My Uncle Shimmy met Santa Claus in the North Pole.

16 Dec

12 Noon Sunday 16 December 2012 Nunhead Heights, London

My Uncle Shimmy met Santa Claus in the North Pole. Not only had he met Santa, but he was given a tour of Santa’s Workshop. 

I was a kid in the 1960s and my mother’s older brother, my Uncle Shimmy, was the family clown. 

He looked like Kramer from Seinfeld. He was like Kramer from Seinfeld. He would dance for strangers on the Coney Island Boardwalk, feed the ducks in Prospect Park with salami because he thought they wanted some meat with all the bread. He’d often buy groceries for poor people where he lived in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. He drove a delivery truck so he couldn’t have much money himself.

My father didn’t think much of my mother’s family, or anyone, for that matter. My father wasn’t a generous man. When Uncle Shimmy would visit us on Long Island my father would announce derisively, ‘Everybody! Santa Claus is here!’ 

Often my mother was in the hospital sick during the holidays, suffering from a ‘chemical imbalance’. Our holidays were often dark and lonely times.

Uncle Shimmy would bring me and my sister small gifts. He once gave me a P51 airplane model – worth about a dollar – which I cherished. Then, he’d look around to see if my father was listening, and when he was sure he wasn’t he’d tell us how he’d met Santa Claus.

He told us that in the 1950s he was working on the DEW Line – the ‘Distant Early Warning Line’. He was helping build the string of monitoring stations across Alaska, Canada and Greenland for NORAD that kept America safe from Russian attack. Americans were very afraid of the Russians during the Cold War.

The conditions were hellish – well, the opposite of hell – freezing. He was living and working in blinding snowstorms with temperatures so low that ordinary thermometers would crack. 

One morning he was flying around with his partner in the snow tractor hundreds of miles north of the Arctic Circle. A snow tractor was like a car with tracks like an army tank – able to ride on snow and ice. They hit a crevasse and crashed through the ice. Down into a hole they fell into Santa’s workshop like Alice in Alice in Wonderland.

Santa’s workshop wasn’t what they thought it would be like, he’d tell us.

‘Do you know the office your father works in at American Machine and Foundry in Manhattan?’ he asked. ‘It’s like that but bigger. There were hundreds of desks and phones, teletype machines, Rolodexes with thousands of names, IBM adding machines, typewriters, and a giant computer.’

Santa rushed out of his office to see him. He wasn’t even a man Uncle Shimmy told us. ‘He’ was a woman.

My sister and I would giggle, ‘Mommies don’t do stuff like that!’

‘Why can’t a woman be a Santa Claus? There were all sorts of people who were Santas. I saw the paintings and photographs of past Santa Clauses on the wall! Chinese Santas, young Santas. There was even a Negro Santa. Can you believe that? That was years before they let Jackie Robinson play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.’

You could sense the shame and anger he felt that his America wasn’t as fair as it should have been.

He’d continue, ’Santa was screaming at people at the workshop, “How could you have let this happen!? Why was the roof so weak!!” An angry Santa? True. She swore like a sailor!’

The Workshop roof had never had big snow tractors driving across it before. She calmed down and showed my Uncle and his partner around the place, down corridors and offices.

‘Did you see reindeer?’ I jumped in.

‘A few. They were kept as pets.’

‘What about elves?’ my sister demanded to know.

I didn’t even know what an elf was. We weren’t really raised with Christmas, except the presents. We didn’t even have a Christmas Tree. We got our presents on Hannukah because we were Jews but we knew we were getting presents because every boy and girl got presents in December because of Christmas.

‘No elves. People. Normal people were on the phones, calling around the world,’ he answered.

‘Did you see them make the toys?’ we quizzed him.

He laughed, ‘The toys were made in Japan!’

We laughed. That is where they made toys then. Now they’re made in China.

‘Well, what does Santa do if he… ummm … she… doesn’t make the toys, and if she doesn’t deliver the toys to nice boys and girls? And if he doesn’t have the elves helping him… I mean… helping her?’

