Page 1

Raaill,pwCaan+-o,lraM A *h;4*.l41

From: RC Cul-ture Labs, Washington TO: Heeb HQ, deep in the heart of RE: Heeb t'lagazine, I""11 ?_ .

To the

cats

at

P""14.4/ e^At',,L

\Voh**1

\ t*1

Heights Brooklyrr

Heeb:

(Word to OK, I get it. 1. .fewj-sh kids' dig black culture Your Bubbe, Beatbox in Ramallah ad nauseum.). 2. Jews can be vulgar, too (A1 Goldstein, and hey, what. happened to the Annie Sprinkle feature?) 3. FundamenEalists are dumb (Tammy Faye St,arlight, see also 2. ,Jews can be rmlgaq, too). Du!, duh and no shit, Sherlock. For this the ,Jewish instiEutional world should be forkinq over the big bucks? I

j gaitoo note: I wasrecently contactedby t the folks ar Heeb and told ttrat my letter, in an edited fonn, would be printed in the 'Ifyou're upcorningissue.I was told, onc ofthc 500 or so pcople who rcally get nostalgic about klezner and yiddish and run offto.klezkamp and connectwith judaism in thaf renaissance-fairkind of way, thc Forwerd and Momeut ptobably cover thal pretty well" so yort shouldjust readabout it [seemy lefier for the cultural rif in question]there. Our readerswouldjust think it's stupid (which is why rrc will cdit ftat part from your lettcr- it's compclling up until the4 and then frlls flat- our readcrswiU laugh."ObviouslyI don't think it's stupi4 andI donltthink you will frnd it stupi4 cither. So, hcre it is, cultural chccrleadingand all.

in issue two, including I did enjoy some of your features people, K1ein is right; the inEerview with Naomi Klein. and h"y, Iet's not beat around the bush in a magazine .i aimed at ,Jews, ,fewish peopTe long for community explicitly \ based on someEhing more than buying power - the JAP model pl-an- Israel. or the def erred eult.ure insurance So what I honcsly give mad props to the Heeb cditors for actually getting offthcir asscs does oui rootless, eosmopolitan, mind bogglingly rich and and producing sonicthitrg.It's too casyto have to offer history exilific the comparison culture criticize Aom onc's safecorner ofthc shopper? According Eo Heeb, not much besides trendy world; it's a lot hardcr to put younelf out there.for all thc world to sec.That of oLher, mostly darker, cultures and the cooptation docsu't meanwc can't havc a halthy, rrranna you to be as narcissistic opportunity be. That as is, loving exchangcof ideasamongtribc Jewishness is only interesting so far as it allows you to , mcmbcrs.Pcaccand irie vibes to dl the we mighf see yourse-Lf eve4n'rhere. Elvis? Yup, technj-cally i cas at Heeb. ' Black folks? Hey, avadim hayinu, be related. we were once I Among others I don't want to hateme or too! Esperanto? Invented by, you guessed itl slaves, Serial i considcr lcgal action: my culhral herosal p r i s o n a d d r e s s , I . l JewishCurrents.I'vc taken libcrties on No problem, I've got Berkowitz's killers?

^::lj;";ff"='ffiJ:"':';J;:Ir,*",

rhis is rhepoinr I

of "The New ,Jew Review,,; to seek the .,inadverLantlyrr, ,fewish. Further, you say, it,s "tangentially" easy to point ouE hrhat's Jewish about "pastrami, klezmer, dating frustrations and neurobic families.,' Right,, we wouldn, t want to be too Jewish, even in a forum devoted to celebrat.ing the very notion.

Look, I'm glad you drew the pastrami line in the sand. No tips on where to find the best knishes, no review of the Woody Allen oeuvret no agonizing nose job justifications. Thank god. Not only are these things excruciatingly 'obvious, they are meaningless. .Jews eat. knishes. Nu? But, pointing out the "glancingly,, and ..tangentia11y,, Jewish at Lhe expense of authentic ,Jewish culture? Let,s not kid it's only one notch above yet another rehash of .ourselves, jwoody as the neuroL,ic, nebbishy, supposed uber-,few. With no

I

page2,4,and6 to includca coupieof mippets from this, the zaydeof all Jewish'zines. And lastly,.shoutout to all my cultural hcrocs: Tuli Kupfcrbery; Mala Deren; GcrshonLegman;Michael We4 the guy who inventcd Espcranto; Alo<ander Imich (if anyoncknows hirn, plcoscsec me); Hcnry Sapoznik; Iosh Horowitz ak Dr. Klea Lorcnzo daPontc; and the countlessother carriersofthc yiddishc neshomc,.narncdand unnamd I love you all, you keep me smiling. mit liebe, rokhl basclpnrs


there there, Heeb is a very 'Sandler' s Hannukah Sonq. But who's to say if there ,authentic Jewish culture, fv rl r- rea

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expensive

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a things does exist. indeed, it's much more than t.he sum of what.ever Jews happen to be doing at Ehe moment.: boxing, publishing ponography, whoring for tobacco or jusc plain whorrrg. Af r.er many lonely Saturday night.s deep in the lab I have finally culture discovered the foolproof test for determining whether ar independent ,Jewish culEure actually exisLs. Here it is: take a look around and see if SOME OTHER LONELY FUCKERDECIDES I{E/SHE WANTS TO BE LIKE YOU. Will helshe Eravel thousands of miles to l-earn a language your grandparents spoke? fs he/she fucking the culture heroes you won't even look at. when you pass t.hern on 106!h Street? Is he/she idencifying with you, your people and your history as a way of rebelling against his/her own soulLess culture? A11 over Northern Europe, yahoos are nrrrina

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mnnarr

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195?

