Pardon Our Dust!

Pepe Pringos! Just in time for Yo, Yenta’s big 4th anniversary (I don’t want to spoil any surprises the Head Yenta has in store) we’re upgrading some of the software that runs this site.

If you guys have any suggestions on how to make your experience at much better then post them in the comments. Stay tuned!

Borat: the Stanley Milgram experiment with a bad accent

boratNaomi Alderman, writer for The Guardian, made an interesting observation of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat character and how it parallels the famous obedience experiment by Stanley Milgram. If you’re not familiar with the ground-breaking psychological study by Milgram then check out the wikipedia article to brush up.

In The Guardian, Alderman explains how the very presence of Borat is like a micro-Milgram experiment where the “participants” are prodded to spilling their (racist) beans where they even allow Borat’s anti-Semitism and misogyny to run rampant, sometimes without objection and even worse, with encouragement. The Head Yenta once blogged about Borat’s “Throw the Jew Down the Well” performance at a country music bar, a perfect example where Borat tricks an audience into revealing it’s true colors (and they aren’t pretty).

Alderman writes:

The reason it is unsettling to hear Borat sing “Throw the Jew down the well” is because of the reaction of those listening. Some sit in mute astonishment and horror. But some join in. Some sing along, smile and stamp their feet. One woman even – unprompted, mind you – puts her fingers to her forehead to make horns when he sings, “You must take [the Jew] by his horns.” Borat is unsettling not because his opinions are outlandish but because he reveals how many ordinary people share them.

In the 60’s Stanley Milgram wondered why the German people allowed the Nazis to commit such atrocities to the Jews and performed an experiment that “shocked” the world out of its ignorance. Today, Borat is still shocking audiences and revealing the anti-Semitism that festers decades later.

Late Night milking Mel Gibson’s big mouth

A few one-liners at Mel’s expense:

Jay Leno:

  • There’s now a 48-hour cease-fire going on in the Middle East. Israel will stop attacking Hezbollah. But, Hezbollah will not necessarily agree to stop attacking Israel. Hey, we can’t even get Mel Gibson to stop attacking Israel.
  • As you may have heard, Mel Gibson was arrested in Malibu on a DUI. I don’t know what he was drinking but I think you can rule out Manischewitz.
  • The sheriff said that Mel’s blood alcohol was .12. Give you an idea how high that is, half a point higher and he would officially be a Kennedy.
  • Police said today that they found a bottle of tequila in Mel’s Lexus. So let’s sum up what happened here; Mel Gibson, who grew up in Australia, was drinking alcohol from Mexico in his Japanese car while yelling about the Jews in Israel. You know where he was coming from? A Thai restaurant. Welcome to America.

Conan O’Brien:

  • Israel continues its strike on Hezbollah. Tomorrow they are going to start attacking Mel Gibson’s house.
  • A member of “The View” said they will not see anymore of Mel’s movies. Barbara Walters said that. Mel Gibson responded by saying, “There goes one $3.00 senior discount matinee ticket.”

Add your own in the comments section.

Jewish Music crowned by American Idol Underground

Beth Schafer Who knew that good ol’ Hebrew/English tunes would win out on American Idol’s Underground competition for the faith-based category? The “Underground” branch of American Idol highlights sub genres of music that are not yet ready for the mainstream (read: for teeny bopers). In the faith-based category one can assume that it was littered with all kinds of Christian music, being that this is American Idol!

Its amazing and refreshing (in light of Gibson’s big mouth) to know that Jewish music took the crown among the thousands of entries.

Beth Schafer explains:

“My songs combine the rich tradition of interpreting Jewish sacred texts with the high production values of contemporary Christian music. The themes are universal which appeal to Jewish and Christian fans alike,” said Schafer. She added, “I hope to build bridges throughout the interfaith community with my music and emphasize that we all have more in common than not.”

Congrats to Beth Schafer, her music is available online too, check it out.

Hilarious “Borat” trailer

Ever since the government of Kazakhstan threatened to sue Sacha Baron Cohen after hosting MTV Europe’s award show last November, I expected future appearances of his character “Borat”to be hounded by controversy.

On Wikipedia they explain that the Kazakhstani’s president’s daughter publicly disaproves of the attempt to sue or censor Cohen for his fictional portrayals of Kazakhstan. On the other hand, Borat publicly said “I’d like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my Government’s decision to sue this Jew.”

If they haven’t sued him for hosting an award show then I hope they don’t get too offended if they see the new movie trailer for the upcoming “Borat” movie. It shows some of the most controversial (yet hilarious) scenes of Kazakhstani life (according to Cohen’s character). I’m a big fan of Borat, I own a few Ali G show DVDs and I can honestly say I haven’t seen anything like this before.

If the trailer is any indication, the Borat movie will live up to its hype. Borat will travel the USA exposing anti-semitism, misogyny, and ignorance, all while making you laugh till you’re wet!

See the trailer here.

Natalie Portman will NOT be Nude… again!

Natalie PortmanBack in December of 2004, the Head Yenta herself promised us (then I was still a loyal reader) that the Jewish Princess of Hollywood, Natalie Portman, would be nude on a screen near you. Well it didn’t happen, her legions of fans had to settle for a thong (not too shabby, I’d say!)

I, Pepe Pringos, am sad to report that we cannot deliver the promise that the Head Yenta made two years ago (don’t shoot the messenger) that Natalie Portman was going to bear it all in the name of artistic expression, not even in the new film “Goya’s Ghosts”.

The rumor was all over the Internet this weekend but the word from Natalie Portman’s camp is that a body double will be used in the naked torture scene of the film.

Here on, we aim to dispel common misconceptions that gentiles have of Jews, and one of those is that Jewish women can’t be super models or “pin-up” icons. Jewish women are among the most beautiful on earth, Ms. Portman is living proof of than and on that note… I still can’t wait to see “Goya’s Ghosts”!

Arab-Israeli wife swap gets personal

Trading SpousesThe Times Online explains why religion and culture did NOT entirely break up the “happy homes” for their TV show experiment where an Arab and a Jewish family traded their matriarch.

I have actually seen this “Wife Swap” show (aka Trading Spouses) a few times on US television, where each episode features some extreme families on opposing ends of the sanity spectrum trading “mom” and changing a few lives in the process. But with the “Wife Swap” show now being produced in Israel, this Jewish/Arab experiment was bound to happen.

As you can imagine the Arab wife had trouble keeping Kosher while the Jewish wife stumbled with speaking Arabic. Yet, the Jewish wife in the Arabic home was able to celebrate Shabbat and get along fairly well as they took turns living under each other’s rules. On the other hand the Arabic wife in the Jewish home ended her experience pre-maturely and in tears.

Some one should post this episode up on YouTube, I’m actually curious to see how this experiment succeeded and failed at the same time.