Still wondering if this shit’s real? Here’s a clue by four…

Early this year, in the mad grab for Hamilton tickets, I decided to go ahead and get a full subscription to the Hippodrome in Baltimore. I invited a friend to join me, and we got a pair of tickets for the coming season.

Our season subscription started tonight.

When we talked about the purchase, we were both kind of lukewarm about a couple of the offerings. The titles of the shows are available. Let’s just say we each had reasons to be somewhat unhappy with the full seven play selection.

Tonight’s performance was part of the newest tour of Fiddler on the Roof. I’ve seen the play performed several times onstage but only recently. I was only in my first year on the planet in 1964 when the show hit Broadway. My parents saw the show with Zero Mostel as Tevye (and I still have their program to prove it).

I know the movie much better, since I was seven going on eight when it hit theaters. It was the first movie I can recall that had an intermission built in. I know huge chunks of dialogue and almost all the numbers (there were several that were eliminated in the transition from stage to film). Sang “Sunrise, Sunset” in choir when I was still in single digits. Performed the role of Tzeitel in a church-sponsored reading with music.

Dad made sure we knew that our family came from villages very similar to Anatevka. Piryatin (the Ukrainian side) saw my family’s departure right around the same time as the pogroms described in the show. During Tzeitel’s wedding, at the end of Act 1, we get a taste of what it was like for the people in those villages. My great aunt was born in “Russia,” and that’s what my grandmother always called the family.

The last time I watched the movie, my kids watched it with me. And I have to say I was distinctly uncomfortable letting them watch. I had that conversation with my grandfather about marrying outside the faith, in 1986 when I first moved to Maryland. Didn’t stop me from marrying a lapsed Catholic after dating a variety of men, none Jewish, but then he was long dead by the time I took vows. So it was with some seriously mixed emotions that I took my seat for tonight’s performance, so soon after the Squirrel Hill shooting and all.

Tonight I felt the direct threat of these increasingly racist white supremacists, emboldened by the hate coming out of the White House. That threat came not just from an actual white supremacist, sitting at the opposite end of my safe row in the upper balcony, whose drunken outburst at the drop of the intermission curtain, outflung arm and shouts of “Heil Hitler, Hail Trump” were horrifyingly close and all too real, but from a Jew and a former “friend” on my Facebook wall who saw fit to declare that I was wrong to say that all Republicans were to blame for this behavior.

I’m a writer and I’m about to make her a star.

You are welcome to read the post here:

I’m sure my former “friend” could be more tone deaf, but I’m not sure how.

Not to downplay your experience but the security at Hippodrome has nothing to do with politics. It’s in Baltimore and it is a very crime ridden area, despite the nice look of the theatre. I have a friend that works there and they beefed up security a while ago.
Sorry for your bad experience but you cannot judge republicans based on this person’s actions. That would be the same as condemning all Muslims!

…I’m sorry, I cannot agree that you are who you have dinner with. I personally don’t go out of my way to have dinner with Nazi’s [sic but I do often have conversations with people that I completely disagree with. Maybe their lifestyle or their views on things or whatever, but bc I’m sitting with them, doesn’t make me them, or them, me. However again, actually back on topic. This act was inappropriate and hate speech. All I was saying is to go that extra step and ask all republicans to go f* off isn’t correct.

The hell I can’t. You pull tone policing on MY wall, and that’s an instant ejection seat. If that’s your goal, have at it, but be prepared to have your words highlighted. The post was public and I *will* call you out.

I’ve made it more than clear on Facebook and in my blog that while I am ethnically Jewish, I am not now and never have been a Zionist. I find the poster’s comments personally offensive. I do mean to paint all Republicans and their enablers exactly this way, and I don’t give a good god damn if you think I’m wrong.

There were German Jews who believed the Nazis weren’t that bad, until they were rounded up and tossed into the ghetto with the rest of their families and friends. Some of my Austrian relatives DIED in Austria because they didn’t leave when my great grandparents did. I know some of my Russian relatives never made it out for the same reason.

Don’t you dare presume to tell me or my readers what they should or should not say. Your tone policing is not welcome here.

And if you think that means I’m calling you a Nazi for taking the side of Republicans, have you paid…oh…ANY attention to the news in the last ten years? The Party of No wants to play bi-partisan now that they’ve lost control of the House. This is NOT the time to suddenly fold and say “Oh, we’re sorry. We didn’t mean it.”

Republicans enable their leadership. They could vote differently if they wanted to. They could opt to skip Trump’s rallies. They could choose not to go to the theatre. They could turn in their guns or take on their own reprobates. But they haven’t and they won’t because they like what Trump’s administration is doing to government.

And when I see this kind of apologist “Not All” bullshit passing for polite dialogue I have only one response:

Fuck off.


Now that the perpetrator’s name and “story” are out and the articles updated, I have something to add to the above.

Let’s be real clear here, since I was there, on the opposite end of Left Upper Balcony, one row back:

The man was stinking drunk and muttering before he let loose with the “Heil Hitler, Hail Trump.” He still had over half of a beer in his hand (which you can see if you go to my wall and look for the subject under discussion).

Regardless of his intent, and also regardless of what he *thought* we were saying to him, all we heard in clarion tones were the words above, and his response to people telling him he was racist that he thought the same of us.

I don’t give a good god damn what he thinks. I care that this is world wide news and that I was sitting right there when it happened.

This is the result: There’s actually no telling whether he means what he says.

Think about it: This plays squarely into the conspiracy theory of self-inflicted hate crimes to garner support for fighting antisemitism.

He couldn’t have done more damage if he tried.

Now if you turn around and try to tell me that his intent wasn’t interpreted any other way, I’ve got no compunction whatsoever to get in your face and tell you exactly what I think of you. My voice can be heard on that video, telling the drunk asshole to get out.

I’m not shy. I’m Jewish. And I’ll be damned if I’ll let anyone tell me that what he said was either OKAY or EXCUSABLE.

That was, in fact, the whole point of Fiddler on the Roof in this tour.

Silence equals death.

And one more thing: I’m not just speaking for the Jews in the theatre. I’m speaking for every marginalized member of our country’s population, whether they’re citizens or not. I’m fucking tired of listening to conservative assholes trying to point the finger at the rest of us and claiming WE’RE the problems.

No. That’s flat out wrong. And I refuse to be silent or listen to one more conservative asshole try to lay the blame on us.

Trump isn’t the problem. He’s a symptom. The people who put him in power, from the bottom up, are the problem.

If that’s you or your friends, own it.

Addendum to the addendum:

WBAL released this story a day ago, which elaborates on our very drunk perpetrator. At least now he understands what we were trying to tell him on Wednesday night.

Have I spoken to the press?

No. And I don’t intend to, either. They’re welcome to read this account, if it gets back to them, but I have no desire to go on public record and attach my face to the reports because I’m in a precarious enough position with my new job that I’m not going to risk it for this.

He said his piece. I accept his explanation (not an excuse and clearly he knows it).

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