An. agreernent was signed by the lj,nited Automobile Workers and the Urban to provide llatlro.nal macnrner)-to deal-League witl compliints of orscr_Dnrnatron in all plants-in which the UAW has coileciive b;;;"i;i"" agree&ents,it was announ"ea,on Juti tfl. e-bgg 200,000 Negro worxers are anecteclIr\- the agreement.

and

MAKING

MONEY OFF

OF,

JeWiSh

CUltUre.

Wake up, sons and daughLers of Strong Is1and! We have something worth co-opEing. Take a minute to let t.haL sink at this very momenL, is i-n. Some schmtrck in Berlin, of bl-ack face on his version singing, dancing and putting to what belongs to you, Ire, us. I and tapping his tootsies phenomenal for the most parL, to the truly am referring, you find all Yiddish which music and in Klezmer lnterest wannato the over Northern Europe. There's even an analog * even more heebs of Northern Europe. A similar, in all things Ladino has movement of interest exploitative (Exploit.ive because often taken hold in Spain and Portugal. these people know nothing about Ladino or Jews but. happily cash in on the wave of int.erest. )

Segregationist shenanigans . i. Rabbi Yaakov Rosenbeig, spiritual leader of a .Mi"-i Conservativi svnagogue, one of ttre largest in the South; was refused accommodation earlv in July at two motels in Pompano Beach. FIa., ano was told at a third that no Yet, f open the music section of Heeb to f ind? Mogwai, ,Joev facilities would be available until Ramo:]e, .fon spencer Fucking B]ues Expi-osion? Anci wha3 i-s Sept. (,ferorilzFlarilia.n, July 12). . . . the level of ,Jewish engagement (rf I may take the Segregationist John Kasper told newsmen during the jury seiection for his opportunity to sound l-ike an even bigger asshole) in their trial in Knorville, Tenn., for obstruct. work? The High and Mighty ,'beEray their roots,, by ing desegregation, tlat he had inchinese food. That young man who wrote to you structed his lawyer not to accept Jews referencing on the ju.y. 'I'd have a better from Driftwood, TX, is starving for culturaL nourishment, chance," said Kasper, "with a Negro j u s t y o u ' v e a n d g i v e n h i m t h e e q u ivalent of a scallion , than a Jew." . . . A minister identiEed j u n k p a n c a k e p r o b a b r y t h a t ' 1 1 as being g i v e from central Florida, h i m t h e Erot,s an hour at a I i march of 300 robed Klansmen, in later. f'd say we lefE shanda long ago; this is a criminal l,akeland, FIa., at the end of June. waste of resources. attacked the Supreme Court. Nesroes and Jews. Said-he: "I have no"*". , with the Jews-but.t*rey too should be ,was unveiled in 1948. in Poiish once a week. The-first issue . An exren. segregatod." oi l\e supplement r€Po,rts.th?I,"j tl: sion of the Jewish school system in in 1956. 52 Poland was announcedearly'in July. ' - 5'000 more ?0,000 Jews in Poland engaged in heavy.indusNeus lrom Polanil-' p"i iewish bobrdins schools are to be ser try "ent-*"." and 12 per cel-t -19re .individual , up for the fiist time, new Jewish craftsmen. . . . 890'000 dotys were i schools ere to be opened in several allocated in July by the Polish. go,v' ;localities and more iewish textbooks ot 'sh.tt*^)"i'o*' lare to be published. a supplement ernment for the renovation , $,e foltlttt"t Warsaw Ghetto Monument, which

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Are che things I mentioned the only real ways to experience Jewish cuLture? Of course not. At this poinE, playing Kool and the Gang's Celebration at a Bar Mitzvah is, in iLself, traditron. But what.'s missing from Heeb is any critical engagement or challenge to it.s material-. What makes the RabbisoftheLosAnge1es.fewishCommissj.ononSweatshops)

=nrr rii â&#x201A;Źrara-t- f:om other anri-swea!s:-cp acuivisrs? The

article makes no guess. If Ehere,s no difference, w h y h a v e, : cna-iFia=lrrz Jgryish anti-SweatShop organizatiOn? Therers =

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gVIe an[Go66 S gafgoon,,o,o 6asClPrus b Rpfr"frf In orderto maintainmy journalisticdistanceI decidedit wasironic. I hadwalkedout of my third movieof the day at the first Black Panther Fiim Feshvalin Aprii energizedby what I had just seen-dynamic,engagingexaminationsof the govemmant'svery real war againstany type of socialchangemovement. Misinformationwas on my mind when a man in a suit courteouslyhandedme a flyer asI walkedout the door.He washandingthemout to everyoneexitrngthe auditorium.Glancing downthe pageI sawthe beginningof a rant I wasfamiliarwith: "The peoplearebeingtaught theBible..." thattoday's"Jews"represent Learningthat I was a fake Hebrew was more thana bummer.Aroundme,no oneeven seemedto be lookrrg at the sheets,though everyonehadtakenoneto be polite. A couple of feet awaytherewas anothermanhandingout foldedfow sidedpamphlets.Nobodywas takingmuchnoticeof him either.My masochismmademe go over andaskhim for that one,too. This onestartedinnocuously enough,aboutthe needfor true spirituality. Can't arguewith that today.But at thebottom camethe inevitable;"Eventodayunder Zionism,which is a racistandoppressive ideology..."It thencompared"Sin" and "Zionism" andfinds them to be one andthe sameunderdifferent systemsof analysis. TheBlack PantherFilm Festivaltook placethis pastApril at the SchomburgLibrary in flarlem, organizedby a numberof biack artistsand activists,includingformerPanthersKathleen CleaverandJamalJoseph.The ideaof a festivalto celebrateandexaminethe legacyof thePanthersis a natural.The imageof the Black Panthersin theirberetsandleather jacketsis still powerfulandhasinspiredmany documentaries andfilms, not all of themeven handedor goodor watchable.Althoughthe programmingwasobviouslybiasedin a proPantherdirection,the directorsof the Festival wisely choseto broadenthe scopebeyond hagiographyandmadethe cormectionbetween therise (andfall) of the Black PantherParty andthe largersocialchangemovementsof that era,AlongsidePantler documentaryfootage - andfeatwes.likePublic Enemv and The

:.

lasToaT!'

