Discussion:
Has the War Against Palestine Killed Jewish Comedy?
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NefeshBarYochai
2024-05-20 20:29:35 UTC
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Long decline, sudden end

To be sure, morbid symptoms were apparent for decades. Woody Allen
hasn’t been funny since 1987 (Radio Days). Rodney Dangerfield is long
gone. Al Franken moved from SNL to the U.S. Senate — where he was
often quite funny — until he got caught in the crossfire of MeToo.
Sarah Silverman started off brilliant and outrageous; she and Gilbert
Gottfried were among the few comics who told Hitler jokes:

“They just discovered that Hitler for years molested his niece – now
he’s really cancelled.”

“I read somewhere that Hitler had a grandson who was a child molester
– Imagine the embarrassment to the Hitler family.”

But since 2016, Silverman has been a liberal pundit more than a
comedian — not funny!

Gottfried was notorious for being the first major comedian to tell
9/11 jokes. On September 29, 2001, at a roast for Playboy publisher
Hugh Hefner, he stared his routine by saying:

“Tonight, I’ll be using my Arab name, Has’n Bin Laide. But I’m afraid
I have to leave early because I need to catch a flight to LA. I
couldn’t get a direct flight; we have to make a stop at the Empire
State Building.”

He died in 2022, aged 67. Nobody has filled his shoes.

And then there is Larry David. For 25 years, he carried upon his
slender frame the weight of three generations of Jewish comics. Now
aged 77, he’s called it quits: Curb Your Enthusiasm is no more, but
the cache of 120 episodes remains. How do they stand up?

In season two, episode nine, The Baptism, Larry and his wife are
running late to a baptism in Monterrey: A Jewish man has agreed to
convert before marrying Cheryl’s sister. When they finally arrive,
Larry gets out of his car and sees from a distance one man holding
another under the surface of a rushing river. Thinking he’s witnessing
a murder, Larry screams and runs toward them. To his surprise, the
minister loses hold of the would-be convert and the latter floats away
with the current, nearly drowning. Afterward, the two families gather
to dry off and plan. The Jews pull Larry aside and congratulate him
for preventing the baptism; the Gentiles curse him. Soon the two sides
begin to shout and confront each other as hostile camps.

In the Palestinian Chicken episode (season eight, episode three),
Larry meets Shara, the Muslim proprietor of the Al-Abbas Palestinian
chicken restaurant. She becomes attracted to him after he tries to get
his newly orthodox friend Marty Funkhouser (Bob Einstein) to take off
his yarmulke before entering the restaurant: “This isn’t the raid on
Entebbe”, Larry says. When he and Shara later have sex, she moans:
“Occupy this, you Jewish fuck!” “Fuck me like Israel fucks my people.”
At the end of the episode, Jews and Palestinians face off in dueling
protests after the chicken restaurant owners open a franchise next to
Greenblatt’s Deli. Larry walks between the two, unsure which side to
join: “Larry, you’re a Jew,” Funkhouser shouts. “Larry,” Shara says,
“I have a sister, the three of us…” Watching both episodes now, it’s
hard not to think about actual, Jewish-Israeli violence. Curb is
history. But has history – Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza — killed
Jewish comedy?

The so-called golden age of Jewish comedy

Among the many paeans to Curb since its final episode was broadcast
last month, surprisingly few have focused on Jewishness. The New York
Times, American paper of record founded by Jews, run by Jews, and
partly written for Jews (1.6 million in New York City alone), barely
broached the topic. Even Wesley Morris’s long-read managed only a few
cliches about Jewishness, based upon the supposed connection between
the oompah theme music for Curb, and klezmer. (In fact, the tune was
composed by the Italian Luciano Michelini in 1974 in emulation of
circus music or screamers.) Morris writes that the “melodiousness of
Jewish tradition, of which Larry David is a part, assays the large
type and fine print of American life with the same meticulous relish
as Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and Albert Brooks.” Huh?

The appreciation by P.E. Moskowitz, titled, “American Jewish Comedy
Sings a Swan Song”, published in New York Magazine was better. There,
we read about the “split consciousness” of American Jews – a
reflection, albeit paler, of W.E.B. Dubois “double consciousness” of
African Americans. Jews are at once a threatened minority and members
of an exclusive club located in the upper echelons of American economy
and society. The paradox offers much grist for comedy: It’s why so
many scenes in Curb take place in Larry’s golf club. Despite his
wealth, Larry’s continued membership is dependent upon the forbearance
of the club’s redoubtable, gentile manager, the Japanese American, Mr.
Takahashi. Larry regularly challenges the club’s rules and etiquette,
but also fears being thrown out.

That split consciousness – insider/club member; outsider/Jew – is the
stock in trade of American Jewish humor. A half-century earlier
Groucho uttered his famous quip: “I don’t want to belong to any club
that would accept me as a member.” Twenty-five years ago, Jacob Cohen,
better known as Rodney Dangerfield, deployed the trope in his hit film
Caddy Shack (Harold Ramis, dir., 1980). The movie begins with the
nouveau-rich vulgarian Al Czervik sweeping into a golf course pro shop
and announcing to his Chinese-American companion, Wang (played by
Tsung-I Dow) “Hey, I think this place is restricted, Wang, so don’t
tell ‘em your Jewish.” Al then sets out to buy the club himself.
Larry’s character in Curb and the real Larry David are rich enough to
buy any golf club, but then split consciousness would be healed and
its comic potential erased.

