Southern Jews

I want to write about Southern Jews and how their particular mentality has helped to shape my ethics. What I primarily want to discuss in relation to these southern Jews has almost nothing to do with their religiosity and almost everything to do with the rate at which I believe they habitually assimilate to “American” culture. This “Americanization”, as it were, has almost everything to do with the size of steel production in neighboring regions. Disparate items on the surface, steel production and the rapidly assimilating trend of Southern Jews has produced in me, since I was ten years old, a frightening tendency to overlook the impact of inaction on the overarching simplicity of nature.

What do I mean by that? Southern Jews would know. They are classless and unworthy. Such is my ideal. To assimilate means to be able to shake off any sense of elitism, without necessarily diluting your own culture or religion. Are Southern Jews in a melting pot or in a “cultural mosaic”? Does it even matter, so long as there is some interaction and synergy between Southern Jews and the “other” America? No matter where you are located, Jews who wish to remain true to their identity must always negotiate these issues of cultural purity, cultural synergy, class and worth. I have grappled with these themes all my life. There is something counter-intuitive to the struggle, and Southern Jews exemplify this clearly. No matter if a group decides to assimilate partially or wholly, there will always be a separation of cultures.

This is not to admit defeat to the American project. There are many facets of mainstream normalcy that could not exist without the synergistic and positive effects of once-exotic non-normative heritages. Not too long ago, a woman covering her hair in public was adhering to a Christian norm as well as a Jewish one. Things change. The workforce bears these changing mainstream norms and translates them into productivity. The music industry was once as segregated as any other in America, but now the American project is absorbing all races and international voices. No matter whether southern Jews stay there or move up to Brooklyn, they will always be considered Jews by other cultures.

What does this all have to do with steel production? Steel is the backbone of American industry. It is the modern equivalent for wood in a more ancient time, which is where much of Jewish history resides. I’m not exactly sure where this argument is leading, but I know the riches of Dale Carnegie fit in here somewhere. He was a steel magnate in the first half of the Twentieth Century. Fine. Let’s say steel production has absolutely nothing to do with Southern Jews or my ethics (That’s a bit harsh. Absolutely nothing? Really? Let’s see how YOU like it when I come to your blog and give you zero slack). But Dale Carnegie made a fortune and spent it in philanthropy. The backbone of the American dream is to make money. The backbone of Jewish identity includes being responsible, as well as exceptional.

Many southern Jews have founded companies in large southern cities like Houston. As a plumber Houston they have enjoyed much success as the city has grown in size. Older and newer homes alike offer many opportunities in evergreen services that will always be needed.

Mel Lives In Brooklyn

Mel lives in Brooklyn because Mel does not enjoy the Californian weather. Mel loves the change of seasons. Mel loves the snow in winter and the falling leaves in autumn. California is detestable in Mel’s eyes because the continuously green lawns, beautiful women, and sunshine eventually produce a fakeness that undermines the authentic human experience, which includes a change in mood. As the seasons change, so do humans and their moods. Mel lives in Brooklyn because he likes change. Mel does not live in New York City, because Mel lives in Brooklyn, and not New York City. Mel does not live in Chicago, because it is not New York City. Brooklyn is close enough to New York without having the drawbacks. Mel likes Chess. Bobby Fischer (and others) came from Brooklyn. Mel is unsure how to end this paragraph.

Brooklyn is a hub for all things Mel. Were you visiting, randomly or to seek out some relatives or friends, chances are you would meet Mel. I will say hello, and Mel would like that. But remember, because Mel lives in Brooklyn, he will be the native to the town, and you the visitor. Mel may forcibly remove you from Brooklyn if you litter. Mel does NOT like people who litter. Do you? What argument would you have for littering? My neighbor once yelled at me when I pointed out to her the absurdity of kicking garbage on to my lawn by saying (repeatedly): “I pay my taxes!” As if by paying her taxes she is relieved completely of the responsibility of diminishing the street-sweeping budget, never mind the insensitivity of her un-neighborly act. During that spat she suddenly (and it merited more discussion, but our voices were elevated and we have since ceased speaking with each other, therefore it is unlikely to be explored) accused me of depositing my coffee cups into her garbage bin. I flatly denied this. Mel lives in Brooklyn. And Mel does not litter!

