aired Feb. 8, 2014 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube clip:
Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of February 8th, 2014.
So many times in my Rabbinical Reflections, I am forced to take celebrities over my metaphorical knee and spank them for their misdeeds and maladjustments. Justin Bieber, Charlie Sheen, Ryan Dunn, Lance Armstrong – the list is an embarrassment of Richie Riches. I am delighted, therefore, to offer something different this week: a Hollywood star with a good head on her shoulders. She also has good shoulders and a great rack. But I come to praise Scarlett Johansson – a not for her bubbles on her chest, but for the bubbles in her glass. She is the spokesperson for SodaStream, a company that helps you carbonate your own water, so you can make your own soft drinks.
Half-Jewish on her mother’s side – which makes her all-Jewish to me – Scarlett Johannson is one of the most glamorous actresses in Hollywood. She’s so hot, Woody Allen actually looked away from a 10-year-old to make her his muse. And she’s so in-demand, she can pick and choose what she wishes to advertise or promote. Her latest choice? Seltzer. What could be more Jewish than that? Only, it isn’t called “seltzer” anymore. It’s called “sparkling water” or, if you’re a lower tax bracket, “soda.” Back in the day, we used to call it “two cents plain,” but now nothing’s plain when you’re trying to sell it, and the only thing you can buy for two cents these days is one penny.
Anyhoo, in 1991, Peter Wiseburgh, a nice Jewish boy from Israel, bought SodaStream from Cadbury-Schweppes and made it the biggest purveyor of shpritz in the world. You don’t want to pay two dollars for a liter of Coca Cola? You don’t want all the caffeine and sugar of Pepsi? Can’t bring yourself to try that Mexican pineapple soda because, well, it’s Mexican pineapple soda? You buy a machine that looks like a mixer, then you get these canisters of carbon dioxide. In goes the glass of water, in goes the syrup, mix it up and voila – in three minutes you have a glass of soda … that would have taken you ten seconds to pour from a Coke can, but nevertheless. With Sodastream, you can control the level of carbonation and the amount of goo. Plus, you’re not opening a giant cola bottle that in three days goes flatter than Debra Messing in a sports bra.
So there is much to recommend in the home-made soda idea and the Sodastream company, which has factories all over the world, including three in Israel. And ay, there’s the rub. Two of the factories are in parts of Israel that the Arabs don’t think belong to Israel. Granted, the Arabs don’t think any of Israel belongs to Israel, but in this case, they’re specifically talking about the so-called “occupied territories” – land that Israel won, fair and square, in wars fought decades ago. I know I sound like a broken record – and for you kids out there, a record is a round vinyl thing with a hole in it that your grandparents used to play music on. Look it up. Anyhoo, I’ve said time and again that the Palestinians have millions of other miles they can live on, so if they feel oppressed in a Jewish state, they can get themselves a two-hump U-haul and move.
Still, they bitch and moan about Israel occupying land – it’s not “occupied,” shitheads, it’s annexed. And if you want Israel to bulldoze homes and let go of it, you damn well better give us peace in return. And maybe a few of those 70 virgins you’re always talking about, just to sweeten the deal.
One organization taking up the misguided cause against Israel is something called Oxfam. No, that’s not Gabourey Sidibe’s parents, it’s a non-profit initially formed to fight the war against poverty all over the world. Somehow, alas, the honorable mandate to feed the hungry morphed into a more vague “human-rightsy” sort of a thing, which slid into a political agenda and has now warped into anti-Israel propaganda. Oxfam wants people to boycott Sodastream because the factories are making beverages on land where the Palestinians should rightfully be making bombs. Defenders of Sodastream say the hundreds of Arabs who work at the company are well-treated, make a decent wage and have a life they could never aspire to beforehand.
So where does Scarlet Johansson belong in all this? Well, in my bedroom, if life were fair – but no, the actress was caught up in the controversy because she was an ambassador for Oxfam. I say “was” because last week she handed in her resignation. Why? Because ScarJo is also the spokeswoman for Sodastream. She even did a sexy commercial for them that debuted during the Super Bowl! She’s wearing a bathrobe and sucking on a straw. You don’t have to be Freud to know what’s really going on…she’s thirsty! For soda!
When the Oxfammished begged her to drop the company, Scarlet Johansson dropped them, citing, quote, “a fundamental difference of opinion,” unquote. That’s legalspeak for: “I’m Jewish, you’re idiots, the West Bank is part of Israel, Israel is a Jewish homeland, Sodastream are the good guys, and in the interest of international peace, I really should tweet more homemade nude photos on the internet.” Okay, I added that last part, but you know what I’m saying.
Ironically, the Scarlett Johansson Sodastream ad was nearly censored from the Super Bowl. Not by Oxfam or for any political reason, but because she mentioned Coke and Pepsi, and CBS crapped itself worrying that those monster advertisers would pull out if they heard their product being disparaged by the actress who played Natasha in “The Avengers.” The ad stayed, but the line was cut. I guess we know who has the real political power in this country…
But Scarlett Johansson, for being a mensch and standing your ground – that ground being the holy sand of Eretz Yisroel — I toast you holding a glass brimming with Sodastream. Mmmmmm good. Actually, it’s Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray, don’t tell anybody.
Thank you ScarJo. This has been RebSolSol coming to you from TempSoBi, Great Neck, NeeYo.
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