Moskowitz argues that the insular, Jewish world of Larry David and
Curb, is rapidly passing if not passed. When the critic was a boy in
New York, he says, he was surrounded by Jews: old ones with numbers
tattooed on their arms who had watched The Jack Benny Show on TV
(1950-1965), and young ones raised on Seinfeld episodes (1989-98). My
experiences as a child and young person in New York were similar. I
attended public schools in Forest Hills, Queens and didn’t personally
know a non-Jew until I went off to college in Albany in 1973. Then I
was shocked to discover there were Gentiles from rural New York who
had never met a Jew! One I remember, Dawn — pretty and blond and
pursued by everybody — told me she thought all the Jews converted
after Christ was born. Was it ignorance or impish humor? My Jewish
roommate Harvey told me she checked his head for horns.

The world of entertainment – especially comedy – reinforced my
Jew-centrism. In the ‘60s and 1970s, according to Time Magazine, 80%
of American comedians were Jewish. Many still performed in the
“Borscht Belt” – Jewish-themed resort hotels in the Catskills. But the
best of them were on TV, including Myron Cohen, Henny Youngman, Joan
Rivers, Woody Allen, Nichols and May, Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl. The
lesser comics included Buddy Hackett, Jack E. Leonard, Don Rickles,
Jackie Mason, Joey Bishop, Jack Carter, Shecky Greene, and Jerry
Lewis. It’s important not to exaggerate their gifts; this was no
Jewish Renaissance. Much of the comedy, especially from the
second-tier performers, was alternately insipid and crude, pitched to
the middlebrow tastes of network television audiences. A comic like
Jack Carter, for example, would mug, jerk spasmodically, and milk for
laughs any trend or expression that was already a cliche. As late as
1974, he was still making jokes about the indecipherability or
repetitiousness of rock and roll lyrics. The sight of Don Rickles
widening his mouth into a grimace and calling a member of the audience
“hockey puck” was never funny. And Jackie Mason’s bland, psychiatrist
jokes are no better when told with a Yiddish accent.

But there was also the occasional comic genius. The machine-gun
assault of jokes by Youngman, (the “master of the one-liner”), the
bizarre ingenuity of Dangerfield’s self-deprecation (“I don’t get no
respect!”), and the combined feminism and body-shaming of Rivers,
exemplified the insecurity and verbal mastery of the striving,
Jew-as-outsider. These and other Jewish comics of the era could
project deference and bombast at the same time. Woody Allen, who began
his career as a writer for Sid Caesar and then became a stand-up
comic, perfected the schtick early. His persona on The Steve Allen
Show (1962) is that of a nebbish who thinks he’s a Casanova, and vice
versa. That would become the basis of his early, brilliant
filmography.

Some Jewish comics, like Allen and Myron Cohen, told jokes about Jews,
but many others did not. I’m especially fascinated by Cohen, known as
“the master storyteller.” Hearing him today or seeing clips of his
performances on the Kate Smith Show or Ed Sullivan Show is a
revelation. How could a New York Jew, born in 1902 in Belarus, who
tells jokes about other Jews from the Pale of Settlement, find so
large and mainstream an audience? The answer is first, that Jews were
stock characters in American entertainment at the time – kindly,
comic, benign and sometimes pitiable — and Cohen did nothing to upset
the stereotypes. He made no references to Israel, anti-Semitism, or
the Holocaust. (There was shockingly little U.S. attention to the
Shoah until after the Eichmann trial in 1961.) The second reason is
that his jokes were meticulously crafted and presented. Here are two
short jokes written by Cohen — in performance, the punchlines were
spoken in an exaggerated but highly believable Yiddish accent:

“A little old Jewish man is crossing the street near his home when
suddenly a car comes out of nowhere and strikes the man, sending him
hard to the pavement. A policeman rushes over, places a blanket on him
and asks: ‘Are you comfortable?’ The man replies: ‘I make a nice
living.’ ”

“Picture a skinny little guy, a shrimp, a nothing. He walks into a
lumber camp looking for a job. To impress a skeptical foreman, the
shrimp fells a towering oak in 90 seconds. ‘Where’d you learn that?’
says the lumberjack. The little guy says, ‘In the Sahara Forest.’ ‘You
mean the Sahara Desert.’ ‘Sure, now.’”

Both are Jewish jokes because they deal with schlemiels who are
nevertheless proud of their accomplishments; the outsider/insider
dialectic again. Here another, told by Cohen’s longtime friend, Henny
Youngman:

“I’m in a bar when suddenly the man next to me falls off his stool
onto the floor. I pick him up, but it happens again. So. I say to the
bartender: ‘This man has had too much to drink, why don’t I take him
home?’ I drag the man out onto the street where he falls down. I pick
him up; he falls down; I pick him up again. Finally, I get him into my
car to take him to his house. When we arrive, I help him out, but he
falls down, so I pick him up. At last, we ring the bell, and his wife
comes to the door. I say: “Madame, I have brought your husband back.”
She says: ‘So, where’s his wheelchair?’”

