News of the Weird in bad taste

You have a very strange concept of humor. If satire is supposed to make a point and teach something, I wonder what is being taught here [see “News of the Weird: First Things First,” Nov. 13 Xpress].

I subscribed to The Realist, which pushed more boundaries than you can imagine. But that publication was available to subscribers-only — and I’m sure many readers were offended. However, with all the listings for family and kids’ activities in the Mountain Xpress, Chuck Sheperd’s view of things is more than “weird.”

I am not religious, but picking on Orthodox Jews is singling out an identifiable minority within a minority. For those unfamiliar, this group — and still only a part of them — wears “peyes,” or prayer curls. The “modern” Orthodox do not. Instead, they keep a very small part of their hair longer and tucked behind the ears.

Before I moved to Asheville, I had some “modern” Orthodox friends in Brooklyn. They were as observant as the ones who wore long peyes, but they would not have had a single woman as a friend.

I have not yet passed Shepherd’s column on, but I am certain that my very close friend, who is a Baptist pastor, would be equally offended.

Shepherd’s syndication only means that this offensive, blatantly anti-Semitic piece will reach a wider audience. Quite frankly, I am not sure if anyone here knows anything about Jewish Orthodoxy and probably has never met anyone who practiced it. Before Shepherd’s piece appeared, I had mentioned Orthodoxy to a friend here, who is about as open-minded and good a person as one can find, and has no religious attachment whatsoever. The first reference he had was, “Oh, are those the guys with the strange, long curls?”

— Bryna Miller

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4 thoughts on “News of the Weird in bad taste

  1. boatrocker

    Ah, another letter to the editor about being offended.

    And yet another response stating that being offended over true news stories may be construed as being thin-skinned.

    News of the Weird covers true stories a la stuff that happens in real life. I’m more offended by the sanitized white-washed info-tainment that is called news on a national down to a regional level (ahem) due to media conglomeration.

    I’m even more offended by someone that assumes that we unwashed illiterate masses here in WNC would never be familiar with customs of other religions.

    It’s one thing to blatantly espouse hate speech of other faiths, but I don’t see any evidence of that in News of the Weird.

    I’m also assuming that your letter might be an example of the word “kvetch”? Even our Yiddish friends have a word for it and thus a sense of humor.

    NOTW’s Shepard could hardly be called the Archie Bunker of journalism. That award goes to FOX of course.

    P.S. after reading News of the Weird for years, here’s a hint- never name your child with the middle name Wayne. Trust me on this one.

  2. North Asheville

    Could you post a link to the News of the Weird column the writer is referring to, so we’ll know what she’s talking about? Without that, her letter makes no sense.

    • brebro

      Indeed. I even went back to the Nov. 13 issue of MX cited here, but could not pick out the offending article in that News of The Weird column.

      I believe you can read it here:

      ( you have to scroll down to the part titled “First Tings First” but even after reading it, you may still not know what all the big tzimmes is about.)

    • North Asheville

      Thanks to Brebo for the link. Now the letter writer’s reference is even more mysterious. Equally mysterious is why the MX editors bothered to publish the letter. Or do they get so few letters, they just publish them all without any editorial judgment.

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