In defence of Larry David by Gilad Atzmon
Don’t Blame the Messenger
Critics of Larry David say he has gone further than any other Jewish comic or intellectual in insulting Christianity and Christian values.
In an episode of the highly popular HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which caricatures David’s true personal life, David accidentally splashes a drop of urine on a framed picture of Jesus that is hanging in his devout secretary’s bathroom.
Having been prescribed a drug that makes him urinate like an Israeli police anti-riot water-jet cannon, a drop of urine splashed right under the eye of Christ. In the scene David seems to be aware that some of his water has ended up on the face of Jesus. Before leaving the bathroom he stares at the drop closely, he is just about to clear it but guess what, he doesn’t. The man wouldn’t touch his own urine. He prefers to leave the mess behind. He doesn’t take responsibility. In the following scene, David’s secretary springs into his office overwhelmed with divine excitement, announcing that she and her mother have witnessed a miracle in their bathroom just after David left. They saw Jesus crying with a fresh tear running down his cheek.
People in America and around the world are outraged. ‘A Jewish comedian urinated on Jesus Christ they say.
Henry Makow was very eloquent in describing what is so wrong in David’s comedy. In his ‘toilet accident’ David managed to express contempt for “Jesus, Christianity and millions of Christians. First, No Christian would keep a portrait of Jesus in the bathroom. Only an arrogant, disrespectful, ignorant person like Larry David could imagine that. Second, no writer with respect for human dignity and decorum talks about toilet accidents. What is this childish fetish comedy-writers have with bodily and sexual functions? Is this the last taboo? Third, this scene would be classified as a hate crime if it were aimed at anyone but Christians. Imagine the reaction if he peed on a Menorah, an Israeli flag or a Koran? I don't believe this scene is an accident. It's a deliberate attack on the Christian majority, designed to humiliate, shame and disinherit.”
I obviously agree with the thrust of Makow’s argument, yet I would suggest to him to leave out the Jewish Menorah, for not many Jews know what the Menorah stands for. Let’s try instead, to imagine what would have happen if a Gentile would urinate by mistake on a Holocaust symbol. What would have happen if, for instance, a French Muslim comedian splashed a drop of urine on a portrait of Elie Wiesel? Let me tell you, hell would break loose.
I Spit Therefore I am
One must bear in mind that contempt towards others beliefs and spiritual symbols, is well imbued in the Jewish value system. This applies to the religious secular, left, right and centre. It is an established fact that Orthodox Jews are taught to spit whenever they come across a Crucifix or pass by a Church. Not many Gentiles are aware also of the devastating fact that Yeshu, the Hebrew name for Jesus, corresponds to the abbreviation for the Hebrew expression ‘yimmach shemo vezikhro’, meaning "May his name and memory be blotted out", an expression saved for the most hated enemies of the Jewish people such as Hitler and Amalek.
I learned recently from an American Jewish professor who teaches in Prague, that convoys of young American Jewish students make their way to the beautiful Czech capitol every summer. They apparently use the opportunity to spit on the many Churches and golden crucifixes around. I also learned from the professor that the Crucifixes on Prague’s famous Charles Bridge were initially decorated with the Hebrew words Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Adonai Tzvaot, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts” back in the 17th century just to stop Jews spiting on Christian symbols and the Crucifix in particular. *
But it isn’t just the orthodox Jews who spit on others precious symbols. In fact Jewish secular ideology is just as spiteful towards other ideologies. The so called Jewish Humanists, Liberals, progressives and atheists happen to spit on every form of spirituality and divinity. Jewish emancipation has led Jews towards a new form of Atheist zeal that has matured into zero tolerance towards religion. The emancipated believes in ‘reason’ and the ‘spirit of enlightenment’. But it goes further; the Zionists spit on human rights and universal values in the name of Jewish national revival. The Israelis spit white phosphorous on civilians in the name of the war against terror. The Marxist mocks God and religion in the name of ‘working class politics’. In fact to be a Jew is to spit on something. Even the so-called ‘self hating Jews’ spend much of their intellectual effort spitting on themselves.
Here Comes the Twist.
