matthue roth







soft skull press
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you can take the jew out of the shtetl, but you can't take the shtetl out of the jew

still experiencing the fallout from my birthday dinner. i feel like an academic, looking at the way everybody is reacting. and i REALLY REALLY DO try not to analyze things too much. even ask my parents.

but sometimes you have to call a spade a spade, and sometimes a heart is just a squishy bag filled with a lot of blood. on this one online journal, m. writes that she felt (note the journalistic tone i take here) "out of place....[m.] was the only one in PVC pants" around the shabbos table."

now i feel like i need to do a google search and see how many sites show "pvc" and "shabbos" in the same sentence.

and i noted back that i was in pleather and spikes, which is a *total* sign of submission to halacha, and to G-d's law, and how we have free will but only in the spiritual constraints of our lives.

and from the other side, how out-of-place the frum kids felt in my neighborhood, with the punx and the slackers. i had this whole epiphany about how, when we walk into a room, it used to be that we immediately saw the people we identified with and ignored everyone else. at least when i was a teenager, that was it. now we see the foreign elements. we're more used to living in a foreign world. we almost expect it. last week at Pride, i was talking to tim'm*

from Deep Dickollective about colonization and academicness, and he said how everyone wants to make you into a textbook example, to diverge your apparently opposite personality traits -- for them, being black or being rappers, and being queer. and their song about how faggots call you nigger and niggers call you faggot is true, but our culture isn't defined by our acceptance or rejection by other members in the culture, it's defined by ourselves and the place we find in this world for ourselves. i mean, it sucks that so many orthodox people were hostile to the gay folks in "Trembling Before G-d", but everyone in the world has heard the collective scream of joy when the movie came out. being queer and frum cast you out of one part of that culture, but you're certainly not exiled from the culture.

which all brings us to "the flying nun." did you read that interview with sally field where she was ranting about the '60s, when everyone was running around on LSD and she was dressed as a nun? but sally, you had your own revolution. and sometimes, revolution from within is the best revolution of all.

it's friday. go home and have a good shabbos already.

* -- please, go to tim'm's site. check out his new album. it's totally justifying my life these days.

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