On Mon­day, Rachel Shuk­ert blogged on Mad Men, Lenny Bruce style. Below is her satir­i­cal short fic­tion response to some par­tic­u­lar­ly egre­gious com­ments she received after an excerpt from her book was pub­lished on Salon​.com.

Last week, a cer­tain high-traf­fic web­site post­ed an excerpt from my new book, Every­thing Is Going To Be Great: An Under­fund­ed and Over­ex­posed Euro­pean Grand Tour. I won’t go into all the details here, but suf­fice it to say it had to do with my expe­ri­ence in Vien­na and all its atten­dant Nazi ghosts, lit­er­al and figurative.

The anony­mous posters in the com­ments thread were out­raged. Some accused me of being an under­cov­er Zion­ist agent. Oth­ers sug­gest­ed that the Pow­ers that Be (TPTB in Inter­net speak) had com­mis­sioned and planned the release of my book in a trans­par­ent attempt to drum up sym­pa­thy for the Jews just when the world was begin­ning to get wise to their inher­ent evil. One went so far as to deem my book – a mild­ly amus­ing trav­el­ogue about get­ting drunk and doing stu­pid things – as instru­men­tal in con­ning the Amer­i­can pub­lic into invad­ing Iran. Sev­er­al com­menters, to be fair, sim­ply said my piece was the worst and least believ­able thing they had ever read. Clear­ly, I was a liar who had made the whole sto­ry up. What about the beau­ti­ful city of Vien­na would pos­si­bly make any­one think of Nazis?

Well, my fel­low Jews (and any Gen­tiles who may have found them­selves on this blog), I guess the jig is up. After much soul-search­ing, I have decid­ed to come clean, here to the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing, about the moti­va­tion and pur­pose of my book.


About two years ago, I was floss­ing my teeth and watch­ing Sea­son 4 Top Chef on DVR when the phone rang. It was Chuck Schumer, then act­ing Pres­i­dent of the Elders of Zion, before lead­er­ship passed over to Diane von Fursten­berg last spring. (In case you didn’t know, the E of Z pres­i­den­cy pass­es over in turn to lead­ing Jews from every field, the way lead­er­ship of the E.U. pass­es from coun­try to coun­try. Judd Apa­tow is next on the docket.)

Rachel, it’s Chuck,” said the dis­tin­guished gen­tle­man from New York. We’ve got a job for you.”

Oh no,” I said. You still haven’t paid me for the work I did per­son­al­ly evict­ing those 400 Pales­tin­ian orphans from their homes in order to make way for Wolf Blitzer’s sodomit­i­cal plea­sure palace.”

You nev­er invoiced us,” said Schumer.

I nev­er invoiced you before,” I countered.

Blankfein’s get­ting real­ly strict about that stuff now,” said Schumer. The major eco­nom­ic reces­sion we’ve been orches­trat­ing in order to con­sol­i­date our own pow­er and wealth at the expense of the Amer­i­can work­er is about to come to fruition, and we’ll be under scruti­ny from all sides. But let me talk to him. If noth­ing else, we’ll get you some nice stock options from Gold­man Sachs. You’ll be very happy.”

I bet­ter be,” I said, Or I just may go to the Inter­net forums.”

There’s no need for that kind of talk, young lady,” snapped Schumer. Besides, what else are you going to do? I saw your moth­er at the Zion­ist Cabal/​Casino Night at the JCC in Cher­ry Hill the oth­er night, and she told me you didn’t have a job right now.”

My moth­er. Of course she’d been talk­ing to Schumer. It was all make sense. I sighed. What do you want me to do?”

Schumer favored me with a smug chuck­le. I thought you’d nev­er ask.”

Well, I’m asking.”

He chuck­led again. So you are. So you are. Well, here it is, in a nut­shell. Like I said, we’ve got big plans for the next few years. The reces­sion is com­ing, and believe me, it’s going to be a doozy. We’ve set up a sys­tem that will method­i­cal­ly drain the wealth out of the entire world and into the Elders’ cof­fers for years to come. Those Real Amer­i­cans aren’t going to know what hit them. But obvi­ous­ly, this might come with a back­lash that could make oth­er parts of our pro­gram more dif­fi­cult; our Tran­sjor­dan­ian expan­sion, for exam­ple, or our planned inva­sion of Iran.”

I don’t under­stand the Iran thing,” I said. Why do we want to do that again?”

Schumer sighed impa­tient­ly. Hon­est­ly, Rachel,” he said, Some­times I don’t think you even read our newslet­ters. We’re telling every­one it has to do with Israel’s secu­ri­ty. But real­ly, it has to do with oil, and most­ly with the fact that we are a malig­nant race bent on spread­ing evil and destruc­tion wher­ev­er we go.”

Oh, right,” I said. On the TV, Pad­ma Lak­sh­mi was solemn­ly inton­ing the fail­ings of the dish­es of Spike and Dale.