The protagonist of the joke thinks he’s a mensch but is actually a
schlemiel, always dropping a disabled man. The wife is also Jewish;
rather than ask where her husband has been, she cuts to the chase:
“So, where’s his wheelchair?” Here’s a joke about bullies and a
nebbish, told by Las Vegas comedian Shecky Greene; it’s based on his
real-life feud with Frank Sinatra:

“You know, Frank Sinatra once saved my life, and I’ll be forever
grateful to him. Three guys were giving me a severe beating, and I
thought they were going to kill me. Then Frank said, “Okay, boys,
that’s enough.”

The War to end all comedies

By the early 1990s, Jewish comedians like Cohen, Youngman, and Greene,
and the many others who emerged after World War II, were reduced to a
handful. Younger Jewish comics were comparatively few in number, and
rarely performed Jewish routines. Larry David revived the tradition
with Seinfeld (which he co-created) and Curb, but the fraught
assimilationism that motivated so much Jewish comedy was quickly
losing its relevance. Jews had arrived, and their comic style –
anxious, self-deprecating, complaining, and ironic – was left behind.
However, there was one more thing that killed Jewish-American comedy:
Israel.

Beginning in 1967, Israel’s military strength – and even more its
aggression — decisively changed Americans’ image of the Jew. From a
timorous David, Israel became a bellicose Goliath. Surrounded by
hostile nations but armed to the teeth with the latest weaponry –
including nukes — the Jewish state quickly dispatched it enemies in a
six-day war in ’67, a war of attrition from ’67 to ’70, and the
three-week Yom Kippur War of 1973 against Arab states led by Egypt and
Syria. There followed the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, including
the massacre of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians in the Sabra
neighborhood and Shatila refugee camp, perpetrated by the Lebanese
army in collusion with the IDF. A second Lebanon War was fought in
2006, as well as a series of battles against successive Palestinian
“Intifadas” (“uprisings”) in Gaza and the West Bank. Several small
Gazan wars were precursors of the present big one, dubbed by the
Israeli military, “Operation Swords of Iron.” Israel is obsessed with
iron. There’s also the Iron Dome anti-missile system and the putative
Iron Beam laser defense technology. The appellations are an expression
of palingenetic nationalism, the idea that the nation of Israel aims
to recover the power it had before the Roman conquest in 70 CE. While
the Romans had iron swords, the Jews only had softer bronze ones, a
deficit that contributed to the Jews’ defeat. Operation Swords of Iron
trumpets what everybody knows: Israel possesses regional military
superiority, facilitated by U.S. money and arms sales.

The war against the Palestinians in Gaza has been the coup de grace
for Jewish comedy. Not only are images of parents cradling dead
children not funny, Israel’s response to global criticism has turned
Jews everywhere into pariahs, but not like the itinerant schlemiels
and schlimazels of traditional Jewish humor. By insisting the war is
being fought not just on behalf of Israeli Jews, but the entire
diaspora, Jews everywhere are made accessories to crime. When the
Columbia University chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, renounced that
claim, they were themselves condemned as anti-Semitic, and suspended
from the university. There may be irony in an Egyptian-born,
British-American university president, Minouche (Baroness) Shafik,
suspending a Jewish peace organization on charges of anti-Semitism,
but little comedy. Here’s the only joke I can manage:

“A dozen NYC cops corral, pummel and pepper spray a small group of
Jewish Voice for Peace student protestors at Columbia. Their signs,
now scattered across the pavement, read “Ceasefire Now” and “Divest
from Israel.” Two senior administrators from the office of President
Shafik look on. One says to the other: “That will teach them not to be
anti-Semitic!”


https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/05/03/has-the-war-against-palestine-killed-jewish-comedy/

Stephen F. Eisenman is emeritus professor at Northwestern University.
His latest book, with Sue Coe, is titled “The Young Person’s Guide to
American Fascism,” and is forthcoming from OR Books. He can be reached
at s-***@northwestern.edu
Tyrone
2024-05-20 20:35:54 UTC
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On May 20, 2024 at 4:29:35 PM EDT, "NefeshBarYochai" <***@invalid.noy> wrote:

How many ridiculous god damn questions are you going to ask?

Give it a rest.
dolf
2024-05-20 20:47:09 UTC
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MICHAEL THIS SUBJECT REQUIRES YOUR URGENT ATTENTION SO PLEASE DON'T AVOID
RESPONDING:

Glad you are still alive Michael and that I might now discharge any
accountability for a propensity or inducement of self harming behavioural
consequences related to a realisation of reality -- life but not as you
know it...

<http://www.grapple369.com/Groundwork/Michael%20Tin%20Man%20Subject%20Avoidance.pdf>

REDUCTIO AD HITLERUM AS TABLE TALK IDEA #218 - 15 MAY 1942: "And it is
these same Jews, experts in the stab-in-the-back game, over whom our
bourgeoisie now sheds tears when we ship them off somewhere to the east! It
is curious, all the same, that our soft-hearted bourgeoisie has never shed
any tears over the two or three hundred thousand Germans, who, each year,
were compelled to leave their homeland, nor over those among them who
elected to go to *AUSTRALIA*, and of whom 75 per cent used to die en route.

