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 July 21, 2010 / 10 Menachem-Av 5770

Missing Mick Jagger in music muck

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Every so often, I like to switch the radio in my minivan to a pop or rock station and sing along with whatever is playing, just to impress my teenagers. This isn't difficult, considering how many songs from the 1970s and '80s still populate radio playlists. (Please, someone, recognize that Boston's "More Than a Feeling" was a bad song back in 1976 when it first came out.)

Of course, today's pop songs have only one or two lyrical phrases that you can pick up within seconds, so in the span of a stoplight, you belt the chorus as though you really know it.

You could say it's a little parenting mind game — a parlor trick to dispel the myth that moms are hopelessly uncool.

But I don't do this to flaunt that I'm a middle-aged hipster. Instead, I like to remind my children that I'm paying attention to what's out there.

I won't lie — staying on top of pop culture, especially music and lyrics, gets more difficult as I get older. For one thing, much of it just sounds like noise. Compared with the music from my era, today's songs are the soundtrack to a headache. (Wow. My fingers moved across the keyboard and out came my parents.)

A simple Google search of popular music from my 18th summer recalls "Miss You" by the Rolling Stones, "Three Times a Lady" by the Commodores, and "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey. Not exactly classics, but mildly melodic nonetheless.

Fast forward to this summer's notable pop music releases. There's the mind-numbing "Alejandro" by Lady Gaga, depicted in an eight-minute music video that is so laden with graphic sex and blasphemous Christian and Catholic imagery that even MTV.com asked, "Does Lady Gaga's 'Alejandro' video go too far?"

Hmmm … she wears a shiny red nun's habit, swallows a rosary, simulates sex with a dozen or so nearly naked men and ends the video with militaristic marching and what looks like a rape scene. I vote yes, MTV.

I wish Lady Gaga's latest "artistic" effort was the most offensive one we'll see and hear this summer, but that distinction will have to go to the self-styled terrorist sympathizer M.I.A., a native Sri Lankan Tamil known on her British passport as Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam.

Maya has captured the imaginations of a fawning media and the pop music elite, which has allowed her to catapult to superstardom as a singer/songwriter despite the fact that, by her own admission, she's not a musician and doesn't know how to sing.

Never mind those pesky details. Maya is an "artist." Music is just one of many media through which she expresses her cultural and political points of view.

And just what are those? Well, for starters, she is an outspoken apologist for terrorists who employ suicide bombings to kill innocent civilians and advance their ideological pursuits.

You'll be amazed to discover, though, just how jaunty a tune you can produce while singing about such gruesome themes. This summer, with the release of her latest album, "Maya," fans can get out the disco ball and bust a move to "Lovealot" while singing along with these lyrics:

Like a Taliban trucker eatin' boiled-up yucca,

Get my eyes done like I'm in a black burqa,

Been through s--t, yeah it's a f---a',

But now I make tunes, say shuck-a-lucka-lucka.

I fight the ones that fight me.

I really love a lot, I really love a lot.

I really love a lot, I really love a lot.

Clever artist that she is, Maya drops the letter "t" at the end of the words "a lot," as Britons often do, so that the chorus sounds just like "I really love Allah."

Such a great follow-up to her ironic (and nauseatingly violent) "Born Free," whose music video features a paramilitary unit wearing American flag badges chasing a busload of redheaded boys and young men across a desert and ultimately killing them.

You can watch that video on YouTube.com, and you should, because your teenager probably already has.

Rocketing to success in only six years, Maya's fame and fortune have produced predictable results. She's engaged to an American millionaire, Seagram's heir Ben Bronfman, and along with their 1-year-old son, the couple live in the wealthy enclave of Brentwood, Calif., far from the threat of those suicide bombers she so admires.

In our free country, Maya may pollute the culture with deranged drivel such as this.

But savvy parents ought to apply skills of media literacy and talk to their kids about the messages this "artist" freely conveys to the young people who are simply singing along.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks