Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Got Sheckles and an Attitude? Help kickstart "Punk Jews"

Traditional is paradox. We use terms of solidity, "tradition anchors us" and "grounds us," to describe something inherently fluid. Tradition has always subtly shifted, experimented, expanded, and retracted. The moments we remember, the way our father did or our mother did, were just that...moments out of many. It's the accretion of these moments that give the illusion of solidity. We remember the present as if the past justified it.

Except when we imagine the future.

Tradition is therefore a DIY business, working with the raw materials of our past and our imagination to create our future. For some, on the ragged distopian edge of tradition, it's a desperate business too. They don't remember the present in the same way, or can't remember their place in it. They need to create a space for themselves and in so doing, they create spaces for those who follow and the tradition flows onward.

Which is a long way around to saying that some Jews are punks, castouts, rejects, and alley-cat howlers. I've written about them (us), and their (our) music in particular, a number of times. And now I'm asking that you cough up some filthy lucre (I did!). You see, there's a documentary being made on Jewish punks and it needs a bit of a boost. Here's the pitch...

"My name is Jesse Zook Mann and I’m the director of Punk Jews. For the last two years my partner, Evan Kleinman and I have been following a community of Jewish musicians, artists, and activists, who are creating a sexy, new, unconventional culture around their heritage and religion. Originally we were going to produce a full length documentary but along the way we heard so many amazing and moving stories from the likes of fashion designer Levi Okunov, MC Y-Love, mixed-media artist Rivka Karasik, punk band Moshiach Oi!, and author / philosopher Yoseph Leib, that we realized that we couldn’t fit them all into a single film – so we want to produce a series of mini documentaries in a blog format where we will be able to bring all of these one of a kind Jewish stories to you every week."
Mann and Kleinman, an Emmy award winner and a Emmy award nominee, are raising money using the Kickstarter system. They've put out a target date (Jul 6, 2010) and an amount ($10,000). If we donate and they meet the target, they get the cash. If not...nada, zippo, zilch. Our donations are only collected if the project can be completed.

The graphic below shows their current progress. Clicking on it will take you to the Punk Jews kickstarter page, which has a great video full of Jewish punkiness. C'mon folks. Cough up.

And while we're on the subject...go check out the amazing Punk Torah website, if you want a taste of how the punk ethos and Judaism are enriching each other.

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