Of course, I do much MORE than just video stuff -- the English & Jewish Studies minor in me won't let me get away with not showing you any of my work from the other side of my brain. If you're snooty and academic,
you will find a lot of good stuff here.
Why no one cares about antisemitism
When my classmates and I were discussing potential topics for this very assignment, I was shocked at the amount of students who were unsure what the word antisemitism meant. As I went through my rough draft with one particular student who I thought to be quite socially and politically aware, she bobbed her head along as I talked, and when I asked her for feedback, she gestured me closer and whispered, “I don’t wanna sound dumb, but what does that word even mean?”
“You’ve never heard of it?”
“I mean, I’ve heard it used before. It’s just… no one’s ever explained it to me.”
Of course, that only incentivized my urge to write about this very topic.
JEW: An Identity,
or an Insult?
Assigned to write and perform a TED Talk for my honors Rhetoric and Civic Life class, my topic initially arose of my noticing a trend among some of my favorite comedians: they would use the word “Jew” to illicit a laugh, in the same vein someone might use a racial slur, or even just a word like “fuck.” (See my YouTube playlist chock-full of examples).
But “Jew” is not inherently a slur — it was taken away from Jews and socialized in such a way that people could use it as an insult. In some cases, Gentiles only grew up hearing it as an insult. There’s debate among the Jewish community whether or not we should be more mindful about the word, or even abandon it altogether. The following talk is my case for the word “Jew.”
An open letter to PETA
I used to follow Kat Von D on Instagram, a famous makeup artist, entrepreneur, and fierce advocate for animal rights. (I was also a devout re-buyer of her “Tattoo Liner” liquid eyeliner.)
But in July, amongst the archive of her “artsy” pictures, she posted something that made my stomach churn. It was a black-and-white photograph of a pile of dead, bare-naked victims of the Holocaust. In the description, she elaborated, essentially, that the systematic murder of Jews in the Holocaust is equivalent to the modern exploitation of animals. Naturally, I was horrified — not only because of her post, but because of how many people agreed with her in the comments. In the following research paper, in which I analyze a PETA advertisement that does the same thing, I expound upon why this problematic comparison totally sucks.