Thursday, July 20, 2006

None of My Best Friends are Jewish

I caught no small amount of flack over yesterday's article titled The 51st State of Israel, in which I facetiously suggested that the best thing America can do to protect Israel would be to give it a slice of Utah and Nevada and grant it statehood. Some folks took it as a dead serious proposal, which gives you some idea of the health of irony in our present age. It isn't quite dead yet, but its refuges are limited in number.

Anyone who points to Israel as the long pole in the circus tent of young Mister Bush's foreign policy risks accusations of anti-Semitic bigotry. The easy and cheesy rebuttal to such accusations is "some of my best friends are Jewish," but I'm not easy or cheesy enough to pull that ripcord. The truth be told, I don't have a whole lot of friends period, and if any of them are Jewish, they're going out of their way to hide it from me.

I don't have any black friends either. I've had a lot of pleasant acquaintances with African Americans, starting with some of the guys I played high school football with and continuing into my Navy years, where I worked with some of the finest professionals in that line of business who happened to be, uh, negroes. But I don't stay in touch with any of them.

My first real girlfriend was a dark haired lovely of mixed Chinese and Columbian blood. She dumped me over the phone on my 21st birthday. But as best I can tell, I didn’t let that turn me against Asians and Hispanics, because I've dated a number of Asian ladies since then and was briefly married to a woman whose aunt still lives in Spain. I tried to date this really cute looking gal of Iranian descent once, but she wouldn't go out with me. White girl-wise, my first wife was a Dakota Norwegian, and I lived for a year with a woman of Finnish heritage. I kissed a black girl once when I was 23. We'd both been drinking.

In my way back years as a struggling actor in Chicago, I had a major crush on a trio of Polish sisters. Being a theatrical type, I had a lot of contact with homosexuals. Only in retrospect do I realize that was good training for my life as a naval officer, because I worked with a lot of homosexuals there too.

These days, my favorite editor and sometimes writing partner is a practicing Roman Catholic. I like to think I do a pretty good job of not holding that against her. I try not to be too bigoted against Catholic priests, but if I'm going to be in the same room with one, he has to keep his hands out where I can see them.

I despise Christians like Pat Robertson, and self-styled evangelical politicians like young Mister Bush can suck summer sausage in hell for all eternity as far as I'm concerned.

So I guess I'm a total bigot.

Wait, I just remembered. My two best friends are, in fact, minority members. One is a third generation Mexican and the other is half Croix Indian. But they're both U.S. Navy veterans, and are both married to German-Irish girls, one of whom happens to be my sister. So that likely prejudices me in their favor.

Which makes me an even bigger bigot, I guess.

Yeah, I know, plenty of you won't find this funny or insightful. All I ask is that when you comment on the crass and tasteless tone of this piece, please do me the favor of spelling your hyphenated obscenities correctly.

And please don't throw racial or religious hatred into the discussion of America's Middle East policy.

Make jokes, not war.

Or as the Jewish mom who used to live next door to my Catholic mom would say, "make nice."

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Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.

21 comments:

  1. OMG, surely you didn't know of any *-*GASP!*-* homerseckshuals in the Navy, did you?

    Colin Powell et al said homerseckshuals would be bad for unit cohesion, and I believed him...

    And wasn't that Rickover guy one of them Jewish-type boys?

    [/snark off]

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  2. Yeah, there's homers in the military all right, and its them there's fault everythings going down the poop can.

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  3. Jeff, very witty. Consider yourself blogrolled. I'll be back to read some more. Please take a look at my site, where I've written lately right up your alley, just not as funny, I'm afraid. Maybe you'll feel like reciprocating.

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  4. Zeb,

    Thanks for stopping by and posting. I'll be happy to drop by your site and take a look see.

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  5. Zeb, I don't know what's causing this, but I can't access your site from my Mac browser. That's the second time something like that has happened today.

    Not sure what the deal is. I will investigate.

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  6. Jeff,

    I ran into you over at the Decemberist, and took a gander at your fine writing, and thus, put your Pen and Sword into my favorites.

    As to the 51st state, I would probably imagine that the Israelis would prefer not to become part of the Rez and or even adjacent to the Hopi, Navajo, and other tribal contingents here in the Sonoran Desert. As such, there are 17 of us in tribal status, so these Israelis will be readily welcomed too as possibly the 75th or 76st State. :)

    Therefore, suggesting the creation of a 51st State, these folks will be standing in a long line of potential line breakers, and we do indeed appreciate line breakers immensely as we are the many waiting patiently.

