Sunday, September 07, 2008

We don't take kindly to Michael Jackson's brand of rock and roll music around here

It's like "No Repetitive Beats: 15 Years Later". Except much funnier! I'm talking about this story: Haredim move to eradicate "foreign" pop.

Even though I'm going to make fun of these people, a ban like this is a serious concern thanks to the nearly unbreakable loyalty that Haredim show toward their spiritual leaders. The influence these rabbis have on their followers is on the scale of the Christian Coaltion or dare I say it, Oprah's Book Club. The article does a good job of highlighting the possibly severe economic consequences of such a ban. But I'm not hear to insult anyone's beliefs, I'm here to laugh at their perceptions about music!

  • "'Michael Jackson-style music has no place in our community,' says Mordechai Bloi, a senior member of the Guardians of Sanctity and Education". Even though it's not 1987, we'll ignore that Michael Jackson would be the first name that would come to someone's mind when they choose to address the scourge of contemporary music. But I'm really wondering if this is the first time that Michael Jackson has been called out as Public Enemy #1 when it comes to corrupting the youth. At least the conservatives of the 80's had the sense to galvanize their opinions against devil-worshipping long-haired onstage animal-eating heavy metallers as the object of their derision. Is Michael Jackson really that scary a person. Uh ... wait, don't answer that.

  • "'We might be able to adopt Bach or Beethoven, music with class, but not goyishe African music and beats.'" Ah yes, Beethoven -- such a fine Jew he was. And Bach? Was his full name Bachstein, or was he simply a religious man with enough kids to form his own baseball league? Either way, he's approved!

  • "Menahem Toker, a popular haredi DJ who was reportedly fired from Radio Kol Chai under pressure from haredi activists because he promoted "treif" shows ..." I love the idea of a "treif show" ... it's such a great little phrase. See also: "kosher alternative". Maybe Jewish mothers can take notes and use these less threatening terms when dealing with their partly assimilated sons -- "we wish you wouldn't spend so much time with that shiksa treif female friend and would consider a more kosher alternative."

  • "'What are they going to do listen to every single disc that is released? What about the thousands of discs that are already in the market?' Luft admitted that listening to all the discs on the market would be a formidable challenge." [emphasis mine] I'll say! I can't even understand the words on Wold's "Stratification", but although I am therefore uncertain if they are promoting a kosher message or not, they are from Saskatchewan, which makes them most definitely treif.

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