For their last 2017 visit to the Twilight Lounge, the boys settle in early for a light-hearted holiday discussion, beginning with a rumination on the meaningful trinkets of our fathers (and fathers-in-law), followed by Rosen’s out-of-left-field Star Wars take and Goldbrener’s effective Planet of the Apes sales job.
From there it’s onto Miss Iraq, Omri Casspi’s high-water pants, Linda Sarsour’s successful victim-blaming and butt-shaming and Colin Kaepernick’s killer GQ outfit, before addressing the eternal December Dilemma:
Are “alternative Christmas activities” good for the Jews?
It begins with See’s Candies gelt and moves onto Christmas eve screenings of “Fiddler on the Roof,” Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, Chinese food and questions of Christmas trees and Jewish modernity. In the end, while neither of the boys would choose Christmas rejectionism as a lifestyle, will they condemn Jews who do?
After one month away, the boys re-enter the Twilight Lounge to offer the sad explanation for their absence and then ease into a new episode featuring Goldbrener’s new Trotskyite look, Ayelet Waldman’s head-scratching take on Hanukkah, what made Sam into Sam and other sundry items before diving into the elephant in the room:
Is recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of the Jews good for the Jews?
Eric is concerned about how easily we “can be bought” while explaining how this latest Trumpian move (or non-move) fits into the big picture of Middle East politics. In the end, the boys admit they can’t see this as bad for the Jews, despite an overwrought and perhaps overlong (yet accurate) no-trip-to-Disneyland analogy.
Enter, if you dare, into a Twilight Lounge where Rosen is laid low by a possibly contagious respiratory illness and crazy people are masquerading as racists on BART. In-between coughs and Ann Murray references, the boys manage to share the good news about Jews in baseball, including Joc Pederson’s Jewish San Francisco connection. A quick look at Hollywood pedophiles leads to the appearance of noted Jewish journalist Bernie Bernstein, and…
Bernie Bernstein is not good for the Jews.
Nor is he good for the Twilight Lounge, as Goldbrener’s extrapolation turns into a deep dive into the purposes and corruptions of the country’s two major political parties, rather than an examination of something that is or isn’t good for the Jews, ending with Rosen’s ham-fisted attempt at explaining the purpose, use and misuse of “persuasion.”