Pop Culture

Bring on the Emmas!

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Last week, the New York Times reported the most popular baby names, noting that there were "few baby Baracks, but Emmas abound."  "Emma" has bumped "Emily" out of the No. 1 spot as the most popular baby name for girls.  The article mentions that "Emma" has been in the top 10 since 2002, and also ranked in the top 10 in the late 19th century.  Hmm... the late 19th century, you say? 

The Return of the Red Hot Mama

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I was thrilled to see the full page spread in today's New York Times about Sophie Tucker and the release of a new anthology of her early work. One of the subjects of our documentary about Jewish women comedians, Making Trouble, she's a big favorite around the Jewish Women's Archive.

Where are the 'kick-ass' Jewish women?

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Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds has got the Jewish blogosphere buzzing about revenge fantasies and what it means to see Jews 'kicking ass and takin' names' on the big screen. 

Hillary Clinton takes a stand - Link Roundup Aug 14, 2009

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Everyday I encounter a number of interesting websites, articles, and blog posts that are definitely worth mentioning. I hope you find these as interesting as I do!

  • Don't kiss the mezuzah!  You could be spreading swine flu! [JTA
  • Orthodox women choosing natural childbirth [The Sisterhood]
  • 'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane outs Stewie (the baby) as gay, and announces that this season Lois (the mother) will discover she is actually Jewish. [NYDailyNews] Will this be received better than the controversial "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" episode Fox refused to air in 2000?

Joan Rivers - the spitfire of her own roast!

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Last night comedians including Carl Reiner, Gilbert Gottfried, Greg Giraldo, Jeffrey Ross, and Mario Cantone roasted Joan Rivers on Comedy Central. As she predicted in the clip below, it was a circus of pot-shots about her age, her plastic surgery, and her vagina.

The Holocaust: Something to laugh about?

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The most recent issue of Heeb Magazine is causing quite a stir.  The issue features Roseanne Barr wearing an apron and a Hitler mustache, pulling a tray of “burnt Jew cookies” out of an oven.  The Heeb publisher posted an article explaining the editorial choice, which discusses a cultural shift towards acceptance of “Holocaust humor.”  Heeb argues that old taboos are relaxing. Jews are beginning to embrace the Holocaust in a new way - as something to laugh about. Is this true? Has the Holocaust really become funny?

Jewish Women and Reality TV

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Talented Jewish women like Gilda Radner, Roseanne Barr, Gertrude Berg, and many others, have made a significant contribution to American culture through television.  But where do Jewish women fit into our nation’s current obsession with reality TV?  As I began to think about it, I was hard-pressed to come up with well-known examples of Jewish women on reality shows.  After reading Jennifer Pozner’s thoughts on the new NBC reality show “More to Love,” I am convinced that the less Jewish women on reality TV, the better.

Musings on Rebecca Rubin, Our Jewish American Girl

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Rebecca Rubin

After years in the making, she's finally arrived: The Jewish American Girl Doll. We've been hearing a lot about her over the past week and, on Sunday, she hit the store shelves.

The Hip Hop Violinist

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Reading about the Washington Jewish Music Festival (which, incidentally, sounds fabulous), I learned about Miri Ben-Ari, aka the Hip Hop Violinist. Classically trained on the violin, at age 18 she decided to explore a different way to use her music. She moved to New York City, added some bling to her instrument, and began collaborating with artists including Kanye West (with whom she earned a Grammy), Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean, Jay-Z, and others.

A Look at "How Jews Look" and "The Colors of Water"

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Yavilah McCoy

A few weeks ago, MyJewishLearning.com released "How Jews Look", a four-and-a-half minute film profiling a few Jews reflecting upon their own appearances in connection with their Jewish identities. A lively and somewhat heated conversation about "How Jews Look" emerged on Jewschool.

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