The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Thursday, July 15, 2004

All Seriousness Aside

My mom (zzg) often told us how Steve Allen, when he was hosting the Tonight Show (before Johnny Carson) would pipe in during a particularly goofy segment, "All seriousnness aside". Of course, it was a play on the phrase "all kidding aside" but what he really meant was that the entire show was not to be taken seriously.

I think the JBlogosphere could take some advice from Steve Allen in this regard.

As Velvel pointed out the other day, there are many J-Blog fights going on (some of which have been settled):

He wrote:

Current J-Blog fights:

Velvel vs. Cara
Prodly vs. Schmavis
Steven I. Weiss vs. Chayyei Sarah
Luke Ford vs. Binyamin Cohen
Jew*School vs. Jmerica
Steven I. Weiss vs. Ari Goes Down

[I would add that Simcha and I are in a bit of a tussle with Shmarya and I am in a bit less of a tussle with the commentator, "Me"]

Just let it go, people. Sometimes we forget that there are people on the other side of the keyboard and monitor. It's easy to start a flame-war, but you'd be surprised to see how easy it is to end it. Let's take some responsibility for our words and for our unspoken professional commitments. Aside from representing the "real" Jewish community, we have a responsibility to do away with baseless hatred towards our fellow Jews. Stop acting like a******s. All of you. Take some initiative and be the bigger man. Extend an olive branch, tough guy.
Sage Advice.

As a chassid (albeit an MO chassid) allow me to address the penimius, the deeper meaning of these kerfuffles. I think that too many J Bloggers are taking themselves too seriously. One of my bosses used to tell me that it's ok to negotiate hard over compensation but once that's over it's important not to believe your own bull****. Likewise, I think that it's great that people in the J Blogosphere feel passionately about this issue or that but then to know when to let it go. So, although, for example, I feel passionately about the importance of Jewish Music, I can't take myself too seriously. When commentators make fun of me and tell me to go listen to a Carlebach CD (Guys, can't you come up with a better line than that; it was funny the first five times...get some new material), I have to laugh, tell myself to lighten up and admit that from a normal person's perspective it is very goofy for a grown man to feel so strongly about an issue like music.

That's one of the reasons I like the Chicago J Blogging chevra so much. While they can be very strong in their views, they all have great senses of humor and never take themselves too seriously. And, for all his periodic vulgarity and bizzareness (is that a word?), Luke is very refreshing, especially because he is very funny and views life itself as a joke.

So, all seriousness aside, let's stop taking ourselves so seriously.


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