On this Easter morning and when it is still Passover, I thought I’d put down my thoughts about something Christian and something Jewish.
First, the Passover story. The Jewish Daily Forward last week wrote a story suggesting that four characters from Glee represent the Four Sons of the Passover story–the wise son, the wicked son, the simple son, and one who does not know to ask. Rachel (the loud Barbra Streisand singing soloist of the choir) is the wise son; “Puck” (the high school “bad boy”) is the wicked son; wheelchair-bound Artie is the simple son because he simplest–that is rather uncommitted–about his Jewishness; Tina Cohen-Chang’s Jewishness is invisible in the show save for her name. Coming from an interfaith marriage, the assumption is that she does not know to ask because in most homes of this sort children are not raised to be Jewish-identified.
What I find most interesting about this (and Jay Michaelson does a wonderful analysis in this piece) is that Glee more than any other show on television is unafraid to show Jewishness. Most often on primetime television, Jewish characters appear on individual episodes and are integral to a single plot line (the exception being Cuddy and James E. Wilson (J.E.W.) on House). Here, though, Jewish characters are shown across a spectrum of different personality types. Moreover, and true to how faith is lived particularly for this generation, Jewish identity is a part of who they are–no more or less than being goth or wearing a Mohawk. It might change as these charcters age, but this is up to our fantasies to divine because in TV Land they can never get out of the Glee Club.
For Easter, I must mention James Frey’s new book The Final Testament of the Holy Bible.
James Frey, as you likely know, is the author who famous lied in his memoir and was publicly shamed by Oprah for having done so. Since then, the author moved on to market himself as the Bad Boy (the Wicked Son?) of publishing. Thus on Good Friday, he released his new work which is described in the following way on the product’s website:
What if the Messiah were alive today? Living in New York. Sleeping with men. Impregnating young women. Euthanizing the dying, and healing the sick. Defying the government, and condemning the holy.
If you met him, and he changed your life, would you believe?
The book is not available in stores, but through an upscale art gallery at art gallery prices, or you can download it at a typical price point.
Since this only came out two days ago, I’m still reading it and examining the marketing. Once done, my thoughts and analysis will appear in a piece I’ll be writing about this for The Revealer. In the meantime, if anyone has thoughts on this book, Frey or the marketing thereof, I’d love to see your postings.