In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 29, 2009 / 4 Shevat 5769


By Malcolm Fleschner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Television fans were no doubt thrilled when one of the nation's longest-running reality shows returned to the air, exposing viewers once again to the now-familiar spectacle of a parade of eager hopefuls with dreams of the big time giving it their all for a panel of preening judges who, after listening to each performance, deliver verdicts like the gods on Olympus about whether the aspirants should move on to the "next round."

Of course, savvy readers have already concluded that I can only be talking about one thing: the ongoing senate confirmation hearings for Barack Obama's cabinet nominees. Watching these proceedings, one can't help but wonder what the point of this tedious exercise is. Part of the problem is that United States Senators seem congenitally incapable of asking a simple, straightforward question. Before inquiring about something as simple as, say, what time it is, a senator apparently must first deliver a lengthy dissertation on the history of the sun dial, introduce into the Congressional Record a list of key advancements in watchmaking technology over the centuries and then offer personal thoughts on the meaning behind the Chambers Brothers' hit song "Time Has Come Today." Why, did you know that in 1977, senators spent an entire three-month Congressional session playing a single, never-concluded game of 20 Questions (the correct answer that eluded the senators was "The Doobie Brothers")?

As a result, these hearings become tests of endurance for the potential appointees. I guess the point is that if a candidate can sit, blank-stared, through the seemingly endless monotony of senatorial pontificating, rousing from a stupor only to respond to the occasional actual question with vague, unhelpful non-answers, he or she is deemed qualified for government work.

Watching the hearings at home, one can't help but wonder why the cabinet hopefuls even bother. The answer, of course, is likely the same reason anyone else goes on a reality show: they want to be famous. Face it, prior to his senate confirmation hearings, now- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pretty much a nobody. But now, thanks to his confirmation hearings, a broad swath of the American populace knows what a shameless tax cheat he is. Congratulations, Mr. Geithner, you've officially arrived!

In fact, there may be no more distinguishing feature of American life in the 21st century than the near universal desire for fame. We've all been through the checkout aisle at the supermarket and spotted the cover of a magazine with a name like "Fat Celebrity Weekly" with a blown up paparazzi photo of an aging actress' thighs and an arrow pointing to a bulging patch of cellulite with an accompanying caption like "Cottage cheese? No thanks," says Kirstie Alley, "I've already got plenty!" Seeing such glowing treatment of our nation's cherished celebrities, who hasn't enviously wondered, "Why not me too?"

There is, however, a downside to fame that has been well documented in movies like "Walk The Line" about Johnny Cash, the Ray Charles biopic "Ray" and, of course, "Nasty Habit: Exposing The Sordid Untold Story of Mother Teresa." And even when they're not completely destroyed by fame, celebrities nevertheless seem driven to engage in erratic and inexplicable behavior, whether drunkenly telling off arresting police officers, neglecting to wear undergarments while out in public or agreeing to star in movies like Gigli.

These very real concerns notwithstanding, today the desire for celebrity not only remains stronger than ever, but there is an increasingly widespread belief, particularly among young people, that they will all inevitably achieve fame. According to a recent survey, when asked by their high school teachers whether they thought they would be famous one day, a whopping 83 percent of the respondents answered, "Is this going to be on the test?" So at least some things haven't changed much.

But this pervasive desire for celebrity runs up against the statistical fact that not everyone can be famous. Despite the oft-quoted prediction from the late artist Andy Warhol that in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes, based on the current population figures and the estimated growth rate of reality television, experts believe that, at best, in the future celebrity status will likely be limited to just 60 percent of the public.

As for the other 40 percent, not to worry. All those famous people will still need the rest of us to fill out crucial supporting roles like agent, publicist, bodyguard, chef, dog walker, umbrella holder and adoptive African orphans.

But with celebrity a likelihood for so many, it behooves all of us to prepare for this eventuality. My advice: get busy stocking up on underwear, paying all your back taxes and for god's sake, America, do something about those thighs already!

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


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01/08/09: Just in time, here comes 2009
11/20/08: Hotels go for the green
11/06/08: Something does not compute
10/30/08: Early adopters tech their chances
10/21/08: Cyberspace invaders
10/21/08: Keeping up disappearances
09/17/08: Victims of math hysteria
08/07/08: My newfound sense of self (promotion)
06/24/08: Getting the brand back together
05/29/08: Phrased and confused
05/13/08: Take this job and love it
04/17/08: News you can (re)use
04/02/08: Commercial (over)load
02/20/08: An overdose of reality
02/14/08: A developing situation
01/30/08: I can tech it or leave it
01/02/08: Confessions of a coke addict
01/02/08: Our bills are due
12/13/07: Going (to lunch) once, going twice…
11/28/07: Out with the old
11/06/07: My latest pet project
11/06/07: Can't tune it out
10/23/07: Something special in the hair
09/12/07: Can I have your attention, please?
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08/21/07: In the heat of fashion
08/09/07: Let's get in the game
06/13/07: You gonna eat that?
05/08/07: That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning

© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner