Jerry Levy: kvetch

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Sat Feb 17 06:44:01 MST 1996

On Sat, 17 Feb 1996 glevy at wrote:

> Aren't we lucky to have Gary and Chris as "co-moderators"?
> Jerry

Louis: I see it is that time of the month in which Levy picks up on his
favorite thread, the degeneration of the Marxism list and the
responsibility of the co-moderators for such degeneration.

Meanwhile, he has grown bored with the rather finely nuanced discussion
on "subjectivity" which involves participants from 4 continents, a thread
he himself got started.

You know what Jerry is? I'll tell you in Yiddish: he is a kvetch. A kvetch
is a complainer. In politics, that is the sort of person who loves to sit in
the last row of a meeting and complain about the speaker and all of the
participants endlessly, except himself. In Jewish society, kvetching usually
applies to the quality of food in a restaurant, the performance of actors
on stage, the "younger generation". Neil Simon's plays generally feature a
lot of kvetching. The kvetch typically is played by someone like Walter

Kvetching is a chronic condition.

Now in a Neil Simon play it can be charming and amusing. In a Marxism
list it is a minor annoyance. I, in my capacity as non-moderator, INSIST
that we simply ignore Jerry's kvetching. We went through this with him a
month or so ago and it took up far too much band-width. Anybody who
disobeys me gets a snapping-turtle in their knickers.

Perhaps one day Jerry will discover a theoretical topic that can occupy
his mind for more than a day or two. In the meantime, let him have his
occasional kvetch. If it helps him get through the day, we'll be better
off for it.

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