Not Chosen, Just Posin'

I just got a job with a Jewish magazine. I'm not Jewish. They think I am.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

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The fine publicity department over at Hachette Book Group USA and Warner Books has gifted me with the Jewtopia book, so that I could spread joy across my land. I'm pretty sure I'm being used, but I really like free stuff so I'd say it's a fair trade. Plus, I loved the play so the book was no less than a treat.

The following are prepackaged quotes (with explanation) for when the book is reprinted in paperback. I've made it very easy for the designers. All they have to do is copy and paste my quotes right into the template. My name's already included and everything! See? They give me a gift, I give them one. Okay fine, I just want my name on the book.

“This book will totally get you laid on the 1 train, but maybe not so much on the L.” - Not Chosen, Just Posin'

I brought Jewtopia with me on the train to Brooklyn on Sunday night and the girl sitting next to me (JAP?) got so close to me in her attempt to read it that her head was essentially on my shoulder. She looked down at the book, laughed, and then looked at me for an extended period of time. Did she want me to talk to her? Did she want me to realize that she wasn’t ready for me to turn the page? Did she want to make out? Did she want to bear my children? These are all questions that the book unfortunately does not answer, but if you want to know about the Spanish Inquisition, you’re good. By the way, no such luck on the L train.

“Even if you’re not Jewish (uh-hem), people will think you are if caught reading this. Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, but it’s the truth nevertheless.” --Not Chosen, Just Posin'

This morning two guys were talking about the Jewish Heritage Museum when one of them glanced at the cover of my book (which pictures the authors lighting their cigarettes on a Menorah). The guy then looked at me and gave me a knowing nod. “You're a Member of the Tribe,” said the nod. Then, they both chuckled at the book's clever and strategic blasphemy.

Jewtopia includes stereotypes that are fun for the whole family!” --Not Chosen, Just Posin'

Exploiting and undermining stereotypes might not be cool if you’re a fakeJew like me, but you better believe it’s okay if you’re a real Jew. And did my Catholic ass get offended when Mr. Fogel and Mr. Wolfson dressed Jesus Christ up like John Travolta? No way. Because. That. Is. Funny!


Jewtopia teaches boys and girls that all religions are similar; that every religion evolved from someone similar to their ‘Crazy Uncle Bill.’” --Not Chosen, Just Posin'

In Judaism, you’ve got Abraham, who’s a bit nuts. He tried to sacrifice his own son at one point. In Christianity, we’ve got Jesus, who does that whole dying and coming back to life trick. Kind of creepy. All of this is depicted by pretty pictures and slapstick humor—which I usually don’t like, but it really works in this book for some reason.

“If Jewtopia is the modern day interpretation of the Torah, then I want to convert!” --Not Chosen, Just Posin'

Seriously, if any religion played host to a bunch of Bryan Fogels and Sam Wolfsons, it would be the ideal one for me. These guys are obviously very knowledgeable of their religion and its history (that alone puts them in the 99th percentile of religionists), and they are able to sit back and laugh at it, yet still faithfully subscribe to it.

On that note, and in conclusion…


“Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for effectively demonstrating the “Don’t laugh at me, laugh with me” concept.” --Not Chosen, Just Posin'

According to this concept, instead of arguing with one another, Zion would look at his enemy, Islam, and say, “I might have a big nose, but you wear a pretty funny looking turban.” Or, “I didn’t know it was Halloween, why is your wife all dressed up in that funny black ghost outfit?” To which, Islam would respond, “At least my wife knows better than to mouth off to me. I’m the boss in my relationships (that’s right, I have 67 of them). Too bad I can’t say as much about yours.” And then the Jewish guy would throw in his towel, declaring, “Touché! Next drink’s on me, Ibrahim.”

That’s what I took away from the book anyway.


The book's not out until September 27th, even though I think I saw it on Amazon. Either way, you can check it out at Jewtopiabook.com. Tell them I sent you.

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