Shtetl shport 1

Language & ideas
Jewish guys are not wimps — never have been. This according to shtetl shpecialist Yale Strom, a San Diego-based documentary filmmaker/photographer, leading ethnographer of klezmer music, and an unbelievably talented klezmer violinist who has taken more than sixty cultural research trips to preserve central European yiddishkeit. In a talk at the Yiddish Cultural Institute, Strom ...

Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch

Language & ideas
It’s not pining… It’s bleeding demised. It’s passed on. This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late parrot. It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed him to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ...

Jewish geography

Language & ideas
I immensely enjoyed Jewish Geography, the festival of ideas — and shmoozing — held on the UCLA campus Sunday. The festival posed difficult questions that trouble diaspora Jews, especially we Americans who survived the genocide of Europe and who evade the current mess in Israel. I most enjoyed the panel “Things Past: Memory & Space,” confronting such profound questions as: How do ...

Debra Winger asks, “Do you know what a meme is?” 1

Film · Language & ideas
I went to see Debra Winger give a book talk (she wrote one) at the Los Angeles Central Library Wednesday night. I’ve always liked Debra Winger’s performances, especially in three films: Shadowlands, The Sheltering Sky, and Terms of Endearment.  Image above is from Bernardo Bertolucci’s sumptuously cinematographic “Sheltering Sky.” In the book talk, Debra Winger described how much she ...