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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 Dec. 24, 2007 / 15 Teves 5768

No fury like a Zep fan scorned

By Diana West


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "I don't like old people on a rock 'n' roll stage. What you're pretty much doing is imitating yourself at the age of 25, and there's basically nothing more pathetic." — Grace Slick


Finally found people even touchier than Islamic fanatics: Led Zeppelin fanatics. No kidding. I say this after receiving a pretty heavy mailbag on my recent column about the Zep reunion concert in London. It was the "worst" column, a work of "concentrated stupidity," I must have been "stoned" to have written it, my work should be "boycotted."


("Carry your (boycott West) signs on to the streets, hang them in windows and pin them up in your work place cubicle," commented one free-speech enthusiast at the conservative Web site townhall.com.)


You see, I had dared to go for a few laughs at the expense of aging (aged) rockers and their aging (aged) fans, most of whom believe you're just not living if you're not 14, or acting like it. And not only is my anti-establishment, alternative point of view verboten, there is also nothing funny about the aging (aged) concert scene, what with Led Zeppelin settling into its set, as one account reported, as "grown men in the mostly middle-aged and male audience began playing air guitar."


Nothing funny, that is, if you happen to be a middle-aged male who plays air guitar. I heard from several such air musicians, including the one who reminded me that "the Founding Fathers fought for our freedom to play air guitar at 50."


So no jokes.


That said, there remains the more serious punch line pertaining to the phenomenon I like to call "the death of the grown-up." In fact, as some readers know, I have even written a book by the same title devoted to exploring how and why we came to a place in the progression of the species where, quite suddenly, adolescence is no longer a phase to pass through, but, in many ways, the endpoint — the culmination — of our emotional and aesthetic development (and why this threatens our liberty).


A "heritage rock event" such as Led Zeppelin's onstage reunion is a good place to assess the phenomenon. Here, the erstwhile don't-trust-anyone-over-30 set gathers to retool its creed for its Golden Years: Don't trust anyone who acts over 30 — or worse, imagines there is something amiss in the pretense.


For pretense is the name of this game. As Zep fans explained to me, they have substantive jobs, they pay taxes, they hold marriages together, they raise kids. Nothing "adolescent" about such lives of responsibility and care — nothing, that is, except their own deeply ingrained, metaphysical aversion to seeing themselves as ... adults; as the very backbone of a hidebound "Establishment"; as, in the words of a 40ish attorney who reverently reviewed the Zep concert for The Washington Post, a bunch of "corporate stiffs."


What is ironic is that the rock 'n' roll soundtrack to which these 21st-century Babbitts live their lives came into existence as the martial music of a youth revolution to overturn the Establishment; to denigrate corporate stiffs; to smash monogamy and push promiscuity; and to mark middle-class duty, whether civilian or military, as a chump's game.


So what's it all about? According to my reader comments, there's only one alternative to Led Zeppelin et al: Death by "muzak." There's only one alternative to Robert Plant: Barry Manilow. There's only one alternative to rocking out: Being "a robot."


What a choice. But such is the truncated range of human possibility as whittled down in our post-grown-up era by the forces of Hollywood, the music biz and Madison Avenue. They have convinced us to see ourselves as either wild or boring; cool or uncool; unzipped or straitlaced; at least secretly licentious or just plain dull. Give me Zep or give me death! As one 48-year-old Zep fan commented: "I'm about as conservative as they come, but conservative doesn't translate to `Fuddy Duddy'!"


Oh yeah? A great irony here is that there is nothing more conventional — dare I say corny? — than, after all these post-adolescent decades, still running with the Zep-loving, air-guitar-playing masses. Mavericks by the tens of thousands, they now conform to the pose of the rebel just as Babbitt once conformed to role of civic booster. In other words, the Babbittry still exists, all right; but today's Babbitts simply pretend it doesn't. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll rules, dude — even in the "work place cubicle" where my columns are now boycotted.

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