September 23, 2018

The Perils of Living and Loving Online

“Midway through “Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age,” premiering on HBO Monday at 10 p.m., a middle-aged mother bestows a bit of allegorical advice upon her daughter and her daughter’s friend, seated at a stool nearby. The fruit at the top of the tree, mother tells child, is the best. But you have to work for it. The low hanging fruit, or the stuff on the ground, is easier to get but often less desirable, if not rotten.

Her point, she says, is that women don’t get rewarded with long term commitment by offering themselves up as if they are items in a catalog.

In response, the younger women silently and stonily look at the elder as if she’s spouted two additional heads before their eyes.

“I think older people, like in their 50s and 40s, they don’t really get what it means to date now,” the daughter shares to the camera, aside from the conversation. She goes on to say that yes, she wants a long term commitment, and kids, all those thing her mother had. But the old-school ways of dating — as in, going out and meeting people — doesn’t work in the modern age.

Cut to another TV show, Lifetime’s scripted series “You,” and its disturbing protagonist Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), who would beg to differ. In the series premiere Joe and Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), the object of his affection, meet-cute in a bookstore. She’s a graduate student and aspiring poet whose artistic aspirations have been put on the back burner to focus on her degree, or so she says.”

Read more

JJ Best Of The Web

China's massive and rapid investments in Africa have been criticized by some as a form of economic colonialism. Others are just wondering why the West is missing out on the opportunity.

"For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack — hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies — and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means."

Twenty-five years after Oslo, Israeli-Palestinian peace remains elusive. A mix of Leftist idealism and PLO rejectionism are to blame for taking the "process" out of the Peace Process.

"In recounting the life of alleged Mossad agent Ashraf Marwan, Ariel Vromen's disappointing film leaves the most interesting parts of the story off screen."

The tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump will add to the national debt. But they did succeed in one area: making rich people even richer.

"As Seen On TV" gadgets like the "sock slider" or a banana peeler are often mocked for being useless wastes of plastic. But for some individuals with disabilities, these gadgets make all the difference.

If SJWs often resemble religious fundamentalists, bell hooks is their highest prophet. Her work on gender and intersectionality have redefined American campuses, and her ideas are being put into action with religious fervor.

"It strikes me that we’re now suffering collectively from a “tyranny of the virtual,” since we find ourselves unable to look away from the screens that mediate not just print but, increasingly, reality itself."

Parents see it all the time. Young girls, confident and full of joy, become timid and shy around their tween and early teen years. A new book explores the sociological explanations for the loss in confidence.

How did a Chinese citrus fruit become the central symbol of one of Judaism's most important holidays? According to a new book by Rabbi David Moster, the Etrog wasn't always so important. For ancient Jews, any old fruit would do.

If IQ tests are any indication, Americans are getting stupider. Some think environmental factors could be to blame. Others say that it's our culture which is to blame for making us stupider.

According to a new book from Jack Wertheimer, American Judaism is embracing universalism in an effort to stay relevant. But this focus on universalism may threaten to undermine the vitality of the Jewish faith.