In responding with an affirmation to the consideration that the habitual
BOER WAR MEMORIAL WREATH INFIDELITY as #288 - REMEMBRANCE = 48 - RITUAL
(LI) x #6 - CONTRARIETY (LI) was an IMPUNITY AGAINST THE SOVEREIGN it is
then an UNLAWFUL AS SEDITIOUS REPUBLICAN CAUSE CÉLÈBRE BY PREDOMINANTLY
IRISH ROMAN CATHOLICS:

MYSELF: "Could you ask him ah why there was no wreath laid there on the
BOER WAR Memorial Day on the 31 MAY?"

NOTE: SUNDAY 31 MAY 2020 WAS BOER WAR MEMORIAL DAY

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: "Hey listen mate can you just go please. Just go?

MYSELF: "Why there was one laid on the 8 JUNE... JUNE 2000 [properly 2017]"

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: "Get out. Go."

MYSELF: "As disloyalty to the Sovereign."

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: "Look you, you are a bloody *MENACE* in this place."

NOTE: IS "bloody menace" HERE AN EUPHEMISM FOR PESTILENCE OR *VERMIN* BY
VIRTUE OF LOYALTY TO THE SOVEREIGN?

MYSELF: "As disloyalty to the Sovereign."

MYSELF: "And why there was not one there this year on the 8 JUNE this year
when there was a POPPY WREATH there on the 8 JUNE 2017."

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: "We normally place..."

MYSELF: "There was no poppies in the time of the BOER WAR memorial. It was
an impunity against the Sovereign."

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: (laughs)

MYSELF: "It was..."

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: "We normally"

MYSELF: "It was ANZAC jingoistic republicanism"

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: "We normally place one there in May when the
contingents left ... (in audible)"

MYSELF: "That is bullshit, that's a lie. Repeat it again."

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: "We normally place one there in May when the
contingents left to go to the BOER WAR."

NOTE: THAT SUNDAY PRIOR TO 31 MAY DATE ACTUALLY COMMEMORATES THE CONCLUSION
OF THE WAR.

MYSELF: "There is no such, there is no such artefact of history as a POPPY
WREATH associated with the BOER WAR."

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: "I know that."

MYSELF: "That is an impunity by JINGOIST ANZAC REPUBLICANISM."

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: "I know that."

MYSELF: "IRISH CATHOLIC"

SIGNIFICANT WITNESS: "I know that. You are a jerk."

In the political field there is no stupider a class than the bourgeoisie.
It is sufficient for an end to be put to some individual's activities, on
the score that he is a public *MENACE*, and, for reasons of security, for
him to be arrested, tried, condemned and put to death, and immediately
these tender souls set up a howl and denounce us as brutes." [page 484]

THEO (ATHEIST) BEKKERS @ 1542 HOURS ON 24 APRIL 2006: "Leave Dolf alone
Athanasius.

The days of ridiculing and baiting people with the problems Dolf has should
be behind us.

You're not doing that very well, are you?

What happened to the new persona you promised us after Easter?"

DOLF @ 1732 HOURS ON 24 ARIL 2006: "And what problems, beyond your
imagination might they be? 'I SPEAK TO YOUR SHAME. IS IT SO, THAT THERE IS
NOT A WISE MAN AMONG YOU? NO, NOT ONE THAT SHALL BE ABLE TO JUDGE BETWEEN
HIS BRETHREN? BUT BROTHER GOES TO LAW WITH BROTHER, AND THAT BEFORE
UNBELIEVERS.' [1 Corinthians 6:5-6]"

THEO (ATHEIST) BEKKERS @ 0958 ON 26 APRIL 2006: "You have a penchant for
annoying the authorities beyond the point of being ignored."

THEO (ATHEIST) BEKKERS @ 0957 ON 26 APRIL 2006: "It wasn't me that called
in the police to harass Dolf. It now appears they have paid him three
visits since Athanasius contacted them."

    #115 - NOUMENON RESONANCE FOR 19 MAY 2024 as [#1, #3, #100, #10, #1] /
#384 as [#1, #3, #100, #10, #70, #200] = ágrios (G66): {UMBRA: #384 % #41 =
#15} 1) *LIVING* *OR* *GROWING* *IN* *THE* *FIELDS* *OR* *WOODS*; 1a) of
animals, wild, savage; 1b) of countries, wild, uncultivated, unreclaimed;
2) of men and animals in a moral sense, wild savage, fierce; 2a) boorish,
rude; 2b) *OF* *ANY* *VIOLENT* *PASSION*, *VEHEMENT*, *FURIOUS*;

ATHANASIUS (COPTIC) @ 0915HOURS ON 27 APRIL 2006: "#753 - *FOUR*.

The last one being able to protect him from an #384 - *IMPENDING* *ANGRY*
*MOB*.

Good work all round I would say.

Good protective community policing.

#753 as [#6, #5, #300, #2, #400, #600] = shâbath (H7673): {UMBRA: #702 %
#41 = #5} 1) to cease, desist, rest; 1a) (Qal); 1a1) to cease; 1a2) to
rest, desist (from labour); 1b) (Niphal) to cease; 1c) (Hiphil); 1c1) to
cause to cease, put an end to; 1c2) to exterminate, destroy; 1c3) *TO*
*CAUSE* *TO* *DESIST* *FROM*; 1c4) to remove; 1c5) to cause to fail; 1d)
(Qal) to keep or observe the sabbath;

Seems like even Dolf appreciated ("...I WILL *RID*-H7673 EVIL BEASTS OUT OF
THE LAND..." [Leviticus 26:6]) the protection he was afforded.

