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December 07, 2006 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-12-07

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4B - Thursday, December 7, 2006 {the b-side}

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

A reconciliation with Hanukah

"Look! Over there! Is that a menorah?"
GIBSON
From page 1B
He smiles. "Shooting my new movie,
what do you think I'm doing?"
I take a quick survey of the top
of the pyramid. "Mel, there aren't
any cameras here. Besides, filming
ended on 'Apocalypto' six months
ago, it's opening Friday and we need
the final edit."
Mel begins to sweat. He looks
around frantically and signals to
one of the natives who gets up and
hands him something. "Oh, well,
I didn't want to use Jewish Holly-
wood cameras in this film, I want-
ed everything to be authentic, so
we use these ancient cameras the
Mayans used."
He holds up to his eye what
appears to be a bundle of bamboo
shoots tied together with human
hair. For a momentI'm frozen. "Mel,
there's been some concern back in
Hollywood that you're not entirely
...sane."
Mel cocks his head to the side and
his crazed eyes get wider. "Really?
Yes, well that's what the Jew media
would have you believe." He gets up
and starts pacing around wildly.
I put my hand on his shoulder to
try and stop him. It's slimy; I wipe
my hand on my pants.
"Mel, look around, what the hell
are you doing here? What happened
to you? You used to have a career.
You were Mad Max, Lieutenant
Martin Riggs - hell, you were Wil-
liam fucking Wallace. You need to
get a hold of yourself and come back
down to earth. There's still a place
for you, if you can just be normal.
It really isn't that hard. Stop saying
dumb ignorantrPhit, stop passing the
blame for your saying ignorant shit
and stop defending other people
who say ignorant shit."
Mel stops pacing but is still visi-
bly shaking. "Not sane? Used to have
a career? Did you see'Signs'? Ikilled
those alien bitches with water! Did

you see 'The Passion'? Do you have
any idea how much money I made? I
am the Christians' God."
I shake my head, "Mel, the Chris-
tian's God is ... fuck it, where's the
final cut of 'Apocalypto'? We need
it now."
Mel snaps his fingers again. A dif-
ferent native hurries over and hands
Mel Gibson a canister.
"Thank God," I say and take
the canister from Mel. As I open
it, a scroll falls out instead of film.
I unravel it and see little pictures
of stick men throwing stick spears
at each other. At the bottom of the
page a stick man and stick woman
are holdinga little stick baby. "Mel,
what the hell is this?"
He eagerly points towards the
scroll. "Well you see, I changed
around the ending so this guy
doesn't die and then... "
I hold up my hand. "Mel, you're
fucking fired." I throw the canister
and scroll off the side of the pyramid
and turn to walk down the stairs.
"You bastard, that took months
to film! I'll have your Jew head!" I
heard from behind me. Mel lunges
at me, but I step just slightly to the
left. Before he can stop himself, he
plummets down the stairs into the
mist below.
When I finally reach the bottom
Kramer is kneeling over a fallen Mel
Gibson. He makes some sort of inco-
herent squealing sound and raises
his shaking hands in my direction.
"Mel, are you all right? Come back
with me; we'll get you help."
Mel cranes his neck to look at me
inthe eye. Hisvoice is just awhisper
and I can barely make out his words.
"The Jews, the Jews." His head rolls
back, and Kramer lets out a wail.
I turn to my crew and roll my
eyes. "All right, fuck this. Get the
nets and let's go find Tom Cruise."
- So maybe we made this up. But
we couldn't make up the shit that
happens in the movie, which you can
see for yourself starting tomorrow.