Uncle Shimmy got serious, ‘Two thousand years ago there were only a few kids who wanted toys at Christmas – just a few Christian kids. He… she… could manage. But now? Now there are hundreds of million of Christian boys and girls. And today Jewish kids, Indian kids, even kids who don’t believe in God – expect presents! That’s BILLIONS of children!’

‘Do you think Santa has the time to make that many bicycles and dolls and games and then deliver them to all those kids? NO WAY!’

‘Well, what does he… she… do?’ we wanted to know.

‘She gets department stores to have regular people pretend to be Santa Claus. And she gets musicians to write funny songs about seeing Santa kissing mommy. You know all those ads with Santa Claus? That’s what she does. All so people don’t believe in Santa Claus.’

Outside the house Uncle Shimmy had his big brown van. He drove the van for living. My father was embarrassed for him. My father was a lawyer and almost all my friends’ dads worked in offices in Manhattan. I knew no one whose father drove a truck. That is something my parents left behind when they made money and moved to the suburbs from Brooklyn.

‘Is there a bicycle in there? Can I have a new bicycle?’

‘Not from me. Your Mommy and Daddy are getting you another bicycle,’ he whispered.

‘They have the money and even though your Mommy is sick and in the horse pistol, she loves you.’ Horse pistol is what he called the mental hospital my mom used to go to when he was chemically imbalanced – the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. It’s still there.

‘I’m going to bring bicycles to a few children who don’t have mommies or daddies, or whose mommies and daddies are too poor to buy them presents, or whose mommies and daddies believe in Santa Claus and don’t think they have to get their children presents for Christmas.’

‘Are you Santa?’ we would ask Uncle Shimmy.

‘No, I’m just helping Santa,’ he gently shook his head. ‘Though if I’m very, very good maybe, one day, maybe I’ll get asked to be the Santa. That would be a great responsibility but a great honor.’

My father would sneer. ‘If he keeps this up he’s going to be the Santa in the horse pistol. And he’s going to get fired by the UPS for using their van without their permission.’

I knew I shouldn’t tell anyone or I would be making Santa’s job harder. I couldn’t keep a secret. I still can’t keep secrets. I only told my best friends, Clifford and Mark, what Uncle Shimmy had told me. They laughed at me and called me a baby for believing in Santa.

When I was eleven Uncle Shimmy stopped visiting us.

I’d ask my father if Uncle Shimmy would be coming back and my father would shrug his shoulders. First my mother went away, and now Uncle Shimmy.

The next year my father went out and bought toys and dolls and games from Gertz’s Department Store in Great Neck Plaza and the small toy shop next to the dry cleaners on Middle Neck Road.

My sister and I helped wrap them and load them into the Buick. We went to the scary rundown apartment buildings by the train station and gave them to the poor Black and Spanish families who lived there. On the way back home we stopped by the pond in Allenwood Park and my father gave us salami to feed the ducks.

‘We’re just helping Uncle Shimmy until he comes back,’ my father told us.

>>>>>>>

My friend Neil McLennan helped me tell this story.
@lewisschaffer – twitter feed

 Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on http://www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

Restarting January 8th, 2013: See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow

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Which is the most ungrateful nation of them all?

12 Dec

6 PM Wednesday 13th December 2012 Nunhead Heights

That poor Psy guy.

He’s on the ropes for singing some anti-American song in South Korea before he became all famous with his Gangnam Style video.

Now he’s trying to weasel out of it, I guess because there’s money to be made in the United States and he wants to meet the President.

I know the feeling. I wish I hadn’t trashed all the people I have trashed.

I owe the Comedy Store an apology as I realize I was wrong to blame them for killing live comedy and I would like to work there someday. More on this another time. 

It feels good to trash people and countries – especially if they are far away in a distant land. Watch me do it here. 

On the other hand, I have never, ever, met a Korean who hasn’t expressed some disdain toward the United States of America.

And if there is a country who should be kissing America’s butt, it is South Korea.

South Korea was created as part of the greatest experiment in the history of the world.

