I wonder what he has to say about "Famous Jewish Sports Legends".
June 12, 2020 12:17 PM   Subscribe

What happens when a blogger with access to the full archives of "Boys' Life" decides to write a meticulous analysis of the "Nuns' Life" scene in Airplane!?
posted by J.K. Seazer (29 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am sad that nuns are getting charged an extra 30 cents at the newsstand when they have vows of poverty!
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:44 PM on June 12 [6 favorites]


When I was a teenager, a relative got me an actual, no-shit, hardbound illustrated book essentially titled "Famous Jewish Sports Heroes" or the like as a Channukah gift. It bore the distinction of being the only book I owned that I never opened once.
posted by phooky at 12:55 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


And oh my goodness, there it is! Great Jews in Sports.
posted by phooky at 1:00 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


That was very satisfying.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:30 PM on June 12 [5 favorites]


There was definitely an era of Jewish sports heroes, albeit a pretty short one!
posted by atoxyl at 1:31 PM on June 12


I'm pretty certain there's an early-to-mid 1990s issue of Boys' Life containing a Pee Wee Harris comic where Pee Wee gets the advice that valuable posessions should be inscribed with a person's social security number so that if they're ever stolen they can be recovered and the "gag" is that he goes on to ruin his parents' fine silver set by engraving the face of each piece with big SSN digits and has to buff them all out as punishment.

I've looked for it in the online archives in order to prove to friends that engraving your SSN on stuff actually used to be a thing people did, but I'm pretty certain it's been deleted for obvious reasons.

One of these days I'm going on an attic expedition to see if I still have an original copy.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 1:54 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


RonButNotStupid, my grandfather used one of these for that very reason, back in the late 60's/early 70's. I think you could borrow them from your local police station. It was definitely a pretty widely-known thing people did.

I never engraved any of my Nuns' Life copies, though...
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:02 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


Yeah, SSN engraving was totally a thing. My dad engraved my SLR camera when I was taking photography classes in school in the 80s. Hell, we wrote it on everything back in those days, including personal checks for cashing at the student union.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:06 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


SSN engraving was totally a thing

It still would be if some lazy programmer didn’t decide that a user ID could also be a not-very-secret password.
posted by rh at 2:12 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


If someone told me that photo of the nun surfing was real, I wouldn't doubt it. I've seen plenty of photos of nuns back in the old days doing stuff like sledding and playing sports and all kinds of stuff outdoors. There are wall calendars with that kind of thing.
posted by Fukiyama at 4:24 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


Nun would deny it.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:41 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


Re: Engraving: Y'all are thinking of "Operation ID". I can remember my dad engraving our TV and stereo equipment.

Nuns' Life is no Nuns & Nazis.*

* Eating Raoul
posted by maxwelton at 4:47 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


We were all counting on this FPP.
posted by not_on_display at 5:27 PM on June 12 [8 favorites]


*gasp* An FPP? What is it??
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:17 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


It's good to know I don't have to rely on a cheesy scouting-themed comic strip in an old issue of Boys' Life to explain why I have an few MFM hard drives, an IBM XT case, and a hatchet with a relative's SSN number deeply inscribed into the metal.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:00 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


An FPP? What is it??

Shirley you can't be serious.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:27 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]


I guess I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue. But that's not important now.
posted by not_on_display at 8:28 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]


And don’t call me Shirley.
posted by calgirl at 8:51 PM on June 12 [5 favorites]


I was doubly safe: before I engraved my SSN I translated it into jive
posted by jazon at 9:21 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


It's a post made to the front page of a website, specifically Metafilter. But that's not important right now.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:50 PM on June 12 [6 favorites]


There was definitely an era of Jewish sports heroes, albeit a pretty short one!

My mom dated Sandy Koufax. Although over the years the story has evolved from she went on a date with him to he crossed the Atlantic on a cruise ship and traveled with her to Germany when she moved there to teach for the Army.

She's three years younger than him, lived in Los Angeles when he pitched for the Dodgers, and was single at the time.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:02 PM on June 12 [11 favorites]


The joke about the lack of Jewish sports heroes is pretty antisemitic and ties into a long history of Jews being considered weak, insufficiently "masculine" (if male), lazy, and cowardly. I'm not at all interested in sports, but even I know about Daniel Mendoza, Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax etc. Even if the stereotype were accurate, though, it would be wrong to repeat it; we can be better than that.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:06 AM on June 13 [5 favorites]


I remember the SSN engraving thing from way back, but in retrospect it seems kind of stupid to let the thief not only have your TV but also your SSN.
posted by MtDewd at 5:10 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


First, the article is delightful. Thanks for posting.

Second, I actually asked a question about SSN engraving ten years ago! If you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the past decade for an update, you may be happy to learn that I used a rotary wire brush to buff off my SSN and donated the horn.
posted by cheapskatebay at 6:53 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


The joke about the lack of Jewish sports heroes is pretty antisemitic and ties into a long history of Jews being considered weak, insufficiently "masculine" (if male), lazy, and cowardly.

Relatedly, Hakoah Vienna and Muskeljudentum.
posted by hoyland at 1:33 PM on June 13


The joke about the lack of Jewish sports heroes is pretty antisemitic and ties into a long history of Jews being considered weak, insufficiently "masculine" (if male), lazy, and cowardly.

The movie was written and directed by three Jewish guys - it's presumably something of a self-deprecating joke. I agree that the real story of Jews in sports (and of how the stereotype changed over the years) is a lot more interesting than the musty joke, though, which is why I made my earlier comment.
posted by atoxyl at 8:06 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


My uncle was taking home basketball trophies in the 60s in Brooklyn, too. Of course he's 5'10" so there was a natural ceiling on that, but a lotta guys like him played back then.
posted by atoxyl at 8:15 PM on June 13


Photoshop hadn’t been invented when Airplane! was released, so the film’s creators had to get creative. One oft-shared (but unconfirmed) rumor says that a male production assistant dressed up in a nun’s habit and got on a surfboard to shoot that cover photo.

*sigh*

Trust me, comping together pieces to form a new image is ancient, analog tech. That pic of the surfing nun could very easily be put together by any half-competent photo-retoucher of the era. "Photoshopping" was a thing wayyyyyy before Photoshop or computers.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:10 AM on June 14 [8 favorites]


7. They even got the apostrophe right.
Props to the props team for getting one essential detail right: the name of the magazine.
Ever since it debuted in 1911, the magazine for all boys has been called Boys’ Life — not Boy’s Life.
And so, fittingly, the magazine for all nuns is called Nuns’ Life — not Nun’s Life.


This one kind of chafes me. EVEN got the apostrophe right? Like it's some amazing, "mind the details" task? I get that we live in the era of the amateur typophile but, c'mon. Give the ancient professionals some credit. "Getting the apostrophe right" would not have even been a concern or question or something they accidentally realized at the last minute. Of course they got the apostrophe right. Their task was to mimic the look and style of Boys' Life. No sweat. Done and done. On to the next job.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:27 AM on June 14 [7 favorites]


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