)inori:n .TEWIS.EOURRENTS. Ripfint

Jewin The'lmaib'of"the Community l{egro ,'th9' : " . by

Murder of Fred Eampton wereother documentaries connectedpoliticaily andrn spint. Palantewas aboutthe Young Lords, a Latrnocounterpartto the Black Panthers, anda grouprarelydiscussed today.Red Squadwastheproductof a mid-sixties while film collectivein Brookll'n, Pacific Steet Films.Red Squadwasthenameof the intelligence-gathenng bweau of the New York City Police Deparfment.Oncethe film collectiveturns its camerason the menof the Red Squadthe filmmakersfind themselves and their familiesunderquietbu: very real pressurefrom the Police Departmentto stay away. The importanceo; showrngthenon-discriminatoryharassment of thepolice andthe FBI becameapparent asthe Festivalwent on.

RABBI PAUL H. LEYENSON wirlr Dates on the 25 Signifcant Jews in the Cioil Var

*

12 PAGES _

IO CENTS

,* Bulk ratcs: 12 copies, $l; 25 for S2; 5O for $3.5O; $6 for l0O

* JEWISH CURRENTS Dept. P 22 E. L7 St.. Room 601, N. Y. 3

{

It wasexcitingfor me on manylevelsto be at the Festival.As much asI considermysel: a liberal, sociallyconsciousNew Yorker,I life. I havefeu leada shockinglysegregated African-Americanfriendsor co-workers.I know that despitemy intellectualbearings,a steadydiet of 10 o'clocknewsand gangstarappersandothers sensationalized hadplanteda seedof passive,dehumanizing racisminsideme. More thanlearningabout rheBlack Panthers,I wantedto be a part of theFestivalto panrcipatein contemporary African-Amencancultureoutsideof hip-hop musicandre-nrnsof Living Single.I expectedto be exposedto peopleandpoints of view rarelyheardaboutin the mainstream media.All of theseexpectationsweremet.I sawa celebrationofactivists andartistsand a communitywho wereproud of andwho ownedtheir legacy.The informationtableat the entanceto the Festivalhad a poster displayedon it- a montageof peopleand clips from the program.While I wassitting at the deska family camein, mom, dadand two kids. The kids examinedthe posterand immediatelyreeledoff exactlywho was who. The parentswerebeaming.I was impressed,I hadjust seentwo older guysin beretsstandover the sameposterand mistakeKathleenCleaverfor AngelaDavrs (who,incidentally,wasnevera memberof the Black PantherParfv). So it was a


-----_cornmrxilty againsttG[tal pol-iE.-

;

trorriUte-come d;wnTdtxtift".noon wt"n i washandedthosehatefulflyers. This *", *ir* a Jewishfriend of mine hadwamedrn. ulo.',, himself a veteranof the Rampartr;r;-*d;;;; -' . if you cometo the stuggle oi"nty unJ honestly,they'll *." ut you fo. "u"ntuuily beingJewish.Although thl nvo t""fl";;;;werein no way officially connected to or endorsedby the festivat,t aia rrot ,"" *von" stoppingthemfrom disbibutinghate liteiature. As I wobbledaroundthe sunnySchomburg lobby,I tried to processwhat I was feeling.I'd just finishedPaulBerman'sexhaustiveand exhaustingreader"Blacks and Jews".I knew manyBlack writers andactivistssawJews' reactionto instancesof Black anti-Semitismas whiny over-reaction.Couldn't we seewhere thereal problemswere?I hesitatedto say anythingto Kathleen Cleaver,one of the Festival'sorganizersand the personwho had arrangedfor me to volunteerat the Festival's information desk.I finally soughther out, hopingthat maybeshehadnoticedthe guys with the leaflets,too. Surroundedby the usual crushof admirers,I fowrd her at the front of the library. I got her attention and told her that I was upset.I startedto show her the literature b.einghandedout. I couldn't believepeople weredistributingthis shit. Shelookedat it, scowled,andaskedme if this was something aboutIsrael.When I explainedwhat exacflyit was shetold me to ignore it and throw it out. They'rejust a coupleofjerks. At this point, I abandoned my ideaof askingher to do somethingofficial aboutgettingthemout of there. The truth aboutthe Black Panthersis compiicatedand shifting. The story is alwaysa rrttle bit different dependingon whom you ask. The imageand idea of the Panthersin their beretsandsexyblack leathercoatsbearing armshasbeenappropriatedmany times and to many different ends-there is evena reincamationof the Black Pantherstoday, althoughthey makeno claims to being of the original Black PantherParfy. successors At its foundationwas a ten-point platform issuedby Bobby SealeandHuey P. Newtonin 1966.It wastheir bill of rights anddeclaration of independenceand took as a given the continuing, systematicand institutional oppressionand disenfranchisementof Black Americans.Thereis no questionthat police brutality in Oaklandat that time was rampant.But somepeople questionwhether the activities of the Black Pantherswere alwaysthoseof pure self-defense. Dependingon whom You talk to, the Pantherswere noble, brave men and woman trying to defendthemselvesand their

