Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


No shoe ads please, he’s Jewish

Filed under : Famous People,Judaism,Music
On June 4, 2007
At 11:10 pm
Comments : 10

You may have heard that recently, the Doc Martens shoe people got into trouble for producing ads which featured dead rock stars wearing Doc Martens. Dead rock stars with living, litigious relatives. I followed this story kind of tepidly (that is, it caught my brief attention via feed reader before I scrolled merrily along). But that all changed when I read this statement from Joey Ramone’s brother:

Obviously, we are in the same position as Courtney Love, as well as the Estates of the others depicted. We were never consulted about this ad. We were never asked for permission to use Joey’s image, or paid for the use of it. As Executor of my brother’s estate I never would have approved this ad as Joey never wore these shoes. And, not that my brother was terribly religious, but the fact that he was Jewish, and this ad is not exactly Kosher, makes it that much more inappropriate, inconsiderate and contemptible.

(via Gothamist)

Huh? Let’s parse this. Kosher in the strict sense means permissible according to Jewish law. The common form mostly relates to food, as you’d know if you were a regular reader of this blog or resided in the Kosher food nexus of New York City. Neither of these explanations seems to make sense. If you work on the basis that Mickey Leigh (Joey’s brother; the real kind, not the fake Ramone kind) meant Kosher in the sense of “correct” and “permissible” then it doesn’t really have much to do with Judaism and then his whole “but he’s Jewish so how could you do this to him?” argument kind of falls apart. If you stretch to understand his meaning as “OK by Jewish law,” I’m afraid that there’s nothing more verboten about stealing someone’s image by Jewish law than in the more secular, American kind, so that doesn’t work either. The food idea is completely off the chart.

Is it because Joey’s kind of dressed like an angel in the ad (you can see it yourself in the Gothamist link above)? We have angels in Judaism too. Or maybe Mickey thinks the figure is kind of Jesus-like? I’m not really seeing that either, especially because I’m told that Jesus wore sandals. Everything in the ad itself, aside from the shoes, could totally be from Judaism (heaven, light shining through hole in the clouds, etc.). So what’s he on about?

So basically, Joey Ramone was Jewish, everyone. And that means you can’t dress him like an angel in heaven and have him shill your shoes. Oh yeah, and he didn’t even wear Doc Martens, so there.

This is the only Ramones song I could ever stand.

The Ramones – We Want The Airwaves