At war with New Jersey
As you've all probably read by now on the Garden State's website of record, I am at war with New Jersey. It's been a subtle war, a quiet war. The weapons have been, with the exception of that stapler incident, words. But I consider it to have been a war nonetheless, and, as my regular readers know, when I go to war, I go to win.
Some background. In August, Governor James McGreevey named me New Jersey's second-ever Pundit Laureate. It was a position already tinged with disgrace. My predecessor, Mickey Kaus , was forced to resign when it was discovered he didn't live in New Jersey. In fact, he'd never been to New Jersey and had sent one of his many body doubles to his acceptance ceremony.
When McGreevey announced me as Kaus' replacement, he said, in public, "not only has Neal Pollack written two excellent books about our state--Bruce Springsteen: American Sphinx, and Big Pussy: American Brutus--but he also has a house at the Jersey Shore. We welcome him with all our heart. Senator Torricelli, please present Neal Pollack with a big check."
The first month of my Pundit Laureateship went beautifully. I spoke at two libraries, dedicated the Neal Pollack rest area on the Turnpike, and hit it big at the roulette table at the Trump Taj Mahal. Then, on September 18, while speaking to the B'nai Brith of greater Montclair, I said:
"Sure the Jews knew about September 11. They knew, knew, knew, knew, knew. And they did nothing about it. Jews, Jews, Jews. Always knowing. Never doing."
Well, that created a furor. Now Governor McGreevey is calling for my resignation, and for a return of the $50,000. Well, first of all, I already spent the money on a car, and you know the second you roll something off the lot, it loses half its value.
And why should I resign, anyway? Because I said the Jews knew about September 11 in advance and because I've claimed elsewhere that the War on Terror is "a conspiracy hatched by Zionists and international bankers"? Hogwash! I am an artist! This is America! I am entitled to my opinion!
Besides, I have a lot of Jew friends. My parents and sisters are Jewish. I, myself, am Jewish half the year and have attended temple on the High Holidays three of the last five autumns. I do not, as Governor McGreevey claims, "give succor to the enemy." I don't even know what succor is! And I will not, despite the baying of the Jewish media and its lobbyists, resign.
New Jersey. You're stuck with me.