departrnentand governmentand who were eventuallydestroyedby the FBL Or you could believethat they werea bunchof thugs who were committing so many crimes, includingprostitutionandprotectionrackets, that they brought down on themselvesthe police harassmentand suweillancethat undeniablydoggedthem.The very natureof the organizationand its history offactions andreal and allegedgovernmentinfilkators makeit difficult to evaluatethe manystories surroundingthe Black Panthermystique. Many of thesestoriesstill inch toward resolutionto this day. Around the samefime asthe Festivalthe caseof Elmer "Geronimo"pratt madethe newspapersagain.His 1972murder conviction,for which he had spent27 years injail, hadbeenoverhrrnedn l99j and he hadjust settleda lawsuitagainstthe governmentfor 4.5 million dollars.The key piece of evidencefinally admitted?The fact that the government,s.star, witress wasa felon and an F.B.I informant. With people's lives, literally, at stake,no wonderthe subjectremainsso emotionallycharged.One aftemoon a gentlemanstoppedme in the samelobby whereI had gottenthe news aboutthe falseJews.Like manyof the old timers at the Festival, he was wearing a cockedberetandwasclutchingan overstuffedleathersatchel.He told me he had classifiedFBI files with him that he would like to showme. It becameclearthat this man hadmistakenme for a memberof the presssimply becauseI waswhitesomethingthat happenedmany times over the weekend,eventhoughI was technically

â&#x201A;Ź a

thereas a Festivalvohmteer.He shookthe bulging briefcasein his handindicatingthat the paperswere in there and that they proved that EileenBrown, the womanmanybelievedhad beenthe final destructiveblow to the Panthers' viability, hadbeenthe lover of J. Edgar Hoover.IntriguedthoughI was,I declinedto look at his documentation. I was alreadyon informationoverloadat this point. I hadbeen suckedinto an unfamiliar world andbombarded g amount with an incredible,world-view-shakin of information. Somethings seemed incontrovertible.The Murder of Fred Hampton brought forttr FBI documentation, forensic evidence,informant testimony and finally, the City of Chicago'sown pathetichalf apology,to build an unimpeachable casefor the fact that Fred Hampton,a2l yearold charismaticBlack Pantherleaderin Chicago, had beenkilled in cold blood becausehe was a threatto the government.That's enoughto


wakeyou up at night. Onceyou acceptthe fact that the governmentcarriedout a political assassination againstoneofits own citizens,a lot of other stuffbecomesplausible-even EileenBrown beingthe lover of J. Edgar Hoover,despitethe evidencethat shewasn't his type. .. With a bit of hindsightI can seenot only why the guyswith hateliteraturewere so upsetting but why they cameto be the defining moment of the Festivalfor me. Their presencewas an insult,not just to me but to everyone,What disturbedme was that no one elseseemedto havemadethe connectionbetweentheseguys an{ what the films had beentalking aboutall weekend.After sitting throughtwo daysof film programmingwhosethemewas that of the existenceand very real threatofgovernment operations sponsoredcounter-intelligence againstits own citizens,my perspectivehad changed.While the Black Panthersthemselves may not, eachand every one,havebeenchoir boys,it wasthe characterof the F.B.I which cameacrossasthe most villainous,most powerful and most compelling.Now it wasn't too hard to go from thereto posinga hypotheticalconnectionbetweenthe kind of campaignsof governmentsponsored disinformationfeaturedin the Fesfivaland the hateliteratureI had beengiven.Perhapsthe sponsorsof the pamphletswerenot just loony fringe charactersworking independently.Was it all a giant COINTELPRO(counter-intelligence program)operation?A massivestructure funnelingblack peopleaway from being politicaliy viable (and dangerous)and channelingtheir energyto the ultrmately harmlesspasttime of Jew-baiting? BeforeI had beenvery easily ableto dismiss theseBlack Israelite-typegroupsas without credibility certainly rn my own eyes,but alsoin tJlelargerblack community.But I realizedthat you cannotignoretheseguys becauseby their very numbersand staying power it is obviousthat they are filling a need.Someoneis respondingto their vision. Onceagain,young black people,desperate to educatethemselves,to organize,to effect socialchange,had beenmisinformedon a relatively large scale. And these pamphleteers were directingtheir energyat the motherof all red herrings;the Jews.Just asthe Black Pantherswere destroyedby disinformation and government manipulationby being turnedagainsteach otherand killed by governmentinformants, thesepamphleteerswere unwittingly being usedto firrther their own politrcal disenfranchi_sement.

A true black-Jewishcoalition would be a very powerful, and to certaineyes,a very dangerousthing. The omnipresenceandvery volumeof theseBlack Israelite-typegroups assurethat everyonehas seenthem. Moreover,therewill alwaysbe at leasta hint of enmity in the rnindsof blacksand Jewswheneverthey cometogetherif they believethat the other seesthem as an enemy.In this respect,I cameto seemy experienceat the Festivalas sadly emblematic.Just at a point where I was being exposedto points of view I would neverseeelsewhere,talking to people (BobbySeale!)I wouldn't meetelsewhere, makingalliancesimpossibieelsewhere,just at that momentof possibility I was so thrown off guard,so demoralizedthat I consideredleavingandnot comingback for the rest of the weekend.I did leave,but cameback after somethoughtandthe naggingfeelingthat if I did not return I would let the wrong people wrn. It may seemtoo obviousto mention,but Jews arenot the problem.I do not carehow many peoplenamedRoth or Eisnerarerunning the movie studios.It's mennamedHoover (andhis the man who designed spiritual descendents), the counterintelligencethat destroyedlives and the Black PantherParfy, who are kuly the enemyofprogressivechangeand fearless defendersofthe statusquo. Its not aliensthat our governmentis hiding from us, The FBI truly canbe asnefariousasthe X-Files would haveus believe.But its not abducteesthey're after.The most shockingtruth, and one I was lucky enoughto be remindedof at the Black PantherFilm Festival,is that the government's war againstrevolution and changeis real.