Larry David is a TV genius. I came across him for the first time a year or so ago. In the band wagon I was touring with at the time, the English Jewish manager played ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ all day long. My first reaction was total resentment towards the self-centric skinny sociopath. But soon he grew on me. In fact I fell in love, I became addicted and so were all the other band members who rushed to buy the entire DVD box. Interestingly enough, many of my Arab Friends happen to love David as well. I have recently learned from my friend Mamoon Alabbasi, an Iraqi born writer and editor, that he is a devoted Larry David fan. He insists that David could easily be an Arab character. Seemingly the Jewish protagonist has managed to bring to light some tribal tendencies that may as well cross the divide. David, the protagonist of Jewish autism, greed and selfishness somehow touches the universal.
In ‘Curb your Enthusiasm,’ David manages to blur the distinction between Larry David the protagonist and David the person. He invites the camera to his home, to his kitchen, to his bed, into his wife’s knickers. He is far more than just a glimpse into a Jewish, modern, Godless life. He is a dark satirical portrayal of everything that could ever go wrong with Jewish secular identity.
David spits on everything: you name it, he spits on it. It was David who exposes the Jewish fetish with body organs long before we all started to discuss Israeli organ harvesting. David ridicules the Shoa obsession, the Jewish and anti Wagner fetish. David spits on every possible American value one can think of. He mocks the celebrity culture, materialism and greed. He exposes Jewish supremacy, ignorance and arrogance. Yet, he is doing it all by putting himself in the line of fire. He doesn’t just bring to light to Jewish ugliness, he often embodies this ugliness himself.
David is probably the most courageous Jewish comedian of all time. He is there to provide us with the ultimate possible devastating portrait of Jewish emancipation. He is the self centric, egotistic, sickening character and yet, he is totally beloved and adorable.
In fact, it is not Larry David we should ‘pick on’, it is not David who is caught in a ‘toilet incident’. It is the disastrous identity he exposes and portrays on the little screen, which was once again caught spitting. Rather than David, it is those who are indoctrinated to hate whom we should criticize. Those who spit on Crosses, Churches, Koran, Islam, God, the prophets, spirituality, divinity and so on.
The above should lead us into a different interpretation of David’s latest incident.
The complexity that is exposed by David’s scene has very little to do with his accidental urine spray. It is not even David’s conscious decision not to clean the mess he left behind. Far more crucial and deep is David’s role in ridiculing and dismissing of divinity. By presenting the secretary as a fool who sees God in a ‘drop of urine’, David actually shows contempt to billions of believers. The sad truth is that constant rage against spirituality and divinity is the real message of the emancipated Jew to the Western World. The modern Jew regards him or herself as the embodiment of rationality, they dismiss the possibility of supernatural forces, they are logical, rational and positivist. They believe in empiricism, science and technology.
But in David’s ‘toilet scene’ it is not just Christ and the Christians who are being insulted, it is an insult to anyone who believes that life is more than just physical matter. And yet, David should be thanked for providing us once again with a glimpse into the emancipated Jewish mind.
Far more concerning is the fact that even the Catholic leaders who were outraged by David's toilet scene failed to grasp or articulate where the problem was. Even they lost the capacity to think in spiritual terms. They themselves fell into the Judeo centric material symbolic trap thinking about ‘a urine drop’ and a ‘portrait of Christ’.
David’s Catholic critics failed to grasp it all because they are already spiritually suppressed, silenced, robbed and indoctrinated by different enlightened rational ‘Davids’. They are pushed into the corner by an extremely intolerant institutionalised liberal discourse that is there to serve one emancipated tribe in particular.
David, bless him, took upon himself the courageous responsibility to portray the ugly face of Jewish atheism and Jewish liberal identity. He took it upon himself to embody the dismissal of divinity and spirituality. Rather than blaming the messenger we better be brave enough to read the message.
* “On Charles Bridge, the visitor will observe a great crucifix surrounded by huge gilded Hebrew letters that spell the traditional Hebrew sanctification Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Adonai Tzvaot, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts.” According to various commentators, this piece, degrading to Jews, came about because in 1609 a Jew was accused of desecrating the crucifix. The Jewish community was forced to pay for putting up the Hebrew words in Gold letters. Another explanation is that a Jew spit at the cross and for this he was to be put to death as punishment. When this man begged for his life, the king, seeking to have good relations with the Jews, said the Jewish community had to rectify the offence….” (To read more: Travel Guide for Jewish Europe, pg 497)