RTC: The Coolest Jew (Blog #8)

Cool Jeq

I am the coolest Jew, at least I am the coolest Jew in the Chicago land area.  I know what you’re thinking…is this statement from some sort of poll and/or contest?  Did the rabbinical association make some sort of decree, or was this title given to me by Adrian Brody, Adam Sandler, or Natalie Portman (three Jews universally recognized to hand out such a distinction)?  Actually the answer is no.  My statement is backed up by hard data, by sociologically tested reporting mechanisms, and my title is one bestowed upon me by the people, of different ethnicities and ages, and without any prompting, absolutely none whatsoever.  In fact, this title, while I’ll wear it as a badge of honor (not a piece of flare though) comes with a mixture of disappointment.  Let me explain.

As a kid I was introduced to many Jews, both literally and metaphorically, or in some other way to communicate that I was made aware of famous Jewish people without actually meeting them in person, but let me continue.  In my house Jewish culture was prominent.  I could write for days and days about Jewish culture vs. religion (and I actually did for my senior thesis entitled “From Moses To Sandy Koufax: How Religion and Culture Intersect Impact Jewish Identity), but will save that for another forum (read my thesis).  Anyway, Jews such as Hank Greenberg, and Sandy Koufax were celebrated, in fact, I own 5 Sandy Koufax baseball cards, which were purchased for me by my father who was in full support of collecting anything done by a Jewish person who was cool.  He would take me to see Adam Sandler movies, read books by Phillip Roth, promote the teachings of sophisticatedly cool  Albert Einstein, and did his own research on the Beastie Boys. While he didn’t necessary like Lenny Bruce’s humor, he certainly recognized his comedic genius.  When I was a sophomore in high school he bought me the book “Tough Jews” a complete history of Jewish gangsterism. 

See, at this time I thought that all Jews were cool, were brash, were tough.  So, imagine my surprise when a schiksa (a beautiful non-Jewish woman, usually reserved for blonde/blue eyed girls) who I met while working at Summer Camp in 1998 identified me as ‘one of those cool type of Jews…that’s what you are.’  While I obviously couldn’t argue with her, I mean, let’s face it, I am a cool motherf**ker, I did wonder what other types of Jews she’s come into contact with.  Is this similar to, ‘you run fast…for a fat person.’… 

I mean, all I knew were cool Jews, both the ones on TV and in my own family.  See, my grandfather came to Chicago via Austria and opened a small produce store with his brother in the 1920’s.  My dad worked there throughout his childhood, telling me stories of dodging tomatoes, delivering groceries, and playing stickball in Humboldt Park. My dad is also someone who went to four colleges, served in the army, drove a convertible, and got a job only when he wanted to marry my mom and was denied by her father until he found true employment. That’s the kind of stock I come from…

Dad Dj

His brother, my uncle Bernie, was somewhat of a rebel, getting in fights when someone called him a Jesus killer, driving a motorcycle into synagogue, and the whole nine.  My Uncle Barry is also the man who said to me as a seven year old, ‘don’t ever get mad…get even…’  My other uncle, uncle Art, is a retired secret service member, enough said right there…So, cool Jews is all I knew as a kid growing up in Hyde Park.  

Since that time, and mainly in college, I found out that not all Jews are cool (or honest, tough, nice etc…), and some of them are down right not cool…I’ve been reminded of this a lot lately, as the past couple weeks have strangely been filled with people telling me “you’re the coolest Jew I know.”  I’m not lying, playing it up for exaggeration, none of that.  True story, or as Virgil would say, “I seent it.”  In fact it was Virgil and my dad who I went to a couple weeks ago after a beautiful girl again labeled  me the coolest Jew she’s ever met.  I didn’t even know how to take that.  Is she calling me cool, or does she just have a very bad idea of how Jews act?  Is that that even a compliment?  This happened again just this week when someone came into our office to chop it up and couldn’t believe my heritage.  I felt somewhat like Phife in “Phony Rappers” when he spits, “I had a similar situation  when this kid tried to tell me I didn’t deserve my occupation.”  I went so far as to show the coolness of Jews that I googled “Famous Jews” found a youtube video and made everyone in the place watch as the video which listed people such as David Blaine, Robert DeNiro, Natalie Portman, and Scarlet Johansson as members of the Tribe…

I’m writing to be kind of funny here, but there is a seious side…I mean the heart of the problem is that the instant when lame people do lame things, and such lameness is tied into their Judaism.  If someone is lame, they are lame.  If they happen to be Jewish and lame, their lameness is a product of their own doing and has nothing to do with their Jewishness.  It is my only hope that such people stop promoting their Judaism and confusing it with their lameness….

Anyway, now onto the music stuff…Put a big W in the earn chart…RubyHornet is proud to partner with Hostway, a leading firm in web services, to cover SXSW.  We will be there capturing interviews, photos, freestyle, concerts, networking, partying, making bad decisions, and narrowly avoiding std’s by last minute returns to good judgment all week long.  And we’ll also be hosting three showcases that are certified fresh!  If you’re in Austin, come check us at the Hi My Name Is Chicago showcase with Chi-town’s finest.  I’ll also be DJing at that one…Also see us all four days at The Rumbler, SXSW’s best 4 day party…And also find us at Creme De La Creme’s Austin Edition.  All the parties are free with an RSVP…

That said, I will be playing somewhat of a ‘going away gig’ on Monday night at Sonotheque for “Rap Music”, a night of all Rap/Hip Hop by Willy Joy, Zebo, and myself.  I will be spinning from 1-2AM and playing a lot of new stuff.  Come out and say hello…

Don’t think that RH will be on pause though while we are there…We’ll be updating from the road, as well continuing with our normal production schedule of First Looks, music and fashion pieces etc…No, you will not be getting 20 blog posts a day, but you will see an RH First Look on Black Skeptik, interviews with Bun B and Jerry Azumah, RH Inspired By with Zion I, an interview with DJ Day and Exile, and much more…

You will also see the beginning stages of my new movement.  I call it, “Pocket Full of Money…Looking All Bummy”…and it’s both a fashion-and-form revolution.  Pocket Full Of Money..Looking All Bummy is a state of thought that describes work ethic and demeanor.  It is substance over style, and it is, simply, how I roll…

You can roll too, and I hope you roll with me…Check me out on Twitter, Facebook, etc…And feel free to hit me up with new music, DJing, etc…Until then…Stay Up.

Le’ Chaim,

RTC 

 

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