ANNUAL CONCERT OF THE JEWISH I\IUSIC ALLIANCE Saiurday Evening

I IY , 1 9 6 I8 , P.M. FEBRUAR HUNTER COLLEGE AUDITORIUM 681h Sfreet between Pork and Lexington Avenue's

THEBELAFONTE SINGERS In A Civil War Cenlennial Celebraiion Program

PHILHARMONIC CHORUS THE JEWISHPEOPLE'S ( 1 2 5S i n g e r s ) C o n d u c i e db y M A U R I C E R A U C H

ORATORIO"DIE ZWEI BRIDER" I. L. PERETZ.SCHAEFER t

Tickets{rom $1.65to $3 af One UnionSguareWesl, Suite7l l, N. Y. C., WA 4-83| | and from the singers


fe(rokfltd,'hr

Gr^rtLr lZ.o I

Lr(kr at--

The stagehas been reset and the lights are back up. It's only the secondact, but the Montrealershave apparentlyobeyed the no smoking signs long enough(as if the requestto ne pasfumer expires after an hour or two) and preffy much everyoneexcept this non-smoking American lights up.

/ Fro- Mont'rce ---

ttreintefitv of-diasporii and yi,Idish culture and the resilience and resistance within those ftaditions. He asksus to draw on that alternative tadition and to

The Orkestarptayea a wide ranging si:l: ending with abunch of people at the front of the stagein a sort of Jewish mosh pit.I find myself writing in my notes "Dance education is important", even as the thought ofdance research and preservationmakes me reach for a

standup for what is right- to end th-e injustices committed againstPalestinians and to 'end the occupation'. With that, plastic bag to Put over mY face, to be the rest of the band joins him on stage completely honest. But here we are, and and rips into their first number, I/er how elseto come to terms with the TantzDort? (Who is Dancing There?)an spectacleof my people, expressingtheir We're all munching on latkes and joy for life, their gratitude for living original song written in yiddish by wondering what the next act, Black O)x Levine about arrnedconllict in Israel. during a comfortable, prosperoustime in Orkestar,is going to sound like. Instead history, when the joYous, ecstatic, Kartofl Kishif atthe of the whole band.coming on, one guy This was the scene physical manifestation of this expression comesout in a white shirt and black Kabaret in Montreal, the last night of of happinessis ... flYing around vest. No one is quite sure if this is a solo Khanike, 2001, a night for celebrating, monotonousiYin a circle as fast as number or what. His name is Gabe eating deep friend foods and hearing fucking possible. Ugh' I've been here decrying of irony Levine and he is a member of the The great music. some before and I'll be here many time again OrkestarAnd before they take the stage, Jewish militarism while celebratinga unlessI decide to convert to whatever he has a few words to say.He begins by militaristic festival (the only one of its they were in Footloose anCmove acknowledgingthe fact that we are kind in the Jewish year) seemsto be somewheredancing of anYkind is gatheredin honor of the festival of mine alone to ponder. The evening forbidden. But seriously,the idea of Khanike, also known to norrnal people begins old school traditional and ends appropriatesocial dancing is no joke. At The party' this point, for this particular world, I as Chanuka. He draws tfre amitar 1in with a hip-hopkele dance the interaction great' but was music can't imagine a scenariowhere it will Yiddishist circles) comparisonof performers and audience the between yiffi;h ever get any better. Where's that plastic the one culhues, diasporic, . And admission' "; 7 bucks the worth wffi bae? side and sui generislsraeli on the other. an urban usually am I although Levine feels that diasporic/Yiddishist love solely Before the next act, an experimental culture is more dynarnicbeing that it is monogamist and pledge my to New York' I am infatuatedwith sound collage piece called Needletrade lessprogrammutic tttr Isra"rl- i;il "" "" Monfreal. It's a beautiful, old world city by Torontonian ReenaKatz, it is goatsto meet, no "t#;;;;;'^* with a Jewish community quite different announcedthat equal stagetime has forward. More to his point, diasporic from that of New York' Part of that been demandedand, unbelievably, culture is not a tooi oiirra"fi-Ji^".*. difference is the fact that the doors of given. I've never seenthis kind of It this point an older gentleman-calls irnmigration for EuropeanJews closed at audienceengagementat a musical out from the audience'T thought I was least 10 yearslater than they did in perforrnancein New York. Interactivity supposedto be listening to music here". America, a significant fact which puts hereis usually limited to lecturesand much closer, dbet;ffiExpectinE-tnis and cooly many CanadianJews conferences. Sometimes,usually, it's 'over-thele-ness', replies, "We're getting to tfrut, sir,'. Tha temporally, to their the question and answerperiod at the boy gets an A in respr"tit g his elders. making their cultulal dislocation much end of a discussionof a new book. let's more uncomfortable' He continuesreading from a piece of say, about the yiddish art theater.There's paper as a few older membersof the always one guy whoi gets up to ask, a .l audienceleave noisily. He again calls on propos of nothing, "What about


Mumia?" I go to Vy'orkrnen Circle events in New York specificallyhopingthat someAK is goingto pick a fight, or, betteryet, standup duringthe ouestion andanswerperiod,proclaimthe author wrong on everypoint, andoffer his own self-publishedbook asa modestredress.

