“If it’s a racist society, the white people are the ones being persecuted because they have to defend themselves” against ‘professional racists’ like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.”
So said the feisty Jewish comedian Jackie Mason, after causing an uproar by referring to Obama as a “schwartza” during a stand-up routine.
“I’m an old Jew. I was raised in a Jewish family where ‘schwartza’ was used. It’s not a demeaning word and I’m not going to defend myself.”
My grandfather, RIP, was an innocent, sweet man. He too used that particular Yiddish word and meant nothing bad by it.
“And there was this parting shot [from Mason]: ‘I’m more talented than Oprah Winfrey and look at how much she makes. I can’t even make a living.'”
Don’t we know how he feels. (But the market doesn’t adjudicate quality.)
Here’s hoping Mason doesn’t back down.
Update (March 16): In response to Gunjam, and about the line, “the marketplace doesn’t adjudicate quality.” I wrote this concept in 2003, in the article “MUCH ADO ABOUT CONSERVATIVES AND POP CULTURE“:
“More often than not, the marketplace doesn’t adjudicate the quality of art or pop culture. … The market does no more than offer an aggregate snapshot of the trillions of subjective preferences enacted by consumers. Aguilera (Christina) probably sells more than Ashkenazy (Vladimir) ever did. Britney outdoes Borodin. For some, this will be faith inspiring, for others deeply distressing.”
The concept can be found in its succinct version under “Pop Culture & Populism,” in the “Quotables” section.