Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

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This blog is defunct.  We’ve moved to:

I switched from (which is a wonderful place to write a blog) to a self-hosted blog.  I am still using WordPress, but I got the install package for WordPress 2.6.

Thanks for visiting – please come see us at our new home.


Percy Jackson & The Olympians: What About Percy’s Mom?

My Review:5


Rick Riordan is an author of both adult and teen-oriented books. He has series targeted at teens that focuses on one boy, Perseus (Percy) Jackson.  Percy is the son of Sally Jackson, a mortal woman, and the son of Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea from ancient mythology.  In the series, the Greek gods are not myths at all, but a vibrant and lively part of Western Civilization.  Along with Poseidon, Zeus, Athena, Hephaestus and the rest of the crew come a host of monsters and mayhem including (but not limited to) the Minotaur, Medusa, the Furies, prophecies, quests, adventure, sword fighting, revenge and true love.  Sounds like the Princess Bride as described by Peter Falk.  🙂

In any case, I am not here to review the books themselves.  I love them, I think they’re grand.  They fall into a similar genre as J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and Chris Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, also books I enjoy thoroughly and unequivocally.  I’m a geek boy for sci-fi, fantasy, mythology, and the “weird.”

No, in this review, I am getting specific.  In fact, it would be more accurate to say that I am making a prediction, a prediction about Percy’s mom, Sally Jackson (as you might have guessed from the title of this post).  That prediction is: I think she is a half-blood (half god and half human) herself.  That would, in fact, make Percy 3/4 god, instead of the normal half god, or demigod.  Here’s my thinking:

  • Her eyes change color depending on the light
  • She can see through mist (something that keeps most mortals from seeing monsters, gods, and the rest of the weirdness)
  • In Book 1, The Lightning Thief, Sally isn’t killed when the Minotaur picks her up by the neck, but is captured and spirited away by Hades in a shower of golden light.  Maybe Hades could do that to a mortal, but still…
  • I think we need something to make Percy even more special, and that would do it
  • plus, it would make an interesting plot twist.  I don’t remember reading any myths about humans who had a god for a grandparent and a parent

I know this post is probably uninteresting to those who haven’t read these books.  Even if you have, maybe this degree of analysis seems like a waste of time.  Don’t care.  I think it’s neat, and I am calling it now.  Maybe in the end I’ll be proven wrong.  But I think Sally Jackson is herself a half-blood.  You heard it here first.  I’ll let you know the results when the series ends.

Oh, and by the way.  The reason I gave this review a 5 has nothing to do with how much I like the books.  I think they’re great.  I gave it a 5 because I’m making a WAG (wild ass guess) and I figure I have a 50/50 chance.  Twisted logic, but if you read this far, you’re probably right there with me.  🙂

Unexpected Film Roles for Jews – Part 1

My Review: 9

“Hallo. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

Many of us have heard that line hundreds of times. He says it a total of six times throughout the movie, and I’ve seen the movie at least 27 times… you do the math. But did you know that Mandy Patinkin is the actor who plays Inigo? Further, did you know that Mandy Patinkin is Jewish?


Mandy Patinkin is an Emmy and Tony award winning Jewish actor, singer and entertainer. He loves to sing and perform Yiddish songs and theater, and has published books on Yiddish culture. He has performed on Broadway. Recently (in the last few years) he has starred in a prime time television series called Criminal Minds. A few weeks ago he left the show, but his work there was excellent as well. Wikipedia has a good overview of his career and personal life, and there is no need for me to re-write here. Though it is cool that he was a classmate of Kelsey Grammer’s at Juilliard.


It is hard to see him acting today, in various roles, and not hear the faux-Spanish accent coming out of his mouth. I am so primed to see his scarred visage in the role of the greatest swordsman in the world. But it was even crazier when I found out that he was Jewish. It just never occurred to me that the actor playing Inigo might be Jewish. I suppose that’s why they call it acting – the person in the role does not need to be anything like the character they are portraying. Maybe it’s about association. I first saw Topol in Fiddler on the Roof, so now I think of him as Jewish and a Jewish actor. If I had first seen him in Flash Gordon, as Dr. Hans Zarkov – he might have made it into this series.


In my next edition of Unexpected Film Roles for Jews, I will tell you about a villainous, dirty culprit from many of your favorite familiar Westerns. Stay tuned.