I’ll Be Your Jew

Sacha Baron Cohen–I’ll be your Jew. That’s how I read him. Monied, educated, and English. But still a Jew in that world. The world of Virginia Woolf’s casual, de rigueur antiSemitic quips and Orwell’s spittle. The Jew in England. Shylock and Fagan. The nose, the hands greasy from counting money. Above all vulgar and out of it socially. Big gestures. Hands and voice. Vulgar in the extreme, and they seem to enjoy it, they seem not to understand how repulsive the rest of us find them. Cohen’s response: You want to see the Jew you secretly harbor in your thoughts, the Jew you no longer dare to speak about publicly–I’ll be your Jew, and in being your Jew, I will show you who you are. He’s fearless because of his class and accent, also his tall, handsome manself. Go baby, be their Jew and our reckless vulgarian. There is so much pleasure in what is understood as vulgarity. Another word for this is comedy.

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