After World War Two, much of the world was divided up into two areas of control. Some countries went communist under the Soviet Union and the Red Chinese. Others were under America hegemony. And I have never, ever, written the word ‘hegemony’ before. I think it means control.

Romania went to the communists. Japan went to us. Poland went to them. Czechoslovakia went to them. Austria went to us. And so on.

Some nations were split in half.

Most of China went to the commies though a bit – Taiwan – went to the Americans. The northern half of Vietnam went to the Soviet commies, the southern half to us. The western half of Germany went to us and the eastern half to the communists.

The northern half of Korea went to the Soviet/Chinese  and the southern half went to the American team.

Vietnam didn’t maintain the experiment, and went all commie in 1974. China switched teams after forty years and achieved much in the last 30 years. Some countries, after initially going communist, changed tack and adopted the American system – like Britain. That’s a joke but somewhat serious.

The results of this experiment are clear:

Countries under the guidance of the United States have developed into rich, stable and mostly democratic regimes.

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and West Germany, now just Germany, are the richest, most prosperous countries in the world.

Countries under the Soviet Union and the Chinese didn’t do that well: East Germany, North Korea, Bulgaria, and Russia and Red China, for that matter. 

Psy is not alone among Koreans.

I have met many Koreans – South Koreans, that is. The northerners aren’t allowed to travel, don’t have the money to travel, or are trapped in prison camps, even if they were allowed to.

I like Koreans. They come to my show in Soho – Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous – and they laugh as much as the next guy. That is more than I can say for Japanese people, for instance, who never, ever come to see my show. Screw the Japanese. 

During my show I often ask Koreans to say ‘Thank you, America’.

It’s one of my comedy ‘businesses’ and something that makes me the Best Comic in Britain. It educates the audiences about global relationships, shows how much I know, and makes people uncomfortable, which is my mission. 

The Times wrote “Where there is disorder, Lewis Schaffer creates chaos.” Actually, I wrote that. It’s true.

Do the Korean punters ever say ‘thank you’? I should say ‘Not’.

It is like they have never even been asked to consider thinking it. To the contrary. Every single South Korean expresses some bitterness toward the United States of America. If you’re Korean and you don’t have bitterness toward America, make a comment below.

Right now there are 30,000 American soldiers in harm’s way in Korea. Are they helping keep America safe? I don’t think so. Are they helping keep Korea safe so they can produce smart phones and cargo ships and who knows what else? Yes.

It would be nice, for once, to hear a loud ‘Thank you America” from the South Koreans. And sound like they mean it. Or at least stop being bitter. 

That’s easy for me to say. 

And no, I have NOT written this just because I am sick to death of hearing and seeing the Gangnam Style video.

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio 

Live shows begin 8 January 2013

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

 

 

Peregrine Falcon spotted on Nunhead Heights. News of Nunhead for 10 Dec 2012.

10 Dec

Listen TONIGHT at 10:30 GMT or 5:30PM UK time to Nunhead American Radio. www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. 

9 PM Monday 10th December 2012 Nunhead Heights.

Nunhead, Southeast London, is also what Germans call the white bit of the finger nail – Das Nun’s Head. Did you know this? No? I made this up. Nonne Kopf!

The News of Nunhead

Friend Doug Brooks of Friends of One Tree Hill spotted a Peregrine Falcon atop Nunhead’s highest point over the weekend.

The Peregrine Falcon’s name means ‘wandering falcon’ and is the Official Bird of Nunhead American Radio. I just decided this today.

The southern link of  London Overground trains opened on 9th December linking east London with southwest London.

1.3 miles of track were re-laid to connect Surrey Quays (pronounced ‘keys’) with Nunhead and points west. This allowed the 150 year-old South London Line rail trains to be removed from service. Now it’ll take 15 minutes to get to Clapham but 40 minutes to get to Victoria from Peckham Rye Station.

We will ask our guest, Councillor and friend Renata Hamvas, what can be done about this!

According to the Southwark News, East Dulwich artist Heather Burrell is to recreate from old shoes the stolen Barbara Hepworth statue. The Dulwich Park art was believed taken for its scrap metal value. Why old shoes? Who’d steal old shoes.

