Saturday, December 29, 2007

Jews, Medigans, Goyim and the Great Assimilated Herd

After the gods have fled... let us enjoy the food they have left us!

Doesn't this look good!

A rice pudding grown up, educated and fit to honor the gods... or goddesses, as the case may be.

Served for Thiruvadhirai, commemorating Shiva's birthday, on, appropriately enough, Siva's Arms, photo and recipe HERE

Surrounded everywhere by the lights, music and commercial shills and shalls of the dominate, midwinter U-Essian holiday (I've come to cringe every time I hear this one-of- three major North American states referred to as "America," as though Canada and Mexico were were like Alaska and Hawaii pre--1950's... existing only in anticipation of being absorbed into the Empire").

I was reminded the other day, shopping in the family owned Dollar Plus store down the block, of the great Indian diaspora. The cashier, a young woman with a shy and engaging smile, supervised by an older woman with sad and knowing eyes, wished me a "happy Christmas." Flashed through my mind--that they might be Christian, but more likely Muslim, Hindu... Parsi? but this obligatory midwinter greeting, obliterating our most precious differences, struck the same chord. Why do we all aspire to be Medigans?"

"It's not my holiday," I said, but smiled, and wished them well... and left.

Medigan... is old South Philly Italian for an American. Say Americano, or "American" in an Italian accent. "An American, an American, an American."

Used the way Lenny Bruce used goyim. One of his most brilliant routines. The South Philly Italians would have been for Bruce, Jews. The Old Order Mennonites in Ohio, were Jews. Whoever remained distinct, identifiable, were Jews. The great assimilated herd who saw everyone else as "other"... they were the goyim, the Medigans.

A few blocks away, at Geno's steaks ( a local icon and tourist trap--if you have to, please, go to Pats!) they want to believe they've joined the herd. If you don't wanna speak the English, go back where you came from, their sign says. An old pattern; a few second and third generation immigrants, insecure in their communal identity, turn Nativist. Twenty-First Century No-Nothings.

We are all diaspora.

We are all in exile from the Animal Kingdom we have fled, believing we were chosen by the gods... still believing, long after the gods themselves have fled in terror at what they have inspired...

No comments:

Post a Comment