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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 21, 2012/ 1 Tamuz, 5772

Good vibrations: The Beach Boys still get around

By George Will



JewishWorldReview.com | Three hours before showtime, Brian Wilson says: “There is no Rhonda.” Sitting backstage at Merriweather Post Pavilion, gathering strength for the evening’s 48-song, 150-minute concert, Wilson was not asked about her, he just volunteered this fact. The other members of the Beach Boys seem mildly surprised to learn that the 1965 song “Help Me, Rhonda” was about no one in particular.

Not that it matters; the sound is everything. Attention must be paid to baby boomer music-cued nostalgia, and no one pays it better than the Beach Boys. They are currently on a 50th-anniversary tour that has more than 60 concerts scheduled and others still being booked. Their new album, &ldquoThat’s Why G0d Made the Radio,” debuted at No. 3 in Billboard’s listing, and with this the Beach Boys topped the Beatles for most weeks on Billboard’s top-10 album chart.

Their band began in 1961 in Hawthorne, in Los Angeles County, when the parents of Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson went away for a weekend, leaving the boys with meal money that they used to rent instruments and record a song called “Surfin’.” They rode a wave of fascination with California to the top of pop music.

Given California’s dystopian present, it is difficult to recall that the Beach Boys’ appeal derived not just from their astonishing harmonies (which derived from the Four Freshmen) but also from their embodiment of a happy Southern California that beckoned to the rest of the nation. Political scientist James Q. Wilson grew up there, and in 1967, the year after the Beach Boys released “Good Vibrations,” he wrote a seminal essay on the political vibrations that produced California’s new governor: “A Guide to Reagan Country.” Wilson’s conclusion was that Ronald Reagan represented the political culture of a region where social structure nurtured individualism.



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Southern Californians had, Wilson wrote, “no identities except their personal identities, no obvious group affiliations to make possible any reference to them by collective nouns. I never heard the phrase ‘ethnic group’ until I was in graduate school.” Eastern teenagers had turf. Their Southern California counterparts had cars, the subject of so many Beach Boys songs (“Little Deuce Coupe,” “409,” “Shut Down,” etc.). They hung out in places reached by car and with lots of parking, particularly drive-in restaurants. “The Eastern lifestyle,” Wilson wrote, “produced a feeling of territory, the Western lifestyle a feeling of property.” The East was defined less by cold weather than by social congestion — apartments in ethnic neighborhoods. Southern Californians lived in single-dwelling homes and had almost no public transportation, so their movements within the city were unconfined to set corridors. Houses and cars — the “Sunday afternoon drive” was often just to look at others’ homes — strengthened, Wilson wrote, “a very conventional and bourgeois sense of property and responsibility.”

When James Watt, Reagan’s interior secretary, barred the Beach Boys from playing a Fourth of July concert on the Mall in 1983 because he thought they attracted “the wrong element,” Reagan invited them to the White House. This was almost a generation after the Beach Boys were dethroned but invigorated by the challenge of the British Invasion, particularly the Beatles.

Brian Wilson has long been troubled by mental illness, but he responded to the challenge of the Beatles album “ Rubber Soul” with “Pet Sounds,” including “God Only Knows,” which Paul McCartney called “the greatest song ever written.” The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was a response to “Pet Sounds.” Leonard Bernstein called Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys’ creative engine, “one of today’s most important musicians,” and the Joffrey Ballet danced to Wilson’s music.

Dennis and Carl Wilson died long ago, but today’s band includes three original members — Brian, Al Jardine and Mike Love — plus David Marks, who grew up down the street from the Wilsons, and Bruce Johnston, “the new guy” who first joined the group in 1965. The Beatles dissolved in 1970; the Beach Boys are the first American band to enter a second half-century.

Boomers must be served, so Mick Jagger, who long ago said, “I’d rather be dead than sing ‘Satisfaction’ when I’m 45,” is singing it at 68. In 1966, the 31-year-old Elvis Presley asked the Beach Boys for advice about touring; he has been dead for nearly 35 years, but they play on, all of them approaching or past 70, singing “When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)” without a trace of irony. Southern California in their formative years was not zoned for irony.



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George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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