Peckham Open 2012 & Charity Art Auction Event, which Nunhead Arts is involved in is happening at Peckham Space. The exhibition is running from 30 November – 20 December. Check out Nunhead Arts website. I don’t know what this is but it is something!

The Nunhead Community Choir, led by friend Richard Swan, is having a festive pub carol crawl on Sunday 16 December. Meet at the Rye Hotel at 2pm at the bottom of Peckham Rye. I have often crawled pubs Carolling. Also Debbying, and Sarahing, and Elizabething…

They’ll be at the following pubs at the approximate times singing:

2pm – The Rye Hotel, Peckham Rye,
3pm – The Old White Horse, Nigel Road, Peckham
4pm – The Old Nun’s Head, Nunhead Green
5pm – The Waverley Arms, Ivydale Road – ‘followed by the usual carousing and raucous behaviour leading to embarrassing videos on Facebook in the morning.’

THIS JUST IN: Save the Ivy House has just received an offer of funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The plan is to buy the Ivy House and run it as a cooperative pub and community hub. Keep informed on twitter and @Save_Ivy_House and at the Save the Ivy House website.

Tonight’s guests are the brilliant Brian Damage and Krysstal, famous musicians I’ve known for years. Nunheader Ed Hammond was scheduled but he’s coming in next week. Instead we have Renata Hamvas, Nunhead Heights Southwark Council councilor talking about the trains! And maybe the cemeteries and parking and bicycles…

With the Dulwich Ukulele Club, our house band, and a new song for Christmas! Lisa Moyle is our lovely co-host, and Chris Dixon, our Man. Possibly Claudio on the desk. Who knows?

LISTEN!

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio 

Go to our facebook page! Nunhead American Radio.

Shows restart 8 January 2012: See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

Nunhead Nudist Loses Turner Prize. This, and other News Of Nunhead 3 Dec 2012

3 Dec

9 PM Monday 3 December 2012 Increasingly in Demand Nunhead Heights.

Nunhead, Nunhead. At least the place isn’t called Bellenden, as in bell end. Or Dulwich, as in dull. or Peckham as is – yuck, Peckham. And no one likes Brockley, as in broccoli (except me). PS Those are neighboring areas.

Listen tonight to Nunhead American Radio, Monday evening at 10:30PM. On www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London.

The most viewed map of London has had an empty space where Nunhead is. Peckham Rye is being added to the tube map, which is an slight improvement.

New trains starting next week now provide direct service to Clapham Junction in the West and Canary Wharf in the East for people in Lower Nunhead but make it harder to reach Victoria and London Bridge.

The sister community of Bellenden is promoting a campaign to restore the South London Line after London Bridge is rebuilt. See weblink above.

Black dog with white patches, slightly bigger and similar looking to a Jack Russell terrier, has free run of Nunhead Heights, the increasingly in-demand area of London. Tell the Southeast Central Forum what you know about the dog or the owner. 

Goats’ Cheese Fondue, Marinated Artichoke & Beetroot Focaccia at Frog on The Green, Nunhead – has been rated the best sandwich in Nunhead according to the London Review of Sandwiches.

Congratulations to our friend John Gionleka, a guest of Nunhead American Radio and go his restaurant! It is delicious.

Our scheduled guests this week are comic musician Christian Steele who shares a similar situation, child and wife-wise, as I do. Speaking out for the Ivy House is Hugo Simms and @Save_Ivy_House campaign (on twitter) and lovely French photographer Elisabeth Blanchet talking about her photographs of World War Two-era prefabricated housing in Nunhead.

This Just In: Nunhead nudist artist Spartacus Chetwynd has not won the Turner Prize. Nunhead is safe from the star-chasers who would have come to Nunhead to gawk at our Turner Prize-winning Nunhead nudist-artists. 

Lisa Moyle is back. Enjoy! And Chris Dixon!

