the diaffiliation tend is true, those are the projects that ought to get soe attention. Otherwise, its still a top down thing.
    That doesn’t make it bad, in fact huge kudos to Roger and all involved. Even it it feels a bit corporate, the content is solid.
    But it’d be fantastic if Roger and ACBP would build on this and maybe pick up where Joshua Venture left off and provide a way for non-rebooters to get their projects evaluated, supported and maybe even funded… our generation’s Jewish cultural workers and social entrepreneurs could get on Fresh Air too if we had ACBP bucks…

  12. Reboot is the Borg mother ship that will assimilate all dissent in the JudeoQuadrant. Resistance is futile. Conformity is inevitable.
    Give me a break, is this the self-pitying narrative that people like Zeek are selling themselves in the face of a messier, more pluralistic Judeosphere? It’s nonsense. Competition makes everybody nervous, but don’t cloak your anxiety in specious pseudo-idealism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.