Dot Com and Kosher

So I watched Dot Com and Kosher because I work for an internet magazine and I keep kosher (whatever that means). I expected an incisive insight into the inner workings of a content driven-internet site in a B2C marketplace with decreasing ad revenues in the current turbulent financial times.

And what I got was a bunch of north West London averagely good-looking, slightly arrogant blokes desperate for a date.

I imagine what happened was this. Because of the Jewish conspiracy, the editorial team between them probably know at least five people who work at the BBC and thought it would be a laugh and free marketing to get a docu-soap drama-wall-fly-thingy made about them. So they placed a few calls, pulled a few strings, broke a few promises and hey presto, the cameras are rolling.

I mean, what was that about?? So they have cool dot-commy offices and we got to see the Very Reverend, His Sackness, The Holy Jonathan walk incongruously up the steel stair shaft in his proto-eighteen century German garb. We saw His Jonathan-ness put up a mezzuzah, bizarrely describing it as some sort of amulet to increase the site's marriage making powers. And we found out that he is not good at DIY as he only hammered in one nail.

We saw self-absorbed short-ish blokes with receeding hairlines and round glasses talk about how they are looking for Claudia Schiffer in a sheitel and then (flip-side) more than typically attractive and quite slim Jewish women being a lot more realistic about the whole thing.

So what exactly is the point of a programme like this? To increase the commercial work of a North West London office design company? To get a date for Dan and his mates? To prove that a micro-community of 300,000 Jews can sustain ad sales on a site with XXX unique visitors per day?

Apparently the programme sensitively posed the question "what does it mean to British and Jewish. Usually I reserve italics for Yiddish words, but I've made an exception here.

I think we know what being British and Jewish means. It means having your cake and eating it. It's somewhere on the continuum of being out and proud about our Jewish identity and talking about it in the voice reserved for terminal illness. It means taking hamentashen to work on Purim but not really bothering to explain why to your workmates: "it's just a cultural thing". Or telling them that in common with all Jewish festivals it commemorates the theme "they tried to kill us, we won, let's eat" - only more so. (Some say, we didn't win, we survived. There I go, italics again, there's no stopping me.)

British and Jewish is Birds of a Feather and Brick Lane on a Saturday night. Or anywhere that sells baigels after hours. Knowing you have angst, but not angsting about it too much. Preferring a restaurant to a pub. Wanting a NJB/NJG deep down inside. Wearing a lot of black. Talking about calling your mother. But then those last two could be pretty Italian, too.

British and Jewish depends on your personal context and history - there's no One Way. We live in multi-cultural multi-jurisdictional borderless times. Being Jewish might inform my every though, but it's not, like, my religion.

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