Barr bakes cookies and her reputation


Being an addictive armchair traveler I spend many hours, to the disgust of family and friends, reading and clicking through the Jewish digital world. Along the  way I come across hundreds of websites dedicated to the Jewish experience.

Articles, blogs and websites of every manner ,shape , political and religious diversity imaginable (within the Jewish context) are available for any one who has the time and inclination to read.

They range from the deadly boring, self indulgent to cutting edge production and flamboyant journalistic styles. Most divulge and only repeat with added commentary much of what is already available from the mainstream Jewish media.

A few take themselves too seriously and provide little more than over politicized view of the world,condemning themselves to a digital shtetl mentality,albeit in many cases a vocal one with a seemingly never ending whinge about the state of Judaism in the world.

Others,thankfully, push the limits and provide not only a contemporary,fresh and a modern approach to the Jewish condition,but in many cases a controversial view of the world through Jewish eyes.

At times they are  divisive as well  as  confronting as they delve and dissect  the idiosyncrasies of our Jewish centres of gravity. They are important because they challenge traditional views and make us rethink  who we are and our place in the world within an ever changing Jewish framework.

Not always agreeing with the sentiments expressed,but certainly respectful of the unique views and interpretations I am stimulated as well as often bemused by their audacity in many cases.

Sometimes in  pushing those  boundaries , articles cross the border from insightful to disrespectful  under the guise of  satire.

Recently Heeb magazine published its  quarterly issue with the lead title “The German Issue” . Included in that issue

Heeb Mag Cover
Heeb Mag Cover

were two features. The first entitled That Oven Feelin’ Roseanne Barr Turns Up The Heat, which provides an interview with Roseanne Barr along with a photo shoot of her sporting a Hitler style mustache, Nazi armband,holding a tray of half burnt gingerbread men alongside an oven.

Here is a slice of what to expect

As the “Domestic Goddess” dons the famous moustache, transforming into “Domestic Goddess Hitler,” I notice that she’s beginning to have fun. She nails the Fuehrer’s facial expressions with twisted glee, and as she takes the burnt gingerbread “Jew Cookies” out of the oven it occurs to me that Barr may be the last celebrity utterly incapable of giving a fuck—a quality theoretically easy to embody until it’s time to face the practical repercussions.

The interviewer of course panders to Rosanne’s peculiarities and goes further ….

When the photographer suggests that we pose together for a quick snapshot, I put my arm around this slightly eccentric drinker and pot smoker who gets off on dressing like a Nazi, and it dawns on me: I adore her.

Perhaps I am a little old fashioned, but the whole tenor of the article and even the magazine’s overall theme, in this case seems perverse and unnecessarily provocative.

Joshua Neuman the magazines founder and editor retorts to the many complaints in his article Barr Brouhaha

Many have been up and arms over our recent photo of Roseanne Barr as a “Nazi domestic goddess” in our Germany Issue, questioning how, as Jews, we could ever find any humor in such a subject. When I hear such sorrowful pleas, I want to cry from remorse, but I’m afraid the ensuing suds would cake the lenses of my glasses.

Grandiosely unapologetic, Neuman goes on to explain that “Heeb is a satirical Jewish culture magazine that interrogates stereotypes and ideas (hopefully in creative ways) that many hold sacred in order to represent the complex and nuanced perspectives that many Jews have about their identities.”

Further…while we kind of don’t give a shit whether the magazine wreaks havoc on smug and sanctimonious visions of Jewish life, we do care when our intentions (or those of our collaborators) are distorted.”

Supremely smug in his own defense it’s obvious that Neuman cares less for his readers sensitivities than that of the marketing ploy of controversy for its own sake and the defense of a supposed satiric commentary. That he chooses the word “collaborators” to describe some of his contributors is perhaps an unconscious sarcasm in itself.

The Holocaust it seems according to Neuman  has lost its place of sacredness,perhaps as much as Neuman himself has stretched his affinity with his Jewishness to the point where it’s simply a conspiracy of birth. The need to be accepted over and above an unwanted birth defect paramount to the point of ugliness.

Rosanne also in her defending article claims that she is making “fun of Hitler”. But then Rosanne’s floundering career has of course nothing to do with it.

I leave it to you to decide whether Heeb’s latest offering is relevant, or even satirical.


4 thoughts on “Barr bakes cookies and her reputation

  1. Charlie Chaplin made fun of Hitler. Mel Brooks made fun of him in “The Producers.” This is not the same thing. I don’t know what it is – but it isn’t satire.

    1. Hi Chaya,
      Mel Brooks also had problems with “the Hitler rap” if you recall. But this article certainly reeks of more of self indulgence than attempted satire

  2. Josh Neuman seems to be of the opinion, that to reach the new younger audience, and to be hip is to disregard the upheld views of past generations.
    Jews have always had the ability to laugh at themselves, and while some of that humour is now redundant, the new attempts at humour shouldn’t be aiming to “trash” previous generations.
    If Mr. Neuman had an ounce of cleverness, he’d be poking fun at his own generation, to evoke similar laughter of the past.
    To show in the name of satire, a type of complicitness with Hitler’s actions in the Holocaust is not funny, even if it did happen over 60 years ago.
    Today’s younger generation of Australian, British and New Zealand youth still show a highly reverent regard for soldiers who died during WW1! and would never make verbal or visual jokes about their deaths, or the emotionally and physically wounded soldiers who survived.
    Yet, they display a healthy sense of humour in their publications and comedy shows.
    This man obviously needs to get out more and discover the world around him, as he displays a great deal of immaturity and lack of self esteem.
    Roseanne Barr is well known to be a damaged individual who lacks self esteem, and whose reputation has very little credibility.

  3. Unfortunately we have people in our midsts who are quite twisted. This is not the first time we have come across insensitive beings making inappropriate statements that THEY consider funny. Roseanne is not the most intelligent person either. My thoughts about jews who laugh or create this kind of humor is that they themselves are mentally unwell. Not funny guys!

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