^"After Terry comesa local namedMoish. This is it, the coral reef of interMoish is somewherein his sixties,an generationalcon{Iictandcultural anarchistPeterPanwhom everyone amnesiaon which I can't seemto keep knowsbecausehe works at the socialist from scrapingmy feet raw from draggrng bookstore.Moish is a bit more focused aroundthis damnsceneso much.No, the than Terry, you can tell his haranguehas point is NOT that we haveno respectfor beena long time coming- working at a thepast.If we, the audiencemembersat 'socialistbookstoreleavesyou with more thekishif kartofl kabaret(orgenizsd6y A yoman by the nameof Terry freetime thanonemight expect.Yet, his two friendsof miae i:r their fwenties) McAhtakes the stage.Shewasone bullet points areso wrong, in every hadno respectfor ou la-la-lacultural of thepeoplewho protestedGabe aspect,on everylevel, in everyfucking heritagewe wouldn't havedraggedour Leviae's speechby leavingand way I considerjustjumping on stageQ assesto this dump on a freezing demandingher moneyback.She wasin the front row) andbitch slapping Monteal night. We'd be at a damnbar acceptedstagetime, instead. somesenseinto his stupidkepele,forget dancingandgettingshiker vi goyim McAtraspeech is off the cuff, and aboutpolitely askingfor my own five becauseMontrealdoesn'thaveidiotic thoughobviouslyheartfeit,not well world view minutes. The seems Moish anti-dancingcabaretlaws like New York organizedor presented.It's a .,knifein to encompassyoungpeoplein idli:rg (hey,I still love you New York, really,I her socialistJewishheart,'to hearher . taxis,jumping out to carblesslywithdraw do). No, the problemis not with the Jewishpeoplecharacterized as cashfrom their newfangledautomated youngpeopleat all. The energyand oppressors. It is not the first time teller machines.I'm not sureif it's the ideasandsweatI've seenjust tonighthas someoneon stagewill castthemselvesas .- decadence of the taxi or the expendable beenincredible.The amountof work a socialistor inject classconsciousness cashor, I don't know, all the tellerjobs thatwe haveto do to reclaimour fucking into the dialog.But shedoesn'tdwell on which havebeenreplacedby unfeeling preciousla-lala culhual heritageis akin uniysls.1socialistideals,hardly.She machines-is he somekind of Luddite?Is to cyanidegold mining. If our ernphasizes againandagainher own this truly an anti-technologyrant?It's grandparentsandparentshadn't so easily personaloppressionin Canada.The unclear.He accusesall of us of being chuckedall this stuff so wiliingly given audienceis astoundedto learnthat her unawarethat the socialhall we're sitting us laughablejewish educationswhich, farnilynarnewasnot McAIt upon in, which now belongsto Montreal's it's a surprisemore of us didn't endup arrival in Canadabut was changed. hugePortuguesecommunity, was in fact wiccanbi-sexuals(assomeI knew at my Although shemakesit seemthat this soldto the Portugueseby its former nice Jewishuniversitydid), left us was thrustupon the Mcls-familte, owners,the Arbiter RingMorkrnen's feelinglike Judaismhad no culture the truth is that nameswerenot generally Circle.The audienceis so shrnnedby exceptsuffering and more suffering, changedupon enty to a country this revelationit canbarely stoptalking mayte vle.wouldn'tbe in the goddarur (America or Canada)and the changing overhim and smokingup a fucking I saidit. of a namervasa very consciouseffort of storrn. The theme of this issue was a family to assimilateasquickly as Takethat,he continues,you decadent supposed to be Cultural possible.McAllinsists that in the taxi takingdead-insideshopaholics Heroes. Due to time Israel,rPalestinian issuethereareno good numbingyoru pain with the carcinogenic constraints,I was ableto only guysor bad guys,merelya two long opiatesof modernconsumerculture, give a a superficialtaste,a historiesclashingwith eachother,both you, you witlessaudiencememberswho sideshavingbeenoppressorsand forshpayz,if you will, of the may I remindyou haveno repectfor our inspirationsI keepcloseto oppressed. I notethat sheemphasizes the socialistpoet forefathersand lddish my heart(andon my fact that her family "had" to changeits motherswhosenameyou probablydon't nighttable.) Pleaseforgive an name.I wonderwhy this themehassuch evenknow! Uh, Moish? Didn't some overworkedlaw student. power for her, asin her nervousnessit youngpunkjust get up therenot five Next issue,expectannotated seemsto be oneof the only thingsshe bibliographies can focus on. Does sheactuallv think and minutesagoand sing a song,in yiddish, appreciations of: this is an injusticeperpetrated Maurice tn her that he wrote,by hirnsetf,were YOU Samuel, Daniel family alone?Or that this is evenan Pinkwater, NOT FUCKING PAYING GershonLegman,Tuli injusticeat all, insteadof a smartsocial ATTENTION YOU DELUSIONAL Kupferberg and Maya Deren. moveI'm sureher family was thrilled to OLD FUCK?? And if you want to wdte any havethe freedomto make. of these,pleasecontactme at rootlesscosmopo litan@yahoo .com.

