In this issue

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 Jan. 18, 2006 / 18 Teves, 5766

When all else fails, make like a fool

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The camera may not steal the human soul, as some aboriginal peoples believe. But the camera may steal one's intelligence, as British politician George Galloway recently demonstrated by pretending to be a four-legged feline on television.

Galloway, the flamboyant left-wing socialist and antiwar critic also known as "Gorgeous George," has always been a bit of a showstopper — reputedly fond of fancy suits and limousines as he pursued egalite for the masses — but he has outperformed himself this time. What could he have been thinking?

For decades now, Galloway has been in the thick of things in the Middle East, especially with Iraq and Saddam Hussein, though it's sometimes tricky following his trajectory with Saddam. In the 1970s, he was critical of Saddam's human rights abuses, and he later criticized American and British support of Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war.

Then in 1991, apparently having switched sides, he opposed the Gulf War and vehemently opposed sanctions against Iraq. During a 1994 meeting with Saddam, Galloway famously told the tyrant: "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability."

More recently, Galloway appeared before a U.S. Senate subcommittee to deny charges that he had benefited from Iraq's oil-for-food program. Now widely viewed as a Saddam apologist — or a hero, depending on one's point of view — Galloway regularly articulates arguments embraced by the antiwar left.

And then last week, apparently, he lost his mind.

The performance in question was via a television game show called "Celebrity Big Brother," where people you've never heard of — or vaguely recall from some long-ago past — enter an isolated house for a lockdown and let the public watch whatever it is they do. The goal is to not be evicted by viewers. The last man standing wins a large cash prize.

In last Thursday's episode, the show's orchestrators decided to test whether human beings can communicate with animals. I'm not sure how that translated into Galloway's making like a cat, but there he was looking like someone ready to be hustled up to the attic away from the startled gazes of curious neighbors.

Down on all fours, Galloway — politician, provocateur, polemicist — purred while pretending to slurp imaginary milk from the cupped hands of one Rula Lenska. Of course you remember Rula — Luce Habit in "Queen Kong"? 1976? Perhaps this memorable line will nudge your memory: "Sanga banga wanga danga! Him? No! But I pay you much to see Konga."

That Rula Lenska.

It's hard not to be catty at times like this, but really. Say what you will about the two men Galloway frequently reviles — President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair — but you never have to worry that either Bush or Blair will abandon all dignity for a moment in the spotlight.

Granted, world leaders — as opposed to the random politician — don't have to pose as house pets to grab an audience's attention. Still. If you can't get heard on the merits of your arguments, perhaps your argument isn't worth hearing.

Whatever Galloway may have had in mind, to put it charitably, there may be a lesson somewhere in here for the rest of us, and it has to do with fame, narcissism, self-awareness and that blasted camera. When the red eye of the camera seeks us out, we do lose something of our "selves," if not our very souls.

Trained from childhood to "smile for the camera," we are easily disarmed by the desire to please the lens, to flatter the viewer by our cooperation, or in Galloway's case, allegedly, to charm an audience. His spokesmen claim Galloway was trying to reach Britain's young audience with his antiwar message.

At the same time, the allure of fame and celebrity has become a near-pathological obsession in the postmodern world. Thanks to the Internet, videocams and the blogosphere, everybody's famous — or almost.

Andy Warhol was more prescient than he could have imagined when he predicted decades ago that everyone someday would enjoy 15 minutes of fame. If you don't mind being viewed as a desperate has-been or a wannabe willing to play the fool, you're virtually assured of millions willing to watch.

But if you intend to be taken seriously, best think of poor ol' George Galloway and contact your local Humane Society. The world has plenty enough attention-starved stray cats already.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2005, Tribune Media Services