our humor and theirs

Alex Trotter uburoi at panix.com
Thu Oct 26 19:41:06 MDT 1995

All right, one last round, then no more to do with Louis Proyect.

1. The burning of the SWP bookstore in LA: I didn't burn the store
myself, nor did right-wing terrorists do it with a pipe-bomb. It was done
by the insurgent proles themselves. The store wasn't in a strip mall;
those who torched it knew what it was. What was there to chuckle about?
The irony of history. The very people whom the SWP wants to represent and
lead demonstrated what they really thought of those efforts. It was quite
a burning critique indeed of vanguardism. If the books themselves got
burned, that *is* a shame. The rioters would have done well to loot the
stock before dealing with the store. And then they should have shouted:
"This one's for Kronstadt!" Louis, since you admit that the SWP is a sect
and a cult, and actually does harm to the revolution, why should you be
so godawful upset about this event?

2. Sausage eaters, blue-eyed devils, etc.: The epithets themselves, if
they are to be taken at all seriously, would be more likely to offend
Poles than Jews. My relatives certainly eat more kielbasa than you can
shake a stick at, but they don't in fact have anything against Jews, nor
do I, although it is true that many Poles did. I said that to mess with
your head, Louis, and apparently it was all too successful--and
gratuitous, I admit.
	One summer several years ago I had a job as a bicycle messenger
in Manhattan. One day one of the other messengers said to me, "You know,
your people weren't so good to my people"--just like that. I think he was
serious about that, but we were quite friendly before and after, and
he taught me several choice words and phrases in Yiddish, most of which
I've forgotten by now. Maybe, on some subconscious level, I've always
been yearning for a chance to throw that stuff about "your people" back
at someone, and it happened to be you, Louis.
	Ready to pipe down yet, you old *tuchis*?


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