June 29, 2005

The picture of the hot babe can only mean one thing: It's time for a post about Orthodox Judaism!


I'm not sure if Zebra Talk, the new blog from my friend Daniel Kahn, is going to be thematically consistent enough to make the official list of Jewish blogs, but from his start, I'd at least expect Steve Weiss to sit up and take notice.

For one of his first posts, Daniel tackles the emodestening of Shakira. He lives in a largely Orthodox hood and when a radio station posted a billboard featuring the picture above, some young Jewligan took it on himself to spray paint a blouse on her. Daniel dusts off his Talmud (which I suspect had not actually gathered much dust) and decides that the self-appointed guardian of virtue was wrong on Jewish law -- though Daniel approves of his actions anyway.

I, of course, do not. Concealing Shakira's breasts under any circumstances should be forbidden as far as I'm concerned. Actually, it's ironic that it is Shakira who generated mammary disapproval, since her breasts are famously small and humble (so you don't confuse them with mountains).

Is that a great weird lyric to find in a top 10 pop song or what? It's just one reason I am such a huge fan of this girl. And not in the way I'm a huge fan of Huckapoo, I promise.

You know I'm no musical snob, so I don't feel the need to justify my appreciation of a pop star, but I'm also not above taking credit for recognizing the brilliance of Shakira back in 1996 when Gina and I first heard Estoy Aqui on the jukebox at a Dominican restaurant in Park Slope. It was such a perfect pop song that I knew I'd have to listen to it over and over again, so I asked the waitress who it was and when I picked up the CD and saw that she was gorgeous too, an obsession was born. When Shakira blew up five years later, I said to all my friends, "Didn't I tell you?!" but of course they'd forgotten.

Even better, once she started singing in English I finally realized that not only does she write amazing pop tunes (and genuinely beautiful ballads), she dresses them up with funny, personal lyrics that would impress me even from a native English-speaker -- "You feed your empty brain/ With your hydroponic pot"; "Next to her cheap silicon I look minimal /That's why in front of your eyes I'm invisible." When Laundry Service came out, our friend Tracy used her connections in the concert biz to score us VIP tix for Madison Square Garden. I normally hate arena shows, but -- and maybe it's just because I've never actually sat close at one -- I'd have to put that one in my top five concerts of all time (up there with Neil Young's debut of RitFW at Jones Beach, Elvis Costello's 1990 travelling carnival, and Dylan at Tramps in 99). Honestly, any time you're watching a female pop star perform and your wife leans over and says, "I'd have sex with her," that's one hot show.

The new album does not disappoint. La Tortura is the song of the summer as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


I love Shakira, covered or not. Fun!

Looks like Jews imposing their will on the Arab body.

Damn, I totally missed that angle. If DK's graffitist knew about this urban legend, he'd probably have covered her face too.

Sheesh, scared me for a minute. She's growing on me. Which is a trick when you start out 20 feet tall.

I love 'La Ciega Sordomuda.' I saw the video once about six years ago on Telemundo and was immediately enthralled. Catchy song and riot police!

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