Another job well done thanks to God. Peace and grace."

JANI @ 0853 HOURS ON 27 APRIL 2006: "That was the point I was trying to
make. Thanks to a sensible local police force, I would have thought ..."

ATHANASIUS (COPTIC) @ 0906 HOURS ON 27 APRIL 2006: "Who were given the
heads up by a servant of God. :-)

Like I said, 'Thanks [be] to God. :-)

Peace and grace."

    #103 - NOUMENON RESONANCE FOR 21 APRIL 2023 as [#2, #5, #40, #6, #700]
/
    #112 - NOUMENON RESONANCE FOR 19 MAY 2024 as [#6, #5, #40, #6, #50,
#5] / [#6, #5, #5, #40, #6, #50] /
    #113 - NOUMENON RESONANCE FOR 21 APRIL 2023 as [#6, #5, #40, #6, #50,
#6] /
#106 as [#5, #5, #40, #6, #700] / [#5, #40, #6, #50, #5] = hâmôwn (H1995):
{UMBRA: #101 % #41 = #19} 1) (Qal) *MURMUR*, *ROAR*, *CROWD*, *ABUNDANCE*,
*TUMULT*, *SOUND*; 1a) sound, murmur, rush, roar; 1b) tumult, confusion;
1c) crowd, multitude; 1d) great number, abundance; 1e) abundance, wealth;

PETER WOOD @ 0932 HOURS ON 27 APRIL 2006: "Thanks to them being alerted to
the situation by Athanasius.

Except for that, Mr. Boek might well have been 'lynched' by a (justifiably)
angry mob.

So we can say it was a good thing that they intervened, can't we?"

DR. KEN SMITH @ 0939 HOURS ON APRIL 2006: "Australians are pretty
easy-going, on the whole.

Only two things seem to get them really worked up:

(a) Interfering with Anzac Day;

(b) Being disturbed while watching sport on TV."

PETER WOOD @ 1019 HOURS ON 27 APRIL 2006: "I'm sure there must be more:

(a) Interfering with Anzac Day and rightly so!"

DOLF @ 0616 HOURS ON 28 APRIL 2006: "No-one from the town was there at
dawn--they were hijacking ANZAC Day for their own ends and not out of
regard for any sense of duty to the State."

ATHANASIUS (COPTIC) @ 0730 HOURS ON 1 MAY 2006: "If not in [th]is the fruit
of his #368 - *HERETICAL* SABBATARIAN AND JUDAISTIC MIXED NON-CHRISTIAN
(SLANDER NOTE: #509 - YAHAD as JEWISH / CHRISTIANS which contends against
ATHANASIUS (COPTIC)'S NIHILISTIC USURPATION and MITHRAS SUNDAY SACREDNESS
as historical revisionism) BELIEFS mixed with his physical ailments."

THEO (ATHEIST) BEKKERS @ 0936 HRS ON 28 JUNE 2006: "A very good description
of Athanasius' involvement in this."

PETER WOOD @ 1216 HOURS ON 28 JUNE 2006: "Crap!

What religious intolerance was there in this?

This was a deliberate attempt by a gay activist to use an Anzac celebration
to further his own agenda.

Do you approve of hijacking Anzac day celebrations by those with a cause
Theo?

Dolf uses his 'religious intolerance' card anytime anyone criticises
anything he says or does--either that one or the 'constitutional rights'
one, or both.

I expect better of you Theo."

ATHANASIUS (COPTIC) @ 1226 HOURS ON 28 JUNE 2006: "Your expectations will
be dashed then Pete. Thanks btw. :-)"

THEO (ATHEIST) BEKKERS @ 1275 HOURS ON 28 JUNE 2006: "I expected better of
you the day the police called on Dolf.

I was aghast.

Is there a policeman on Bridie Island?

Oops, silly question, sorry."

LOCAL HISTORIAN ROSS JACKSON (AS A SIGNIFICANT WITNESS IN SUPPORT TO THE
RETURNED SERVICES LEAGUE CHRISTO-FASCIST / IRISH REPUBLICAN ACTIVIST (IRA)
PERSECUTION OF DUTCH HERITAGE IDENTITY AS CASE NUMBER: H13018534 /
BEERSHEBA CENTENNIAL / 500 YEARS SINCE PROTESTANT REFORMATION) HAS ADMITTED
ON A VIDEO RECORDING MADE @ 1402 HRS ON 11 JUNE 2020 THAT SUCH ACTIONS WERE
AN IMPUNITY AGAINST THE SOVEREIGN BY JINGOISTIC ANZAC REPUBLICANISM AS
IRISH CATHOLICISM: "THE INTENTION WAS TO DRAW INTERNATIONAL NOTICE TO THEIR
POLITICAL PLIGHT AND THE *BULLYING* (qì (氣): *TO* *BULLY*; *TO* *INSULT*)
TACTICS OF THEIR ANTAGONIST.

THE BOER REPUBLICS ACCEPTING DEFEAT, WITH LOATHING FOR THEIR ENEMIES AND
SORROW FOR THEIR PEOPLE, AND SIGNED THE PEACE AT VEREENIGING.

A TOTAL 16,134 #440 / #450 - *HORSES* WENT TO SOUTH AFRICA, WITH NONE
RETURNED TO AUSTRALIA.

