Friday, June 01, 2007

A Matter of Taste

In memory of my grandparents Eliezer ben Shmuel and Sima bas Golda, whose yarzeits were this week.

Can you identify the subject of this quote:

1. “Like an over-attended child, it is spoiled. It reeks of horns and harps, harmonica quartets, assorted animal noises and a 41-piece orchestra. ... an album of special effects but ultimately fraudulent.”

That’s from the New York Time’s review of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released forty years ago tomorrow. The Beach Boys loved it, Frank Zappa hated it. Most of its songs were banned by the BBC.

Today the BBC can’t praise it enough. I wonder what proportion of our population can sing or hum one or more songs from that album.

How about this one:

2. “I only advocated that a person should have the right to have an option if he or she, in sound mind, needed and desired it while in irremediable pain and suffering and terminal."

Yes, that’s Dr. Death himself, Jack Kevorkian, released today after eight years in jail for second-degree murder. Unrepentant, he announced that he will now work for the legalization of assisted-suicide around the country.

Here is an online memorial to his first patient-victim, Janet Atkins (born 9 days before my father), who chose to end her own life while she was of sound mind and body: (content warning: discretion advised).

Why her family would be happy about this is beyond me. I think it’s meshugass.

Today the country is divided, according to an AP poll, nearly 50-50. Is it only a matter of time before other states join Oregon to legalize suicide?

You can’t tell me what kind of music to like, right? That’s a matter of taste. You can’t tell me that my musical choices are wrong, only that they don’t appeal to you.

What about what I do to my body? Is that also a matter of taste?

Maybe the next trend after piercings will be amputations. If a person wants to have their ear cosmetically amputated, or to cut off their arm to make a political statement, should that be legal?

Here’s something that you must like:

If you don’t, you’re just wrong.

Shabbat Shalom

Upcoming speaking schedule:

June 4-8 Guest Blogger
June 12 – Mill Valley: “Why Do Bad Things Really Happen?” (Private home)
June 13 – San Francisco: “Judaism & Hinduism: Hidden Connections?” (Adath Israel)
June 15-16 – San Francisco: Shabbat Scholar-in-Residence (Adath Israel)
June 24-26 – Philadelphia (Etz Chaim)

(For details, send an email)

Yiddish of the week:
meshugass — insanity
meshuganeh — insane

Yiddish review - how many do you know?
anee — poor person
koptsen — panhandler
ballaboss — homeowner; layman
nu — various meanings (see archives)
mishpocha — family
mameh — mother
tateh — father
mazal – (MAH-z’l) luck or fortune, as in, “It was good mazal that....”
beshert – (b’shairt) - meant to be, as in “It was beshert that...”
mine eltern – my parents
mine lair-er – my teacher
hamantashen – Haman-pockets
zeigezunt – all the best (said upon parting)
kesher - connection
Ikh volt veln a kave, zayt azoy gut. - I'd like a coffee, please.
...kave mit shmant. – ...a coffee with cream.
...kave mit milkh. – ...a coffee with milk.
...kave mit tsuker. - ...a coffee with sugar.
Di Fir Kashes - The Four Questions
Oy vey! - Good grief!
mensch — a decent person
rachmanos — mercy
neshoma (neh-SHOH-ma) — soul
minig — custom, as in, "Why do you do that?" "It's my minig!"
Gavaltig — wonderful
Oy gavalt — how wonderful (sarcastic)
Azoy gait es! — That’s how it goes!
Shabbos — Cessation; stopping; day of stopping; weekly sabbatical experience
"Gut Shabbos" — "Enjoy your weekly sabbatical experience"
Neshoma — Soul


yitz.. said...

aren't sex change operations just a fancy name for amputations and plastic surgery to cover it up?

quietpaths said...

Enjoyed the banjo YouTube! I think I know all the lyrics to Sgt. Pepper's. I mean ALL the lyrics. I was eight when my brother brought it home on his reel to reel. Ah, impressionable youth.