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December 2, 2014

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 June 22, 2007 / 6 Tamuz, 5767

When Cool is Too Cool

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | All over America, millions of voters don't know — or care — that Mike Gravel has an "artistic'' side or that Hillary Clinton likes Celine Dion.


Yes, it's hard to believe if you're a tuned-in, turned-on popular culture vulture umbilically connected to the blogosphere/videosphere. But cross the country and ask normal people about the latest Gravel ad and they'd think you don't know how to pronounce the word for tiny pebbles.


Ask working folks about "You and I,'' the campaign song selected by Clinton in her recent Sopranos-spoof video, and most will shrug indifferently.


Everyday people, in other words, are too busy getting to work, raising children and going to their respective houses of worship to monitor the virtual world where Gravel (who is running for president, by the way), Clinton and other presidential candidates have posted about 900 political videos.


Unquestionably, YouTube, the blogosphere and other avenues of the ether world have altered politics in unforeseeable ways. Those 900 videos have been viewed as many as 10 million times, according to Personal Democracy Forum, a Web site that tracks technology and politics.


Savvy candidates can ill afford to ignore the power — and voter access — that the Internet provides. But the savviest won't forget those other millions who are waiting tables, driving trucks and otherwise figure life is too short to station themselves for long before a computer screen.


Of the hundreds of videos out there, Clinton's and Gravel's — the best and worst of the bunch — are probably the most familiar, thanks to generous news coverage.


In Clinton's flick, the well-dressed senator sits in a diner booth flipping through the tabletop jukebox, just as Tony Soprano did in the series finale. In walks Bill Clinton, wearing a loose guayabera and exuding the 'tude of a truant adolescent.


For Americans familiar with the final installment of "The Sopranos,'' the video is oh-so clever. Clinton orders carrots instead of the onion rings that Tony ordered. Bill says: "No onion rings?''


"I'm lookin' out for you,'' says the Mrs.


"So what's the winning song? ... My money is on Smash Mouth,'' says the former prez.


No cheating: Who or what is Smash Mouth? Even if you know, this pop reference is clearly aimed at younger folks who are the primary audience and producers of YouTube. Translation: The Clintons are cool.


Beyond the entertainment value of seeing a former president playing Fonz to the Godmother, the video's success is predicated on a community of coolness. But is it important that the leader of the free world be hip to Smash Mouth and other touchstones of popular culture?


It's all rather insider stuff and has not much to do with the real world in which most Americans dwell. That would not, incidentally, be the same world inhabited by one Mike Gravel, perhaps the oddest creature to grip a lectern since Ross Perot tortured America with pie charts.


In his online videos, Gravel has fashioned a surreal blend of Jean-Paul Sartre and "The Blair Witch Project.''


In one, we see Gravel's expressionless face too close to the camera, staring. In the background is a pond bordered by a path. Gravel says nothing for several long seconds, then turns, walks away, picks up a large rock and tosses it in the water.


Gravel, uh, makes a splash.


Another video similarly places Gravel outdoors, this time showing the candidate silently collecting sticks, with which he Lights A Fire. Wow, that is, like, so symbolic.


For a candidate little known outside of Alaska, for which he served two terms as a U.S. senator, Internet buzz about his weird videos beats no buzz. But has it really come to this? Presidential candidates making spoofy-goofy home movies to win votes?


To be fair, candidates are as much victims as benefactors of the YouTube age, trapped between two dimensions of reality that are fundamentally in conflict. One reality pertains to Americans who have neither the time nor the urge to "get'' the latest hip thing. The other concerns the very real phenomenon of a parallel universe where younger, more technologically attuned Americans preside.


Candidates can't afford to ignore either, but ultimately they're forced to present two different faces to two different audiences — the plugged and the unplugged, the hip and the un-hip.


The question is: Which is the true face? Which persona will lead the nation? Come Election Day, it may not be so cool to be so cool.

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.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.


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