Matt's Blog

Weblog of New York City based Jewish Musician.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Reading Jewish

The New York Times > Washington > Election 2004 > On the Avowed Left Coast, a Feeling of Being Left Out


I will leave my personal politics off this blog, and only comment on other subjects. Which means that I can comment on the quote of Wilder Schmaltz that ran in this article in the NYTimes.

"Given the gravity of things, there was really only one thing that Wilder Schmaltz, a 25-year-old Portland artist who had refused to remove the anti-Bush button from his lapel, felt he could do. He called a friend and headed straight to the Red and Black Cafe, an all-organic, wheat-free, vegetarian coffee and food shop, which is run as a collective and is a popular hangout of the Socialist Party USA's candidate for president, Walt Brown.

"I figured that in this place we wouldn't run the risk of being around any cheering Republicans," Mr. Schmaltz said.

Upon entering the cafe, Mr. Schmaltz, who is Jewish, grabbed off the cafe's bookshelf "A Beggar in Jerusalem," by Elie Wiesel, and read it glumly over a bowl of vegetarian chili. "Something Jewish will do me good right now," he said."

Why does one need a reason to read Jewish? And why does it matter that Mr. Schmaltz is Jewish . (And with a name like Schmaltz, why is that even a question.

I mean, what could be more Jewish than Schmaltz. (Schmaltz, for those of you would don't know is rendered chicken fat. Normally kept on the stove in a pot with onions and garlic. Think of it as the Eastern European Jewish equilivant to Lard in the Southern United States.) I wonder if because Schmaltz is such an obscure word if that means that one isn't teased that much about it growing up?

 
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