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...What's that, common sense? Don't write a comment file about the skin on my penis and the way it's impacted my sex life and self-image? Well, if you insist... I guess I'll talk about cultural appropriation, then.

What is cultural appropriation, exactly? Where's the dividing line on the spectrum of putting eggs in your pizza crust, using kosher salt, Bobby Hill telling jokes with the cadence and subject matter used by old Jewish men, the Black Eyed Peas exclaiming "L'Chaim!" in a song about getting blackout drunk, and creating a cartoon character in a fantasy setting who has an over-the-top Yiddish accent for no reason other than comedic absurdity?

I suppose, to answer that question, we should really ask what appropriation is, and why - or if - it's a bad thing. Perhaps - as the consensus seems to be with rape jokes - the question is whether one is "punching up" or "punching down". Is one of the cultures doing the appropriation larger or more powerful than the other? Is it a case of a monolithic majority aping the traditions of an oppressed minority, or a marginalized minority hacking and repurposing a convention of the majority?

One of the most awkward and uncomfortable things I've ever endured in church was singing along with the various worship songs and suddenly being confronted with lyrics that incorporated the tetragrammaton. All us goyim were vocalizing and swaying and I couldn't help but imagine some wayward rabbi wandering in and having an aneurysm. I suppose this may be more of a theological than a cultural issue, but there's a big difference between being told to call Mr. Warbucks "Daddy" and deciding you can call him "Oliver".

Many modern Christians often feel entitled to adopt aspects of Judaism - which, I suppose, is understandable - but given the fact that for the past two millenia, our religions have been growing and defining themselves in contrast to each other (and given that it's pretty obvious which is the empowered majority and which is the underdog), I think it's fair to say "hands off" to anything that's more cultural than religious, and definitely to anything developed since, say, the fall of Rome.

Eggs in pizza crust is probably fine, though.

(Sunday afternoon, INT: kitchen, GU's mother's home.)

GU: I don't know if I'm really comfortable with turning challah into a pizza crust. Challah has religious significance - I know there's two loaves, six braids each representing the twelve tribes of Israel...
JH: Okay, okay, forget I mentioned challah entirely.
JH: Hey Gina, I had an idea for adding eggs to pizza dough, wanna try it out?
GU: You don't think it's a kind of cultural appropriation?
JH: Everyone appropriates from everyone, that's what culture is, especially in the kitchen. I mean, my parents gave me a Hebrew-derived name and brought me up in a Judaism-derived religion, but they never saw fit to chop my foreskin off.
JH: That was entirely too much information about my genitals, wasn't it?
GU: No no, it's fine, I didn't picture it at all I'm going to grate the cheese now.