Monday, March 05, 2007

Blogging and pashkevels

Last night I received an urgent message from UOJ. He'd written a letter and wanted it posted on my blog and some others at exactly 10 PM. Unfortunately, I was deep into Purim at the time, and missed the deadline. The letter is now here. I encourage you to read it.

The more I see from UOJ, the more I'm reminded of Joyce, Jun. Joyce, Jun. was the most famous of several colonial-era bloggers. Around the time of the Revolution, he and other like him left signs, called broadsides, on trees and buildings. The signs were anonymous, and they were used to criticize, complain and threaten - much like how our man UOJ uses his blog. Often, the broadsides were reprinted in newspapers, too.

[The name Joyce Jun, incidently, has an origin appropriate to Purim. The tradition in colonial New England was to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day (called Pope's Day on this side of the pond) by putting an effigy of the Pope on a wheeled stage (with attendants dressed as the devil, or of the anti-Christ) and push them through town amid mobs of revelers who marched through town in masquerade, eating and drinking at every stop. Boston. because of it's size, had two Popes, one for the North side and one for the South side. Every year the two liquor-sodden groups would meet and riot, with each side trying to take the others Pope. [More here]

In Boston, the commander of the mob was called "Joyce Jun.", after Cornet Joyce, the man who arrested Charles I. Later, the famous broadsider took his name.]

The broadsiding tradition lives on in Jerusalem, where they are called pashkevils. [More]

Perhaps someone can explain why Agudat Yisroel objects loudly and publicly to blogs, but not to anonymous pashkevils? Essentially, aren't they the same?

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