nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Insider and outsider jokes, also Jewish mothers

I recently posted about light bulb jokes for various religions, and said that there were insider jokes and outsider jokes, with the former being better.

On second thought, this is no doubt an oversimplification-- insider to outsider is a spectrum rather than a hard boundary.

Also, is "How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb?" "Don't worry, I'll just sit here in the dark" an insider joke or an outsider joke? Well, I see it as insiderish-- I'm pretty sure I've heard Jewish people tell it.

It gets on my nerves a little because my mother was Jewish, but not like that. She had an attitude* of "I get things right, you keep getting things wrong because there's something wrong with you" which was extremely wearing, but she would have changed the light bulb without making a big deal** about it.

I've heard that The Jewish Mother is actually The Eastern European Mother. Anyone know whether this even begins to make sense?

*This is a formulation which satisfies me now. It may or may not be complete and correct.

**After I wrote that, I realized that "big deal" could be "tzimmes". Assimilation is also a spectrum.

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