Archive for the Reviews Category

A Quick Brag

Posted in Me, Reviews on January 12, 2010 by frumpunk

If I haven’t been posting (and I haven’t) it’s because I’ve been on vacation for the past three weeks. And if I’m posting now (which I am) it’s merely to brag about my current status in life, for I (Frum Punk) and just this much better than you. Or at least I feel this much better, mainly because I’m writing this from the complimentary computer in the private office located in the British Airways First Class Lounge, a place so nice I want to stay here twice.

Who would have thought that I, a simple country boy from Bumbleweed, Nebraska would someday be rubbing elbows with the upper crust of air travel? I didn’t expect so either, but then BA messed me around so many times that they apparently felt compelled to bump me to the upper crust of air travel society. And sitting in this ergonomic chair listening to the smooth jazz sounds and sipping my complimentary beverages, I no longer feel any animosity towards them.

Pretending to be rich reminds you of just how nice the service industry can be when they’re paid to suck up to certain passengers. I bypassed the initial check-in line with a contemptuous glance at all the poor people queuing up like insects while I stepped right up the the counter in my exclusive section. While my bags were taken care of I exchanged light banter with the friendly lady behind the counter. Then I was wisked through security, all of whom asked me how my stay was and expressed their sincere wishes to meet me again, sooner rather than later. Then with time to kill before my flight I stepped into the private lounge area and with a second contemptuous glance at all the people flying business I was escorted into my private lounge, with its computer setup, comfortable chairs, bar and choice of almost any drink I could desire, all on the house of course. In a short while I shall be stepping into my first class, fully reclinable seat, where I shall change into my complimentary pyjamas and settle down for a restful overnight flight.

You too could be flying this way, if only you’d worked as hard as I have to earn this level of luxury I’m accustomed to. It’ll be difficult though when the flight is done and it’s time to leave and go back home, a place without helpful attendants and smooth jazz. I’m grabbing onto my seat. They can’t make me go. Don’t make me go back there. I like it here…

Frum Punk Rates Your Humor Column

Posted in Frum, Funny?, Reviews on December 14, 2009 by frumpunk

We are fortunate to live in an age of variety in frum reading material. Whether you want to hear about right-wing opinions, or the even further to the right opinions, everyone is catered for. There’s such a push to provide a frum equivalent for mainstream newspapers and journals that much of our literature even has a resident humor columnist. Just like Newsweek and Time!

With so many choices, how do you know what to spend your valuable time on? Normally I would recommend simply reading my archives over and over but I’ll accept that many of you don’t have internet with you everywhere you go, so you get a pass. So if you must look for a weekly chuckle in a frum paper, let me tell you which are worth a guffaw and which are worth a guff-don’t.

Seriously Speaking – Michpacha:

Let me summarize this one with a peek into the authors mind during brainstorming: “Israeli service is slow! Obama is a liberal! Frum Jews don’t like Obama! Bibi! Israeli politics! Obama! Hahahaha, amirite people? What’s that? My column is due in two minutes? Hang on, let me just mention how this institution could be giving me the prize money instead! In shekels! Cause I live in Israel! Hahaha, amirite? Comedy gold!”

Hamodeia – Mordechai Shmutter:

I haven’t read the Hamodia in so long that I can’t remember the title of this column, but it’s easy to remember the content. Lets see; start off with a mention of something that happened to you recently then… steal one of Dave Barry’s bits from a decade ago. I understand the appeal, you write for a frum paper. Even if someone recognizes the source they won’t say anything because that’s an admission of reading secular material, which means you’re no longer frum. It’s the same way that Lev Tahor can rip off an entire Scorpions song for their second album. If you say anything, you’re a shaygetz. Problem is when I was in yeshiva Dave Barry’s anthologies were passed around like a crack pipe in a ghetto. He’s clean and hilarious. I don’t know how he gets away with plagiarizing him, but it irritates me.

