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TRIUMPH OF THE WILLFULLY IGNORANT
Contrition is bullshit.
I spent the first thirty-five years of my life in New York City. For the record, and I assume many of you who are reading are already all too hip to this, and an equal number of you have your well-founded suspicions in this regard, New York City is a cultural and social bubble, tiny, self-contained and parochial.
Despite its reputation, its sophistication, its urbane, well, urbanity, New York City, as the great novelist Dawn Powell so brilliantly indicated in the majority of her novels, is as insulated, as ignorant, as provincial as any Podunk, Middletown, or East Elephant’s Breath as you might find in what are condescendingly regarded by an unfortunate majority of those urban sophisticates as the Flyover States of America.
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So, on the day before my thirty fifth birthday, when I made the paradigm shift from the East Coast to the West, I began to learn, rather quickly I might add—outside of academia, I’m a quick study, after all—that I had finally come to live in the United States of America.
I will insist, at least by my standards, that I went native. I never created, as many of my fellow transplants did, a diorama of my New York City apartment, or maintained my east coast style of dress, or even my day-to-day Manhattan lifestyle for that matter. This wasn’t an instantaneous transformation, to be sure, but it happened, and I embraced the change. I even learned to drive, for fuck’s sake, but that took a while, believe you me.
To be clear, I accepted, occasionally grudgingly I will admit, that people in the USA thought and behaved in ways that were unfamiliar to many of us who grew up in the cramped confines of the shoulder-to-shoulder melting pot that is New York City. And not to go all anthropological on you, it’s one of those different thoughts that intrigued me in particular.
Over the past three decades plus I’ve spent among my fellow Americans, I’ve encountered many of those fellow Americans who are completely convinced, by family oral history I have to assume, that they carry a touch or more of Native American blood—usually Cherokee, in my experience of the telling—in their family tree.
Naturally, this occurs only among those Americans who don’t identify, even silently, in their heart of hearts, with that ethnic hyphenate, (Xxxxx)-American, that defining divisor that seems to have gone the way of all flesh over the past quarter century or so, and, speaking for myself, glad to see it go. At worst, we’re talking here about the sort of people who, if they think about it at all, regard White as humanity’s default, with anything other than Northern European stock coming in at a distant second in the human race.
So, let’s review. The latter-day descendants of ancestors who over some four centuries either profited from, colluded in, or actively participated in the murder of the original occupants of our priceless from sea to shining sea landmass, find and embrace that au courant substitute for honesty and truth, namely authenticity, in their assumptions, and in all too many cases insistence, that blood from those Vanished Americans flows in their otherwise vividly white veins.
Of course, “vanished” is a whole lot easier word and concept to swallow than “exterminated—” especially for so big a crowd living on bloodlands made available free and clear by the brutal predations of their forebears, yet still congratulating themselves for the authenticity connecting them to that fantasy of noble loss as opposed to the guilt and shame from what was a murderous land clearance.
The feckless and gruesome shamelessness underlying this presumption never seemed to have crossed any of these White minds, and if it has, I assume the reality of that went into the same historical dustbin as, you know, that whole slavery thing and what not.
Then, for fuck’s sake, all those pesky DNA tests showed up, just right and right on time for the exploitation of what had become a near pandemic of guileless self-regard. For a mere twenty-five dollars or so, you could take a genetic selfie and learn even more about who you really were.
And besides the unacknowledged and unconsidered calamity of giving up so damned much of your biomedical history to unknown parties—what’s the worst that could happen, right?—there was the crushing disappointment for so many of those convinced of their ancestral connections to the now that they’re all dead noble warriors of the plains, only to discover to their dismay just how banally White they all too often were.
A brief moment of sympathy for the fatuous, the credulous and the disappointingly disappointed, having to live out their lives without the romance of their fantasies.
And let’s not forget those other big fans of the American Indian, not to mention, of course, of the national pride of Manifest Destiny that exterminated them. A huge swathe of the eager citizens of the twelve-year Reich, reduced from a millennium, Nazis1.0, were hugely fascinated by the indigenous people of the American West. Not the reality, of course, but their depiction in the romantic fantasy of popular entertainment.
