The Wrong Thing

* A Jew I know in Hawaii complains he can’t find a rabbi to marry him to a shiksa on October 4, 2014, which happens to be Yom Kippur.

* It is no more a good idea to interact with strangers who can’t spell and punctuate correctly (unless there’s a good reason) than it is a good idea to interact with strangers who don’t know the basics of protocol. There are just certain rules for meeting people and interacting with strangers and when you meet people online who can’t be bothered with the ordinary rules of our language, it means they are likely to ignore other basics of decency and hurt you. When I get an email from a stranger that begins with, “Dear Mr. Ford” and proceeds along those lines, I take it seriously. When I get an email from a stranger that starts, “Wassup?”, I tend to ignore it unless there’s a compelling photo.

I’ve never met someone online who couldn’t spell and then later I said to myself, “I’m glad I let that person into my life!”

* I wonder what percentage of the inappropriate things I say comes from being Australian? I remember working with a Vietnam vet at PUC in 1983 and after a few weeks, I asked him, “Did you kill any babies in Vietnam?” It was a horrible thing to say and I’m ashamed of it, but it was the kind of brutal humor that I grew up with in Australia. I didn’t say it out of the blue. I said it after weeks of working together and we were all teasing each other and he was pretty brutal with me too (so much so that one day a religious Mexican guy intervened on my behalf and told everyone else in my crew to leave me alone).

Brad: “A few days ago I watched a documentary called Bustin’ Down the Door, about how some young Australians revolutionized surfing in the 1970s. In the movie they talked about how growing up in Australia you had to be tough because everyone was tough with everyone else, so you learned how to take your knocks and give them too.”

* What do I do with my shameful feelings? Sometimes, when I feel close to someone, I become jealous of his spouse because she’s closer to him. Or, sometimes I see my therapist with another patient and I feel insecure.

* I appalled/amused my therapist with some of my more outrageous FB posts over the past week. Walking out of the session, I instructed her, “Don’t try this at home. Leave it to the professionals.”

* I’ve gone six years on FB without ever reaming someone (“You’re horrible” or the equivalent) publicly and then blocking them, but then again, I’ve gone through 47 years of life without ever having been offended by a contrary point of view.

* I grew up eating dinner at 5pm (per Ellen White, you shouldn’t eat late into the evening). I still eat dinner at 5pm on secular days, one of hundreds of habits I continue from my SDA childhood.

* A co-worker told me he wanted to see Thor this weekend. “You’re Thor?” I said. “I’m so thor I can hardly pith.”

The poor bloke didn’t know what to say. He tried to be polite and then get away as quickly as possible. “Hehehe,” he said and grimaced. Probably a born-again.

* English literature (Shakespeare, Milton, Byron, etc) is ten times greater than American literature. American Lit isn’t even in the same league. British newspapers are far more eloquent than American papers and the average Englishman is invariably more eloquent than 90% of American PhDs in English.

If you say that American literature only began in the 19th Century, I say you’re forgetting the Proust of the Sioux and the Shakespeare of the Shawnee.

* A thousand times hot women in business have said to me, “If there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know.” And I have to stifle my response because I’m a mentch. They talk about, “Let me take care of you,” and I am as silent as Jesus on the cross.

* Why are there so many Holocaust films? Because Jews are influential in Hollywood. Why are there so few films about other genocides? Because those groups don’t have the same influence in Hollywood that Jews do. Why does the media portray Jews in America as underdogs when in most cases Jews in America are over-dogs (as measured by wealth, education, influence aka about half of America’s leading public intellectuals are Jewish)? (Steve Sailer) I’m tired of false pieties.

Monica responds: “Luke, I really don’t think that Jews in Hollywood are the reason we have so many Holocaust movies. I think our culture is Holocaust obsessed because it haunts us in a way that other genocides don’t necessarily (unfortunately). It’s not just the whole “it’s ineffable” thing, either. It is alluring because it defies our understanding, and it defies our understanding because we can’t figure out how a culture/country as educated and sophisticated as Germany could carry out such barbaric acts. It’s frightening to think that people “like us” could do such a thing–I think that’s why Hollywood fixates on it. We can’t answer the “why” question so we keep on asking it via art/film/literature. The Holocaust is not worse than other genocides, but it is different insofar as the way it was carried out, by whom, and our proximity (geographically and symbolically) to it.”

Thank you for this thoughtful post, Monica Osborne. Interesting stuff. I think the primary reason the Holocaust haunts us is that it happened to the Jews and we make a lot of noise and have a lot of influence. Do you seriously think we would be as preoccupied with it if it primarily happened to any other group? Millions of non-Jews were murdered by the Nazis and they get almost no attention. One Israeli gets killed by terrorists and the world gets told about it while a million African blacks are murdered and almost nobody says boo. There have been many other genocides carried out by cultured societies, so why so much attention then to this one? Stalin and Mao murdered over 100 million but this gets no attention.

