at least it's not just us?
Happy Easter, and Chag Sameach. While the bulk of you are eating chocolate and painting/finding eggs, my tribe has Passover. Aside from eating matzah and the related constipation the holiday has a traditional dinner, or "seder." The dinner has a script: symbolism of the various traditional dishes, four questions of the "gee, I wonder why we're eating matzah…" variety recited by a kid, followed by the story of how Pharaoh was smart for being long wheat in the ancient futures market but was unsuccessful in labor issues.
In recent years our family has been adding fiancés, wives, etc., who grew up with slightly different traditions and very different views on what makes an appropriate Seder. The big argument's over the orange. This is a thing we started doing like 10 years ago which I love and some people completely despise. The parable for this goes that one day an orthodox rabbi said there would be a woman rabbi (actually "woman on the bimah") when there's on orange on the Seder plate. So: plop.
In January MVictors and Hoover Street wrote their epic "The Clans. The Factions. Defined," which brilliantly defined the various sub-groups of Michigan fandom. The party lines haven't gone away in three months. There's always that one topic that…
Um, can I help you…?
: I am MisoBOgon. The only true Michigan fan. And I'm only stopping by to tell you how sick I am of hearing you people whine about "The Process." And I can tell from your intro that's exactly what you're about to do.
Actually, no, I was…
Look, I don't know where you people are coming from…
…from whence you people have come but really I was just going to write a Dear Diary about how ridiculous all of this Internet bickering is becoming.
Oh come on.
Guys, guys, what the hell…?
: Isn't it obvious? I've been tracking user data pretty closely and it seems the various fan factions who were scattered by the last three years' events are coming back together for some Michigan football talk and encountering…each other.
Ah. Well that explains all the bickering this week. Anyway what I was gonna…
… say is welcome back to anyone who left us over the last few years. As Decaturogon or whatever above mentioned, it's probably high time for the Michigan fan base to come back together. You know what we need for that?
If all of these be-hatted folks can co-exist in my head* we can all exist together in a room that seats 115,000.
At the risk of making this post sound any more Maize & Brewish, in honor of Passover, here's a list of what I consider sufficient to be classified a Michigan fan:
As for ranking who's a good fan and who's a worse fan – the topic of a removed board post this week – I think peoples' definitions of that are so wildly different as to make the trite-ass "it's different for every person" cop-out true in this case. But let's be sure, eh? Fandom poll!
For each factor, just indicate how important each is in how you might rate fandom. My purpose is just to see if there's any consistency at all, even among a group as insular as a blog's readership.
* In my life I've been all but the 2nd Estate. But there's time yet.
Seriously, all of these narratives are in my head at once.
Left: Two guys we're pretty sure have pictured themselves as Ray Lewis.
Right: what the board thinks of our moderating job at present.
It's survey week at MGoBlog. The first by umhero is probably the most inadvertently useful bit of recruiting news I've ever read. It asks the board to vote on who they think will end up in the class, and reactions are so lopsided I feel like I know the kids' decisions better than they do. I'll let him do the honors of results but the poll is here. By the way hero, pollcode? That's so 2009!
Survey Two is results-oriented. That is wingedsig published the results of his 500-person study on MGoBlog's board moderation, which proves two things: the pos/neg system isn't near perfect, and there are at least 20 females on the Internet!
I took a look at the law itself, and have concluded that coaches salaries do not have to be equivalent, both through reading the law and through anecdotal evidence as told by UM's salaries.
Justin took the salaries of the revenue sports (coaches, then coaches and assistants) and the numbers changed. He ends with 30 coaches for women's sports and 18 for non-revenue men's sports. The mean salary is pretty close (both over $80K) and explainable by the ladies' coaches being incredibly good at their jobs.
For example softball is No. 1 in the country right now, and Tennis just won the Big Ten Championship again!
The Spring Game's technically not a game, but it's enough to bring monuMental back (to the future)!
Look closely and you'll see the 1901 team's secret to scoring a point a minute: Time Traveling Denard Robinson! Also time-traveling Hoke.
In another past blast, JimLahey wrote up his encounter with Lloyd Carr at the WESPY Awards (Windsor Essex Sports Person of the Year). It's so vintage Carr:
The conversation was about 8-10 minutes long and we mostly discussed literature and philosophy. There was a great point in the conversation when we talked about writers who make their work inaccessible to most people by unnecessarily writing in complex schemes just for complexity's sake. I said I preferred the simple, classic, and understated genius of writers like Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, whose complexities come from the depth of their characters. He agreed.
That little part right there is the Diary of the Week, because remember how the part about Carr that we all loved was absolutely unique and genuine and wonderful? Read the short diary and you will too.
