And here’s to you Mrs. Robinson . . . (or Mrs. Potifar ....)
In this week’s Parshah (Torah Portion), Vayeishev (found in Bereishit/Genesis 38-40), we are introduced to Yoseph (Joseph), the second youngest of Yaakov’s (Jacobs) twelve sons. Despite being the second youngest, Yoseph has dreams of one day being the leader. This coupled with Yaakov favoring Yoseph causes feelings of resentment by the brothers towards Yoseph. His brothers eventually sell Yoseph into slavery in Egypt. While Yoseph is a slave, he rises to a high position as a slave. He becomes the Head Slave, in charge of the entire household of his master Potifar. Yoseph is described in the Torah as a very attractive man Bereishit/Genesis 39:6 “… Now Yoseph was handsome of form and handsome of appearance”. He is so attractive that in verse 7 the wife of Potifar tells Yoseph to have sex with her. Yoseph realizes the obvious moral wrong of agreeing to the indecent proposal of the wife of Potifar, and he refuses to have sex with her. Later on in verses 10-18 she continues to pursue Yoseph unsuccessfully, and eventually one day she tears his clothes off and Yoseph runs away. Presumably to save face and protect herself from what Yoseph might say and the potential reprisals her husband might take towards her, the wife of Potifar lies to the entire household and her husband, and says that Yoseph attempted to take advantage of her. Yoseph is then thrown in jail by Potifar.
92Y Video: From the Poetry Center Archive: Sapphire and Sherman Alexie
Caution: video contains profanity
“This feels like a beauty pageant… and I’m gonna lose!” joked Sherman Alexie as he approached the podium to address an audience question during the post-reading conversation between him and Sapphire on November 21 at 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center.
Today’s featured video is the entirety of that evening’s Q-and-A, in which both writers—and in tones both serious and not-so—talked about the relationship between vernacular and standard English, the bleakness of life as compared to fiction, the banning of their books in various communities across the country and, finally, what they would promote as recommended reading were they themselves high-school teachers.
Sapphire’s response to that last one: “I would have them read everything. From Shakespeare to Toni Morrison, from the slave narratives to Sherman Alexie, from the Brontës to Faulkner, from Ice-T to Motown...”
Watch the clip to find out what Sherman said.
Next up at 92Y Poetry: Words & Music: The Cornet Rilke with Wolfgang Holzmair, baritone / speaker and Shai Wosner, piano, on January 23. That’s followed by Péter Nádas on January 26.
In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Unterberg Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings, please click here.
Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.
The Moon’s Multi-Denominational Year-End Celebration: The Moon returns to 92YTribeca with an over-the-top edition of their popular variety show, featuring a live house band, videos, cartoons, musical numbers, good cheer, exclusive prizes and a thrilling storyline to tie it all together.
Jewish Life: Beer + Latke Hanukkah Celebration: Rabbi-in-Residence Dan Ain will be available for all of your “December dilemma” questions and we’ll top the night off with a fierce dreidel competition and a rousing game of Hanukkah trivia led by Jewish Life intern Allison Tick.
Sat, Dec 24
Comedy: Hanukkomedy featuring Sandy Marks, MC Mr. Napkins, Todd Barry and Janeane Garofalo.
Want a chance to win two tickets to see Marlo Thomas and John Turturro with Budd Miskin? You got it! Time for the 92Y Marlo Thomas Trivia Challenge.
On Jan 16 at 92Y, Marlo Thomas and John Turturro sit down with Budd Mishkin to talk about their careers and Relatively Speaking, three one-act plays that explore different aspects of family life, written by Elaine May, Woody Allen and Ethan Coen, starring Thomas and directed by Turturro.
From 1966 to 1971, Marlo Thomas starred in what sitcom about an aspiring actress trying to make it big in New York City?
