Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Black and White

I have decided to start naming my posts after obscure song names from the 70's. Partially because it's music that i enjoy, and partially because it gives the commenters something to comment on. I won't give the artist name, so feel free to leave it in the comments for everyone else to see (extra credit if you get it without googling).

The title of this post references a frum phenomenon that is getting worse and worse. The ubiquitous black hat which a large segment of the male frum population wears. I will not go into the reasons for wearing one or not wearing one as that is a personal decision and i could give a shit whether someone actually wears one or not. I do but I do not know for how much longer given the money it takes to acquire one these days.

However, I will say that since the price has already crept north of $200 it's time to stop. I know there are many hats that can be purchased for far less than this, but, if I am going to buy one I will buy one that is going to last me a substantial amount of time, as well as look semi-respectable while it is on my head. To buy one that looks like those old man rain hats, or an old fashioned Stetson from the 80's is beyond ridiculous. You might as well take your money and give it to the guys who carry the "Why lie? I need a dollar for a beer" signs outside Yankee Stadium. You will be getting more utility out of your money that way.

There is no reason to pay a small fortune, whether you can afford it or not, for an item of clothing that is not stylish and has no real religious connotation. It is absurd to keep this racket going! There is enough extortion in the frum world for religious items that we do not need to perpetuate this ridiculousness. I am all for keeping tradition but this has gone to far. It is absolutely insane! Are there not enough holidays on the jewish calendar which can be used to extort money out of well meaning jews? I am well aware that this does not apply just to the black hat, but beyond what my wife spends on clothing, I do not possess the requisite knowledge to comment on the exorbitant sums dished out for tznius women's clothing at those pricey boutiques catering to the needs of the discerning frum woman. For those that have this knowledge feel free to deliver it in scathing fashion in the comments.



  1. michael jackson. done and done.

    by the way, was "peace of mind" an early attempt at this song game?

  2. Peace of mind was not an early attempt but kudos to you if you know what band sings it.
    I realized I made an error with my post title which you seized on. Michael Jackson does indeed sing "Black OR White" but that was from the 90's. This song is "Black AND White" from the 70's by a very different artist...

  3. There are a few good songs titled "peace of mind", but I'm going to guess you were alluding to Boston. And not to corner the market on this fun little procrastination tool, but I'm going to go with Three Dog Night, one of the best bands of all time. What do I win?

  4. Right on both accounts, and glad to hear that my little game is useful and fun. Interesting to find such a fan of Three Dog Night though...

    Anyway, in regards to a prize, what would you like to win? In the anonymous world of blogging in which we reside, a tangible prize is somewhat hard to come by, but you name it. A school outline perhaps? :)

  5. Who *doesn't* love Three Dog Night?! Admittedly, I am a little young for such an affinity, but there's no accounting for taste. (I blame the overseas English radio stations; pre-internet childhoods were rough indeed.) As for the prize, I have to mull that one over - how do I know that an outline from you would be of any use? :)

  6. Hey, by the way - there are plenty of mainstream stores that supply cute tzunius clothing for girls. The hats, though - that's another thing. Plus, they really are just effing ugly as sh*t, and that is me actually mincing words on that topic.

  7. I don't know that you would have any use for an outline form me but I figured it was the best I could offer under the circumstances.
    No reason to mince your words about the hat issue, thats what this blog is for. And, like I said the clothing is not something which I know about. My wife goes shopping and doesnt show me the receipts and we are both happy :)

  8. Excuse me, but I sometimes wear a $20 old man rainhat and boat shoes and it looks pretty stylish if you ask me. It takes a real man to rock it like that.

  9. Well kudos to you my man. I guess you are right. when worn properly it can give off that "hipster" air. not my personal favorite, but it most certainly can be rocked like that.
    Wait.....are you an old man?

