As a young Italian-American male growing up in a city whose only claim to fame was its total corruption, the idea of being a bad boy for the sake of its appeal to girls never entered my mind. To my knowledge, none of us guys ever thought about it. We were all pretty much bad for real, so it was a bonus when we came to understand that great failing among females of a certain ilk, they gravitated towards guys like us. It also didn’t hurt to have that Italian look and sense of superiority even if neither were deserved. We were who we were, the real deal, guys who got into trouble, none as much as me, but that’s another story.
And so, armed with the concept of moths to flames, I entered my college years without any anxiety whatsoever about meeting and fooling with girls. What I didn’t know was that too much of a good thing has the same result as too much of a bad thing. That is to say, most if not all the girls I found who were attracted to the bad boy thing were also trepidatious, Italian girls more than any of the others. They’d seen it all before. You could tell WASP girls had been drilled by their fathers about Italian boys, they crossed the street whenever we were around. Occasionally you found an adventuresome one, but you had to be careful, if a blonde beauty got her hooks in you, spaghetti and meatballs would forever be little more than fond memories.
The girls who weren’t the least bit cautious about entering into a relationship with bad boys, however thin it might be, proved to be animals of an entirely different breed. Not only did they revel in the potential for good times tinged with danger (whether real or perceived), they encouraged bad behavior sometimes to the point of depravity. But if Italian girls were cautious about getting involved with Italian bad boys, Jewish girls had no such reservations, they hunted them down.
A perennial student of people in general, I have always been interested not so much in what they do, but why, which I suppose isn’t very unique. And being “bold as brass” as my mother used to say about me, I didn’t hesitate to engage people, especially women in such conversations. Jewish girls most of the time were unabashed about their appetite for the wild and crazy. Most admitted that college, being far away from home, was like being set free for awhile knowing that the good times would end on the day of graduation.
Having no truck as they say, with political correctness at any time of my life, I can say most of the Jewish girls who corralled me or I them were refreshingly honest as opposed to most other women who are preposterous liars when it comes to the details of their pasts. The line, “I’ve never done this before” is almost as common for women as “Don’t worry, I’ll only…(you fill in the blank)” is for men. The most foolish among my gender will always give a woman they think they’re in love with the benefit of the doubt in that regard, something I always struggled with since if they never did it before how come they’re taking to it the first time like a fish to water?
In my experience however, Jewish girls were not of that ilk and, over time, I found out why. They didn’t care enough to lie because there was no chance whatsoever they would even consider anything serious with you, Mr. Italian-American bad boy Gentile. To some men that kind of chosen people superiority would be offensive, but not to an equally arrogant Italian-American. I found it enormously liberating. Here were perfectly fine, willing girls who had no interest in you besides having a good time in any way you could imagine. There was an understanding about the future, there wasn’t any, but if you needed to hear it flat out you could ask and get a straight answer most of the time. There would be a beginning and a definite end to the relationship since you were a Gentile, they were Jews and never the twain shall marry. That Jewish girl was going to dump you as soon as graduation rolled around, or before if they were really smart, so as to get herself ready for a Jewish boy to whom she would say, “I’ve never done that before.”
Yes, there are exceptions to the rule of non-integration, today perhaps more than ever as people put religiosity between the pages of their Bibles or rolled up with their Torahs. But the age-old prejudices remain, often exacerbated by some long buried happenstance which ripped the heart out of one or the other person engaged in such a dangerous Jewish-Gentile liaison. Because, while in the very general sense resulting from the totality of my own admittedly limited experience, Jewish girls can be hurt as easily as Gentiles. Which brings me to Sarah Silverman and her hatred for all things Christian.
You remember her, that girl in college, not a great beauty, but good looking enough even with the extra gums and those oddball eyes, one distinctly larger than the other, the smaller ever so slightly game which made her rather endearing in a weird kind of way. But what she lacked in great American beauty she more than made up for in personality, so outgoing, funny in fact, witty definitely, engaging on that basis alone. You’re that Italian kid though, you could have most any girl you wanted. You’d do her, but it wouldn’t be the foaming-at-the-mouth, got-to-have-her sexual thing, it would be more of an occasional courtesy poke, like a bonus which added a slightly pleasurable dimension to the good time she was in the overall.
