Ha, with an opening like that what could I be referring to but the by now notoriously infamously shocking, gut wrenchingly nauseating, angst inducing, repentance instigating, Psalms resorting, redemption pleading article by Christina Patterson in The Independent. I know, I'm a Yiddl come lately as we're now almost a month after the event and no one's even talking about it any longer. I have however been away in the great après Tisha B'Av exodus when Stamford Hill puts on its collective skates and heads for the mountains, hills, sea and even slums, recreating them if necessary, so long that it's away. But shh don't utter it too loudly as the ganovim may pay you a visit and without the shomrim about who will be there to lend the cops a hand or stand in for them altogether?
I'm digressing as usual. I was up to Ms Patterson's famous 'And I would like to say…' tribute to yours truly, his (or her if you choose) brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, neighbours, shul colleagues, friends, foes and, to cut it short, co-religionists of any hue, colour, shade or complexion living in Stamford Hill. No hat style is exempt, no beard length excused and I’m afraid no matter whether human-hair or synthetic sheitel is your forte we’re all in it together. She’s even lumped us together with the Muslims, now there’s an insult, and now we may get to share coaches when we go to the joint demo. Naquibs and sheitels to the back, beards to the front and in one fell swoop la Patterson will have created a multiculturalism that actually works and shares a ride.
Truth said there ought to have been a great talmudical debate whether south Tottenham is covered or whether they stand out as that rare specimen of Jews who have manners. According to Blood and Property it may be something of a Hackney thing and Patterson has got it all wrong: it’s the geography stupid. On the other hand she may have omitted our Tottenham brethren as Stokies are loathe to admit that they're geographically closer to south Tottenham than to Hoxton which could shave a few tens of thousands off their lovely Kyverdale and Allerton Road (the ‘right’ parts) houses.
The trouble however is that the rabbis round here have never heard of the Independent (except of course for the 'Rabbi' who is on first name terms with even the editor of the Nowheresville Herald so long that it can fit a couple of hairs of his beard and his latest press release on its front page). You see for us it's The Times for the wannabes, wrapped up in the Estates Gazette, the Telegraph for the old timers and the Guardian for the anti-semites and self-haters. Oh and The Sun for the proste builders (though they're all Polish these days) the Mail when there's a juicy Jewish gossip story and the Express for your granny. But the Independent? Vos is dos? Are they good to the Yidn? Robert Fisk? keinmol nisht gehert.
Mind you to be fair such philistines are we in addition to our congenital rudeness that we’d never even heard of Patterson before she was kind enough to pay us homage. But you must give it to us. We Jews really do control the press. One word about us and the blogosphere, twittersphere and commentsphere want to talk about nothing but us. And if you think I'm being sarcastic type Christina Patterson’ in your search engine and of her entire oeuvre it is we who appear on top. The Chosen People as seen on google. Oy, how the Zion Elders would have kvelled. Jews get Burchill and they get Patterson.
Ok, very funny but what about the accusations themselves? Do you deny them or is this a shoot the messenger exercise? Well, Ms Patterson if you think you’ve seen it all join us on an El Al flight and you’ll see what rudeness is about. You’ll be praying for Stamford Hill 5 times a day and that’ll be just at the check in desk. But who am I to answer if public opinion on the Hill as voiced on our behalf by that denizen of 7 miles away Mr Strom and from even further afield in the JC are all strongly anti-Patterson. So what is better being mauled by Patterson or defended by Strom? Oh, L-rd save us from such invidious choices.
Strangely, the Buffoon deserted us just when we needed him most and has simply kept shtum. Who would have believed this multi-talented fossil was capable of that too? As for our spokesman the 'Rabbi', he has released a Directive not to approach La P. if seen wandering about on the Hill and definitely not to be argued with as talking to the press is his exclusive domain and infringers will have their kids refused admission or kicked out altogether from his voluntary aided (i.e. aid to the his extended family on whom HM Government has in its beneficence bestowed untold and previously unknown riches and power and jobs and buildings and who knows what else if only we could make some Freedom of Information requests without being summonsed by the entire Rabbinate and their wives and 15 kids, daughters included no less) school.
But I have some other issues with Patterson. The trouble is that when you tell us Jews that some of us are rude (I DIDN'T SAY ALL, OK OK, I didn't and I didn't mean you there flailing your arms when thanking the car on the zebra crossing, and you I caught prostrating in front of the bin man when he took your building material and the gratitude and hakoras hatov we all show to our askonim thanking them at dinners, in speeches and in newspaper ads for their daughter's weddings and wives' funerals) I only said some of us. But when you do say that up pop all the lovely Jews to say but it's not me. I'm not rude. So let's get this clear. I am rude. I am a proud practising Jew and conform to every word of Patterson and here is my tribute to her:
I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew manners? Hath not a Jew hands, ears, mobiles, wifi, bluetooth, hands-free as a Christina has? If you phone us do we not speak, if you text us do we not misspell? If you blog us do we not comment, if you spam us do we not you trash, and if you flame us shall we not you tweet? Hath not a Jew a middle finger like he in a white van conveyed and can he like him not honk his horn? When you sit astride us do we not rise and when you greet us do we not turn the other cheek? When we apply for planning do you not object and when we a school wish to erect do you not petition against? And when you visit the park do you not outside a Jewish abode on Lingwood Road station your carriage and when to the Gunners must you roar do you not occupy Queen Elizabeth Walk? Do your canines our towpaths and bridlepaths not foul? When inebriated do you not your beer cans on railings impale and our pavements with your oral emissions adorn? When you forget the pill do you your offspring not cart around in a pushchair and when on Ryanair do you your seat near a Jew choose? Why, rudeness. The villainy you teach me I will execute and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.