My wife told me tonight about the arrest of Bristol Palin’s future mother-in-law on drug charges and I had this Yiddish flash of intuition: that’s the machatenes (mother-in-law)! In Jewish tradition, the machatonim (the “in-laws”) conjure a lot of images and emotions, some of them funny–but rarely do they involve drug dealing, which made my mental flash even funnier.
I was disappointed that Palin’s spokesperson said she would have no comment about the case. I was hoping for another one of those hopeless syntactical muddles that she’s notorious for. C’mon guys, whatever you wanna say about Sarah Palin, she and her family would’ve made for an entertaining four years, don’t ya think?
Yes, it’s always a sad day for satire when folks like Palin, Dan Quayle, Helmut Kohl, or Boris Yeltsin disappear from the spotlight.
The minor quibble I have is with “spokesperson”. He’s identified in the article as male, so why can’t he be a “spokesman”? More commonly though I see the opposite – men referred to as “spokesmen”, “chairmen” and so on, while women in such positions are reduced to “persons”, trying to be so PC as to defeat the purpose.
My grandparents spoke Yiddish (on my father’s side) but they were extremely conservative. How times have changed!
Zhu Bajie says
“Yes, it’s always a sad day for satire when folks like Palin, Dan Quayle, Helmut Kohl, or Boris Yeltsin disappear from the spotlight.”
Someone always takes their place.
Zhu Bajie says
Chinese language does not have grammatical gender or gender pronouns. Yet somehow men and women manage to have the same conflicts as anywhere else.
“that’s the machatenes (mother-in-law)!”
why you getting such a kick about a would-have-been potential vice president’s mother-in-law?
Aren’t liberals supposed to be non judgmental? Especially, when it’s a mother-in-law, not even the person in the spotlight?
Interesting to me that that is what you call entertaining.
And, btw, “machatenes” is not the correct word. The word is “machateniste” and it doesn’t mean mother-in-law.
“Shvigger” is mother-in-law.
Did you take a look at Obama’s shvigger? Or how about his Bubbe?
Richard Silverstein says
@hannah: Thanks again for the correction. But it would be great if you would explain precisely what machatonim means. I always thought it was the “in-laws” and that “machateniste” would be “mother in law.” If that’s not the case & shvigger is mother in law, then what exactly is machateniste & machatonim?
Hannah’s comment reminds me of a well-known “Dear Abby” joke:
Someone writing in: I’d like to research my family history, but I can’t afford it.
Abby: Run for public office.