Monday, February 25, 2013

Two jokes not gotten: assmeblyman attends Purim party in Blackface

Here. Described by the New York Times as a power broker in the Orthodox Jewish community, Dov Hikand attended the Purim party he hosted dressed like "you know, maybe some of these basketball players", which he clarified as "someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player.” Purim is a carnivalesque celebration that involves dressing up. From the New York Times

"“I am intrigued that anyone who understands Purim — or, for that matter, understands me — would have a problem with this,” Mr. Hikind wrote. “This is political correctness to the absurd. There is not a prejudiced bone in my body.”"

Other folks aren't thinking that it's that funny.

The other joke was Seth MacFarlane putting up a sketch at the Oscars that included a talking, foul mouthed, edgy, teddy bear from the movie "Ted" saying to "Mark Wahlberg that if “you want to work in this town” you have to be Jewish.". The Anti-Defamation League is objecting by saying

"“For the insiders at the Oscars this kind of joke is obviously not taken seriously,” said Foxman.
“But when one considers the global audience of the Oscars of upwards of two billion people, including many who know little or nothing about Hollywood or the falsity of such Jewish stereotypes, there’s a much higher potential for the ‘Jews control Hollywood’ myth to be accepted as fact.”"

Talking Teddy Bear vs. Blackface. I hope that the people who condemn the first condemn the second, because the argument that a person "doesn't have a prejudiced bone in their body", presumably partially on the strength of their religious and ethnic background, doesn't hold water.

*on edit: in essence, it comes down to a question of consistency, the same sort of consistency that's at play with the Palestine-Israel issue. One can't be consistent in their moral life if they take offense to what they perceive as threatening them on one side, and then on the other commit crimes themselves against others that are of the exact same character as what they're objecting to. 

*on edit 2: and to clarify even more, people are suspected of being somehow proto-Nazi for liking Nietzsche or thinking that Wagner's operas are good music, yet it's amazing that sometimes the people who are so sensitive to liking the wrong philosopher or the wrong classical composer have no moral qualms about seeing Palestinian children shot dead in the street. 

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