Rick Perry Video Uses Aaron Copland Music

My video parody of Rick Perry’s “Strong” campaign ad on YouTube has been attracting a lot of attention with about 4,500 likes and under 100 dislikes, including close to 650 comments. It has been featured in USA Today, Daily Kos, Jewish Journal, JTA, Forward, Jewcy, and Spiegel Online (German).

There have been many video parodies of Rick Perry’s campaign ad turning it into a meme on the Web. But I’ve noticed that the best way to mock Rick Perry and his homophobic, “war on religion”-paranoid message is to do nothing. The video mocks itself.

When I was choosing the background music for my video parody with the video’s editor Adam Luger we tried to come as close as possible to the background music in the original Rick Perry commercial. However, we were unable to determine who composed the music. Well, it now appears that the joke’s on Rick Perry because that background music was inspired by none other than Aaron Copland. Jewish? Check! Gay? Flaming! Member of the Communist Party? You betcha!

Paul Schied writing in the Harvard Political Review first reported that the music heard in the background of Rick Perry’s “Strong” ad was composed by Aaron Copland, a prominent composer who was Jewish, outwardly gay, and a member of the Communist Party. It turns out that Schied’s music majoring roommate detected the Copland composed music. It turns out that the music was inspired by Aaron Copland, but is actually a “cheap knock-off of sorts of Copland’s Appalachian Spring according to The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross.”

The background music in Rick Perry’s ad was inspired  by composer Aaron  Copland who was gay.

So, for those of you keeping score at home, Rick Perry’s campaign ad (which was originally created for the Iowa television market but quickly went viral on YouTube) has him proclaiming that it’s wrong for gays to serve openly in the military when kids can’t celebrate Christmas in school, but has him wearing a jacket that looks like the one worn by Heath Ledger in the gay romance movie “Brokeback Mountain” and features background music inspired by a gay, Jewish composer. You just can’t make this stuff up!

Here’s my video response:

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | http://blog.rabbijason.com | Twitter: @RabbiJason | facebook.com/rabbijasonmiller

Response to Rick Perry’s Campaign Ad

Like many millions of people, when I watched Texas Governor Rick Perry’s “Strong” Campaign ad for the first time on YouTube I was deeply troubled. “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian,” Perry begins. “But you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”

My first thought was of the gay men and women currently serving in uniform who are risking their lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe to protect our country. I immediately decided to film a parody of Rick Perry’s video. I wanted it to be a spoof of his video in order to show the ridiculousness of his message.

The response to my video has been great so far. After only 15 hours there have been about 800 likes and only 10 dislikes with almost 5,000 views. The most meaningful aspect has been the comments on the YouTube video. One viewer wrote, “i’m an atheist but i would sure would vote for rabbi jason over any of the idiots that are postulating themselves if i could.” Another wrote, “As a non religious person raised as a christian in the church, i strongly support this, I have friends of all religions and believe our differences is what makes this country great! THANK YOU FOR YOUR EDUCATED WELL THOUGHT OUT OPINION.”

I have been pleasantly surprised that there have not been more negative, hate-filled comments in response to my video. I will not censor any comments because I believe it’s important that everyone sees the hate that exists in some people’s hearts and the ignorance that exists in their minds. Here’s a comment that made me feel very good this morning: “Bless you, Rabbi! Thanks for retaliating in such an intelligent, focused, and humorous video! Every time I’m reminded that there are people like you in this country, I have hope for it again… Hope you and your family have a bright and beautiful Hannukah! Cheers! -from Agnostic, Gay, Christopher :)”

Here is the video, which was filmed and edited by Adam Luger:


Text:
I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a Jew — Heck, I’m even a Rabbi… but you don’t need to be in shul on every Shabbos to know there’s something wrong in our country when gays can serve openly in the military and yet they still can’t get married legally in most U.S. States.

Our Jewish kids in public school have to watch as their peers celebrate Christmas — a holiday they don’t observe. They have to sit quietly as the Christian students pray in school. That just seems uncomfortable.

As President, I will fight to end this crazy talk that there’s a war on religion. And I will fight anyone who discriminates against others simply because of their sexual orientation.

Intelligence made America strong. It can make her strong again.

I’m Rabbi Jason Miller and I think it’s too cold to film a video outside in Michigan in the winter. Who approved this?

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | http://blog.rabbijason.com | Twitter: @RabbiJason | facebook.com/rabbijasonmiller

Conservative Rabbi on The Daily Show

My colleague, Rabbi Gideon Estes of Congregation Or Ami, played the straight man last night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. After Justin Bieber opened the show pretending to be Jon Stewart, Estes had a tough act to follow, but did a great job.

Daily Show correspondent John Oliver went down to Texas to file a story about the campaign of a Jewish Republican man to be re-elected speaker of the Texas State House. Estes, wearing his Jewish Theological Seminary tallit (prayer shawl), was interviewed by Oliver about the opposition to Joe Strauss being re-elected because he is Jewish and not a Christian conservative.

At the end of the segment, John Oliver celebrates his creation of a new high holiday called “Yom Chechechecheh” with the Hebrew School children at Estes’ congregation.

Check out the video below:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart RabbiJason.com
Conservative Rabbi Gideon Estes on The Daily Show
www.thedailyshow.com

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | http://blog.rabbijason.com | Twitter: @RabbiJason | facebook.com/rabbijasonmiller

Joe Lieberman Tapped for Egyptian Government Post

While I’m no Jon Stewart or Andy Borowitz when it comes to political satire, I have had the following funny situation playing in my head ever since the riots in Egypt began:

PRESS CONFERENCE IN CAIRO, EGYPT

Joe Lieberman: Thank you for joining me here today in Cairo. I know it’s only been a few weeks since my press conference where I announced  I’ll retire from the Senate and not seek re-election. However, I have a major announcement to make yet again. Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt, has appointed me Foreign Minister over this country.

CNN Reporter: Mr. Lieberman, when will you begin?

Joe Lieberman: The appointment is effective today… it’s immediate in light of the chaos that currently plagues Egypt. I will be the second in command. And no Jewish man has ever held such a position of power in Egypt.

Fox Reporter: Uh, that’s not actually true sir, have you read the Jewish Bible?

Joe Lieberman: Right, good point. Well, I am the first man named Joseph to…

Fox Reporter: No, that’s not quite right either Mr. Lieberman.

Joe Lieberman: Well, anyway, there’s a lot of work to be done. I’d like to thank the Pharoah, er, I mean the President for his faith in me. You know when he called me on the phone to ask me to come down here, he said he never dreamed that the political situation could get so bad. But I told him that he had in fact dreamed that it would get this bad. I keep telling him that.

AP Reporter: What will be your first order of business to calm the masses who are rioting in the street?

Joe Lieberman: I came up with this great idea to stockpile food because you just never know. I’ve been in pits before and I think that in time we can get these people to start building. Thank you very much for your time today and God Bless Egypt!

Al Jazeera Reporter: Have a good Shabbos Vizier Lieberman!

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | http://blog.rabbijason.com | Twitter: @RabbiJason | facebook.com/rabbijasonmiller