'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

Based on the film Rompecabezas, Puzzle is one of those little-known independent films that sneaks into theaters with little to no fanfare, although the fact that it is being promoted “from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine” should help it get noticed somewhat. Puzzle is a quiet, little film about a woman who discovers that jigsaw puzzles are the key to changing her life. While the subject matter doesn’t sound all that exciting, the film really isn’t about puzzles but instead about one finding their voice, or so it appears. It’s also a message film that has its own agenda expecting the audience to agree with the choices of the main character and applaud her “brave” behavior. Frankly, it just feels manipulative.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub, Puzzle’s most impactful scene comes within the first few minutes. We see Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) cleaning up the house and they decorating it for a birthday party. Then we see her serving appetizers while being ignored by the guests. …

Ugly Sweaters are Not Just for Christmas Anymore

Nordstrom under fire for selling offensive Hanukkah sweater.
Ugly sweaters are no longer an exclusively Christmas affair. Hanukkah now has its own line as well and some can get really ornate with lights and even stuffed animals sewn on.  But not everyone is happy about the equal time for bad sweaters.

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Nordstrom has recently pulled an offensive sweater from its stores and website due to that fact that it presented a negative stereotype of Jewish women. The sweater included the words “Chai Maintenance” and also “Hanukkah J.A.P.” which stands for Jewish American Princess. (The sweater seen here is the same with the “JAP” removed)

One person posted their criticism on Facebook saying: "Cute and kitschy is one thing but perpetuating negative stereotypes as supposedly cute or fun holiday wear is disgusting. I expect more of a large-end retailer such as Nordstrom. Especially when the version for men is just cute, why is the version for women derogatory?" (The men's sweater had "Mazel Tov!" knitted at the top and “Oy vey” on the back.)

Nordstrom has since apologized saying: "We made a mistake by not looking more closely at the words on the sweater before we posted it had we done so, we wouldn't have offered it. As soon as we heard from customers, we removed it from our site right away. We're terribly sorry for offending people and sincerely apologize."

However, it has also been reported that now that the offending sweater is off the Nordstrom site, some have asked the store where they COULD by the sweater. (If you are one of those people, Stucco.com continues to sell the offensive sweater (minus the JAP) and other “cute” sweaters.)

Fortunately for Christians, there hasn't been increase in ugly nativity sweaters, but don't hold your breath.


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