Your Local Jewish Weekly:

“Oh boy, we Jews sure like to eat food and do Jewish things don’t we? Goyim, they don’t do these Jewish things, not like we do!” Oh Jackie Mason, you devil. Curse you for what you’ve spawned upon the world. Here’s a Jackie Mason joke, “Jews do this, Goyim don’t do it like this, and then the Jewish woman complains in this Brooklyn accent”. Trust me, I once did improv where I just made up Jackie Mason jokes on the spot with that formula. As long as you do the voice, you’ve got a punchline. I did it just to prove the point that that’s all there is to it. My dad loves Jackie Mason. I heard enough of it in the car to last a lifetime. Even when I was ten I saw the formula. Problem is it’s so simple that when your local Jewish Times wants a humor column, that’s all they print every week. It’s the law of the lowest common denominator.

The Coffee Room – Yeshiva World News:

Yes, while not strictly a column, I’d like to include a review of it. If only to get to my word count to appease my editor. From topics asking if it’s okay to date someone wearing an off-white shirt, to rants about how women in tight shirts are causing tsunamis in Asia, this is the best humor going in the Jewish world today. Find out if you can eat ice cream on a shidduch date, or does it run the risk of not being tzniyus. Your question will be answered by “numberonetzaddik” who assures you he’s a posek and fluent in all areas of halacha and gemora. And why would he lie?

Watch this space for a how-to on how to write and publish your own frum paper! (Hint: it involves simply printing random articles from AP News that week. Add in a columnist, letters page and some puzzles from the internet for the kids page and you’re good to go. Rinse and repeat weekly.)

Reviews You Can Use: The KosherClock

Posted in Frum, Me, Reviews on December 23, 2008 by frumpunk

‘Tis the season to get things for free, or give out lots of things, depending what side of the fence you’re on. For the sake of the public good, I’m going to review things people give me. You’re welcome.

Gift number one is the KosherClock, from the people who brought you the Shabbos Lamp (slogan: “One great idea, loads of ridiculous ones”). It’s difficult for me to own a KosherClock, because I made fun of it when it came out. A cheap travel alarm clock, re-branded as “kosher” and overpriced? But here it is, so onwards with the review:

The design is simple. A Chinese made molded plastic clock, with a hinge connecting a picture frame. Speaker on the back, a side switch changes the ring sound from mute, to message (more on that in a bit) to a buzzer. The picture frame comes with a picture of a little frum boy, who judging from his body posture and expression, really needs to pee, or just has a stomacheache. I haven’t yet figured out how to change the picture. Looks like you have to pry the inner frame out with a screwdriver or something. Just as well, because I don’t have a picture of anyone to put in. I guess I’ll just keep the little boy, and use it to remind myself to pee when I wake up.

The clock comes with a prerecorded message that you can change. The message is thirty seconds of what I think is music. It sounds like when you try to record a song from the radio by pressing record on your phone, then trying to play it back through a dead rabbit inside a garbage can, only worse fidelity. And its at an ear-splitting volume. Did I mention there’s no volume button? The puny speaker sounds like its screaming for mercy everytime I hit play. The music itself sounds like the middle part of any random Jewish song. I’d change it, but like the picture of the little boy, I don’t have anything to change it to. The box suggests “It’s Monday Abba, time for early minyan” but if I woke up to that, I’d be more concerned when I became a father than making it to early minyan.

The big selling point of the clock is that it has five, count ’em, five alarms. Unfortunately, I don’t really lead an existence that involves going to sleep four times during the day between getting up in the morning and bedtime. The ring turns off after one minute, which is the selling point of it being a Shabbos clock. Which begs the question, why didn’t they call it the “ShabbosClock”? KosherClock to me seems to imply that pedestrian alarm clocks are somehow treif.

It’s a nice gift, and for those of you needing a clock with multiple alarms and an incontinent little boy, I highly recommend it.