  10. Boat shoes I can get on board with - where I'm from, everyone sails and so Sperry's are standard. Still lost on the hat/huge black suit jacket combo. If it doesn't look good on country music superstar Clint Black, you can pretty much bet it won't do anything for Chaim Feinstein. And don't get me started on woolen tights and orthopaedic shoes on 17-year-old girls in August. The things people do to avoid community scrutiny...

  11. Ah this warms the cockles of my heart. an honest to goodness debate on the ridiculousness in our community, delivered in a biting sarcastic fashion. Thank you!
    If only Constitutional Law made so happy....

  12. #1 Does it count as my community if I don't live in Brooklyn? and

    #2 I feel for you on the ConLaw thing. Hey, ps - I know it's no Cynic-scale smorgasboard, but the tally for tonight stands as follows:

    2 french presses of coffee
    1 log of chevre
    1/2 package of water crackers
    2 pieces toast
    2 spoonfuls of chocolate frosting
    3 tangerines
    1 glass quince grappa (homemade - a gift for the high holidays...who knew...)
    1 bowl cream of celery soup

    Sorry to hijack your comment board :)

  13. I will respond in order:
    #1 - I am going to say that as a Jew any Jewish community can technically be called yours. But, in this instance be happy that Brooklyn is not actually your community (see post #1)

    #2 An impressive haul to be sure but my gastronomic intake for the day stands at:
    2 Energy Drinks
    2 Diet Peach Snapples
    1 Bottle of Water
    2 Bagels w/ cream cheese
    1 package of Stella D'oro Margherite Cookies (the full size package)
    1 Turkey Sandwich
    2 Bags of Lays Chips

    ...and please do not apologize for hijacking the comment board! What d you think it is there for, to be stared at?

  14. Can I please just tell you that until I converted, I had no idea BP or CH existed. Nor Monsey, which is literally 10 minutes from where my father's family lives in Saddle River. I kind of like they mystery from afar.

    And I have to ask: are you leaving any food in the house for your pregnant wife?

  15. I also did a log of chevre while studying for exams. Thanks for making me feel normal about that.

  16. Nemo: I'm still in bed, haven't even put in my contacts yet, and you've got me cracking up. About your chevre log - plain, honey, herb, the four- or eight-incher, did you or did you not feel deathy ill after --

    You know, the usual.

  17. Herb. I just couldn't get off the herb.

  18. nemo - I too cannot get off the "herb"...

    Nameless - I do most of my eating in school, and with the exam I had yesterday afternoon I really kicked it up a notch. But thanks for your concern for my wife :)

    This is all after 4:00 pm when my exam ended-
    1 Bagel w Cream cheese and Tomato
    The rest of the Tomato
    The remainder of the Cream Cheese container
    2 slices of Pizza
    1 Cherry Blossom roll of Sushi
    1 package of Beef Jerky
    2 Hot Dogs
    an unspecified number of rugelach...

    I think I am going to have gained 20 pounds after my exams are over, and all in just 2 weeks...ugh

  19. You know, that all seemed perfectly normal to me until you hit the jerky-hot dog-rugelach combo. That can get pretty dicey.

    PS I really hope the rugelach was chocolate. But that's me living vicariously.

  20. Of course they were chocolate! Only wimps (or me when I am very hungry) eat the vanilla rugelach.

    But well made cinnamon rugelach, does have a special place in my stomach...

  21. What, no strawberry or apricot? You hate on fruit or something?

  22. It seems I have misspoke. I was referring to the old fashioned rugelach that are sort of rolled into shape (is there anyway to post a picture here?). I am a fruit lover of the highest order, (raspberry is my favorite, with apricot lagging not to far behind) I just did not include that genre of rugelach into my definition.

    My apologies to the offended fruits...

    PS - On the rugelach front, can someone give me a single rational reason to eat one of those poppyseed filled things? 'Man' I believe it is called. I have tasted it, and saying it tastes like ass would be paying it a compliment.

  23. This is what I was referring to when I made my disparaging remarks toward vanilla and cinnamon rugelach.