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio 

 See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

 

 

The BBC is to blame for Rupert Murdoch and a regulated press can not be free

29 Nov

2 PM Thursday 30 November 2012 Nunhead Heights

Today Lord Leveson has recommended the British government regulate the press. I didn’t read that far into his proposals but that seems to be the gist of it.

A regulated press is not free, no matter the good intentions of the regulator. It is like saying a tethered horse is free. No matter how long the rope, the horse knows who his boss is.

The problem with Rupert Murdoch and the press is the British public broadcasters, the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Britain is amazingly centralized and concentrated. Follow me, please.

Five supermarket chains have 75% of the grocery business. London’s residential property is worth the same as the next 40 biggest cities and towns in Britain combined. I read that in The Guardian 31st March 2012. It is as if New York were worth as much as LA, Boston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, San Fran, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Austin, Houston, Denver, and thirty other cities combined. Minneapolis. Chicago. Detroit. New Orleans, Memphis. You name it. Isn’t that incredible? Richmond. Philadelphia. Buffalo, Portland, San Diego.

The government-owned broadcaster controls maybe 50% of the airwaves. They own two of the five big TV channels and the biggest radio stations and local ones in every town. And what about digital channels, websites and magazines?

The BBC is impartial, unbiased, and not supposed to serve the needs of any one group. The people want it to be that way.

If the BBC comes out against X group, then the Xs are going to be unhappy. If they come out against Y group then the Ys will be unhappy. That is why the BBC doesn’t come out against very much of anything.

‘When you try to please everyone, no one likes it.’ I don’t know who said that first but it is true.

But a BBC that tries to please everyone  makes the BBC into an impotent and neutered animal. And makes it easy for a Rupert Murdoch to march in.

In order for Murdoch to have controlled the Government he needed to operate only a third or half of the non-BBC  media.  A cable network: Sky. A newspaper for the educated: The Times. Newspapers for the masses: The News of the World, and The Sun. Boom.

A media baron couldn’t control America that way. It is more decentralized. Maybe a few barons, but definitely one man couldn’t.

Rupert Murdoch pounding away at the Monarchy or Europe was more than a match for a wishy-washy, soft, mealy BBC.

If Britain wants to avoid another Rupert Murdoch it’ll need to break up the BBC and bring more competition to the airwaves. Or the old media needs to die off and be replaced by a hundred thousand independently own websites.

 

Yes, I blame the BBC.  [Sorry, I know you love your BBC.]

Britain, like America, loves commissions.

The British version of the fact-finding committee seems to be just one guy. In the the case of the problems with phone hacking – that is, the problem with Rupert Murdoch and his control of the British Government – they have Lord Leveson. I am sure he had help – lawyers and assistants – but it wasn’t like the Warren Commission which had a panel of famous people who could share the blame for a dodgy report about President Kennedy’s killing.

How come the British put so much faith in one person to provide the explanation and solution to a problem? I don’t know but it isn’t the way things are done in America.

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio 

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

 

Nunhead gives thanks for Lewis Schaffer. News of 25 November 2012.

26 Nov

9 PM Monday 25 November 2012 Increasingly in Demand Nunhead Heights.

Nunhead, Nunhead. No matter how many trains Transport for London adds or removes from Nunhead Station, Peckham Rye, Honor Oak Park, or Queen’s Road Peckham stations, it will still take an hour to get anywhere from the increasingly in demand Nunhead Heights.

Listen tonight, Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London to Nunhead American Radio. 

East London Lines begin service at Peckham Rye and Queens Road Peckham on December 9th. The London Bridge to Victoria rail loop is being discontinued and trains will go directly to Clapham Junction.

If  I got gigs again in the Clapham Junction area then this would be amazing but I don’t. 

The Save the Ivy House Campaign – @Save_Ivy_House – is still waiting to know what is going on with the Ivy House, the very first pub saved under new legislation protecting ‘Community Assets’. As I have noted before, five or six times, only in Nunhead would a pub be a community asset.

We only know the owner is proper angry, is thinking of suing Southwark Council and won’t let the local people into the pub to survey it. Whoever screams loudest will win this one. 

