Friday, April 30, 2010

Profile: Marc Ecko

Ecko was suggested by Eric from New Jersey. Eric writes, "He's a proud Jew, and helps a Jewish foundation named Tikva. Ecko has been included in New York magazine's Influentials list, Detail magazine's list of Most Powerful Men Under 38, DNR's Power 100 List, Crain's New York Business 40 Under 40 list, and JVibe magazine's Hot List."

Now we probably don't belong on any Power 100 List, but JVibe's Hot List? Maybe? Maybe?...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Profile: Jenny Slate

For those who are gonna say that I'm forgetting the Jewish Rachel Dratch, she was never a leading lady, always a second fiddle to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

Hooray for the Queen!

Hooray for the Queen of JONJ! Yesterday, we had the biggest day in our website's history, more than doubling our previous best for visitors. Thanks, Sandra. You can circumcise babies any day of the week.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Update: Sandra Bullock, a baby, and a mohel?

Ah, Sandra Bullock. No, not Jewish, but our most popular profile for six months running.

Today there comes news that Sandra adopted an African baby boy and will... wait for this... give him a bris. A Jewish bris, not your regular circumcision.

Could it be that we were wrong all along? That Sandra's Christmas-celebrating German family were actually hidden Jews? Nope. She probably just wanted to get back at her neo-Nazi soon-to-be-ex-husband. (Update: looks like they couldn't go to the hospital and this was the only option. Hooray for helpful Jews!)

But we're watching this situation very closely. Too closely for our tastes, actually.

Profile: Esau

This really ought to be a Moishe profile. After all, he invented the idea of WJEW (although I did write the second one). And he is our resident biblical profile writer. I wouldn't call it stealing though. More of exchange of ideas.

Yeah...that's the ticket...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Profile: Ike Davis

Holy crap!!! I wrote a baseball profile? What's next, Yakov stepping in on my turf? That will never happen!!!

Here's the New York Times blog post referencing Davis' family history. He was also suggested by Eddie from, where else, New York City.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Profile: Rick Adelman

Rick Adelman was suggested by... me. Hmmm. Weird. People have asked us on multiple occasions if the Van Gundy brothers were Jewish, but never about Adelman. Wonder why not...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Update: Taylor Mays gets drafted

Maybe Taylor Mays shouldn't have stayed at school. The JEWISH defensive back was projected to go in the first round if he came out as a junior. Instead, he stayed at USC for his senior year, and had to wait until the 17th pick of the second round to be taken, by the San Francisco 49ers.

And, well, Mays didn't handle it well. Apparently he was convinced to stay at USC by head coach Pete Carroll, now in charge of Mays' hometown Seattle Seahawks... and Mays let the words fly.

So much for be cool, stay in school...

Oh, those meshuggenah goyim! It's a small, small, small, small world

Maybe this isn't the right place for this, but I feel the need to go rant for a little and this is my platform. If this kind of thing isn't your speed go ahead and scroll down to the Genie or whoever. No hard feelings. But when you feel the need to shout, well, you tend to choose the place you can shout the loudest and this is the best I've got. Sorry folks. This is gonna get a little involved...

There is a rumor out there that Walt Disney was an anti-semite. It's been passed around enough at this point that I'm pretty sure it's accepted as fact now.

It's not true.

I'm not sure how this happened. I've often ascribed this to a case of mistaken identity--the person I think the public is thinking about is Henry Ford. Ford was a contemporary of Disney's and Ford was a RABID anti-semite and nazi supporter. Just an awful human being. So maybe people get them confused?

But the current media seems to go beyond that. Family Guy, in particular has made it a leitmotif (to whip out a big word) that Disney (and by association, the entire corporation) hated Jews, supported Nazi Germany, et al. and I find it hard to believe that the creators of that show are really thinking of Henry Ford. Rather, they must be misinformed some other way, or they're just doing it because they think it's funny to smear people. Tough to say really.

So here's the reality. Evidence that Disney was an anti-semite is slim to none. At the same time Ford was decrying Roosevelt for attacking our Nazi superiors, Disney shut down his whole studio to make animated educational films for the US Armed Forces. Training people to fight Nazis is not the M.O. of a swastica-saluting-semite-hater.

He never said anything anti-semitic that we can find. He was a member of a club that did have some anti-semitic members, but it's unclear if he agreed with them or even knew them. At the time, it was rather gauche to hate Jews. Frankly it's hard to find anyone on Earth who didn't associate with anti-semites in one way or another (even the Japanese joined in, which is pretty funny since it's fairly clear they didn't even know what a Jew was). Many people point to Disney's idea of an "ideal commune" (what eventually led to the creation of EPCOT and later, Independence, FL). But this was more 70s idealism (thus the association with the pristine-in-hindsight 1950s) than facist elitism.

So, no, Disney was almost certainly not anti-semitic. But....

OK, so I was in Disney World last week for a vacation with Mrs. Yakov. A good time was had by all. Really. I genuinely like the place. And if you can go to the Magic Kingdom and not get goosebumps then you're not just a downer, you're a corpse.

