After receiving numerous angry emails from fellow Jews, I feel a little bit like Philip Roth after writing about Jews masturbating in "Goodbye Columbus." So, like a Supreme Court nominee, I feel it is important to clarify myself after writing my last post.
1) I’m not really tired of other Jews. I love Jews. Sophia is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. Brooke, my long-time fantasy woman is Jewish, although she has yet to date a Jewish man. Time will tell.
2) I think Akaky had it right when he commented:
"Take advantage of your new ethnic hipness before the focus shifts to Armenians or Eskimoes or dyslexic Dravidian dwarves and being Jewish becomes so yesterday’s news."
Sophia, who loved the post, still said, "Neil, you are the schmendrik. Better to be trendy and loved than hated, chased by Cossacks or Muslim fanatics."
3) I actually think it is good that Walmart has its employees say "Happy Holidays" to its customers. I don’t really want anyone saying "Merry Christmas" to me. But if they do, I won’t drop dead on the spot. But does it hurt you Christians so much to say, "Happy Holidays?" We appreciate it. Believe me, saying "Happy Holidays" isn’t the reason that Christmas has become such an overly commercialized, irreligious farce of a holiday. Blame the retailers like Macy’s and the Gap and FAO Schwartz, all owned by…. uh, let’s move on…
4) Recently I was quoted on this site. It pretty much says what I believe:
Frankly, I think one of the things that makes our country so great is that the majority religion has tried so hard to make minorities feel comfortable. Where else have Jews and others been made to feel as equals and as comfortable with Christian holidays? Certainly not in many European countries where you are considered Jewish first, then a citizen of that country.
New York is not the rest of the country. I think it would be nice to bring back some of the religiosity to Christmas in big cities, so it isn’t such a consumerized holiday. Thank you, Christians, for being so good to the rest of us. You can now celebrate Christmas a little more openly.
However, things are different in smaller cities and towns around the country. Those places have a habit of mixing up religion and public policy. It is places like those where I don’t think it appropriate for the public sector to promote religion symbolism and ideology.
I think it is perfectly fine to have your friends and co-workers wish you a "Merry Christmas." What’s the big deal? But a "public" store like Walmart isn’t really the place for religious exclusiveness. And is Christmas in such trouble that it needs Walmart to save it?
5) I’m not into political correctness, but that doesn’t mean everyone should act like an asshole. Unlike whatever Bill O’Reilly feels, I’m all for going all out with trying to respect minorities. Christmas is not "under siege." Look outside your window. Christmas decorations were up five minutes after Thanksgiving. Talk about shoving it in people’s face. Sorry, but you’re the fucking majority and it’s up to you to be nice. When the world is taken over by the billions of Chinese — and it will happen — let’s hope they respect us Americans as the minority. (see Planet of the Apes for an example of what happens when the tables are turned). Isn’t the whole point of the Judeo-Christian ethos to do unto others…
6) Attacking political correctness has become so rampant that I firmly believe the MOST politically incorrect thing to do today is to defend it. I had a long email conversation with Anne about whether Sarah Silverman is funny. We both agree that she is. But she is a professional comedian with a clever wit. My fear is that every asshole will now think it is cool to tell slavery and Holocaust jokes at the dinner table and think they are the best thing since sliced challah. I have a fear that everyone will laugh, not wanting to appear unhip, and the one who says that it isn’t funny will appear like a stick-in-the-mud.
Sometimes, a little political correctness — when it doesn’t become the ruling party itself — can be good.
It’s weird that I use Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Silverman in the same sentence, but they are both talented entertainers making big money by saying outlandish things for people to blog about. But in the real world, it is nice for people to say "Happy Holidays" and wrong to make racist jokes.
Of course, as a high-paid blogger, I include myself as someone who can say whatever he wants without consequence.