That wasn’t the way she saw it though. She never expected you who exuded careless, arrogant masculinity from every pore to pull her out of the shadows. She was just a little Jewish girl from a small New Hampshire town where there were maybe five other Jewish families living lives restricted to interaction with each other. She not only didn’t know she was kind of pretty, but she didn’t know it so much she overcompensated on the personality side of things thinking it would be the only way she could fit in anywhere. Kind of like what you would imagine Barbra Streisand’s college experience would have been if she went as Fanny Brice. That’s Sarah Silverman, or at least that’s what Sarah Silverman seems to be except that in her quest for acceptance she’s been used like a fifty cent hooker in a two dollar Shanghai bordello by every wannabe bad boy Gentile from there to New Jersey. She as much as admits it, but underneath her admissions there is an undeniable contempt for those Gentiles who had her. She hates them and by extension their faith.
Her hatred for Christianity is not hatred for the faith though as much as it is a need to get back at those Gentile boys who treated her the way she allowed them to treat her except, along the way she fell in love with one of them. I’ve experienced it before, only once, but in my case there was no way I could bring a Jewish girl home to a father who equated Sicilians to Puerto Ricans and a mother who believed anyone from outside Bari ate cats. Likewise, in true Romeo and Juliet style, my Jewish girlfriend could no more bring me home to her parents than sit to a meal of pig’s knuckles. But even in light of those facts, she blamed me for being who I was, especially for coming from a rigidly ethnic Italian Catholic family. The end was bitter because I think we really cared for each other.
So it’s best to understand poor Sarah Silverman rather than disparage her. Sad kid, so desperate to stab out at Christianity as the culprit behind a heartbreak or two. It’s no wonder when pressed about why she hates Christianity so much, that maybe her being Jewish fuels her hatred, she pulls up what seems to be the shibboleth for all Jews who hate Christians, “I mean, I talk about being Jewish a lot,” she says. “It’s funny because I do think of myself as Jewish ethnically, but I’m not religious at all. I have no religion.”
But the truth is in her background. IMDB’s bio of Silverman includes a trivia blurb which states, she “has three sisters: Susan Silverman, a feminist rabbi (and co-author, with husband Yosef Abramowitz, of the book ‘Jewish Family & Life: Traditions, Holidays, and Values for Today’s Parents and Children’); Laura Silverman, an actress; and Jodyne L. Speyer, author of ‘Dump ‘Em: How To Break Up With Anyone From Your Best Friend to Your Hairdresser’”.
To therefore buy into her religious disclaimer requires a full dump of brain cells. Of course she grew up in a radically liberal household. Of course she was brought up strictly Jewish with all the prejudices and hatreds that go along with a lot of upbringings, mine included. It’s not an excuse for her, just a little sunlight on what appears to be a very unhappy life. It begs the question, if religion is not the motive for her hatred, why is it Christianity is always the target of her “comedy”?
At least the Jewish girls I knew were up front about their prejudices. And there was practicality in the way they approached relationships with Gentile boys, precisely the same kind preached by my Italian parents. Fool around with them, but marriage is out of the question. You are far better off marrying someone of your own ethnic and religious background, that way you pretty much know what to expect right from the start. You do away with years of figuring each other out.
Sarah Silverman is a poor little girl who’s been trained to hate, a hurt child desperate for attention and approval, a sad copy of all such girls who allow themselves to be used and abused and then, when they find themselves alone in front of a mirror become self-loathing to a pathetic degree. But instead of coming to terms with the why and wherefore of her life, Sarah turns to the oldest shtick in the book, outrageousness. But outrageousness is not a talent, it’s a cry of desperation from a not so nice Jewish girl who, if she could turn the clock back, maybe could have found a nice Jewish boy who would believe her when she said, “I’ve never done this before”.