THE MIGHT OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE CRUSHED THEIR #308 - *STRUGGLE* {áthlēsis
(G119): TO CONTEST, TO *COMBAT*, TO STRIVE, *STRUGGLE*, HARD TRIAL} IN A
BITTER CONFLICT THAT CONTINUED UNTIL THE LAST DAY OF [31] MAY 1902.

THE SALE RSL AND COMMUNITY SUB-BRANCH, IN KEEPING THE PROMISE OF NOT
FORGETTING ANY AUSTRALIANS WHO SERVED IN THE WAR, WILL HOLD A MEMORIAL
SERVICE ON SATURDAY [#233 - 27 OCTOBER 2018], BEGINNING AT 11AM, TO
REMEMBER THOSE AUSTRALIANS WHO SERVED AND DIED IN THE BOER WAR." [HIJACKING
OF THE WORLD WAR ONE / ANZAC 2018 CENTENNIAL, Gippsland Times 23 OCTOBER
2018, Print edition only]

#230 as [#2, #200, #20, #2, #6] / [#6, #2, #200, #20, #2] = rekeb (H7393):
{UMBRA: #222 % #41 = #17} 1) a team, chariot, chariotry, mill-stone,
riders; 1a) chariotry, chariots; 1b) chariot (single); 1c) upper millstone
(as riding on lower millstone); 1d) *RIDERS*, *TROOP* (*OF* *RIDERS*),
*HORSEMEN*, *PAIR* *OF* *HORSEMEN*, *MEN* *RIDING*, ass-riders,
camel-riders;

#635 - FEME CHECKSUM TOTAL: #230 as [#5, #80, #200, #300, #10, #40] =
pârâsh (H6571): {UMBRA: #580 % #41 = #6} 1) horse, steed, warhorse; 2)
*HORSEMAN*;

MICHAEL [#666 - TIN MAN] CHRIST @ 0733 HOURS ON 12 MAY 2024: "I asked you
for your love, but all you are only willing to offer me is your Christian
theology, which I don't like because it leaves one *EMPTY*.

I guess I'll just have to grapple with that."

