Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Pointless Reply to Stupid Rant

I'm in a class this week, with some time during breaks to check things on the web. I don't have time to write anything much, but I did come across something really stupid in the comments section of a livejournal that I'm going to respond to here because it's amusing and annoying and it won't take long. The person who wrote this once wrote something much much stupider that I also responded to here in my livejournal. Boy, someday I'm actually going to meet this person and I will have to resist the urge to say "You! You're the one who writes such idiotic things!"

The context here is a journal entry pointing to an article in an Israeli newspaper about a bomb that may have been planted as an anti-gay protest by what they refer to as "ultra-orthodox" Jews (which is distinct from what we would call Orthodox Judaism in the US -- or "Modern Orthodox" I suppose -- although the relationship is complicated). The general discussion was about people behaving abominably in the name of religion. As a sort of rantspace.

Anyway, this was somebody's "contribution". It starts off bizarre and builds up to ignorant:

As a Jew, I can tell you that the Orthodox are seriously out of their minds. If you want to talk about the religious right then throw the Orthodox in as well. To me, they are the Jewish version of trailer trash: completely uneducated, constantly carrying their Bibles with them, spouting religious gibberish and interpreting religion on their own beliefs. Not to mention horrible dress, lousy beards, those stupid tzi-tzi's (the curls on the side of their head) and then there's the hats.

Oh, and really awful food.

The laugh-out-loud moment for me was the bit about the tsitsis. Tsitsis are the knotted fringes on the corners of a tallis. Many Orthodox Jews wear a garment with tsitsis every day, and let the tsitsis hang outside the shirt. The earcurls worn by Chasids and Yemenite Jews (and not by Orthodox Jews per se) are payos. Confusing these two words is like confusing the word "sideburns" with the word "overcoat". In a rant that accuses others of being uneducated -- Orthodox Jews as a class are uneducated? -- this is kind of stupid. Although the inevitable image of somebody walking around with knotted strings on the side of his head is somewhat surreal.

Of course the main ignorance here is the use of the word "Orthodox" to mean, from what I can gather, particular Chasidic sects -- although it wasn't Chasids that were at issue in the article. Basically the "As a Jew" intro here should have been "As somebody who doesn't know doodly about Judaism (or Yiddish)".

I think just maybe this was meant to be funny -- the generalized ranting tone has that air, and the food line seems to be a joke, although I don't know what would be considered Orthodox food. If so, the wholesale confusion of Orthodox, Ultra-Orthodox (Chareidi), and Chasids weakens the humor to the point of nonexistence.

Mostly, though, I just like to laugh at people who show supreme ignorance when they rant about how ignorant others are.
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