Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Fockerized Jew

In the article ‘The Fockerized Jew’, Samantha Baskind demonstrates how movies such as Meet The Fockers portray Jews as being ‘cool.’ Meet The Fockers does not shy away from referring religious practices, however American entertainment normally discriminates, stereotypes or hides a characters Jewish heritage. In the 60s and 70s television and movies had a few Jewish references however they were not considered cool. Instead they were found interesting, never appealing. However now in the 21st century Jews can be seen as ‘cool,’ much like how black culture is popular amongst white teens. Most movies which involve Jewish characters normally play on stereotypes such as an overbearing mother, a high maintenance daughter who is very materialistic. Although these families are said to be ‘jewish,’ religions never plans a vital part in their daily lives. The characters in Meet The Fockers, on the other hand are the opposite of these stereotypes; Roz, the mother, has no problem with her son marrying out of the families religion and her husband Greg is not the main breadwinner and allows his wife to hold great power in their house. The Fockers also embrace their Jewish heritage and celebrate all the holidays. There are many TV shows and other movies such as Keeping the Faith that have made Judaism look ‘cool.’ Despite these shows, there are still movies that show the money hungry stenotypes of Jews. Ben Stiller who is Jewish, normally plays characters who are Jews. Interviewers often ask him about his heritage and his appearance wondering if he is embarrassed however he is not. He looks very Jewish and he is okay with this as in todays culture looking different is okay, we no loner have a cookie cutter shape for what people must fulfill. Some critics believe that Meet The Fockers is a film portraying the difference between liberals and conservatives, while others believe that it shows how it has now become an ‘in’ thing to portray your religion. Never the less Baskind believes that for once Judaism is shown as being supreme. When compared to the WASP Byrnes family, the Fockers come out on top. They are the ‘cool’ ones at the end of the day showing how society is changing by accepting new cultures and identities.

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