Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Facebook dilemma

There are some people that you don't want to be friends with on Facebook, but you have to accept their requests, or you'll risk insulting them.

I really don't want to have my mother-in-law as a friend, but I had no choice but to accept.

Also, I have about 50 first cousins, and a few of them are young and impressionable. I sort of have to accept their friend requests or insult them.

A third category is coworkers. I HATE some of the people who I work with, but I had to accept their friend invitations.

Yesterday, a girl in my office made her status: "_____ wishes she could fast forward the day". About 5 minutes later her boss commented on her post: "I had to hit pause. We got work to do!". I would be pretty pissed if that happened to me.

So now I have a slew of relatives and acquaintances who I'd rather not be friends with as friends on Facebook. That means that I can't write a status update: "Squeak is having a shitty day". I have to write "crappy" or maybe even "lousy". It just doesn't convey the absolute shittiness of my day.

Are you friends with anyone who you didn't want to be friends with?

Friday, December 5, 2008

I don't slag no one
I don't even judge

"And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he forever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than the other birds upon the plain, even though they soar."
- Herman Melville, Moby Dick [1851]

I always have a hard time when I see someone Jewish doing something "wrong". I'm so quick to judge even though I know that I shouldn't. This is especially true when I see chassidim doing things that are "wrong". Even though I may be doing the same thing, like going to a movie, or a bar/club/concert/etc., I automatically look down on them as if they should be held to a higher standard.

I automatically assume that they are scummy fakers as opposed to looking at them as good people just looking for a little entertainment. Because of the sensational stories I hear, I tend to forget that most chassidim are warm, generous, and genuinely good people. I should really assume that if I see them at a theater, that is the worst thing that they are doing.

Maybe it's like Melville said, if you're really a good person, even at your worst you're still better than most bad people at their best.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mama's gonna check out all your girl friends for you, Mama won't let anyone dirty get through

My wife has a few friends in their late 20's that are still not married. Whenever she gets an idea for a good match she tries to set them up. Last week she tried to set someone up with a friend of mine who is in his late 20's too. She gave my friend some references to call, including another friend of hers who just got married a few weeks ago.

A few days later my wife gets a call from the friend that she gave as a reference. The friend said "I can't believe that you set up ______ with such a crazy guy."

Here's what happened: My friend didn't make the call, his father did. And, his father was asking INSANE questions, like: "Is her hair smooth and thin, or more full and flowing?"

Are people really that crazy out there? Asking about the TEXTURE OF A GIRLS HAIR?!?!?

The second issue that I have with this story is that this friend of mine is in his late 20's, and he runs a successful business. Why is his father making these calls for him? I always wondered why he's still single. Now I know. He should grow a pair and make the calls himself. He'd get married much quicker.

Has anyone else been asked crazy shiduch questions?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You don't want to change the world like you say, You're in it for yourself, no one else

I came across this article the other day (http://gothamist.com/2008/11/14/mccain_scores_landslide_in_hasidic.php) about how McCain won the Chassishe vote in Williamsburg by a landslide.

I'm pretty sure that most of the Chassidim in W-Burg weren't doing exhaustive research so that they can make an informed decision (I know that I'm stereotyping, but I'm probably right for the most part). Their Rabbi probably told them to vote McCain, so they did. I know this was the case in many yeshivishe circles.

This leads me to my question: What is "daas torah" and who has it?

People in the yeshivishe world will follow anything that their rav tells them because he has "daas torah". That somehow he is qualified to make decisions for his congregation (that are unrelated to torah study) based on the fact that he is a big talmid chacham. Isn't it insanely arrogant for any person to claim that they know everything about everything?

Is "daas torah" a euphemism for some sort of watered-down ruach hakodesh? If so, how could Obama win if all these Rabbis said that we should vote for McCain?

I feel that so many Rabbis use this as a tool to further their own agendas. Like Rabbis who say "That bomb/accident/other tragedy happened because of tznius/lashon hara/etc.". How can someone state conclusively that the reason for some tragedy that happened is because of some specific sin. Did God come and tell you that? Or is it a convenient way to prey on people's emotions to further an agenda that you've been pushing (albeit an altruistic agenda in most cases).

It's just that people have to realize that Rabbis are human too. Some are bad, most are good.

All I want is the truth.
"I'll take the truth at any cost"
Paramore - "We Are Broken"

Friday, November 14, 2008

I sit here clutching useless lists...I know that there's a point I've missed

One of my favorite things is finding new music. I love categorizing things, so let me break down the different ways that I find new music:
1. Coming across a band I never heard of online, or through a friend.
2. Finally listening to music by a band that I've heard of for years, but I never felt the need to try out, and now that I've finally relented I realize that I LOVE their music
3. Bands that have one or two songs that you know well, but you never heard anything else from them, and when you finally get your hands on the full album, you realize that they have a bunch of great songs

My top discoveries over the past year and a half are:
1. Paramore - "Riot": I never heard of Paramore before this year, and I saw on some music blog that they are great so I downloaded the album. I wasn't disappointed. Great stuff. I'd describe it as a less-gloomy Evanescence.

2. Descendents - "Cool to Be You": I never heard of the Descendents before, but heard of them through friends. Loved the music. I was surprised that I never heard of them before bec theyve been around for so long. Favortie song: "'Merican". Awesome workout song. I love the line:
"i'm proud and ashamed
every fourth of july
you've got to know the truth
before you say that you've got pride"
Listen to them if you like Green Day or The Offspring.

3. Dashboard Confessional - "The Places You Have Come to Fear The Most": I've heard of Dashboard Confessional before, but I never heard any of their music. This album is great. It has a very raw feeling with great lyrics.

I can keep going, but I don't want this post to be 2 pages long:)

To be continued......

I love to hear what obscure music other people listen to. What are your hidden gems?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Welcome to the machine

Hey everyone. I've been reading a lot of the frum blogs recently, and I decided that I too need somewhere to vent my frustrations.

Obviously Squeak isn't my real name, but like most frum bloggers I would like to remain anonymous (for now at least).

I'm a frum guy in my late 20's. I'm married with two kids. I grew up in the NY area in a very yeshivish family, and I went to extremely frummy schools. Like so many others in the yeshiva world, I'm fed up with the close-mindedness that is so prevalent in our society.

However, there are already more than enough blogs out there with ex-yeshiva guys who are pissed off at the world. I'm actually a very happy person and I would like to keep this blog more on the positive side.

I love music. All kinds of music. I'm mostly into alternative rock (which has kind of morphed into emo somehow). But I also love classic rock, rap, and occasionally, a pop song or two.

I'd like to use this blog to share my taste in music and my warped outlook on the world.