Friday, August 30, 2013

Separate From The Community...

This post is inspired by the blog:

Pirkei Avos teaches us not to separate ourselves from the community. I, too, am someone who is tormented by the community. Similar to AztecQueen when she started her blog, I'm not really interested in leaving the NYC area. I have also resolved to live in a certain bubble. I avoid most people like the plague. The problem isn't the actual Torah. It isn't that keeping Shabbos or Kashrus is too difficult.

The problem is with the community. I can't help but wonder what community meant when that passage was written into the Pirkei Avos. I only know what it means now.

Now this means being surrounded by groupthink in quite an extreme form. It means that when enough people in the community don't like your decisions, they will hound you and come after you. These decisions do not involve violating the Torah. How many times have we overheard or been told by members of the community, "it's just not shayich," as in that it's just not the way people do it. For example, a single person might be told that they HAVE TO wear a sheitel when they get married-make no mistake I did NOT say they have to cover their hair, I said they have to wear a sheitel. Many will give a woman a hard time for wearing a tichel or a hat with all hair tucked into it. Even while single, a woman might be told this. The excuse for this is that well hey it's just not what people do. I think an even greater issue is the pressure to marry-someone-anyone for a woman is even more telling. We even belittle single female with the designation of GIRLS. Oops, excuse me, you can be 99 years old but if you aren't married/divorced, you are to be called a girl, not a woman. No wonders why some women marry for a month and get divorced without having any kids.

See, one of the biggest problems with the community is this idea that people can tell others what to do. Also, why does it seem like the community is bossing around the women far more than the men?

Now, I'm asking the community a question, when the community is driving you nuts, when you repeatedly set up "boundaries" with your frum friends which they do not honor, what should a person do? The accepted advice is that if friends or relatives are toxic, they should be cut out. When the whole community is toxic, what would you have people do? Do you really presume that adults should tolerate the bullying that is served up courtesy of the community?

I am asking because I would like a better answer. I would like to be able to live my life my own way and make my own decisions. So, I really need a resolution as to how this can be done without going into hiding from the community.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Making It All About You, When It Isn't

The last couple weeks, I've been doing a lot of cleaning and exercising so this means that I've had the radio on quite a bit. As I was flipping through, I listened to a little discussion that got me thinking and actually had a lot to do with my putting the blog back up.

Apparently, one of the new luxury buildings in New York City has set aside some units for lower income families. I was thinking of myself and even another friend of mine and thinking that we could apply to this program. There's a catch, there's a separate entrance for the lower income people where they have to go through an alley behind the building. Apparently, the main entrance is decked out and they don't want the poor people mixing in the entry way. The DJs discussed how they didn't like that and it offended them. I'm thinking well, it kinda sucks, but they didn't have to let lower income people into the building.. then one of the DJs screaming in outrage says, "THAT'S RACIST!!!!" and the others joined him. I realized that I was on the black station.

My face contorted in annoyed look that no one was going to see because I was home alone. Racist? I'm white and I was thinking how I would be in this program for the poor people. I was thinking the other door thing would prevent me from inviting people over and pretending that I somehow actually had that kind of money. I changed the channel as I continued to analyze this. It assumes that no blacks have money and no whites are ever poor. Oprah Winfrey would disagree. I would disagree. Plain and simple, don't make it about race, when it isn't.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Miley Cyrus... yeah I'm going there... and she went there

Former child star Miley Cyrus shocked the world this week through her performance at the VMAs. I'm thinking most of you have seen the videos. Sure, it was gross and classless, but personally, my reaction was also a bit-YAWN. I mean former female child star acting slutty so she can shed her kid skin from the public and move on to an adult career, yeah you're right we've NEVER seen someone do that before (cough Xtina, Britney cough and probably a ton more women cough cough) and a celeb trying to get attention through the performance in a major (ish) event... cough cough Janet Jackson and wardrobe cough Madonna kissing Britney.... A woman dancing raunchy in bikini? cough beach bars cough strip clubs.... as for comparing her TO a stripper... um it's been at least a decade that the only difference between female pop stars and strippers is the bank account size...

On this one the bullshit meter only goes off at the fact that people actually feel the need to chime in and say this. My reaction was to roll my eyes... another celeb up to celeb antic... whatevs... but since it's a hot topic all over the internet, I thought I'd throw my take up on the new blog.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm BACK-my reintroduction

Many of you know me from the old Michaltastik blog that I used to have. I shut it down because of a lot of negative feedback that I was receiving. It's not that I'm some sort of wimp who's not had a hard ship and can't deal. I'm quite the opposite. There is a quote floating around Facebook, that Johnny Depp made, "People cry, not because they're weak, but because they've been strong for too long." For me, this is strikingly true. I live in a middle class area and interact with white middle class Jews. They don't understand hardship. They are taught as a child that good things happen to good people and bad happen when you are bad. This is quite far from truth. Plain and simple, some people are lucky and some aren't.

So, anyhow, I'm back. I'm not here to make friends, though I don't mind kindred spirits and did meet one of those through my blog last time. From the comments that I received in person during my last blog's run, some people seemed to think I was or am DESPERATE for friends. Perhaps, there might be some truth to that only in the fact that it wraps itself around true friendship vs Facebook friend running buddy types. I have plenty of the latter. It is the former of which I find a shortage. As one of the rarest personality types still carrying the effects of a tumultuous childhood from 30 years or so ago and interacting with persons who have-by my standards-never seen to have had a real problem, I find that someone who seems to truly get me is a bit of a diamond in the rough. I accept life for what it is, but I only hope that through my blog I can inspire people to really think about things in the world around them.

So, come along and be inspired by my unique perspective on things. Dare to inspect the box with me and truly entertain the option of being outside of it once in a while. Stop for one second, to question that sometimes, the kool aid is laced with something and you most certainly should not drink it. Give your bullshit meter a tune up as mine makes some noise reacting to what is around me. However, if you aren't interested in challenging your mind, you should probably stay away. 

--Thanks, Michaltastik (It's all one word.. it's like I'm so phantastik that half of phantastik had to jump on to the end of my name)