You loved the Academy Award-nominated film…now meet its Jewish cousin. Courtesy of the people who brought you last year’s internet sensation “Jewish Girls Gone Wild“–Hazon and the Shushan Channel.

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Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.

16 Comments

  • Once upon a time a bunch of christians heard rock music and thought ‘we can make this more christ friendly but keep the, you know, edginess‘. Thus was born christian rock which as we all know is the lowest, lamest level of religion copy cat hell that one can achieve.

    So, pray tell, why are jews trying to emulate this by jew-ifying everythign they can find from movies to hip hop to who knows what stupid shit is next?

    Remember christian rock and its evils. Let that guide your path away from cheap transformations of something cool into a horrible mutation.

  • Oh silly Muffti. Yes, I agree. X-Tian rock is lame, lame, lame. But Jews have Jewified everything they have ever come in contact with. It’s a neccessary condition of Diasporah life. Do you think Moses ever ate a bagel or a knish? Aren’t the tunes sung to prayer in synagogues a reflection of the music played in their communities of origin?

    So yes, there is a lot of lameness about. Most manifestations of art are lame – very few artists become popular or noteworthy. The same goes with “Jewification” of pop-culture. Most of it won’t be very good, but some of it will be. What’s wrong with that?

  • When you see a good manifestation of the jewification of some art form that isn’t originally jewish, give muffti a call and show/play it for him. Til then the Muffti abides.

  • Hmmm… Chagall? All the piyutim in my Moroccan Synagogue? Ofra Haza and Sarit Hadad’s Arabic inspired music? Golem? Pharaoh’s Daughter? There are more of course, but then you have to wonder – what is Jewish art? Art made by a Jew regardless of thematic elements? Art based on Jewish thematic elements regardless of who created it?

    Yes, there’s a lot of cheezy Jewish crap out there. But there’s a lot of cheezy crap period. What you’re suggesting implies that Jewish art and creativity should restrict itself to uniquely Jewish expressions (whatever the hell those may be – shofar tunes perhaps?), that Jewish artists should not mix their Judaism with otherwise non-uniquely Jewish art forms.

    That’s kinda ridiculous no? I mean if a Jewish kid from White Plains grows up loving reggae and rap music, then becomes a ba’al tshuvah and decides he wants to mix his newfound passion for Judaism with his lifelong love of that music, is it wrong? Will it automatically be bad? I say no.

  • Muffti had in mind art based on jewish thematic elements that is articistically copying off an already established style.

    Muffti isn’t saying it will automatically be bad. Just that it’s very likely – witness the millions of christian rock bands and try to pick out one success story.

  • Muffti, what you’re saying makes no sense. Most art is very likely going to be bad – witness the millions of rock bands, x-tian or otherwise, that just suck. And is being inspired by an artistic genre the same as copying?

    The Jewno video that inspired this discussion is done in the age-old Jewish tradition of the Purim Spiel, satirical performances done during drunken Purim parties. Does Jewno suck? I don’t think so, especially given the accomplished people involved in its production – J.K. Simmons played the Dad in both Juno and Jewno. Husband and wife team Sheryl Zohn and Rob Kutner wrote the script – Sheryl writes for Penn and Teller and Rob writes for the Daily Show. Stephen Levinson who directed this clip is an Executive Producer for “In Treatment” and “Entourage.”

    But yeah, pretty much all x-tian rock sucks in my opinion, regardless of how many records these awful bands sell. I don’t know of any that have achieved any kind of mainstream success. But don’t visit the sins of x-tian rock upon the Jews! We’ve enjoyed much success! Chagall is considered a master, Matisyahu holds the record for a reggae album that achieved the highest Billboard rank (#7) – you get my point right?

  • To clarify CK’s point about the talent involved…I’m pretty sure it’s not the same Stephen Levinson from Entourage or In Treatment. But having worked with him on a previous shpiel, I can tell you that this Stephen Levinson is very talented and funny and is undoubtedly on his way to HBO in some way someday (speedily in our days, amen!)…

    And about Christian rock, the question is, does it suck empirically or are you saying you don’t relate to it…? Because the Christian rock industry is huMONGous. If working at Beliefnet’s Idol Chatter blog has taught me anything about the fusion of pop culture and spirituality, it’s that you can’t mess with the power and influence of Christian rock.

  • This is going to quickly to devolve into a ‘he sucks’/’no he doesn’t suck’ so Muffti will bow out before we see that happen. But as parting words, Chagall is at best an exception since his work isn’t uniformly a jewified artform associated directly with another cultural line (stained windows belong to everyone, unlike hip hop) and Matisyahu, well, sucks.

  • Muffti wrote: “This is going to quickly to devolve into a ‘he sucks’/’no he doesn’t suck’ so Muffti will bow out…”

    Yeah, bow out by simply saying “he sucks” and trying to end it at that. I mean how does one determine suckiness? You posited “success” as one standard of measure when you said earlier “…witness the millions of christian rock bands and try to pick out one success story.” I tried to counter with quantifiable indicia of success, but we both know that taste is highly subjective – almost like an article of faith if you will… you believe Matisyahu sucks, and I accept that belief even if I disagree with it. You should have ended your last comment as follows “and my personal opinion Matisyahu, well, sucks. That would have ended it decisively.

    As for belonging – you assert that some artistic expressions, ie hip hop, do not belong to everyone. What does that even mean? That while only an expression of hip hop made by an inner city dwelling African American is legitimate, anyone can listen to it? Listen but do not dare to allow it to influence your own artistic expressions?

    If everyone followed your, dare I say, “Orthodox” perspective, where would rock and roll be today? Stuck inside of Mobile with the Delta Blues perhaps? Black music – Blues and Gospel, heavily influenced the evolution and development of rock and roll. That’s how art evolves. Art doesn’t belong to anyone mon ami.

  • ck, do you know the Yiddish word “ongepatsht”? I think that is what Muffti means, when somebody tries (so) hard to ‘jewify’ an expression of art that it eventually doesn’t come across as authentic, so to speak, but as forced / lame / unimaginative etc.

    As to Chagall, I love his artwork (otherwise I’d never have bought two original pieces by him), but he created something new, which would influence later artists.

  • Muffti is dropped out of this one, but Forylein hit it right on the head. and success story was meant (sorry for the ambiguity) to connote artistic success.

  • I actually kind of like a lot of Christian Rock. It’s fun party rock, based on the melodies and pop sensibilities of the late 80’s and early 90’s, (a really fun time for music, I’m sure we all agree.)

    And if you compare lyrics about Jesus from some modern Christian rock band to lyrics in “Fallen Angel” or “Unskinny Bop” from Poison, I think you would honestly find the lyrics less annoying in the Jesus version, and yet the music from Poison remains super fun, as does much of the new Jesus-infused music.

  • […] Some of you loved “Jewno,” and others either hated or didn’t get it. The first step is getting hits to the funnyordie page on the MTV playlist page. The other two spoofs are of “The Eye” (which I’m pretty sure describes how many people saw it) and “Into the Wild,” which I didn’t see so I can’t tell you how funny/parodically-accurate it is. But I can point out that the “Jewno” video is spot-on in terms of capturing the language and plot of the original work that it spoofs, and even brings back JK Simmons to reprise his role, making it, in my humble opinion, the obvious choice. […]

  • The guy in Juno and his family were actually supposed to be Jewish in the movie, when he was closing the door to his room he had the a poster w/ the aleph bet on it.

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