“I’m a Jew, a lonely Jew, on Christmas.” – Kyle Braflovsky, South Park

Like poor little Kyle, Christmas can be a very isolating time for us Jews.  No Christmas trees, no Santa Claus and no reindeer games. And certainly no escape from all this Christmassy chazerai.  Most blatant, is the inundation of Christmas music everywhere you go.

Sure, many of these songs are quite enjoyable and do make everything cheerful and – God, forgive me for using this term – merry.  Who can resist Bruce Springsteen’s rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”? And whenever I hear Angela Lansbury throating her way through “We Need a Little Christmas,” I’m more than tempted to climb up into my non-existent attic and take out my non-existent Christmas decorations.  And, with some shame, I’ll admit to my most secret guilty pleasure – right now, my car CD player is currently holding a copy of John Denver and The Muppets – A Christmas Together.

But for every beloved classic, we have to hear a lot of crap.  Celine Dion’s version of “Blue Christmas” is more than enough to get me to throw up my Christmas Eve egg foo young. And how could Paul McCartney, composer of some of the best songs in the world, create “Wonderful Christmastime.” And I’m not sure who this Michael Bublé character is, but if he’s trying to be Frank Sinatra, he’s doing a pretty shitty job.

Anyway, in between the beloved classics and holiday horrors, there are a bunch of songs that have become standards for the season and included on every Christmas CD put out by everyone from those American Idol rejects or to aging singers looking for a quick buck. While these songs may be classics, have you ever paid attention to the lyrics of some of them?  They’re utter crap!  I’m not sure if it’s the finicky Jew in me, or the professional writer in me, but each of the below songs has lyrics that really piss me off:

1)  Perhaps the worst offender is “No Place Like Home for the Holidays.” Sure, it’s upbeat and has a good message, mainly that there is no place like home for the holidays.  But the only example used to illustrate that longing to go home is this:

“I met a man who lives in Tennessee and he was heading for/ Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie.”

Ummm.  So of all the people who travel home for the holidays, we are only told of some guy who’s going home to make love to a pie? Since this line is used three times, and doesn’t rhyme with any other lines, I don’t understand why the songwriter couldn’t have added some more examples.  Oh wait, actually, there is another example:

“In Pennslyvania folks are heading down to Dixie’s southern shore.”

This damn song makes it seem as though the Southeast and Pennsylvania are the only places in the world that celebrate the holidays.  Sorry, rednecks and Amish people, the holidays aren’t just about you.

2) “Let it Snow”

While this song is loved by mostly everyone, I HATE IT.  Why? Because of its inconsistent rhyme scheme. Most of the song has the same meter and AABB rhyme scheme:

Oh the weather outside is frightful

But the fire is so delightful

And since we’ve no place to go,

Let it snow, let it snow let it snow.

However, a little further into the song, without any type of warning, the rhyme scheme changes to ABAB.  And each and every time I hear this song, I’m immediately thrown off and confused. How could anyone not be, when you hear perfect rhyming couplets, and then the following:

When we finally say goodnight,

How I’ll hate going out in the storm.

Uh… see what I mean? Doesn’t that just completely make the whole thing off balance?  Sure, it does try to right itself with the next two lines, but that doesn’t fix the fact that your brain wants a word that rhymes with night, and you get storm instead.

3) “Here Comes Santa Claus”

Sorry to destroy another beloved holiday classic, but what the hell is up with this song?

Here Comes Santa Claus/ Here Comes Santa Claus/ Right down Santa Claus Lane

Couldn’t the author have been a little more creative? Why would Santa Claus by traveling down a street that bears his name? Why not call it Candy Cane Lane or something like that?

4) “Jingle Bell Rock”

Just like the previous entry, this song has a serious lack of creativity.  Did you ever notice how the word “jingle” is used to describe pretty much every person, place, and thing referenced in the song, just like in the smurfin’ Smurf universe. For example, we have: jingle bells, jingle hop, jingle bell square, jingle horse, jingling feet. Well I’m jinglin’ tired of all this jingly crap.

While the holiday season does make everything happier, my joy can’t hold up whenever I hear any of these songs.  Given my significant leverage with the music industry, I ask all of you record producers, managers, and singers (especially you Jewish ones – you should know better!) to avoid recording these dumb songs.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

If someone were to ask you five years ago what Roseanne was up to these days, you’d be lost for words.  Recently, though, she emerged from whatever rock she was hiding underneath and is everywhere.  A Comedy Central roast, a new reality show, and oddly enough, a run for President.  But instead of focusing on any of those things, let’s discuss her hair style from 20 years ago.