Last week on Nunhead American Radio, all Nunhead gave thanks to Lewis Schaffer. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIY3FERHK5s

The Cheltenham Café, the worker’s café of choice in the increasingly in demand Nunhead Heights, now has evening takeaway. Cypriot kebabs and grills and a free bottle of wine for orders over £25. Why can’t British cafes stay open for dinner out like in the US of A? Call 02077322459 to get your free bottle of wine. Seriously: Why can’t there be diner-type restaurants in the UK?

In the debate over what to do about the Elephant and Castle Roundabout of Death, this was said:

“We need to move away from 1970s design, where pedestrians are supposed to be somewhere and vehicles get to enjoy super highways where they can go as fast as they like.”

Who said those wise words?

The Southwark Council Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment, and Recycling.

I will mention that if the Council tries to remove on-street parking on the Heights.

Today, Nunhead American Radio is the 45th entry in a Google search for “Nunhead”. It was 672th during a check last year. Moving on up!

Happy Birthday to Nunhead American Radio’s Lisa Moyle’s other husband, David Moyle. He is 39! Actually, I don’t know his age and don’t care. Where is Lisa? That is what matters.

Our special guest couldn’t make it tonight. Save the Ivy House @Save_Ivy_House are coming in next week.

Instead we have personal favourites: Comic Near Nunheader Charmian Hughes and my older brother Randy Klein, New York Nunhead American Artist. He is sitting in for Lisa Moyle. Enjoy!

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

 Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio 

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

Israel or Palestine: Which side of the wall are you on?

25 Nov

3 PM Sunday 23rd November 2012 Nunhead Heights.

When you have to build a wall around your country, you’re dead. Bob Dylan sang ‘he not busy being born is busy dying’ and a wall means you’re on the homestretch.

The Romans and their walls. They went no further and eventually collapsed. Or rich people in their gated communities, living in fear. And when the white South Africans tried to practice Apartheid.

Winners conquer, control, meld, and even kill, if necessary. But they don’t build walls until they have given up growing.

Israel was the last European colony.

It was founded in the 20th Century when Europe was receding everywhere. European Jews from Russia and Germany colonized Palestine before and after World World War Two, at the same time the Germans made a late attempt at creating their Empire.

The Nazis may not have thought of these Jews as being German, or even European, but I don’t think the Arabs or the Asians can see the difference between a German Jew or German Christian. Israelis are foreigners in the Middle East.

Europe is fraying everywhere. The Judeo-Christian faith, if you can bunch the two together, is being harassed from Egypt to Nigeria to Iraq.

Russia is struggling to hold on to Chechnya and Dagestan. Britain has long given up on Africa and India. America cannot tell Mexico what to do anymore, and the United States has become a colony of Mexico. Once a European could walk anywhere in the world without being molested. Now there are parts of Britain where we don’t feel safe.

When I was a kid I thought of moving to Israel.

Every Jewish kid in America in the 1960s did. At least the nerdy ones. I didn’t emigrate because we American Jews knew we had it good. If you were in Russia and you couldn’t get to America, yes, move to Israel. Or a dirt poor persecuted Yemeni Jew – of course.  Or mental, because you believed that ‘Next Year In Jerusalem’ prayer stuff. Only nutty folks bought into that.

But alot of Jews wished for our own country where we would be safe, like other nations had.  But the tectonic plates of world history are moving. They always are. And there is no security in the world, and definitely no security for the Jews.

When a nation isn’t allowed to kill 150 people to protect it’s citizens from being hit by a torrent of rockets, well, you know they’re up against a wall. And that wall is soon to come down.

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio 

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comedian

SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog

John Fleming’s blog: human interest, humour, humor, comedy blog featuring eccentricity, performance, movies and occasionally a few tears

Nunhead Nags

A blog about Nunhead regeneration

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comic

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comedian

SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog

John Fleming’s blog: human interest, humour, humor, comedy blog featuring eccentricity, performance, movies and occasionally a few tears

Nunhead Nags

A blog about Nunhead regeneration

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comic