Nicholas Jackson, writing in The Atlantic early this morning, reports he confirmed The New York Times halted the presses to make room for an announcement of his death. “That is,” wrote Jackson, “the most influential newspaper in the world has put its work and printing process on hold to make room on the front page for the obituary of a single man. If that isn’t a testament to his work, I don’t know what is.”
Donna Karan Pre-Fall 2012, wrote Bloginity, “reaffirmed Karan’s place among America’s most forward-thinking designers.”
“...a ’50s-inspired full skirt and cotton cross blouse,” remarkedThe New York Times’ T Magazine, “remind us how simple and sexy a cinched waist can be.”
There’s no question Donna Karan, chief designer of the international company that bears her name, is an iconic designer. “Everything I do is a matter of heart, body and soul,” she says. “For me, designing is an expression of who I am as a woman, with all the complications, feelings and emotions.”
Karan also founded the Urban Zen Foundation in 2007, the culmination of Karan’s philanthropic efforts. Explains Karan, “I have founded the Urban Zen initiative to create a working structure for advancing wellness, preserving culture and empowering children. These are causes that mean the world to me.”
And of course, there is a “champagne-fueled toast during intermission.” As Hanna Arie-Gaifman, Director of Concert and Literary Programming wrote: “before it is gone forever, enjoy the last hours of 2011 with royal pleasures and noble company. Then rejoin us in 2012 for more wonderful music at 92Y. I wish you a healthy and happy New Year, and I look forward to seeing you again often.”
With many journalists and news organizations filing almost daily stories on Occupy Wall Street demonstrations or related labor actions, we wanted to look back at words from Dr. Corner West at 92nd Street Y in 2008.
“The situation of poor people and working people,” Dr. West told Tavis Smiley, “has been a state of emergency for 40 years. It’s just that it’s been hidden and concealed. Now that the catastrophe has hit Wall Street, we got a real crisis. No, the crisis was at work with our children already in these disgraceful school systems. In the dilapidated housing of poor people. Workers being pushed against the wall by greedy bosses.”
View the full clip above for further engaging and blunt commentary about President Obama and concepts of fairness and justice.
We feel a deep sense of injustice when we learn that our favorite sports player has cheated or when a bad call goes against our team. But is sports the last field in which we have a clear sense of right and wrong?
On December 16 at 92YTribeca, a panel of the country’s best sports writers and reporters—including ESPN The Magazine editor-at-large (and former editor-in-chief) Gary Belsky, Jeremy Schaap (E:60 senior correspondent), Seth Wickersham (ESPN The Magazine senior writer) and Jane McManus (ESPN W writer)—and 92YTribeca’s Rabbi-in-Residence Dan Ain for a free-wheeling discussion about the big issues in sports. That’s on Friday.
If you want to learn more about Gary’s media and culture diet (he subscribes to 26 magazines!), see his answers to the 92Y Culture Klatsch Q&A, below.
Where do you go for news when you start your day? The New York Times, in print. I’m careful about rushing into digital news sites right off the bat, since in general I think we get too much information too quickly. But if I do go digital its CNN.com.
92Y Video: John Heilemann With Tom Brokaw And Joe Scarborough: Election 2012
John Heilemann, National Affairs Editor for New York magazine, was here last week with Tom Brokaw and Joe Scarborough for a conversation about politics and the upcoming 2012 elections. In the context of Brokaw’s new book about America, Heilemann asked him: “Where is the country right now?”
“The country is walled off from Washington,” Brokaw responded. “It really has very little patience for what’s going on...” Watch the full clip above.
Upcoming Talk at 92Y include MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Jack Kennedy (TONIGHT); Our Movies Ourselves: Jews & Film with A.O. Scott, Daphne Merkin, J. Hoberman and Lel Leibovitz (Dec 13) and An Evening with Jimmy Webb (Dec 19).
Ace Every Interview: Getting the Job You Really Want with Barry Cohen. Job hunting is the worst job of all. Learn how to control the interview, eliminate stress and fear, answer the seven most difficult interview questions, present your accomplishments and negotiate a higher salary with perks.