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I organizedminyanson the elevatorof the Eiffel Tower,wrote success afterhit for all the biggestFrench-language musichalls: Colombea decouvert I'Amerique, Et moi,je vais vousdecouvrir mesjambes; shloggedkapores--performeda pre-Yom Kippur penitentialrite in which you usuallywave a chickenaroundyour headthreetimes--Ishloggedkapores with a midget prostitute,whom I then donatedto charity,and I discoveredthat my one-nighterwith the real Tahitianhad left me the fatherof a little ,Sabu. Poeticjustice, I guess,retributionfor sole violationof what'scometo be my known asthe Kalman Holzhackercredo IANTFTEMMUSIC--INTERNATIONALE] : If you can'tfuck thegoyim, don't evengo out of the house--nobodyeverdrownedfrom a. goodkosherwhack.At twenfy minutesto twelveon the night of April 14, 1912--six daysbeforemy twenty-frfthbirthday--Iwas on my kneesin a first-classstateroom, snuffling memoriesof the seaoutsidefrom the endof a brandnew bed,when I felt epes a grindingjar, too weak to launchmy noggin from betweenthe guilt-riddenEnglishflanks of the Jewishgirl who paid for my ticket, but enoughto precipitatemy Armenoid, Shylockiannoseso sharplyinto what yeshivaboyswho aren'tallowedto look call "Yoinein baheltenish,Ionah in his hiding place",that my supineMancunian loksh-andthe critics don't think I can write-my supineMancunianloksh gaveout

1

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with a startledgeshrayandtold me to stop rooting for truffles. "You didri'tnoticethat the boatjust sneezed?" "Oy, Kalman," she'dbecome so...worldlysincewe met,"T'esvraimentun vildekayak." "Kayak?"I was licking her navel to checkfor blood on my tongue."That'svilde KHAYE'--shethoughtshe'dcalledme a wild beast,and I didn't speakEnglish at all--"di fartige englisheshikseayne."That word she knew; it was Yiddish, and shestartedto grggle. She'dbeenin Parislessthan a week when we met, a lanky,blubber-lipped dilettante-cvrn-m iyeskayt a b are removed half-generation from Poltava;a Jewishgirl a little older than shewished who'd goneto all the bestschoolsa Jewish girl could get into andwould probablyhave beenbetteroff stayinghomechasingD.H. Lawren6e.Her fathersold a shipmate's tefillin the dayhe got off the boat;ten years later,he had an almostEnglish-bornwife, a factory the sizeof Monacoand a vicar's daughter to keepan eyeon the rest of the servants. His own daughterI met in the Rotonde. Therewas a whole crowd of us therethat night, Biegeleisen,Modigliani, Moishe Kisling, BlaiseCendrarsand a few other gentileson the thresholdof fame-all of us celebratingmy releasethat morning from prison.After a week'sconsideration,and Biegeleisen'sintervention,the public prosecutorhad decidedto drop the blasphemychargeagainstme. I'd published


Gol rh ?cnq a novel about a month before called Zikhroynesfun dem Talus Moyel, Memoirs of a Man Who Circumcised Christ, which Marc Chagall had refused to iilustrate. Just to bug him, I got Brancusi to make me a sort of flint chisel, which I managedto get caught tryrng to sell to the head of the shrine at Lourdes as the genuine knife with which the deed had been done. Brancusi had to go and initial it. They fined me fifty francs for fraud. Anyway, there must have been about fifteen saucersin front of me, and I was yelling atZadkine, when, apparently,my voice detached itself from the general uproar and one word, the poor girl's Shanghaigesture andmot de Cambronne, the very word that her parentshad forbidden themselvesin her presence,but that still used to slip out whenever she kicked up a fuss about no sconeson Pesakh, one word--the only one she could recognize in the midst of all that Yiddish--insinuated itself into her ear with such practiced asslrance that her toes began to curl. I still don't remember saying it, but she assuredme it was "goyim". Rigbt then and there it hit her: sociologically speaking, tous les artistes sont desjuifs. )"Except for Chagall," I told her, when she came over and askedif I was maybe a rabbi. I told her yes and offered my knee. Instead,she squeezedherself onto the banquettebeside Marie Laurencin, shook my hand, stared staight into my eye patch and told me her name. . "Elspeth, gor?" A grft from the vicar's daughter,who thought it much more euphoniousthan Peshe.The onlyproblem was, Elspeth looked like a terra-cottaPeshe fetish from somewhereoff the coast of Madagascar,as primordially Jewish as the high priestessofthe golden calf. Ah, the erotics of Yiddish: a virgin

morninga new Tuesdaynight, Wednesday glasseye. And if I preferredthe eyeto the virgin-just pop it out andthink aboutverse form. But I was crazyaboutElspeth;she didn't look like anybody,andnobodybut me liked looking at her-she wastoo tall for the times,too long in the thigh andtoo shortin the chest,entirelytoogenerousall around the mouth.But KalmanFranzoysdon'tdate no dogs:therehadto be a way to makeher asbeautifulto therest of the world as she wasto me. I happenedto seea Gauginone day,andit told me everythingI neededto know. I fitted Elspethout in two rose-buds and a sarong,ffizzedher hair andtried to teachhersomemodernpoetryin Hebrewfor purposesof mysticchant--Iwas afraidto use anythingtoo well-known,but Elspeth's pronunciationwas so bad thatMoses himself couldn'thavemadeout a word. She learneda few simpledancesteps,we hired the darkestdrummerwe could find, andthen I went to work. From newspaperoffice to publicity agentto anycelebrityI'd ever shakenhandswith, all I could talk aboutwas had theyheardwho'dbeendeportedfrom Berlin-always a nice touchin the family wasworried about Paris--because her effecton the Kaiser. No one evenaskedto seea passport. The mysticvahini PrincessPrurvoo--it means"increaseandmultiply" in Hebrew-the fosterdaughterof Paul Gaugrn himself,could only graceus with a single performance.Elspethwasso persuasively, so mesmerizingly,so chastelyincompetent that therewas no questionof her absolute evenkilled authenticity.Two art-students themselvesbecausethey'dneverhavethe chanceto seeher again,andElspethfinally stoppedstammeringandtalking into her chest.The publicity photosfinally convinced her that when it cameto looking at her, I really did missmy eye, andgiventhe