<http://www.grapple369.com/Groundwork/Dalek%20Revival.pdf>
Post by NefeshBarYochai
Long decline, sudden end
To be sure, morbid symptoms were apparent for decades. Woody Allen
hasn’t been funny since 1987 (Radio Days). Rodney Dangerfield is long
gone. Al Franken moved from SNL to the U.S. Senate — where he was
often quite funny — until he got caught in the crossfire of MeToo.
Sarah Silverman started off brilliant and outrageous; she and Gilbert
“They just discovered that Hitler for years molested his niece – now
he’s really cancelled.”
“I read somewhere that Hitler had a grandson who was a child molester
– Imagine the embarrassment to the Hitler family.”
But since 2016, Silverman has been a liberal pundit more than a
comedian — not funny!
Gottfried was notorious for being the first major comedian to tell
9/11 jokes. On September 29, 2001, at a roast for Playboy publisher
“Tonight, I’ll be using my Arab name, Has’n Bin Laide. But I’m afraid
I have to leave early because I need to catch a flight to LA. I
couldn’t get a direct flight; we have to make a stop at the Empire
State Building.”
He died in 2022, aged 67. Nobody has filled his shoes.
And then there is Larry David. For 25 years, he carried upon his
slender frame the weight of three generations of Jewish comics. Now
aged 77, he’s called it quits: Curb Your Enthusiasm is no more, but
the cache of 120 episodes remains. How do they stand up?
In season two, episode nine, The Baptism, Larry and his wife are
running late to a baptism in Monterrey: A Jewish man has agreed to
convert before marrying Cheryl’s sister. When they finally arrive,
Larry gets out of his car and sees from a distance one man holding
another under the surface of a rushing river. Thinking he’s witnessing
a murder, Larry screams and runs toward them. To his surprise, the
minister loses hold of the would-be convert and the latter floats away
with the current, nearly drowning. Afterward, the two families gather
to dry off and plan. The Jews pull Larry aside and congratulate him
for preventing the baptism; the Gentiles curse him. Soon the two sides
begin to shout and confront each other as hostile camps.
In the Palestinian Chicken episode (season eight, episode three),
Larry meets Shara, the Muslim proprietor of the Al-Abbas Palestinian
chicken restaurant. She becomes attracted to him after he tries to get
his newly orthodox friend Marty Funkhouser (Bob Einstein) to take off
his yarmulke before entering the restaurant: “This isn’t the raid on
“Occupy this, you Jewish fuck!” “Fuck me like Israel fucks my people.”
At the end of the episode, Jews and Palestinians face off in dueling
protests after the chicken restaurant owners open a franchise next to
Greenblatt’s Deli. Larry walks between the two, unsure which side to
join: “Larry, you’re a Jew,” Funkhouser shouts. “Larry,” Shara says,
“I have a sister, the three of us…” Watching both episodes now, it’s
hard not to think about actual, Jewish-Israeli violence. Curb is
history. But has history – Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza — killed
Jewish comedy?
The so-called golden age of Jewish comedy
Among the many paeans to Curb since its final episode was broadcast
last month, surprisingly few have focused on Jewishness. The New York
Times, American paper of record founded by Jews, run by Jews, and
partly written for Jews (1.6 million in New York City alone), barely
broached the topic. Even Wesley Morris’s long-read managed only a few
cliches about Jewishness, based upon the supposed connection between
the oompah theme music for Curb, and klezmer. (In fact, the tune was
composed by the Italian Luciano Michelini in 1974 in emulation of
circus music or screamers.) Morris writes that the “melodiousness of
Jewish tradition, of which Larry David is a part, assays the large
type and fine print of American life with the same meticulous relish
as Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and Albert Brooks.” Huh?
The appreciation by P.E. Moskowitz, titled, “American Jewish Comedy
Sings a Swan Song”, published in New York Magazine was better. There,
we read about the “split consciousness” of American Jews – a
reflection, albeit paler, of W.E.B. Dubois “double consciousness” of
African Americans. Jews are at once a threatened minority and members
of an exclusive club located in the upper echelons of American economy
and society. The paradox offers much grist for comedy: It’s why so
many scenes in Curb take place in Larry’s golf club. Despite his
wealth, Larry’s continued membership is dependent upon the forbearance
of the club’s redoubtable, gentile manager, the Japanese American, Mr.
Takahashi. Larry regularly challenges the club’s rules and etiquette,
but also fears being thrown out.
That split consciousness – insider/club member; outsider/Jew – is the
stock in trade of American Jewish humor. A half-century earlier
Groucho uttered his famous quip: “I don’t want to belong to any club
that would accept me as a member.” Twenty-five years ago, Jacob Cohen,
better known as Rodney Dangerfield, deployed the trope in his hit film
Caddy Shack (Harold Ramis, dir., 1980). The movie begins with the
nouveau-rich vulgarian Al Czervik sweeping into a golf course pro shop
and announcing to his Chinese-American companion, Wang (played by
Tsung-I Dow) “Hey, I think this place is restricted, Wang, so don’t
tell ‘em your Jewish.” Al then sets out to buy the club himself.
Larry’s character in Curb and the real Larry David are rich enough to
buy any golf club, but then split consciousness would be healed and
its comic potential erased.
Moskowitz argues that the insular, Jewish world of Larry David and
Curb, is rapidly passing if not passed. When the critic was a boy in
New York, he says, he was surrounded by Jews: old ones with numbers
tattooed on their arms who had watched The Jack Benny Show on TV
(1950-1965), and young ones raised on Seinfeld episodes (1989-98). My
experiences as a child and young person in New York were similar. I
attended public schools in Forest Hills, Queens and didn’t personally
know a non-Jew until I went off to college in Albany in 1973. Then I
was shocked to discover there were Gentiles from rural New York who
had never met a Jew! One I remember, Dawn — pretty and blond and
pursued by everybody — told me she thought all the Jews converted
after Christ was born. Was it ignorance or impish humor? My Jewish
roommate Harvey told me she checked his head for horns.
The world of entertainment – especially comedy – reinforced my
Jew-centrism. In the ‘60s and 1970s, according to Time Magazine, 80%
of American comedians were Jewish. Many still performed in the
“Borscht Belt” – Jewish-themed resort hotels in the Catskills. But the
best of them were on TV, including Myron Cohen, Henny Youngman, Joan
Rivers, Woody Allen, Nichols and May, Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl. The
lesser comics included Buddy Hackett, Jack E. Leonard, Don Rickles,
Jackie Mason, Joey Bishop, Jack Carter, Shecky Greene, and Jerry
Lewis. It’s important not to exaggerate their gifts; this was no
Jewish Renaissance. Much of the comedy, especially from the
second-tier performers, was alternately insipid and crude, pitched to
the middlebrow tastes of network television audiences. A comic like
Jack Carter, for example, would mug, jerk spasmodically, and milk for
laughs any trend or expression that was already a cliche. As late as
1974, he was still making jokes about the indecipherability or