Still, I couldn't help but notice how GOYISHE it was. Actually, that's not even accurate. How CHRISTIAN it was. Ever theme park has a Mickey's Christmas store. You can get any character dressed as Santa. As a Christmas tree ornament. Singing a jaunty Christmas tune. Can we got one MF-ing Mickey with a yarmulke?! That would be a negatory.

Here's my thing--I happen to see religion as a personal thing. Your relationship with G-d is between you and G-d, and I'd like to think that the Almighty isn't really into all the PDA. I don't care what you celebrate, just don't celebrate it on my yard. Christmas lights that you can see from the highway, bumper stickers that tell me how much Jesus loves me, any of that stuff I find to be in poor taste. Goyim, don't feel like I'm picking on you. I hate the giant menorahs and chanukah bushes just as much.

So, yeah, if I had my way, Disney World wouldn't have any of that stuff. But they do. If you're Hindu, Islamic, or Jewish you are out of luck my friend. No Mickey with a chai. No Israel in the World Showcase.

One of the things that Disney World does so well is it transports you to another place. You never think of yourself in Florida. You're in a magical land with castles and characters and honest-to-goodness magic. And for some reason, it is also a magical land with no Jews.

And that bothers me. A lot.

Profile: The Genie

As you know, we get A LOT of suggestions ranging from excellent to insane. But rarely do we get such a great suggestion, that immediately we say "OF COURSE!" and rush to write the profile (of course, with our backlog, it takes over a month for that profile to appear).

Thank you, Jolie from Dallas!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Settling the Score: Ben Roethlisberger

When Ben Roethlisberger first graced our website, two and a half years ago, his K Score was a 3.

Last year, after the sexual assault lawsuit, we bumped his K Score down to a 2.

Now... well, sorry, Big Ben. Yes, it's still alleged, and no, no one knows for sure what happened there. But no matter what the case is, you're a giant douche. K Score of 1. Not a Jew. Thankfully, not a Jew.

Profile: Adam Richman

Adam was suggested by AJ from Ann Arbor, Brian from New Jersey, and a couple of Yakov's soon-to-be-former co-workers. Oh, soon-to-be-former co-workers! Who will answer your Jewish questions now?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Profile: Grigory Perelman

What was Perelman's response when asked why he is declining the million? "I have all I want."

But this quote from the neighbor is even better:
We are trying to get rid of cockroaches in our block, but they hide in his flat.[1]

Perelman was suggested by Luca from Faenza, Italy and Mila from Alexandria, VA.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Profile: Philip Markoff

Markoff's Jewishness, or lack there of, has been a subject of a debate on Wikipedia. Should the fact that he's part Jewish, ethnically, be listed in his profile?

As for us... Well, at least we get to grow the Sociopaths category.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Profile: Helena Bonham Carter

Bonham Carter has been in our queue for a long, long time. It took an email from Layla from London to become an inspiration for the profile. We hope your boyfriend is improving, Layla.

Helena was also suggested by Simon from NYC.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oh, those meshuggenah goyim! The Church as a Book Critic

Since I'm a sucker for allegories, I read José Saramago's Nobel-winning novel "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ". It's not bad at all, if you get past all the "Son of God" mumbo-jumbo, which, with this topic, is obviously hard. I prefer Christopher Moore's "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal", but...

No, I'm not gonna downplay it. I liked Saramago's book. Obviously, I read it in translation, but it was excellent. Not to give any spoilers away, but, while it stays true to the New Testament (as far as I can tell, obviously the New Testament is not my strong suit), its interpretation of Jesus' life is not exactly... traditional. Which makes the book.

But you know who didn't like the book? The Catholic Church. (Surprised? Of course not!) The Church accused the novel to be a "substantially anti-religious vision". Which is... well, short-sighted.

See, this is what separates us Jews from the goyim. To us, the Bible is always open to interpretation. It's not black and white. We Jews have spent centuries trying to find different meanings in those words. The goyim? It's the word of God. End of story.

But is it? Really? Seriously, goyim, read your New Testament. Aren't there large gaps in Jesus' life? Couldn't those gaps be filled with Saramago's interpretation? Shouldn't you use your brain to think and not just fanatically believe whatever "the good book" tells you?

Besides, it's literature. FICTION. Lighten up.

Oh, those meshuggenah goyim!

Profile: Giselle Fernandez

Dear readers! Some of you complain when it takes too long to write a profile based on your suggestion. We're sorry. We try to do our best. In this case, Allen from NYC asked for us to profile Miss Fernandez 9 months ago. Since she seemed like an interesting case, she immediately went into our queue. And sat there. And sat there. For these 9 months.

Of course, 9 months is nowhere close to the record. We try, dear readers. We try.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Update: Oh, Larry!

What's wrong with this picture? Well, other than the obvious.
Larry King is divorcing his eighth(!) wife Shawn Southwick amid rumors that the CNN personality had an affair with Shannon Engemann, her own sister.[1]

Oh, Larry!