The other candidate for DotW was stubob's statistical attempt to create a new metric (which he calls "effectiveness") for offensive and defensive play. Right now it's mostly raw data that says what we already knew about last year:
Defense, on the other hand, was great in the rain against Purdue, better-than-average against ND and Illinois (per drive, remember), and shelled by MSU, the other MSU and Wisconsin. This should not be news.
But he's getting some help from the comments and promises to pick apart SD State games next so keep your eyes open because I've got a feeling Part II's gonna get good! Bonus: one of those enlightening, wordy exchanges that the comments section used to be back in the before time* broke out at Comment 3.
* My recollection of the before time was a lot of sarcasm from WLA and Brian a lot less worried about pissing people off, but then I came late.
moderating job = disproportionately large middle finger. is funny.
As the son of a female rabbi, I approve of this message.
no quinoa? I'd say more Maize n' Jewish than Maize n' Brewish! Mazletov!
I appreciate sarcasm and the use of pictures to make a point as much as anybody. But this was a little painful to read. Too cute and should stay in the Diaries and not the Front page. I know it's a slow season, but I'd rather have nothing rather than that.
In regards to the topic, we all tire of the factions created by the last 5 years (the last 2 years of Lloyd created some also) but the only thing that matters is where we are now. A comment on that fact is appropriate, it was just way too long and hard to follow.
BTW, I now know what the line in the MSU fight song about the "banks of the old Red Seder" means.
Simply put: If you didn't support the University, Team, or Coach during the last 5 years, then you do not deserve to be a Michigan fan.
You don't always have to agree with decisions or hires, but once they're here, you support them. You pull for them to do well. You do this until they leave. That's what a Michigan Man or Woman would do (note: Mich (Wo)Man has very little to do with attending school here).
I think the whole Michigan Man concept is a load of crap. It was dredged up as a way that was acceptable to criticize Rodriguez for being different, not an intelectual like Lloyd, and not winning enough. He may not have had enough wins, and by the end he had probably lost the team, but Rodriguez poured all he had into the team and program during his 3 years here.
Exactly. RichRod gave everything he had for 3 years to this school. He represented it with class and humility. He did his best in a rough situation but made some poor decisions on the way.
In the end, RichRod was more of a Michigan Man than some of the people who wanted him to fail before last season began.
Not the time, nor the place, nor the thread.
Interesting that the Rebellion has by far the quickest neg-bomb trigger finger in that Misopogon family reunion.
So much lifting of other peoples' original ideas in this post (biographical writing like Brian, "live chats," and of course re-packaging diary posts). Worse yet, it's not funny at all.
Misopogon - you're the Sean Combs of the sports blogosphere.
Also, I'm pretty sure Brian did not invent biographical writing, and I think you mean autobiographical anyway.
Also also, the whole point of these posts, like them or not, is to repackage diaries.
Also x 3, + 1 for the Sean Combs crack. I don't get that guy.
You see, you're wrong. The whole point of these posts is for the author to do his best Brian Cook impersonation.
What is the significance of an orange on a Seder plate?
In Deuteronomy 1:22:
"And the Lord said: 'Lo, all scribes working for compensation must marketh all non-sequiter references to Judaism and my chosen people with an orange, for, lo, it seems delicious, but stings when it comes in contact with thine eyes.'"
I knew Deuteronomy was one of the Jelllicle Cats. I didn't realize he wrote the Koran.
well i enjoyed this post a lot. does that mean i'm not a fan?
Pretty sure the orange is for the inclusion of gays and lesbians, not women. http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Passover/The_Seder/Seder_Plate_and_Table/Orange.shtml
For the record, hate the orange! (Don't have a problem with gays and lesbians though... women maybe ;-) Hate the orange, modern corruption of old rituals... something along the lines of the perma-protesters on the diag who I'm pretty sure couldn't actually be students - as that would likely involve going to class on occassion.
Wow - thanks.
I've wondered before that if you go back far enough you'd find some guy in the Hellenistic period who added bitter herbs to represent the bitterness of Greek occupation, or maybe a pre-Diaspora environmentalist who added the karpas (the story I heard was that there was a north and south cultural split and that in roman times the modern seder took shape out of two very different springtime festivals, karpas coming from the planting regions of the north and the shankbone from the shepherding regions of the south).
Funny how in less than a generation we could totally replace the meaning of something.
I guess I'm on the opposite end from you: I care more about the meanings of traditions than whether they're properly applied. Like when our players jump and touch the banner, it's not just cool because we've done it since the '60s, but because Al Renfrew and his wife came up with it and meant it originally to go in Yost. The meaning I take from it is that the whole athletic department, the university, and everyone associated with Michigan is behind you when you take that field, and leaping to touch the banner when you enter the stadium is a symbolic acknowledgement that you are representing something much larger than the football team in a Big Ten game.
Though that seems like its original purpose, the orange I think represents my favorite thing about Judaism: that it is a religion which can evolve and question itself.