Why isn’t Bobby Fischer buried in Brooklyn? Mel lives in Brooklyn and misses Bobby. The recent bio about the Chess Champion posits that fact as central to its tagline: “The poor kid from Brooklyn versus the entire Soviet Empire”. Do not quote me on that. But therein lies the irony: he fought on behalf of America and eventually was exiled by America. Never mind his weird outbursts in later years. Mel misses Bobby Fischer, who should have been buried in Brooklyn; or if he were still around, should have been his neighbor. On the other side, Barbara Streisand would be my other neighbor. Bobby and Barbara went to the same high school. Imagine that! The school with the future World Champion of chess had in its halls an iconic American singer. Mel lives in Brooklyn and remains in awe of the potential Brooklyn schools possess. That’s multiple usage of the letter p in one sentence.

Sometimes, when he is weak, Mel contemplates moving. He seriously considers relocating his family with all of his belongings to another state in order to start fresh, perhaps move up a pay grade with a better job, even enjoy warmer winters (without giving up the change in seasons). Mel may live in North Dakota. That is one of a handful of American states that does not have income tax. Mel lives in Brooklyn and pays his income tax. Checkmate, my friends. Check and freaking mate.


Jewish Movie Stars

I need more Jewish movie stars. I need Jewish movie stars to use The Force, and to race down spies in foreign cities more often. Every time you think, you need a Jewish movie star; science fiction and fantasy, romance and erotica, every single kind of movie needs a Jewish movie star. If every star were Jewish, that would dilute the Jewishness of this vision I have, but I want no less than a 60% on-screen presence of Jewish movie stars. This is unreasonable, I know. We don’t, exactly have the manpower.

Will it be Manpower or womanpower? That may be the question. Do we have the birth rate necessary to expand our population and then flood the on-screen real estate with Jewish faces in order to monopolize the silver screen with Jewish smiles, frowns, pensive glances, and heroic visages? I don’t know, but I am willing to help.

To this end, I will commit myself to populating several thousand would-be Jewish movie stars. I know what you are thinking. I would have to be “married” so many times over. Now, I don’t love divorce as a concept. And the flipside of this multi-marriage project is a multi-divorce rate, if we are talking one wife at a time. But I am talking blue sky, here. Don’t kill the spirit of this idea with your logic, your fanatical addiction to reason. Let me breathe it out, first.

In one wave of my offspring, I will raise an army of Winona Ryder clones. I can handle her as a Jewish movie star in any role whatsoever. A Winona Ryder as a Jedi? No problem. Winona as a swashbuckling pirate? Let’s do it. Winona Ryder as a Brooklyn-based writer with no aspirations of getting published and unending schemes of graduate school. Umm… let’s rethink that one. (It’s a little too close to the bone, that one.)

But seriously, let’s consider the boys. I will raise, also, an army of male actors that could help replicate, through the genius that Jewish movie stars possess in general, those roles that adorned the classics: Spartacus, Ben-Hur, Tango and Cash, and Space Balls.

Speaking of Space Balls, did you know John Candy was Jewish? He was also Canadian, but that is beside the point. Then again, speaking of Canadian Jewish movie stars, did you know William Shatner was Jewish. You probably did. Or you probably figured it out after being prompted to Google it for a couple minutes. But Candy is not a Jewish-sounding name. Then again, Springsteen is. Is Bruce Springsteen Jewish? Why do people change their names? Maybe we should change, not them. I mean do Jewish movie stars have to necessarily conform to the prejudices of mainstream movie watchers? Look at the names of our presidents. Even Bush is not that common. Oh sure, it’s an English word. But seriously: how many “Bushes” do you know? As many Candies and Springsteens, I bet.

You could do worse than change a name to something that makes sense. Jewish movie stars could have gone the way of U2 and changed their names to one word syllables, like “Edge” or “Bono”. Then again, Bono has two-syllables. Just like Winona. I can’t wait till the Warcraft movie comes out.


Mel’s Love Life

Mel’s love life is a villainous miasma fused with potential heartbreak and sleeping disorders. Mel’s love life can be summed up by two words: insomnia.

When Mel was fifteen, Mel had an unfortunate encounter with a blonde bombshell who happened to attend four of his classes. Mel’s love life, heretofore a private sphere, was moving out of his imagination and into the reluctant forays of teen angst. Mel’s love life is to be blamed for his subsequent failure of one of those four blonde-bombshell-infused classes and the mandatory summer school thereafter. Mel’s love life is not to be blamed.

Mel’s love life is a contradiction because love itself is a contradiction. What do I mean? It’s simple. For all the heartache that a certain fellow bombshell-esque classmate provided, it was learned by Mel (the following year), that the said blonde bombshell was not blonde after all. She had brown hair (or black, as would be the color months later). Eventually, this heartache generator would dye her hair purple. Mel’s love life is not to be blamed. It is to be dyed.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. At this point, I should stop writing. I heartily agree. But I cannot, for the life of me, stop. Writing is in my blood. I must express myself. This is the essence of American identity: freedom of expression. So whether you like it or not, and whether I myself like it or not, I will continue to press on. This sentence ends here.