    Despite the usual critics, we do have a fond appreciation for both Irony and Satire, and we do know the difference. Keep up the writing.

    Jaango

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  7. Could be Blogger and not you. Though I am signed in with my Blogger acct to comment.

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  8. Figured it out. For a guy who was once on the leading edge of this personal computer stuff, I've become a total Luddite.

    My yard is flat, so the rest of the world must be too.

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  9. I got back onto independent politics today because Maine's Indie candidate for Gov stopped by, then yesterday was just for fun. But below that you might like what you see.

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  10. Thanks for the link. Let me know if there was anything in particular you liked...or not.LOL

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  11. Do your thing, Zeb. Don't worry about what others think.

    Best wishes,

    Jeff

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  12. Oh, I don't, believe me...that's just my self-effacing way.

    I blogged earlier in the week what the experts are now saying about the Shiite Crescent. I just didn't use the term.
    Thanks again.

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  13. Brilliant blog!

    It was a laugh! Although this is sad in itself, that one has to constantly defend themselves when making a suggestion or a joke as regards to whether you are racist, bigoted or not.

    I always say I cannot be anti-semetic, the Palestinians are semites.
    Not only that, but as a Muslim, Jews are my cousins.

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  14. That's my favorite part of the "simitic" label. It actually refers to everyone from that part of the world.

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  15. Meribeth9:46 AM

    Wonderful post Jeff! After being accused of prejudice because I said I didn't like rap, I truly appreciate every word you wrote.

    Isn't it odd that people like that can't spell? This from a person that can't spell either.

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  16. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Ah, brilliant Jeff. I think you and your blog are one of the best kept secrets in the "blogosphere". Fantastic writing.

    I totally enjoyed your Israel post, and I AM Jewish. I don't understand the whole criticize Israel = anti-semitic equation. It makes no sense, and Israel is the only nation in the world which this seems to apply to. If we criticize Italy, are we anti-Catholic?

    Basically the "anit-Semitic" charge is just a proxy insult to those who would dare question US policy in the Middle East. Now clearly there are many bad things that Muslims in that part of the world have done, but to presume that Israel is the shining beacon of virtue that can do no wrong is asinine.

    Israel's problem basically comes down to fucking. There are many more Muslims there than Jews, and most everything else flows from that. Maybe we should consider sending them Viagra, which is helpfully color coordinated with their flag!

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  17. As always, a great post, Jeff, with some solid foundation of thought and the added reality of irony which anything connected with Israel requires.

    Hy-ph-en-ated ob-scen-ity: Damned good piece!

    For Jaango, if you read this. My understanding is that those living on the rez actually have dual citizenry in a sense. Isn't sovereignity a fact? (I can vaguely remember the Mumbler-in-Chief being asked about sovereignity, and replying that it means you're sovereign. The Rez aren't states - they're legally nations, aren't they?

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  18. Jeff, Zeb, Zeb, Jeff.. oh, you guys already met, great! I was totally remiss in not telling Zeb about you as he's a retired Marine (don't hold it against him) and as expected..he was quite happy with the referral...you're in true form today (and yesterday ) I think it's hilarious! You'd think that name calling went out of the window after graduating from highschool but no..it's still used in full force by those who can't find any other intelligent words I guess. And anonymous..I am glad you put the record straight on that as well. I get the feeling from reading and some personal experience, that that is not the norm to be able to be critical yet not resort to this, again, name calling. Of course, isn't there a name for Jewish people like you who would/could be critical? (self loathing ?) it never ends..
    that said, I don't think it's a numbers' game.. there's more to it I think
    Ingrid

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  19. Hello, all:

    Catching up with the thread.

    You know, I'm not sure I have any criticism of Israel's actions right now, and certainly don't expect to until we have a lot more info than we're getting right now.

    My thoughts are mainly that the neoconservative strategy for protecting that country has completely backfired, and we need to start from a clean slate.

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  20. Seven of Six3:29 PM

    I try not to be too bigoted against Catholic priests, but if I'm going to be in the same room with one, he has to keep his hands out where I can see them.

    And please, keep your child in sight at all times!

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  21. For Lurch.

    It was my approach to some self-deprecating tongue-in-cheek humor. Glad you caught it.

    As to Israel, I don't think they would be accepting of a dual status: nationhood as a ward of the state? And if there was a do-over, the Israelis would just take all of Florida. Perhaps, we should encourage them to take all of Louisiana and start the rebuilding effort. Of course, Nagin, a former Republican, and now Democrat, could achieve his ambition for a belated President-hood. :)

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