Monica: “It’s a good question, Luke (whether we’d hear as much about it if it had happened to another group). I think that you are right in part, but not for the reasons you suggest. So much of the academic scholarship that came out of the Holocaust (Trauma Studies, etc.) was written by Jews but is now used by everyone in multiple disciplines. Jews tend to be more educated than many groups of people, which means they were able to write about and process the event (the trauma) in more sophisticated ways. Jews are thinkers and writers and artists, so anything that happens to them is going to be processed in that way, and ultimately repackaged for the world. This makes it enticing to people. Sadly, this was not the case for people in Darfur, for example. There’s not a lot of education, so people don’t necessarily have the means to tell their story.”

Precisely. Jews have better means for telling their story than any other group. Three thousand years ago, a group of slaves escaped from Egypt and they’ve been talking about the Exodus, slavery, redemption, Sinai ever since and commanded the attention of the world.

Charlotte Allen: “I hope this doesn’t sound harsh, but I’ve OD’d on Holocaust movies. I’ve just gotten tired of them. Yes, the Holocaust was dreadful–but I think there are no fewer than three Holocaust movies coming out this year, nearly 70 years after the Holocaust. How about some other Jewish-theme movies? The Bible is a treasure-trove of great stories, but no one makes Bible movies anymore.”

I get it and yet that is an extremely un-PC thing to say. The goyim are supposed to have an unlimited appetite for hearing about our suffering and how dare they ever view us as anything but plucky underdogs.

Monica: “Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey are currently making a film about the bible (I’m guessing you saw their wildly popular bible show that aired on the history channel a number of months ago).”

Charlotte: “There was a good German movie a couple of years ago about a counterfeiter who survived the camps because he was really good at his trade. But that’s the last Holocaust movie I’ve seen except for an as-yet-unreleased documentary about Hungarian Jews made by a friend of mine. But when I saw back-to-back previews of two upcoming Holocaust movies at a theater last week, I just groaned. Spare me. How about some movies about Israel?”

People prefer to watch movies about smart accomplished people (such as Germans, Jews) than dumb ones (won’t say).

Charlotte: “I agree with Luke Ford. My friend’s documentary is about fantastically cultured–and thus interesting–Hungarian Jews who got sucked into the Holocaust in late 1944–so late that about a third of them survived. The interesting thing is that the supposedly fascist Hungarian dictator, Horthy, actually protected the Jews by keeping the Germans out of Hungary until the very end, when the Germans kicked out Horthy and began to run Hungary directly.”

* Some men park it wherever they find a space.

* Most people don’t seem to pause to consider if their unsolicited advice will do more good than harm. I see in shul all the time people with no education telling educated people what to do. Once somebody gives me stupid unwelcome unsolicited advice, I tend to regard the person as a moron from then on and rarely consider listening to them.

* Student loan default rates by race/ethnicity: “Black students who graduated in 1992–93 school year had an overall default rate that was over five times higher than white students and over nine times higher than Asian students. The differences for Hispanic students are not as large, but are still substantial. Hispanic students’ overall default rate was over twice that of white students and four times higher than Asian students. And these differences cannot be fully explained by differences in borrowing patterns or salaries. The 1994 percentage of monthly income going to student loan payments—an indication of both how much debt a student has and their earnings—was actually lowest for Hispanic students and only slightly higher than average for black students.”

I’m interested in reality and if you are familiar with my FB stream, you know it is largely a stream of consciousness of whatever interests me. You keep asking for a point. I don’t have a point. I write whatever catches my interest.

Graduating from college does not make you a better person. Neither does a high IQ or a Porsche or track speed or whatever. We’re all God’s kids. BTW, I never graduated from college.

* Filipinos are looting on a massive scale after the storm while the Japanese did not loot after the Fukushima earthquake. I wonder if that tells you something about the social capital of Japanese and East Asians vs other Asians? East Asians have the highest IQ on average and perhaps people with a higher IQ think more clearly about the future and are more likely to see the sense of abiding by the law and helping their neighbors. Low IQ folks tend to be prone to instant gratification. Compare the behavior of residents of New Orleans after Katrina with the residents of San Diego who had to evacuate after massive fires.

There’s almost no violent crime in Japan but plenty in the Philippines.

I wonder why Japan is first world and the Philippines is third world? I wonder why one country has a serious emergency response and the other is marginal? Could it have something to do with IQ and social capital?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Personal. Bookmark the permalink.