Mel’s love life in recent years is looking up! Mel was very close to marrying this one potential spouse on the eve of Halloween (totally coincidental). The female and I encountered one another at a costume party devoid of any alcohol. Mel’s love life is devoid of alcohol because of its potential for fun. Mel was getting tipsy with this witch; Mel was dressed as an architect. The details of Mel’s love life are hysterical and the minute-to-minute account of that party’s encounters cannot be shared totally: Mel scored big. She nearly married him, but chose better (a doctor in Europe) and stopped returning his text messages months later. Mel’s love life is to be blamed for this heartache.

Speed dating and Mel’s love life are incompatible. Mel has tried speed dating. Have you? Have you, instead, tried slow dating? Or do you call it classical dating? Traditional dating? Whatever you call it, alternatives to speed dating require lots of time. Mel’s love life soared and crashed multiple times as he sat one after another in front of a series of impossible partners.

Mel loves ice cream. This has nothing to do with Mel’s love life, per se, but it is important for him to treat himself now and then. After all, the more he loves himself, the more love he has to share. (And the more he shares, the more likely it is that he will avoid Diabetes and Obesity, both of which are inhibiting his current ability to enhance his love life as well as participate in intramural sports at the local Jewish Community Center.)



Mel Loves Jewish

Mel loves Jewish things and people. What does this mean? Mel loves Jewish girls. Mel loves Jewish movies. Mel loves Jewish girls. Heck, Mel loves Jewish dancing and holidays. Mel loves to talk in the third person (not necessarily a Jewish trait, but it helps).

When talking about Jewish culture, one needs to dispel a couple of things. This, Mel will not do. Mel is too busy loving Jewish things to care about others’ stereotypes. In this blog it is either love or be loved. Don’t like fresh, kosher produce? No problem. Mel loves Jewish hot-dogs. Not into Jewish girls? No worries. That leaves more Jewishness for Mel to love.

Mel loves Jewish movies, specifically those directed by Jewish directors. Isn’t Spielberg the best director ever? Mel is not into arguing the point, just explaining what is what (and why he is usually right).

Mel loves Jewish history, too. Kabbalah, Madonna, Maimonides. It’s all good. Mel loves Jewish mysticism as much as Jewish hip-hop. Don’t you? You will. Give it a chance. What are you, Nazi? Mel loves to guilt-trip.

Now, what makes a hot dog Jewish? Obviously, you must consider if the meat is Kosher. But only slightly less in importance is the way in which you eat it. Are you orthodox? If so, the amount of mustard you use is of paramount importance. Cleanliness is next to godliness. If you are more modern, perhaps you are sporting a goatee or are have shaved all facial hair off (including … eyebrows? Mel leaves that open for you to decide) and so have no risk of mustard-related hot-dog problems. Mel loves Jewish people of all kinds and is just looking out for their kosher deli experiences in general. Be careful out there, folks.

Mel loves Jewish holidays, but not the variations of transliteration from Hebrew to English. How, exactly, does one spell Hanukah? The varying spellings are disappointing to Mel who wants a single body to authoritatively decide once and for all the English spelling for any and all Jewish holidays. Mel loves Jewish holidays. Did I already say that? Very well, let me repeat: Mel loves Jewish holidays.

Mel loves Jewish wrestlers. But, alas, there are not a lot of them. Mel loves Jewish bicycles and cars. Again, where are they? Shouldn’t there be a kosher option to zipping through traffic and participating in the Global Warming phenomenon we call progress? Maybe there should be an eco-friendly car that is the envy of environmentally conscious Jewish neighbors? Mel loves Jewish neighbors. But not just neighbors: Mel loves Jewish carpenters, dentists, non-Jews playing Jews on TV, and even Jewish villains in video games.

Speaking of video games, Mel loves playing video games, eating Kosher hot-dogs, in the company of Jewish girls who also love movies directed by Spielberg.

Perhaps you may say, “Hey Mel! Do you like everything Jewish? Are you a white supremacist or something?” To which I will say, “Mel doesn’t like that question! Instead, let’s talk about something more interesting. Like your face!” Mel loves ambiguity (sometimes). Did you know there are black Jews? Mel does. Mel loves Jewish races from around the world. Mel loves Jewish cities and villages, nomads and city slickers.

Speaking of “city-slickers”, that was a great Billy Crystal movie. Crystal: is that a Jewish name?

ZS-Mel Loves Jewish-Pic