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S+rll,..M amountof screwingwe weredoing on this boat,I was gonnabe seeingeverything foreshortened for the rest of my life. Not that we neededanyhelp from the ocean,but Eispeth--whowas afraid to get marriedbecauseher parentswould have laughedat my accent--Elspeth fell into a panicwhen shegot a wire from her parents, who were alreadyin Calais."I, I can'tface .them,Kalman." "I'11stayawayfor a day or two." "You meanyou could?That'show much you careaboutme?You can just go awayand--" "Peshe,zay-zheshoynriyek. You're twenty-sevenyearsold andI'm happyto marryyou.But..." Shewas crylng andsmashingcrockery. "'Wecantell them I'm your rabbi.'l "They'll know, Kalman." Shekept lapsinginto English."Goddammit,they wouldn't evenbe comingif they didn't alreadyknow. Somebodymust haveseenus andtold them." "What?Seenus in bed?"It was me she was worried about;not PrincessPrurvoo.A singleglancefrom her parentswas going to exposethe Yiddish whereher maidenhead shouldhavebeen.Therewasnothing else for it. We had to get somewherewherethey couid nevercatchup, wherethey might nevereventhink of looking. "Ard we'regonnaspendthe rest of our lives runningawayfrom your parents?" "Thefre not asyoungasthey usedto be, Kalman." Elspethskimmedthe creamoff her trust fund andboughtus first-class passage on thenext shipout ofCherbourg. We were registeredasRabbiandMme Holzhacker. We were hearingfootstepson the deck now, hushedconversations in English. "Kalman,cheri," shewas pushingmy head back to whereshethoughtit belonged,"Let the sailorstakecareof theboat."

But thereseemedto be an awful lotpf peopleout there,more andmore of themall the time, so I decidedto get dressedandgo outside.Even ifnobody could speakFrench, therehad to be a Jew somewherein the crowd. "Kalman,don't go. Thingswerejust gettinggood." My tonguefelt like a welcomemat. "Don't worry. Remember,I comefrom a long line of eideticmemories." "Thenyou shouldrememberthat I... can't...wait." ElspethstayedElspeth,even on boardthe Titanic. "Iceberg?Qu'est-ceque tu dis, iceberg?"I hadn'tneededmore than forty secondsto find out. a "Iceberg,ayzbarg,iceberg--there's mountainof gelid water out there,and the ship'ssinking fasterthan the luck of the Jews.t' Elspethjust cackledand staredandtold me to pick up whereId left her off. I gave her a coupleofslaps acrossthe cheeks, Elspethstartedto weep and screamabout prodigalsonsand frlial impiety; God was finally catchingup with her, her own immoralitywas killing all the innocentson this ship. "And I had nothingto do with it? And what aboutJ.J.Astor out there?He'sepes God'schild of deiights?" "He wasn'twaiting for his parentsto die." "And if we threw you overboard,you think the hole'dpatchitself up?" Therewas nothingI could do. I gave her a smashthat would have staggereda horse,but Elspethonly hit me back. She lockedherselfin the bathroom,tried to drown herselfin the toilet bowl. Sherefused to leave.Elspethsleptwith me maybea hundredandeighty times--Iwas youngthen, and knew what I liked; circumstanceand morality drgveher to drown with J.J.Astor.

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81 Motl Tenkit While not currently on the FDA food pyramid Live Culture is one of the most important substances in a person's diet. Di gezelshaft far lebedjk kul-tur (The Live Culture Society or, as it is known by its Yiddish acronym, GLIK) currently recommends thro to four servings of live per week. There are a number of ways to ingest these two to culture four servings. The preferred method is through the viewJ-ng, hearing or with culture interactj-on or arts with the secondary rnethod being the eating of Yogurt.

I

Now how does one figure out how many servings of Live Culture availabl-e in different events? One looks them up on the Periodic table of Cufture (it comes out periodically. ) Servings of Live Culture are not all egual, nor do all have to be taken in person. Public Television is one of the great sources of Live Culture available in you own homeprovided that one has a working television set). Here is serving

a sirnple table of common sources of live culture and theit val-ues: 1 servingt Concert Classical Music: 1.5 servingis Opera: .75 servings Jazz: - in cLub Jazzi - in concert 1 serving World Music: 1 serving Movies .75 servings Big Budget,/Major Studio 1.25 servings Art Films .10 serving TV shows - Situation Comedy n.5, SeinfeTd, Mad About You, Frasier and Frjends are . -20 servings worth afL .50 serving l- Hour Drana (on PBS) -75 servings n.b. Ken Burns documentary .50 serring 60 minutes -.25 servings The Osbournes

This table is just Slightly different before undertaking

show wi]1 be a gu*de line, each individual based on the content! Consult your Doktor of Kultur intake. change in your cultural a drastic

Not all Yogurts qualify, they must contain Live Cultures. This ruLes out all frozen Yogurts. While all Yogurts that contain l,ive Cultures count when eaten straight GLiK has yet to determj-ne if Yogurt that is mixed j-nto Tuna Fish Salad counts [yuck -ed. ] . As a nun0cer of the or don't members of the board of GLIK are either l-actose intolerant brands of Iike the taste of Yogurt they have yet to rate different Yogurt for the amount of Live Culture in each container. [Greek Yogurt is the yuruniest. -ed.l Now it is up to you to rnake sure that servings of live culture per week.

you are getting

your two to

four

Rootless Cosmopolitan 'zine #1  

A magazine about roots and culture, for lovers of zion

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