You may not have known it, but Roseanne is Jewish. Sure, she’s one of those few and far between white trash Jews, but a Jew nonetheless. Don’t believe me?

Just look at her hair from 1988:

And 1990:

And 1992, when she was somehow Jewish AND Asian:

For those of us who grew up in the 90s, Beverly Hills 90210 was pretty much the defining show of our generation.  Who didn’t idolize those rich kids from West Beverly High and tune in each week to see their latest drama.  And among us boys, there were heated discussions about whether Kelly or Brenda was hotter, becoming the “Ginger or Mary Ann?” debate of our generation. And if you liked Donna or Andrea (despite being the nice Jewish girl), there was something clearly wrong with you.

And as for the guys on the show, we all wanted to be just like Steve Sanders, played by the Jewish, yet inexplicably tan and blonde-haired, Ian Ziering. Though the character wasn’t Jewish, Steve was by far the best role model for pre-teen boys;  Brandon Walsh was a whiney goody-two-shoes, the brooding Dylan McKay tried too hard to be cool, and David Silver was just an annoying nerd obsessed with Tori Spelling.

Ian Ziering and the elusive blonde Jew-fro mullet.

Instead of those losers, we looked up to Steve and his zest for life, partying ways and constant womanizing, as masterfully portrayed by Mr. Ziering.  And though 90210 may have been the height of his career, he gave all of us Jewish kids with curly hair, even those with the rare case of a blonde Jew-fro, hope that we too might one day end up on the number one show in America. More than that, Ziering showed that we could finally play the cool kid, and not be stuck portraying a nerd like some more unfortunate people.

If only his Jew-fro was large enough to completely obscure Tori Spelling.

I know what you’re thinking – Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman doesn’t have a Jew-fro; the gymnast has perfectly straight hair.  Well, let me clear something up. Underneath all that gel and spray is a Jew-fro waiting to get out.

Or so I think.  I really have no idea what her hair is like.  Admittedly, I’m just jumping on the Olympics bandwagon to appease the gods of SEO. (London! Gold! Doping! Phelps!).  But the recent attention on this 18-year-old gymnast also gives me the opportunity to say how great it is that someone from our tribe has done so well in an athletic competition.

Jewish athletes are few and far between – and usually the most successful ones are men.  As for Jewish women, well, let’s just say unless they start awarding gold medals for mahjong or pushing their way to the front of the line at a buffet, they are pretty underrepresented in the world of sports.

Now along comes this talented gymnast with the most yiddishe punam you’ve ever seen, who wins two golds and a bronze in front of the world.  And if that weren’t enough, she won one of those golds by doing a floor exercise to Hava Nagila! And if that weren’t enough, she also paid tribute to the Israeli athletes who were murdered at the ’72 Munich Olympics, giving a slap in the face to the IOC who chose not to acknowledge the 40-year anniversary of that event.

Wow – this Aly Raisman is quite the overachiever – a goody goody even.  But she’s a little too perfect, don’t you think? Like, despite the hours and hours she spends training, you just know she’s also a straight-A student and volunteers at a soup kitchen in her spare time.

It’s great that Jewish children have a such a good role model and everything, but I think she’s setting expectations a little too high.  Jewish parents around the world will now be asking their kids, “Why can’t you be more like that nice Raisman girl who won all those medals at the Olympics – and [most likely] calls her grandparents every day?” And knowing they will never match those achievements, we’ll see a generation of Jews even more insecure and neurotic than us from the current crop.

My heart really goes out to Larry Fine, known to millions as one-third of the Three Stooges.  While it’s hard enough getting through life as a Jew, he was also a ginger.  And once he got older, many of those Jewish/ginger follicles decided to close shop, leaving him with only half a head of hair.  And such an appearance, combined with the not-Jewish-sounding-at-all birth name of Louis Feinberg, prevented the aspiring actor from being given any serious roles.

But that awkward face and unkempt hair made him the perfect candidate to join a couple of fellow Jews in a vaudeville act known as the Three Stooges.  Since the name Curly was already taken by the bald one, our Louis Feinberg changed his name to the less Jewy, but no less goofy, Larry Fine. And while that was pretty much the only role he ever had, this stooge managed to cement his place as a legend in pop culture.  Not bad for a guy with a half a ginger Jew-fro!