America’s Got Talent
Dear Tina Orlian (Former Sword-Swallower),
I would like to begin my letter by thanking you for allowing your son, Josh Orlian, to entertain us on America’s Got Talent the other night.
As every good Jew, I watched your 12-year-old son, whom your family has embraced as Naughty Josh in these cute Instagram photos, shock the judges and audience with lewd jokes about the size of his penis and his parent’s sex lives.
One of the better lines came when Josh related that he came back from circus camp and asked to learn the trick of sword swallowing, which you immediately dismissed. “So I was upset and went to talk to my dad about this. He said ‘I’m not surprised; your mother has not been interested in sword swallowing since we got engaged.”’
I watched you calm his nerves before the show, assuring him that tatty and mommy will laugh, even if no else does. I watched you shep Yiddish nachas while sitting in the audience, and gloat when the four naughty judges voted him through to Vegas, where I am sure he will perform more brilliant vulgar jokes related to his man parts and his parents’ sex lives. I particularly enjoyed your second blurb before he went onstage, in which you said that your little schmekel has never done anything public before, but you always laugh at his jokes, because, you know, you’re his mother.
And then I went online and saw the slew of hatred and vitriol aimed at you, your husband, and your family. If I learned anything in my long tenure on the internet, it’s that people are vicious and mean and often terribly jealous. There is a reason they dislike and poke fun at you and your family, and it has nothing to do with the fact that you and your husband clearly raised a wonderful mensch. The reluctant sword-swallowers the world over are simply envious of your abilities to be an exemplary Jewish woman and say no to swallowing, I mean, spilling seed. Also, the jealousy means you’re awesome and you know it.
From Jewish mother to Jewish mother, I would like to let you know that you are a true inspiration. To watch you throw your unconditional support behind your son is heartening, and to hear you cheer him on when he talks about the times you and Mr. Sword lock the door of your bedroom (I hope you do!) and get it on really speaks to your Jewish values and how you raise your brood.
As I mentioned before, the internet can be a vicious place. I’ve seen people call Naughty Josh’s act a chillul Hashem and you two awful parents for feeding him explicit jokes (we all know it was you and Mr. Sword).
Chill, people – we can all use to learn a lesson or two from these proud and honorable parents. It’s okay to let kids be adults. It’s not like they won’t be exchanging dirty jokes in a few years. So what if he is not yet bar mitzvah or out of his/her diapers? They will grow up one day; no point in keeping them sheltered from the reality of adulthood and all its salaciousness, right?
And you know what? Last night, as my nine-year-old son was getting ready for bed and decided to make a lewd joke about his “wiener” to his sister, I put my two hands together and clapped. I thought of you and your courage to publicly shep nachas of your son’s passion, and I thought “I could do it, too.”
We also plan on letting our kids in on what happens when mommy and daddy go down for a “nap” on Shabbos afternoon, thanks to you. You have changed my life and liberated my children from childhood. I am so grateful for your courage to stand up to the Jewish prudes and the responsible parents.
If it were up to me, I would return your Parents of the Year award from Westchester Hebrew High School. In lieu of that, I am bestowing you with the Jewish Mommy of the Year award. Also, The Lady Who Says No To Sword-Swallowing award.
A proud and liberated mommy