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Rabbi Boteach Cashes in on Michael Jackson

Complete with lousy ‘Thriller’ jokes

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Jackson and Boteach in New York in February, 2001.(Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Thank goodness the A.V. Club’s Nathan Rabin read Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s The Michael Jackson Tapes so we don’t have to, confirming the suspicion that the book, a combination of interviews with Jackson and the New Jersey-based rabbi’s own thoughts, is “the worst kind of posthumous cash-in from a rabbi who accomplishes the seemingly impossible feat of being creepier than Michael Jackson.” Boteach, who fancies himself ‘America’s Rabbi’—“the Semitic Billy Graham,” as Rabin puts it—strives to portray Jackson as a “normal” heterosexual male, but, according to Rabin, “the best Boteach can muster is an anecdote about Jackson asking him to set him up on a date with Katie Couric.” Ultimately, Rabin concludes that Boteach’s decision to publish the interviews (despite a falling-out with Jackson) is primarily an opportunity for the rabbi to showcase his own righteousness, as demonstrated by his assertion that he has “tried to educate my children to know always that no man but God is the real Thriller.”

The Michael Jackson Tapes by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach [A.V. Club]

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The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

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Rabbi Boteach Cashes in on Michael Jackson

Complete with lousy ‘Thriller’ jokes

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