By BOBBY GRUENBERG
For the Daily
When I was 7, I broke a sacred promise to my
mother never to tell my only gentile friend that
Santa Claus wasn't real. When he raced home
and cried to his mom, she hollered at me "You're
just jealous."
Now as I walk down East University Avenue
and see Rainbow Brite housefronts with rein-
deer galloping down three stories, the happiest
of inflatable Santas laughing not with me but
at me, repressed memories come flying back. I
realize how upsetI am with Hanukah, the ugly
stepbrother of Christmas. The holiday that gets
no respect at all.
Then again, why should it get any? It's full of
complications. For starters, it can't even decide
on an official spelling. Is it Hanukkah? Hanu-
kah? Chankuah? Is the "c" silent?
And when is it? Everybody knows what hap-
pens on December 25, but Hanukah is liable to
pop up anytime between November and Janu-
ary.
It may be that because nobody knows when
Hanukah is it gets no media coverage. From the
day after Thanksgiving on TV, in newspapers,
on buildings and billboards, it's all Christmas
all the time. Sometimes I'll see a bright sign or a
red-and-white ad that reads "Happy Holidays,"
but it might as well be smeared with ham. I
know what they really mean.
Hanukah just isn't attractive enough for
today's world. It has zero marketable folklore.
Christmas has jolly old St. Nick, Mrs. Claus,
hard-working elves and a magical team of rein-
deer who are captained by one that can light up
his face at will.And they canfly.
How could Hanukah possibly keep up with
that? My self-proclaimed chosen people need to
capitalize on opportunity. History shows that
they actually saw reindeer first, but what did
they do? Slaughtered them properly and made a
fine brisket. Hanukah needs an icon.
Christmas celebrity is neverending. There's
a long waiting list for any musicians wanting to
record a Christmas album. Christmas spawns
enough materialto fill radio playlists in shopping
malls worldwide for an entire month. There are
even multiple Now! That's What I Call Christ-
mas compilations. Chanukah has "The Dreidel
Song" and Adam Sandler's "The Hanukkah
Song." That's it. And Sandler, the guy who made
the only marketable song for the chosen people
also made the only Hanukah movie ("Eight
Crazy Nights"), and it's a dismal cartoon. For,
how much influence Jews supposedly have over
Hollywood, it doesn't show during this season.
God-awful Christmas films are in abundance
(so far this year "The Santa Claus 3" and "Deck
the Halls"). They can make 100 "Jingle All the
Ways" but they can't make one "I Made It Out
of Clay."
Christmas has mistletoe (which is actually a
parasitic plant) that forcefully unites gentiles in
passion. It has the Christmas tree, which people
can drape with shiny amulets and candy canes

I1

If only a menorah could speak.
to protect the presents. They've got it all. Even
the snowman, the modern-day symbol of winter
ambiguity, has sided with Christmas.
What does Hanukah have to counter the infi-
nite abyss of Christmas delight? The menorah.
Something lifeless and top-heavythatsadly cries
from inside the window like a man in prison.
Hanukah needs some personality - some piz-
zazz. Hanukah needs to stop limiting its deco-
rating range to cold, dichromatic blue and white.
It tried to give the world Hanukah Harry, but he
just didn't seem believable. Would he really go
to Jewish households for eight straight nights,
especially since he was always complaining how
much his feet hurt? Jewish culture does bear
some successful intruders during other holidays.
For instance, Elijah, who instead of bringing
presents, sneaks in on Passover, drinks a cup of
wine and leaves. Maybe a long time ago he was
What's it gonna take
to get Hanukah on the
same level as Christmas?
supposed to leave presents, but eons of drinking
Manischewitz have certainly ruined his mind.
(I'm shocked he can still walk.)
And just look at the party scene. Who doesn't
eagerly await the invitation to celebrate Jesus's
birth on a magical sleigh at the big Christmas
party, stocked with rum-filled egg nog, merrily
singing the endless supply of Christmas songs
together until they can grope under some mis-
tletoe or pass out under a Christmas tree? Hanu-
kah parties are a collection of people showing
off dreidel-spinning talents while they make
bets with thin chocolate coins and tiptoe past

the menorah so as not to blow it out. Hanukah
celebrates a period when God made an army's
one-day supply of oil burn for eight. And when-
ever God shows up he tends to be a buzzkill. If
you've never been to a party with him you're not
missing out. He pretty much just moves around
the room in shimmering robes, floating from
group to group, popping his head in just to dis-
rupt conversation and say something abstract
like, "I am."
And the eight days are extremely anticlimac-
tic. Sadly, the argument every Jewish kid once
used is futile: Yes, we have eight days and they
have just one. But this is not a blessing. It's not
an issue of quantity over quality. Some kids get
loads of shitty Christmas presents, too. Butthere
are all sorts of problems saddling this overlong
affair. How many nights are you required to give
a card? How can parents decide what night they
should give the best gifts? If a kid knows he's
getting a Wii, each crazy night before it comes
is agony. I've seen many families where the sus-
pense can boil over into rage. Christmas is one
true explosion of holiday cheer and family gath-
ering and then on December 2, it's all over. Even
if it were possible to miss eight days of work or
school, no grown Jewish family, or any family,
should be cooped up together for that long.
Even though it's the Festival of Lights, I sup-
pose Hanukah saves us cash because it doesn't
require a tremendous show of outdoor lighting.
And I suppose it isn't exploiting general good-
will toward the holiday by releasing truly ter-
rible films with Tim Allen. And I suppose it's
also probably not healthy to set children up for
a catastrophic letdown once they find out that
Santa doesn't actually eattheir cookies and milk
anyway.
But when itcomes rightdown to it for Hanuk-
kah: no lights, no tree, and no glamour means no
respect.

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4

El 12 de diciembre a las 7:00 p.m.
December 12th at 7:00 p.m.
At St. Mary Student Parish
St.Mary Student Parish
331 Thompson St.
At the corner of Thompson & William
734-663-0557
www.stmarystudentparish.org
Celebramos misa en espafiol todos los
domingos a las 2:00 p.m.
5 RY

a

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