Frat Apologizes For "The Pursuit Of Jappiness"


Another day, another repurposing of a popular song for ethnic self-mockery. (See, most recently: “Mormon Gurls” a la Katy Perry.)

A Jewish fraternity at the University of Michigan, AEPi, has sort of apologized for the video, though it’s not clear if any actual shitstorm has resulted from the relatively innocuous fare. The president of the fraternity says, “After speaking with the creators of the film, it was made without any insulting or ridiculing intention. More than anything, it was only intended to portray a childish, yet miniscule aspect of Greek Life at the University of Michigan.” (A decade ago, AEPi was disbanded on campus after a brother shot a pledge in the groin with an air rifle during a hazing.)

Some of the lyrics touch on a very specific form of American Jewishness — upper-middle-class, mostly Ashkenazic, mostly from Long Island, with family in Boca Raton — that is apparently plentiful at the university, and that will ring a bell to some. Others are more nebulously Jewish; it will come as news to Blackberry messenger users that this is a recognizably Semitic practice.

But the more interesting aspect of the video is the fact that for its makers, the Jap (Jewish American Princess) is seen as gender neutral. Sure, there are girls thrown in here, but they are no more mocked for being spoiled, materialistic or pushy as the boys are. Progress!

AEPi Issues Apology For ‘Pursuit Of Jappiness’ Video [Michigan Daily]

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