Are you watch­ing Top Chef?” Schumer said angri­ly. Stephanie’s going to win the whole thing. Put it on mute.” I obeyed. Now,” Schumer con­tin­ued, sat­is­fied, once this all hap­pens, we’re going to have to drum up some fresh sym­pa­thy. Remind peo­ple of all the hor­ri­ble things that have hap­pened to us – if deserved­ly – over the years. We want you to write a book.”

Why me? Why not Roth?”

Roth’s a loose can­non. You nev­er know when he’s going to get all guilty and heavy-hand­ed and start say­ing everything’s all our fault. Besides, Roth’s get­ting up there. He’s not going to be around for­ev­er, no mat­ter how many swims he takes in that farshtinken­er lake of his.”

Ask his suc­ces­sor then,” I said. Ask Shteyn­gart.”
We thought of Shetyn­gart,” Schumer said thought­ful­ly. We love Shteyn­gart, and he sure as hell owes us one. But don’t for­get, Shteyngart’s a for­mer Sovi­et. He sticks out. He can’t oper­ate from the inside out, like a third-gen­er­a­tion Amer­i­can like you.”

Fourth,” I said proudly.

Third,” Schumer insist­ed, And frankly, that’s gen­er­ous. Also, no offense to you or Shteyn­gart, but we’re look­ing for some­one a lit­tle eas­i­er on the eyes. 2010, when your book would be released, is going to be the year of the Young Female Mem­oirist. We’ve got a few lined up already–Klaus­nerGould–but they don’t have your para­noia, your per­se­cu­tion com­plex. You’re the only woman for the job.”

I sighed again, the sigh of eter­ni­ty. What am I sup­posed to write about?”

Well,” said Schumer. Your moth­er tells me you spent quite a bit of time in Europe. Why don’t you write about that? Talk about Vien­na. The ghosts of the past, all that jazz. Play up the anti-Semi­tism angle; not too much, but enough to let every­one know: WE HAVEN’T FOR­GOT­TEN AND WERE STILL PISSED OFF.”

But Chuck,” I said, with utmost sin­cer­i­ty, I lit­er­al­ly did not think about the Holo­caust once while I was in Vien­na. What could have pos­si­bly made me think of that? Cer­tain­ly not the posters of Jorg Haider every­where, or hear­ing peo­ple say ter­ri­ble things about the Turks, or the fact that right before I went there I had been stay­ing with my aunt who fled that beau­ti­ful and tol­er­ant city as a 5‑year-old in 1938? I mean, hon­est­ly, I had so many bet­ter things to focus on, like Mozart and Schiele and real­ly fan­cy cake. It nev­er even occurred to me to remem­ber I was in a coun­try which had man­aged to kill over 90% of its Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion com­fort­ably with­in liv­ing memory.”

So make some­thing up,” said Schumer. Like Anne Frank did. We got mileage out of that for forty years, and let me tell you some­thing, she did pret­ty well out of it too. I’m going down to see her at her com­pound in Boca next week.”

Give her my best.”

You’re not going to regret this,” said Schumer. But remem­ber: we’re only get­ting you a book deal because you’re a 20-some­thing girl, not because you’re a good writer or have any­thing to say. So don’t go get­ting fat and ugly on us, or we’ll find some oth­er self-obsessed, urban, over­priv­i­leged Jew­ish slut to do our nefar­i­ous bid­ding, you understand?”

Yes,” I said, although by the time the book comes out, I won’t be a 20-some­thing anymore.”

I didn’t hear that,” said Chuck Schumer. Now get writing.”

So that’s what I did. I con­coct­ed a wild and total­ly false sto­ry about how being in Vien­na remind­ed me, even in pass­ing, of cer­tain aspects of World War II. I invent­ed a rela­tion­ship with an old­er man whose father may or may not have been a mem­ber of the Nazi par­ty, if not the Gestapo, which every­one knows is impos­si­ble because some­one born in 1957 as the youngest child of a large fam­i­ly couldn’t pos­si­bly have had a male par­ent born in say, 1917 or so. (Not that I ever claim this is the case in the book, only that it crossed my para­noid, per­se­cu­tion-com­plect­ed, plot­ting Jew­ish mind.)

I also invent­ed a pos­i­tive­ly ludi­crous sto­ry about see­ing a yel­low Star of David in the flea mar­ket, which is impos­si­ble because a) such a thing nev­er exist­ed, b) could nev­er have turned up in such a place and c) if it did, it must have been a fake or a film prop that I would have imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­nized as such, and that any sub­se­quent men­tal anguish suf­fered on my part was sim­ply part of a writ­ten cam­paign to ratio­nal­ize the inex­cus­able actions of the thug­gish Zion­ist enti­ty and fan the flames for our upcom­ing War on the Universe.

And I would have got­ten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for you snoop­ing anony­mous Inter­net commenters.

Rachel Shuk­erts sec­ond mem­oir, Every­thing Is Going to Be Great: An Under­fund­ed and Over­ex­posed Euro­pean Grand Tour, is now avail­able. Check back on Fri­day to read her final post for the Vis­it­ing Scribe.