Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cultural Shticks

OK. This has crossed my desk:

Some candidate for Senate has posted in his campaign flyer what some call a horrifyingly objectionable caricature of Jews.

See here:

Somebody by the name of Smolen is outraged. "The image made Smolen, who is Jewish and Stafford County's Democratic chairman, uncomfortable." Here come the waterworks...

While I'm happy that your society discusses nothing of any significance, I, as chronicler of your species' follies, am under no such restriction. And that's why you love me; I shoulder my duties bravely. So here is what I have scribbled in my notebook:

Your society has many cultures. And every culture has a predominant "shtick." This shtick is just the default behavior that manifests itself unless efforts are made by the individual to act otherwise. Many, or perhaps most, individuals within a culture succeed at avoiding the shtick. But the shtick is reinforced by lazy members of that culture who resort to adopting it.

I perform a tremendous service in making these shticks known to you. Don't worry about thanking me; commenting on them is its own reward.

Here are some shticks that I have catalogued in my report to the Zargonians:

Black people are loud, offensive, disrespectful, destructive, and lazy. This is the default shtick that many resort to.

I recall when I lived in Harlem last year. There were some social-program recipients who lived upstairs from me who insisted on loudly playing X-box and jumping around and hollering at three in the morning. Repeated attempts to appeal to their decency failed. Their response to me was, "Dob a doo ba dee. Cracker." OK. No surprise there, I guess. I jotted the experience down in my log book.

Many in the neighborhood acted like complete savages. I got punched in the head and shot at just for being white. I know this, because I had not yet had the chance to demonstrate what an asshole I am.

I moved into that neighborhood wanting only to adopt a respectful, low profile and to learn of the black culture. I guess I did... Due to economic and demographic considerations, in five years Harlem will be nearly exclusively white and gay. And no one will care where the black people went. And of course, this is everybody else's fault. Not really: It's just that at the bottom of the page, at the end of the cost/benefit analysis, the rest of the world got tired of your behavior. It's really not a big deal... You've been traded in for a better model.

I had gotten friendly with a couple of the older guys on the block. We would play chess on the bench outside. One of the guys wondered why so many "yuppies" --as he called them-- were moving into Harlem. He asked, "Is it because it's exotic to live here?" "Yeah. No," I'm thinking, "Trust me: no one wants to live among you. We live here because it's all we can afford."

The gay man shtick is one of bitchy, queeny standoffishness. I hate going to gay bars because a disappointingly large percentage of the patrons have an odious personality. If you're not wearing the right clothes or have the right haircut or are a bit overweight or talk crazy talk, they will shun you. There is no gay community, your protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. The gay shtick is one of anger and sadness. And I suppose I'm guilty of adopting it sometimes.

I used to go to get a large cup of coffee at some gay cafe in Chelsea or wherever. Heaven forbid that you should accidently look at somebody or attempt to engage anyone in conversation there: You'd be branded a weirdo stalker. I'm not asking for your phone number or bank account information; I just wanted to chat. Sorry. It might be nice to have a friend in this city of several million. My bad; I didn't familiarize myself with the local custom.

But back to our precious Mister Smolen's outrage...

The Jewish shtick is one of cheapness and cultural insularity and constant lies and being teary-eyed and of always wanting to control everything. This default shtick is a seductive one; it fosters an inferiority complex, in which one believes that the whole world hates you and that they're about to spring the next pogrom on you at any moment. Again: Not really.

I went out on a date once with this Jewish psychoanalyst. (I should have just stopped right there, because I can't stand those headshrinkers. Over the course of the meal, he expertly divined that my family had suffered from a lack of communication, and that we should have had more yelling and screaming like in his Jewish family.)

He's a well-off doctor... I'm a cable man... We know this about each other. We're having dinner. We split the bill. And he asks if I would mind if he took the receipt... Great. That whole Jew thing...and so soon. This guy is so Jewish... He's going to deduct the full cost of this meal from his taxes. Or expense it. Or whatever. I could not believe what was happening. Now...I'm not looking for a sugar daddy; it's not my style. I don't envy his economic station in life. Trust me: My low wage affords me luxuries that he can't have, like the flexibility to order my life as I see fit. This freedom is worth more to me than all his money. So he can have the whole money thing, because along with it comes enslavement. He hasn't figured this out yet. He's a young soul.

So that was not the issue. If I were the doctor, I would have insisted on paying for a meal for someone who obviously finds it difficult to live in Manhattan on forty thousand dollars a year. "This cable man probably doesn't have fifty bucks to blow." And I would pointedly leave the receipt, lest my dining partner believe that the expensing of the meal would be some small compensation for what apparently was the torturous company. ...And I thought that _I_ had no social skills...

Periodically, some elderly Jew will plow his car into a gathering of black children. Waiting for a school bus, maybe. "Brakes failed!" ...Or so say the PR firms. There is a dark, racist sect among the Jews, one that believes that it is virtuous to kill black people. They regard them as subhuman. "That's an old, anti-semitic chestnut! You're a PeruvianHater!" Again, not really. I'm happy that you have painstakingly crafted a marketing campaign to neutralize criticism of your follies, but I don't follow your species' rules.

And they have even erected laws by which you can't criticize them. They're called Anti-Hate laws. Because calling attention to someone's failures is something so grand as hate speech, don't you know... You've stepped in dog shit. I'm helping you avoid embarassment by calling attention to it. If I hated you, I'd let you track it all over your house...

And they can't stand Christian culture. They hate everyone who their inferiority complex tells them is superior. They're in this weird mind paradox that they can't escape.

Social criticism is a thing which should be practiced by all members of society. It's how socially objectionable behavior is corrected. Anyone who would criminalize it is up to no good.

Back to our precious Mr. Smolen's discomfort... He goes on to say that, "I'm completely satisfied with the Webb campaign's recognition that this in fact, had it gone out, could've been a damaging situation and that in the future they're going to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Implicit in this statement is a threat. "We'll cause problems for you." Oh really?

That is the Jewish shtick. "If we can't pay you to like us, then we'll smear and threaten you." Far too many Jews have lazily adopted it. And it's embarassing to watch. I can only imagine how it feels to traffic in it.

So, Mr. Smolen, know that this observer sees dogshit all throughout your house. And if you're smart, you'll do something about the stink...before no one cares where all the Jews went.

And read that as a book-ending rhetorical device or as a beautifully subtle implied threat. Whatever is more your style... I can guess how you'll interpret it; the whole world, after all, is out to get you, remember?