Profile: Jean-Claude Van Damme

After a one day hiatus, I return from the wilds of....somewhere for one last profile during my Jewcation. For all of you who wrote in to suggest Latvia, sorry, you're incorrect.

If you read this profile and wondered why all those 80s badasses didn't get together and make one big action flick together, apparently Sylvester Stallone was wondering the same thing.

Anyway, the lines at the beginning and end of this profile don't come from me. Rather they're from the old promos that WPIX here in NYC used to run for Van Damme's films. Yes, someone actually used these and didn't intend for them to be humorous. Scary. ("Damme, that's a good movie!" is another chestnut from that era.)

Jean-Claude Van Damme was suggested by Noah on Long Island, no doubt while he was stuck in traffic on the LIE.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Profile: Patti Stanger

We take a brief interruption from Yakov's Jewcation to bring you a Moishe profile. Is this where I admit I watch "Millionaire Matchmaker"? Never!

Yes, the Yiddish word for "matchmaker" is shadchan, not yenta, like many think...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Profile: Josh Baskin

Greetings from Day 2 of my Jewcation. Yes, I'm still out having fun in the sun (or am I?) while you're stuck at work reading about Jews. I won't lie to you, I am a little jealous (but only a little).

Today's profile Josh Baskin, was requested by...actually we're pretty sure Moishe suggested it. Go Moishe!

On the other hand, Tom Hanks is one of our most suggested profile subjects with at least 6 suggestions (including one from someone's rabbi!). Steve from NYC however, did mention the Josh Baskin character as evidence of Hanks' potential Judaism, so we'll give him partial credit.

We'll probably end up profiling Hanks at some point, but just so know (Spoiler Alert!) he's not Jewish.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Profile: Clara Peller

I'm actually on Jewcation this week, so of course this is when all my profiles are running. Oh well. I'll just have to post these from beyond the Internet. If anyone wants to play "Guess Where Yakov Is" I'll be happy to participate.

Anyway, on with the show. Clara Peller was suggested by Jim from Tampa, FL who describes Ms. Peller as an "advertising icon." Yeah, cause this is what I want my industry to be known for....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Profile: Edward Teller

At the end, kinda surprising that I went with Teller for this profile and not with, say, Tom Cruise. Giving myself a pat on the back on this one.

Teller was suggested by Sam from Atlanta and Sergei from Jersey City. Cruise? Don't get me started...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Profile: Dean Kamen

Kamen's other inventions include the all-terrain electric wheelchair mentioned in the profile, the insulin pump, and a kind of mobile dialysis machine. So, yeah, we're not talking about an idiot here. And while the Segway was clearly a misstep (we refrain from using the word 'boner' in honor of Andrey Koenig), it's not Kamen's fault that the damn thing got hyped to hell before it launched.

Still. What a stupid, stupid device.

Kamen was suggested by George from Maryland.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Profile: Frank Gehry

Thanks to Heloisa from Brazil for suggesting Gehry. And here it is, the Dancing House:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Profile: Tracey Gold

Thanks to reader Jenny from NY for confirming our suspicions: Tracey had a Jewish stepfather, non-Jewish mother, so calling her a Jew is a stretch. Giving your own son a middle name of Christopher pretty much settles it...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Update: Scheyer leads Duke to title

Originally, when the Jon Scheyer profiled appeared on our site two weeks ago, it started with the words "Jon Scheyer might never lead Duke to the NCAA Championship". Well, that just changed. Scheyer scored 15 points, picked up 6 rebounds and dished out 5 assists in the title game.

Profile: Rich Eisen

Why is this post different from all other posts?

On baseball's opening day, we always run baseball posts. But this year we're running a football post (suggested by Ira from Teaneck, NJ).

On April Fools' Day, we always run a special April Fools' profile. But this year we ran none.

On the day a profile runs, we always run a blog post that has been written weeks in advance. But today we're running one that I wrote at 10:16pm the day before.

We can answer for all of this with 3 simple words: Drunk on Manischewitz. Things should get back to normal around here once we sober up....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Profile: Morgan Pressel

Morgan's uncle is two-time tennis Grand Slam semifinalist Aaron Krickstein.

Thanks to Dannel from Florida for the suggestion.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Profile: Donald Sterling

Am I really this mad at Donald Sterling--a man who doesn't even own a team I root for? Probably not. I just knew I was going to write a profile of someone we categorically do not like and wanted to try something different than the usual snarky sniping we employ. So I tried a rant. Honestly, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

That said, there are professional sports teams owners that I AM this mad at. So to all you selfish, money-grubbing, criminal, professional sports teams owners out there: this one's for you.

Top 10 Profiles: March

1. Sandra Bullock (0)
2. Christoph Waltz (+28)
3. Meryl Streep (+21)
4. Adolf Hitler (-1)
5. Scarlett Johansson (+9)
6. Sean Penn (+2)
7. Mel Gibson (-5)
8. Kevin Bacon (+3)
9. Joseph Stalin (-3)
10. Jesus Christ (-5)