repetitiousness of rock and roll lyrics. The sight of Don Rickles
widening his mouth into a grimace and calling a member of the audience
“hockey puck” was never funny. And Jackie Mason’s bland, psychiatrist
jokes are no better when told with a Yiddish accent.
But there was also the occasional comic genius. The machine-gun
assault of jokes by Youngman, (the “master of the one-liner”), the
bizarre ingenuity of Dangerfield’s self-deprecation (“I don’t get no
respect!”), and the combined feminism and body-shaming of Rivers,
exemplified the insecurity and verbal mastery of the striving,
Jew-as-outsider. These and other Jewish comics of the era could
project deference and bombast at the same time. Woody Allen, who began
his career as a writer for Sid Caesar and then became a stand-up
comic, perfected the schtick early. His persona on The Steve Allen
Show (1962) is that of a nebbish who thinks he’s a Casanova, and vice
versa. That would become the basis of his early, brilliant
filmography.
Some Jewish comics, like Allen and Myron Cohen, told jokes about Jews,
but many others did not. I’m especially fascinated by Cohen, known as
“the master storyteller.” Hearing him today or seeing clips of his
performances on the Kate Smith Show or Ed Sullivan Show is a
revelation. How could a New York Jew, born in 1902 in Belarus, who
tells jokes about other Jews from the Pale of Settlement, find so
large and mainstream an audience? The answer is first, that Jews were
stock characters in American entertainment at the time – kindly,
comic, benign and sometimes pitiable — and Cohen did nothing to upset
the stereotypes. He made no references to Israel, anti-Semitism, or
the Holocaust. (There was shockingly little U.S. attention to the
Shoah until after the Eichmann trial in 1961.) The second reason is
that his jokes were meticulously crafted and presented. Here are two
short jokes written by Cohen — in performance, the punchlines were
“A little old Jewish man is crossing the street near his home when
suddenly a car comes out of nowhere and strikes the man, sending him
hard to the pavement. A policeman rushes over, places a blanket on him
and asks: ‘Are you comfortable?’ The man replies: ‘I make a nice
living.’ ”
“Picture a skinny little guy, a shrimp, a nothing. He walks into a
lumber camp looking for a job. To impress a skeptical foreman, the
shrimp fells a towering oak in 90 seconds. ‘Where’d you learn that?’
says the lumberjack. The little guy says, ‘In the Sahara Forest.’ ‘You
mean the Sahara Desert.’ ‘Sure, now.’”
Both are Jewish jokes because they deal with schlemiels who are
nevertheless proud of their accomplishments; the outsider/insider
dialectic again. Here another, told by Cohen’s longtime friend, Henny
“I’m in a bar when suddenly the man next to me falls off his stool
onto the floor. I pick him up, but it happens again. So. I say to the
bartender: ‘This man has had too much to drink, why don’t I take him
home?’ I drag the man out onto the street where he falls down. I pick
him up; he falls down; I pick him up again. Finally, I get him into my
car to take him to his house. When we arrive, I help him out, but he
falls down, so I pick him up. At last, we ring the bell, and his wife
comes to the door. I say: “Madame, I have brought your husband back.”
She says: ‘So, where’s his wheelchair?’”
The protagonist of the joke thinks he’s a mensch but is actually a
schlemiel, always dropping a disabled man. The wife is also Jewish;
“So, where’s his wheelchair?” Here’s a joke about bullies and a
nebbish, told by Las Vegas comedian Shecky Greene; it’s based on his
“You know, Frank Sinatra once saved my life, and I’ll be forever
grateful to him. Three guys were giving me a severe beating, and I
thought they were going to kill me. Then Frank said, “Okay, boys,
that’s enough.”
The War to end all comedies
By the early 1990s, Jewish comedians like Cohen, Youngman, and Greene,
and the many others who emerged after World War II, were reduced to a
handful. Younger Jewish comics were comparatively few in number, and
rarely performed Jewish routines. Larry David revived the tradition
with Seinfeld (which he co-created) and Curb, but the fraught
assimilationism that motivated so much Jewish comedy was quickly
losing its relevance. Jews had arrived, and their comic style –
anxious, self-deprecating, complaining, and ironic – was left behind.
Israel.
Beginning in 1967, Israel’s military strength – and even more its
aggression — decisively changed Americans’ image of the Jew. From a
timorous David, Israel became a bellicose Goliath. Surrounded by
hostile nations but armed to the teeth with the latest weaponry –
including nukes — the Jewish state quickly dispatched it enemies in a
six-day war in ’67, a war of attrition from ’67 to ’70, and the
three-week Yom Kippur War of 1973 against Arab states led by Egypt and
Syria. There followed the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, including
the massacre of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians in the Sabra
neighborhood and Shatila refugee camp, perpetrated by the Lebanese
army in collusion with the IDF. A second Lebanon War was fought in
2006, as well as a series of battles against successive Palestinian
“Intifadas” (“uprisings”) in Gaza and the West Bank. Several small
Gazan wars were precursors of the present big one, dubbed by the
Israeli military, “Operation Swords of Iron.” Israel is obsessed with
iron. There’s also the Iron Dome anti-missile system and the putative
Iron Beam laser defense technology. The appellations are an expression
of palingenetic nationalism, the idea that the nation of Israel aims
to recover the power it had before the Roman conquest in 70 CE. While
the Romans had iron swords, the Jews only had softer bronze ones, a
deficit that contributed to the Jews’ defeat. Operation Swords of Iron
trumpets what everybody knows: Israel possesses regional military
superiority, facilitated by U.S. money and arms sales.
The war against the Palestinians in Gaza has been the coup de grace
for Jewish comedy. Not only are images of parents cradling dead
children not funny, Israel’s response to global criticism has turned
Jews everywhere into pariahs, but not like the itinerant schlemiels
and schlimazels of traditional Jewish humor. By insisting the war is
being fought not just on behalf of Israeli Jews, but the entire
diaspora, Jews everywhere are made accessories to crime. When the
Columbia University chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, renounced that
claim, they were themselves condemned as anti-Semitic, and suspended
from the university. There may be irony in an Egyptian-born,
British-American university president, Minouche (Baroness) Shafik,
suspending a Jewish peace organization on charges of anti-Semitism,
“A dozen NYC cops corral, pummel and pepper spray a small group of
Jewish Voice for Peace student protestors at Columbia. Their signs,
now scattered across the pavement, read “Ceasefire Now” and “Divest
from Israel.” Two senior administrators from the office of President
Shafik look on. One says to the other: “That will teach them not to be
anti-Semitic!”
https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/05/03/has-the-war-against-palestine-killed-jewish-comedy/
Stephen F. Eisenman is emeritus professor at Northwestern University.
His latest book, with Sue Coe, is titled “The Young Person’s Guide to
American Fascism,” and is forthcoming from OR Books. He can be reached
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