Newest Case of the ‘Heeb’ie-Jeebies?

The cover says it all. You see a mirror with several even white lines laid across it. Reflected in the mirror
is an attractive young woman tasting some
of the white powder from her manicured,
red-painted finger tip. The obligatory razors, also resting on the mirror, have cut the lines into a very fine dust.
But if you look more carefully, the white powder has actually been shaken out of a
traditional and easily recognizable bottle
of Gold's Horse Radish. Get it? The woman is set to do lines of horseradish. Not that really good, strong horseradish doesn't have its own pleasant kick …
This is the kind of not-so-subtle, in-your-face humor that Heeb magazine – also known as "The New Jew Review" – has made a staple of the publication, and it's obviously still the case with the current Spring 2005 issue. Promoted on the cover, along with snortable horseradish, are stories dealing with: Porn-star Bar Mitzvahs; yarmulkes on goyim; an interview with gay activist Larry Kramer; and a list of the Heeb 100 top Jews in American life.
Heeb began a new phase in its short existence about a year ago, when Joshua Neuman took over the editorship from founding editor Jennifer Blyer. He made the publication, which had appeared two times a year till then, into a quarterly, and ratcheted up the humor and irreverence several notches.
Neuman, who's in his early 30s, told
The New York Times at the time of his
appointment that he wanted to turn Heeb
into a "lifestyle brand, much like another
urban magazine phenomenon, Vice, which turned crude skateboarding humor into a multinational alternative-media empire."
The editors at Heeb continue to push the
envelope, but the tone is distinctly a lot softer. In the early days of the Neuman reign, the magazine seemed to have taken its cue from the new breed of men's magazines, like Maxim and Stuff, which meant the shorter and raunchier, the better.
Heeb definitely keeps it short, though the raunch isn't as apparent. Articles are never lengthy, and there's no emphasis whatsoever on text, anywhere you look.
Take the Heeb 100. It's just a string of one semi-interesting photo after another, with only a single I.D. line below. So under the photo of a wistful-looking woman in a natural looking setting, we get Sophie Auster, singer.
Nothing else. Not what kind of singer she is, or what her material or style might be like.
I guess the point is, if you have to ask, you're just not with it.
In terms of content, the magazine is still a hodgepodge, but the humor is a lot of fun, especially those goyim in yarmulkes. And there's one considerable advantage these days: The editors have desisted from agonizing –
in standard left-wing fashion – over Israel's dastardly doings against the poor, oppressed Palestinian people. u


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