Pow Wows, in which Deutschlanders of every sort gathered for weekends of recreation, recreations and cosplay, were a major thing back in those golden days of first fascism. And since none of these happy warriors had ever set foot in the United States, none had to deal with that crushing disappointment of realizing it was all just dressing up, the feathers, moccasins and teepee equivalent of the Oberammergau Passion Play, minus all the Jew hate that was the backbone of that longtime theatrical Christaganza.
The all too German Karl May, a wildly popular writer of Westerns who, like Edgar Rice Burroughs in regard to Africa, never set foot in the States—and yes, one more time, that’s “set foot,” not “step foot,” for fuck’s sake—was among early mid-century Germany’s charismatic leader’s favorite authors. May’s Wild West adventures, featuring Old Shatterhand and his faithful Indian companion Winnetou, inspired those cosplay feather bedecked festivals for decades, and do so to this day.
And besides reading all of May’s oeuvre, Deutschland’s onetime Time Magazine Man of the Year was, as per above, also deeply inspired by the United States’ policy of Manifest Destiny and the extermination of a population that stood in the way of that destiny. If the US Cavalry could do it to the plains, the Wehrmacht could do it to Europe—thus, Lebensraum…
…Which brings me to my all too typically buried lede, namely the latest media and public recognition of that two millennium and counting great unifier of all walks of humanity, specifically, the universal loathing of Jews.
Yes, to be sure, the murder rate as it relates to Jew hate is going up, up, up, but a bump, no matter how big a bump it might be, in what has been an ongoing loathing is just that—a bump.
And the normalizing of Jew hate from all sides, not just the usual Nazi2.0 cadre, but on the part of just folks from all political stripes, has been with us forever…just under reported by a media more concerned with more popular victims of popular distaste, despite the bizarre percentage ratio of the vast number of acts of violence committed against so disproportionately small a minority.
To put it simply, considering how few of us were left behind by the failed attempt to rid the world of us, we get a pretty fucking huge ration of shit as compared to the other others.
I was reminded of David Baddiell’s book, JEWS DON’T COUNT, when I encountered one of my favorite examples of the current loathing. A group of lesbians, under the banner of QUEERS FOR PALESTINE, objected to Jewish lesbians marching under an Israeli flag in a Pride Parade, the former settling into the front row seat of performative morality in its relationship to victim culture…the seat, likely enough, the one they’d be tied to, then pitched off a rooftop by their Palestinian allies in that particular culture’s uncompromising and not all that idiosyncratic approach to same sex lifestyles.
Yes, yes, I know-Israel, not Jews. But one beard is as good as another. And let’s face it—you really have to hate Jews in a big way to go this performatively batshit, if you gather my gist. And they certainly do.
And speaking of books, as I was, Dara Horn’s scathingly bilious PEOPLE LOVE DEAD JEWS drives home the point that, for the modern world, anything short of the Holocaust is, if not okay, then par for the course, and get over it already.
And speaking of that watermark, I am willing to bet that as the reality of that mass murder slips from memory, the murdered will be held responsible for having brought it on themselves. The read of history is on constant replay. Trust me on this.
Furthermore, Horn’s reportage of the employee of the Ann Frank House in Amsterdam, who was strongly asked not to wear a yarmulke to work, reads like a mid-nineteen seventies Woody Allen NEW YORKER piece, minus the self-awareness, and, you know, the laughs.
And speaking of dead Jews, as I was, it’s worth noting that among the foiled plans in play for a postwar Europa Germanica was a Potemkin Village, inhabited by Aryan actors, dressed in and deploying the clothing and objets d’ Yiddishkeit confiscated from the at last enough Jews murdered to satisfy the demanding 6MWE crowd, to show the world this vanished—yes, exterminated, but hey, right?—verminous culture.
I think we can all agree there’s a counterfactual dying to be written about the collaboration between Walt Disney and Albert Speer in the creation of this Third Reich theme park. Disneyland Paris, indeed.
Of course, I can’t quite imagine the great grandchildren of Third Reich wannabe Mischlings in that counterfactual finding their own authenticity in the mistaken assumption of Jewish blood in their Aryan veins…but as noted at the top of this rambling screed, stranger shit has happened—see, in this regard, the inchoate modern American desire for that dubious authenticity.
