Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Wandering Jewish Intellectual Day Parade

Talking about self-worth, you wonder how many people would march or meander in the Wandering Jewish Intellectual Day Parade. Maybe one, you? though you’re not necessarily proud. Which brings up another question, how is one to be proud of one’s existence? OK, so you have come out of the closet and freely proclaim your disinterest in making an honest living or really doing anything but trafficking in esoteric ideas that no one's interested in and writing blogs that no one reads. That’s all fine and good but it doesn't alleviate the shame that derives from never having done an honest day's work in a society which lionizes classic stereotypes of achievement. Then you have to go home at night. Ostensibly your significant other is just like you i.e. someone who gets excited by festschrifts written in honor of the anniversary of Husserl’s birth or perhaps you’re not an itinerant Jewish intellectual but a Zoroastrian intellectual but of the same Upper West Side vintage, who subsists because of the rent-controlled apartment you've occupied with thirty cats since a real long time ago. In any case you two have to face each other. You’ve proclaimed your true wishes to the world.  You know that a compound German word like Verganheitsbewaltigung turns you on, but you have to come home after a long day in the library and still get along with each other and face the problems of how you are going to finance all the subscriptions to scholarly magazines that are coming due. At first the reminders are friendly, but then they become insistent and even angry since the little magazines you’ve subscribed to for a half century are equally as desperate and in need of support as you are. And on it goes. Every year, you select a day and a route and nobody comes to cheer you on. Yet you continue to put one foot in front of the other and march. 

N.B.: read Francis Levy's short story, "Pet Buddha"in Vol. 1 Brooklyn. 

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