Friday, July 1, 2011

Blood, Sweat & Tears Lead Singer Protests Infant Circumcision

By REBECCA WALD


Talking genital integrity: performer Jason Paige sits down 
for an interview with Beyond the Bris host Rebecca Wald


Los Angeles performer Jason Paige wants the audience of his one-man comedy show to realize his song about his botched bris isn’t a joke. So he calls a few audience members to the stage and has them face him. The rest of the audience can’t see Jason as he pulls down his pants to reveal what he calls his “piercing,” a small hole in his penis through which he can--and does, for performances--dangle an earring. Proof to the crowd of his circumcision gone wrong comes as the audience participants return to their seats, stunned looks on their faces.
Jason has a circumcision complication known as a skin bridge. A remanent of his foreskin became fused to the head of his penis as an infant during the healing process. Sometimes skin bridges can result in painful erections and severe disfigurement. In Jason’s case, it prompted him to learn more about "what goes down" during a circumcision procedure, and ultimately to oppose the practice.
It also inspired him to record a music video titled “Circumcision” and sung to the tune of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious.” In the parody, Jason wears a black tee-shirt with white letters that ask: “Guess Where I’m Pierced?” 
Jason says the lyrics are a culmination of his coming to understand what had happened to him through stories he’d heard growing up. “I’d heard how my uncle had fainted during my bris and what a horrible event it was. This was the thing everyone would talk about at the Passover seder,” he says. 
While many You Tube performers are amateurs, Jason happens to be one of the most talented vocalists of our time. He jokingly describes himself as the most famous person you’ve never heard of. The designation fits. Although many won’t recognize the name Jason Paige, almost everyone in America has heard his incredible voice--one way or another. Jason has shared stage and studio with the biggest names in music. He was the rap soloist for the song “Black or White” during Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden and has sung with music legends of every stripe, including Foreigner, Meatloaf, The Scorpions, Frankie Valli, Aerosmith, Enrique Iglesias, Liza Minelli, Ashanti, Ray Charles, Luther Vandros, Mark Anthony, Ricky Martin, Usher, Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle--just to name a few. He is currently touring with the rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears as their “front man” or lead singer. 
Jason is also a voiceover artist and sound-alike, which means he can make his amazing voice sound like just about anyone. He sings over 100 commercial jingles each year. Highlights include Pepto Bizmol’s “Nausea Heartburn Indigestion,” Mountain Dew’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Taco Bell’s “Think Outside The Bun,” Subway’s “Eat Fresh,” Bounty’s “Quilted Quicker Picker-Upper,” and the U.S. Army’s “Be All that You Can Be.” Jason also has the quirky distinction of being the voice most heard and imitated on You Tube. He sang the original “Pokemon” theme song, a Billboard #1 single played by millions on Guitar Hero. It ranks as the all time, number one most viewed You Tube video.
Jason wishes his “Circumcision” parody would go viral on You Tube like his Pokemon theme song. “I wanted to tell the story of my botched circumcision as I had understood it at the time. I want to enlighten through comedy, though entertainment, and through music. I want to get people to wake up to the human rights violation that is circumcision. I decided put on it on video--instead of just singing it in cabaret environments, clubs and for friends--so that it can gain wide exposure,” he says. 

Jason's lovely mom, Charlie Paige, 
poses with BTB host Rebecca Wald
Jason wasn’t much aware of the Jewish movement against circumcision until he was contacted by Beyond the Bris. Today he can see himself becoming more involved in this issue. He’s already recorded a new a cappella version of his “Circumcision” song, which has an added third verse. It can be heard on Jason's ReverbNation site. He also has plans to shoot a new music video in L.A. “I’ve actually expanded the song a little further through more research and managed to include a couple of more lines from Stevie [Wonder],” he says. 
Jason pulls no punches when it comes to the prospect of outlawing circumcision. “The ban on circumcision that’s on the ballot in San Francisco is a triumph for intactivists,” he says. “I'm totally for it. San Francisco has often lead the country in elevating our consciousness. It has already helped spread awareness of this human rights crime to other states and hopefully will lead people everywhere to be more compassionate, thoughtful and rational not only towards their own fragile newborn children but to other fellow men and women as well.”  

Beyond the Bris had the pleasure of sitting down with Jason Paige for a video interview. He even brought along his super cool mom, Charlie, who also wanted to go on camera about Jason’s botched circumcision and how her feelings have changed dramatically since she was a young woman deciding to circumcise her newborn. Clips of Jason and Charlie speaking for the Beyond the Bris project can be seen on our You Tube channel, which also plays here on our site. To find out more about Jason's work, stop by his You Tube channel and web site.       

8 comments:

  1. Jason Paige rocks! In more ways than one!

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  2. Could you please send Jason my parody verse of Dylan's "With God on his side":


    WITH BOB ON OUR SIDE


    Oh! Abram’s foreskin

    Was crippled with age.

    He bravely cut it

    But became jealous;

    Young men would scorn him

    And laugh at his fate

    He ordered them cut,

    With god on his side.

    Sigismond (Michel Hervé Navoiseau-Bertaux)

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  3. A useful link for Jason:

    "Sexual mutilation and the moral order"
    http://circabolition.multiply.com/journal/item/340/Sexual_mutilation_and_the_moral_order

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  4. The "low rate of complications" myth is, I think, one of the biggest factors contributing to the perpetuation of circumcision in the U.S. When a pro-circumcisionist talks about low complication rates, does that low complication rate include someone like Jason Paige? Does it include the guy with so little motility, he needs artificial lubricant for sex or masturbation? Does it include the guy with so much nerve damage that he can't enjoy sex at all?

    I wish all the Jason Paiges in the world would speak up, even the ones who can't sing or don't know how to make videos, even the ones who have to fight back tears and pain and fear with every word. I think that's the only thing that will ever end this horrible practice.

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  5. Dear Jason, Thank you so much for making this video and for giving this interview. You are a much-needed, breath of fresh air!

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  6. roger desmoulinsJuly 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Dear Mr Paige,
    Dear Mrs Paige,

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for setting delicacy aside and putting Jason's story in the public domain. Most of all, I applaud your willingness to put your faith and trust in Rebecca Wald.

    That bris leaves some men damaged throughout their adult lives is a fact hidden from nearly all of us by a huge conspiracy of silence. Thank you for doing what you can to end this silence.

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  7. bravo, rebecca! i look forward to watching as your project flourishes. i have often said that when jewish women realize that they have been 'ripped off' sexually - that their pleasure has been seriously reduced due to circumcision - that is when circumcision will END at last. :)

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  8. Wow! Loved this article Rebecca. So sad about his botched circuumcision but grateful he is lending his talent to helping educate others that "circumcision ain't the way." Loved his Superstitious song parody! He is awesome. So glad you got to chat with him and that you shared this insight with us! Listen to his song if you haven't everyone. . . it's here and entitled "Circumcision" http://www.reverbnation.com/jasonpaige

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