Thursday, December 13, 2007

Here's to you, for the guilt and the pleasure of us all.

I've fallen in love with something, and I have to tell you all about it. You have to find it, you have to buy it, you have to throw yourself into its pages and take a hold of your inner, literary Jew.

The publication? Guilt and Pleasure.

I discovered the quarterly while perusing the website for my favorite local diner/swanky restaurant, Eleven City Diner. They just revamped the website, and I discovered the link to the website. I thought that it was only online, of course, since they have links to all the articles in the recent edition. Then when Ian and I were at the diner getting some dinner, as we were walking out, I always like to stop and check out the Israeli Bazooka gum, imported grape juice and other goods, and I spotted it! Up on a shelf between two issues of HEEB magazine, there it was! Of course, not the most recent issue, but the "Health" issue, complete with pictures of "snowbirds" from South Beach donning bikinis and looking particularly ... leathery.

Now, the moment I started reading it, I was I love. I thought "This is what HEEB wants to be, but it's not." The articles are smart, funny, real. One of the favorites I've read so far is about a Jewish fellow who is 6'3" by all measurements, but appears as only a tall 5-footer, since he slouches so much. He goes into the history of anti-Semitic rantings about Jews with hunchbacks, citing historic works and popular fiction, including "Young Frankenstein." I finished the piece and was struck by how hilarious, smart, and outstandingly Jewish it was.

This is the magazine/journal that was made for me!

On the website you can find podcasts, including one with Shalom Auslander, the author of "Foreskin's Lament," which high on my list of must-reads. The website also links to Reboot and Reboot Stereophonic. From what I can tell, the former is the brainchild of the Guilt and Pleasure and the other project. The latter is a project that seeks to take old music and bring a new listen to it.

I'm still exploring all the websites, but there's so many interesting, fascinating, smart and quality things to be had. One interesting thing spotted on the site that I plan on delving into is a piece from Time Magazine's cover from April 10, 1972: What it Means to be Jewish ~ The Jews: Next Year in Which Jerusalem?