LilaTovCocktail: Ingredients: one part NE Ohio; two parts politics; two parts media, and one part each: culture, family & the Jewish community. Directions: Shake well.

Short, sharp shocks: n + 1 editors' look hard at Heeb & other Gen-J magazines


n+1 is primarily a print journal but its website has a few pieces of really good content. Just posted: the deliciously astringent The People of the Magazine, in which the n+1 editors take issue with the crop of newish Jewish magazines Heeb, Guilt & Pleasure, Zeek, and

Although they find a good deal more to like in the pages of Zeek and, n+1's editors are for the most part unimpressed by these magazines' cultural savvy, creativity and intellectual chops. (I, on the other hand, do recommend for the expansiveness and variety of their offerings.)

"Compared to the Jewish magazines of previous generations—Commentary, founded in 1945 and now a stalwart of the neoconservative movement, or Tikkun, founded in 1986 and still a stalwart of Jewish progressivism—all these magazines are either silly or unfocused and confused," they write.

In the course of their argument -- that these putatively hip, youth-driven magazines don't deliver what they promise because they invariably express the values and perspectives of the elderly Jewish philanthropists who fund them -- the editors offer wickedly spot-on opinions:
For Heeb, no one over 40 exists, and no one over 30 gets to be photographed naked.
Heeb's natural progression seemed like it would lead into the field of Jewish pornography. The most notable advertisement in the spring 2008 issue was for the Israeli porn site In summer 2008 they put out a swimsuit calendar, or half of one, with six glossy photos of blondes in bikinis. The injunction had once been to marry Jews. Now it is merely to masturbate to them. Or is it also to masturbate to them—so that even your sins are Jewish sins, forever circumscribed, and underwritten, by this unalterable essence?

Read on and enjoy.

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