We have, on the seder plate, a small representation of the spectacularly different iterations of our history: Lamb shank from when we were a pastoral family group, Charoset from the enslaved Egyptian bricklayers, matzah from when we were wayward travelers in the desert, greens from when we cultivated the land of Israel dipped in the saltwater tears of the past that got us there, and then the maror for the taste bitterness from three millenia's worth of enslavement, war, invasion, diaspora and persecution. And now the orange, a signature of the bold modernity, a signature fruit of Israel with a bitter peel and the sweetness of liberty to be found inside, showing the success of 3,000 years of perseverence, adaptation and slowly increasing inclusiveness (which includes solidarity with anyone not free, because we've been there).
Anyway, that's just my take on it, and I can hardly expect it to be anyone else's. My brother in law thinks it's basically there to slap tradition in the face, the Rebellion codified, a Jewish version of maize jerseys, and that's a valid point.
for the record I'm good with siding with your brother in law and respectfully disagreeing - my perspective is a bit impacted by living in Europe (again) - as Americans in general I think we tend to try and adapt everything to fit our needs - if we don't like it, we modify it. Sometimes we change things and call them by a new name, sometimes, even when we stretch things so far that they barely resemble what they looked like in the beginning - we still call them by the same name. Ten years ago when one of the senior Rabbis in Switzerland attacked the American concept of build-to-suit Judaism, as the token American, I was rather offended... now I'm not so sure he was wrong.
All of that said, it was a fun post and cool points for the creativity.
I would actually agree with you on the idea of "built to suit" -- Reform Judaism is supposed to be about looking deeper to find meaning and then reconstructing your practices based on what's most important, not what's the most convenient, yet in practice it's almost always the latter.
The danger of opening up traditions to being questioned is that you end up messing with things that are just fine thankyouverymuch because you can't understand why they're so important. My wife won't go to services at my Temple because the organ and the choir and the singing in non-tropeic English verse is, to her, like replacing the band with piped in Special K. I've got my own problems with her synagogue but I had to admit there are some subtle things of real value in there which we threw out with the bath water.
I think the orange is one of those rare new traditions that is worth adding to the collection. Whereas my (future) brother-in-law thinks it's a maize jersey, I think it's more of an Alumni Flag Football Game. Course, I'm a sucker for symbology.
I'm not sure what buffet you've been frequenting, but I'd ask for my money back.
It may be starchy, but Golden Corral will at least fill you up.
I don't know what that thing is in the lower right hand corner of the first plate, but I sure as heck wouldn't eat it unless there were significant medicinal benefits involved.
...ginger to me. And ginger does, in fact, have nutritional/medicinal benefits.
I would eat Ginger.
Unless you kep it out too long then...no.
It's horseradish. You scrape the skin off, cut into cubes, then chop 'em up in a blender (might want to do it outside -- you're dealing with really powerful stuff). Add vinegar and salt (the longer you wait to add vinegar the hotter it remains) and that's all there is to it. If you use red vinegar it turns magenta, if white it stays white.
As for medicinal properties, it clears your sinuses. And old men supposedly take it to help them piss, although I can't for the life of me figure out why old men should have to piss more than they do already.
Best condiment since ketsup.
...awareness quotient to be less than stellar. Horseradish makes a lot more sense than ginger (in my defense they're both roots that look pretty similar).
To what degree are seder customs defined by the differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardic minhagim?
If I ever meet someone who's actually sephardic and not just pretending to be because they don't count corn as leavened bread, I'll let you know. I think something like 98% of American Jews are Ashkenazi.
...has that sort of ethnic breakdown. What I'm wondering is where there really are Sephardic Jews, are the seder traditions substantially the same or different? I guess what I'm asking is: are seder food items more custom or law? I imagine it's the former.
Custom, but some law.
The things on the plate remain the same: matzah, an egg, a sprig of green, lamb, charoset (an apple/nut spread), bitter herb.
What changes are how those things are prepared. My cousin makes a sephardic charoset with figs and stuff instead of apples. The bitter herb can change, so long as it's bitter. I guess how the egg is prepared might be different too.
The big law difference everybody knows is that Sephardics don't count corn (thus corn starch, corn syrup, Jack Daniels, etc.) as chametz, or "leavened bread." Since you can't have any chametz during the week, it's a lot bigger pain in the tuchas to be Ashkenazi, because think of how many things have corn syrup or corn starch (not to mention no beer, whiskey, or any alcohol except wine!)
Ashkenazi/Sephardic is not that big of a deal -- probably literally the same difference you'd expect between a Catholic from Poland and a Catholic from Spain: maybe some different traditions but everyone's on the same program.
I never read your posts, I'm only here because you have some script that makes my browser crash half the time and I'm wondering if this is happening to anyone else.