Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Look, I'm tired of pretending.
Everyone wants to win. Ev-ree-won.
Even when you twist a bottle cap off a Coke, you feel that pang of disappointment when confronted with "Drink Coke. Try Again." As if, for that millisecond, nothing is even worth living for. If you can't win a measly can of carbonated beverage, what's the point of this world?

For the next two days, the Jerusalem Post is hosting the voting polls for their annual 2005's Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards (I'm assuming the fact that they aren't using "2006" is in protest for being coerced into using that evil gentile calendar). A few weeks ago, Bring Back Sincerity was nominated for Best Personal Blog. I was touched, I was honored, I was flattered. Nevertheless, I never expected anyone to vote for me lil' ole me. But they did and they did. And they did (yay, you!). Some days passed, and eventually I forgot about the nomination. Maybe I just didn't care that much about it? It's possible, you know.

But then all that changed when I heard the news that I had made it to the second and final round. Whoo-hoo! Self-high-five! What up, Big A? You're stylin.' Collar up? No, collar down. We don't want to look to conceited.

Throughout the next couple days, I started checking the voting results every so often, wondering where I stood. I started strong. Cool. Act cool. Look in the mirror. Fix your hair. That one hair that's out of place. Fix it. It doesn't matter that no one is around. You could be the best Jewish Blog. That's where it's at. You know where it is. Over there. With the other cool people.

I started wondering about my competition. Who were these people that shared my category for Best Personal Blog? I put on my sleuthing hat and sleuthed away. The Internet was a-waiting.

First up, A Whispering Soul. The blogger's name is McAryeh, which is kinda offensive to me because he uses an "H," which is so 1998. McAryeh started his blog about six months ago, which is riding the blog wave a tad late but nevertheless, he's here.
On why he blogs:
"Basically, I had just ended a relationship, and I was struggling with writing my novel. Everyone kept asking me how I was doing. At first, I started the blog as a way to keep friends apprised of what was happening in my day to day."
Ah-ha. One of those.

Next up was because I'm In My Twenties and It's What You Do. Robbie, the blogger, describes his duty as such:
"Reading this I'm sure you'll think that I'm trying to be one of those Klosterman-esque commentators on 'my generation,' as though I'm able to speak for the thousands out there who hold down moderately well-paying jobs and are the owners of their own small businesses in big cities... But as I've pointed out, I'm in my twenties now, and it's my birthright - no, my responsibility - to do so."
Ummm...he lost me at "Klosterman-esque." Which, last I checked, was not something to strive towards. Or a word, for that matter.

All of a sudden, I'm wondering where I fit in with all of this.

Blogger Sarah, also known as Chayyei Sarah describes herself as "an Orthodox Jewish thirty-something is living, playing, writing, and dating in Jerusalem." And then, in the header, Sarah throws in a Torah passage for effect: "And the Lord said unto Abraham: All that Sarah saith unto thee, thou shall do (Genesis 21:12)."
Whoa. Sarah is blogging on behalf of God. In a recent post, she explains...er, rather God does what The Onion is. And according to God, it's "a satirical newspaper." Only God knows this stuff. Legit.

I check the votes again. I'm losing now. Crikey.

Elie's Exposition is a blog by a self-proclaimed "Nice Jewish dad from Jersey."
"Writing about the loss of my 18-year-old son, Aaron, mingled with other insights, opinions, and (most often) random thoughts on a variety of topics, including Judaism/Israel, music, movies/TV, books/comics, language, sports, and life in general."
I'm truly, truly sorry about Elie's lost. It's awful and tragic and horrific. My sympathy and love goes out to him...but his descriptor just feels somewhat cringe-worthy. Does he have to mingle his emotional postings on mourning with thoughts on comics and sports?

I'm still losing and I find myself progressively becoming more competitive and critical (like you couldn't tell...?). I am making fun of other people's blogs. I am belittling them in my head. I find their musings almost offensive in comparison to my equally offensive musings. Like, what I have to say is so important? Am I writing on behalf of God? Nope, Chayyei Sarah is already filling in that niche.

Next up is Frume Sarah who's "name is not Sarah, though I have nothing against the name. It's a beautiful name...in fact, it's my daughter's middle name. "Frume Sarah," besides being a character in "Fiddler on the Roof," is also a moniker bestowed upon me long ago by my dad. It refers to my tendency to stick fairly close to our cultural and religious traditions. In fact, while in Rabbinical school, my 25 page theological statement was entitled "They Don't Call Me Frume Sarah For Nothing."
This is her header subtitle. Needless to say, Sarah, or not-Sarah, is not one for brevity. On Wednesday, January 25th, not-Sarah tell us that "I luv Jewish boys. I think that they are adorable, funny, really cute, sexy, smart, and just plain good solid folk. It's just what I'm used to, I suppose. My dad is a nice Jewish boy. PC is definitely a nice Jewish boy. I have not one but two nice Jewish boys as brothers."
Wait. Is this woman in love with her father and brothers? And the Jerusalem Post is condoning this blog? And get this: not-Sarah is in second place. It's a sad day for people against incest-inclined, 34 year-old fun, hip, Rabbis who loves to bring people closer to God and not named "Sarah." A sad day indeed.

[To be continued; Part II tomorrow]
[Oh, and vote here.]
[Seriously. Vote.]
[I mean it.]


Blogger Robbie said...

Chuck Klosterman is a hipster-commentator who is leading the way in Gen x/y/millenial writings. I'm similar in style, although my writings have never been referred to on The OC, as his have.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All those blogs are better than yours, Arye Dorken....

5:38 PM  
Blogger Arye said...

Ella, my dear, it's "Dworken" with a "W." Try not to leave that most important "W" out. I'm a little sensitive about that one.


6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While not fit to comment on any of the above except McAryeh's, I will say that he writes my second favorite blog (second only to my own). That being said, your pop-culture heavy blog ainto to bad neither.

Good luck,

1:46 PM  
Blogger Elie said...

I realize that my blog is definitely eclectic (to put it diplomatically) or schizophrenic (to be blunt). I have addressed this directly a few times; see here e.g.

I find both my fun/distracting and my serious/cathartic types of posts to be utterly necessary, and I could not imagine doing without either of them. I'm sure I have readers who want only one or the other type, and some few who enjoy whatever I write. But ultimately, like most bloggers I'm sure, I'm writing for me.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Arye said...

Elie. Nothing personal. I don't know you or what you've gone through. I just had a hard time digesting your blog header. That's all. Good luck and keep up the writing.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I luff your blog, if that is any help. I would write one, but I have band 6 days a week for about four hours a day, homework, school, and practicing to keep up with. And I have a class I'm teaching, so I simply don't have the time. In fact I am neglecting some science homework right now, that is getting pretty peeved at me. But nice blog by the way.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Arye said...

Aww thanks so much. I luff my readers!
Wait a sec...is luffing something a good thing?

8:36 PM  

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