It’s easy to think that Jews are in some kind of cultural crisis over Israel, but I do not believe we are. Rather, we are in a financial crisis, where our cultural institutions are so dependent on right-wing Zionist funding that they have effectively excommunicated all anti-Zionist Jews, in fear of having to shrink their budgets. Jewish cultural institutions need to liberate themselves from this right-wing dependence, so they can properly honor, accept and celebrate Jewish people who oppose a Jewish state (which, demographically, is a TREMENDOUSLY LARGE AND GROWING POPULATION).
If these ongoing crises prove anything, it’s that the most interesting Jewish cultural leaders oppose Zionism. So if Jewish cultural institutions want to stay relevant, they need to either stand up to their right-wing donors or just find new income.
On Saturday morning, I woke up thinking about “Pinklisting,” a Saturday Night Live sketch about AIDS hysteria from 1985, starring Terry Sweeney (the only openly gay male SNL performer in the show’s history) and Madonna. I posted it on Facebook, with some off-the-cuff and not-outrageously-insightful observations, and the ensuing comments were really interesting, especially Kieran Turner's helpful context that the sketch aired after tabloid controversy about whether Linda Evans got HIV from Rock Hudson during kissing scenes on “Dynasty.”
Today, a blogger at Indiewire reposted the video, and a lot of his commentary is basically the same as the stuff mentioned in my original post, and in the comments made by my friends. (I called the video “weirdly supportive,” he calls it “oddly supportive,” etc.) And it’s not like that video was trending or anything. I found it on a dark corner of the internet, led by whim, obsession and nagging memory.
Now, nothing any of us wrote on that Facebook thread was like… super unique original content. It’s not like… creative property. But it’s definitely weird to see your stray thought and your friends’ input reformatted into a professional blog post with no attribution, especially when the subject matter has to do with your ongoing artistic and cultural inquiry.
This instance is so benign that I won’t make a fuss or anything. But it’s making me a smidge paranoid about social media. Dear professional bloggers: please don’t paraphrase stuff you see on people’s Facebook walls! It’s a bummer!