And, as ever, I digress—but not much.
The point is, as Tom Lehrer put it so succinctly a half century ago, “…And everybody hates the Jews.” It’s as if there were a DNA of innate belief systems, a genetic determination along the lines of the five senses, that disdain for Jews at best, and loathing for Jews at worst, is as natural a human state of being as, say, a taste for bacon.
And yes, I know. Believe you me, I know. But to paraphrase the recently nutty David Mamet, “Everyone loves bacon. That’s why they call it bacon.”
And again, I digress, but again, not too much.
I mean, when that decidedly mental ill and equally decidedly intellectually impaired superstar of modern pop music and self-described genius, whose insipid and plagiarist work has been embraced by millions of enablers delivered his “…Death con 3 on Jewish people…” soliloquy, within minutes of the universal objections, there were objections raised to the objections raised.
To paraphrase, “Everybody knew this shithead was crazy—but it took an attack on the Jews to get anyone to notice. What the fuck?” And naturally, the pulled plugs on all of our pop star’s various commercial enterprises confirmed for all too many the hidden hand of Jews in their control of culture.
And speaking of culture, I have not seen or heard Dave Chappelle’s SNL monologue that followed the above-mentioned diatribe. It’s been described to me as everything from wildly antisemitic in and of itself, to a brilliantly scathing attack on antisemitism through satire and irony.
Missing from any discussion of this is Chappelle’s well publicized withdrawal from his astonishingly successful and hugely profitable show because of his understanding that a discomfiting part of his audience was made up of White Bros who were, in sum, laughing at him as opposed to with him, in his use of irony as an exploration of race and racism in his work.
To be clear, in a world in which irony was murdered ages ago, neither perspective—outright antisemitism, nor satirical assault on antisemitism—sits well with me. The former for the obvious, Jews don’t count reason. The latter because the world is overrun by far too many people who don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground, and wouldn’t be able to identify nuance and irony in a lineup.
See, as per above, Chapelle’s choice in quitting his eponymous show. And I wouldn’t be in the least surprised that that cadre of piss poor protoplasm who hung a banner over the freeway insisting on the righteousness of the “…Death Con 3…” enthusiast counted among them the sort of fans of Chappelle that got him to quit it in the first place. Just a thought.
I might add that this consideration of irony queasily crosses my mind every time I see those popup advertisements for those too fucking clever for their own fucking good Jewish Space Lasers t-shirts, badges and other similarly pointless chazerei, monetized by hucksters for fools for whom bumper stickers and “I’M WITH STUPID” t-shirts are the apex of jollity.
In our time, satire has gone from what closes on Saturday night to what armed assholes with malicious and homicidal intent take as the gospel, you should pardon the expression. To hammer home my point, these sub-moronic shitstains believe this shit with all their hearts and souls, and are ready, willing, able, armed, and prepared to act on it.
And then there’s the “Sorry feelings were hurt” apology nonsense, often imposed from above by corporate overlords with a vested interest in shutting down any problems generated by their well-compensated cash cow athletes, TV talking heads, actors and the like. This has nothing to do with actual moral responsibility, and everything to do with the bottom line. But you knew that.
Nothing to see here, folks. I just misspoke. I had no idea anybody might be offended.
Nobody’s really sorry. Nobody really gives a fuck. Because, for a fact, Jews don’t count.
And again, to overstate the obvious, all those who love dead Jews love them for the fact of their absence, their state of vanishment, in an analogue of all those White people gruesomely loving the false memory of their dead crypto ancestors in a paroxysm of self-regard and self-worship.
And naturally, sooner than we know, everybody will move on to the next transgression, be it verbal or lethal, which will up the ante, and generate its own set of maundering apologies, prayers and insipid calls for healing.
So yes. I do believe, certainly in this case, that contrition is bullshit.
And let’s not forget that Mel Gibson never even bothered with any apologies.
Now clearly, Mel is a guy who really knows how to read the room.
As ever, I remain,
HOWARD VICTOR CHAYKIN…A Prince—but in no way of the Jewish American variety.
Trust me on this.
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