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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 Sept. 28, 2006 / 6 Tishrei, 5767

Mixed feelings about snap judgments

By Garrison Keillor


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My sandy-haired gap-toothed daughter likes to snap my picture on a cellphone as I'm eating my bran flakes in the morning and brooding over the front page of the Times, over which there is now more to brood than ever. She is 8 and she looks stunning in pictures, and I look stunned, as if someone had just clubbed me with a baseball bat. "Smile," she says, and I try, but still I look like an ugly white person who is fixing to die or something.


My grandmother hated cameras and we have the pictures to prove it. She stands by the back door of the little white frame house, on her way to pick beans into a pail, wearing a loose cotton dress, her hair up in a bun, a few strands loose, wire-rim glasses, cotton stockings and old shoes, and she gives the camera a sour look that says, "Oh for pity's sake. Why are you bothering me with that?" She was a sweet grandma and deeply loved, so we wanted pictures to remember her by, but in those pictures she is deeply irked, which she was not otherwise. The medium shapes the message.


In Grandma's day, you were photographed as an infant, and again as a child, seated on a pony, and then at your wedding, and occasionally with your family, all of you sitting straight and stiff as judges at a hanging. Then came the Kodak, which opened the door to the commemoration of daily life, the family gallery on the refrigerator door, and now here is the cellphone. Instant gratification. Snap and look.


Understand now, the camera is the source of celebrity in our time. The recording business has splintered into hundreds of niches — there will never be another Frank or Elvis, voices whom everybody knew — and literature is so devalued, it simply doesn't matter to many people. The only true celebrities are movie stars; if you spotted them on the street, you would stop in slack-jawed amazement and take a deep breath. Only the camera bestows this enormous asset that raises you up out of the struggle and strife and into a special club where you enjoy free food and rides and extensive fawning and truckling.


The dark side of celebrity is, like the sex appeal of teenagers and the meaningfulness of country music, somewhat exaggerated. Occasionally, a celeb becomes Bailey's Irish Cream-dependent and is shipped off to Hazelden, or makes lousy investments and is forced to do infomercials for vitamins, but by and large it's not a bad life if the camera loves you.


A man has reason to be shy about cameras, but I just take off my specs and I am okay. If you can't see people, then you don't feel they can see you either. The world is beautiful, like an impressionist painting. The neighbor's back yard becomes Monet's garden. My eyesight is such that people who try on my glasses feel dizzy afterward and have to lie down in a dark room, so when I take them off, the world blurs in a beautiful way and the imagination stirs in the form of neuron impulses in the neocortex, and looking at a Dumpster, I remember a house I lived in once with a broad porch looking out on a waterfall. The amygdala, the part of the brain that gives emotional meaning to memories, paints the porch shining and golden.


Meanwhile, the Renoir woman I am married to says, "Put on your glasses. You look distinguished with them on." I have no interest in being distinguished, but I put on my glasses. Goodbye, amygdala, and hello, real world. There are cellphones everywhere. People are taking photographs of almost everything nowadays.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Garrison Keillorís "A Prairie Home Companion" can be heard Saturday nights on public radio stations across the country. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2006 by Garrison Keillor. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, INC.

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