Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Battle Cry of the Anguished American Immigrant!…by Robert M. Katzman

(Originally posted on July 21, 2008, then reposted March 10, 2017 in frustration after the 2016 election, where insanity began to rule what was once a last best refuge for people seeking a chance to live, to be happy)

 

To me, being an American is an idea.

A concept.

An agreement of equals.

A willingness to tolerate the differences in others.

A celebration of the beauty of cultural diversity.

 

While maybe originally, ours was a government,

Of the Protestants, By the Protestants and For the Protestants”

We’re bigger than that today.  A numerically insignificant People like my own family, Jews, now represent less than 2% of the total American population, but I believe that our Constitution includes me when I read it.  I don’t live in fear, here.

Soon, there will be more Moslems in America than Jews, but I don’t care.  They came here to escape the same killing chaos that brought my family here, as well as looking for a new start and a fair chance to become successful.  I welcome them.  Besides, when the hating is missing, they may remember that we’re linguistic cousins who speak two versions of the same Semitic language, as do the Assyrians, who are Christian Arabs.

(Read on …)

Cop Julie and The Lost Jewish Cemetery…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Cops,Humor,Jewish Themes,Love and Romance,Poetry & Prose,Wisconsin stories — Bob at 10:49 pm on Friday, January 20, 2017

So, new guy in a new town

I joined a poet’s group

Nice woman there figures out

That Passover

is possibly my holiday

Clever woman

 

Then she leans over to me

And whispers:

 

“There’s this tiny Jewish cemetery

In a little town near here

And their steel entrance sign

With its big Jewish star

Collapsed on the ground

In the mud

Makes me feel bad

It’s not right

Maybe you can fix it”

 

I backed up from her whisper

A righteous Christian

If ever there was one

Does she think I somehow

Have…magic powers

Able to lift steel girders

With a wink and a prayer??

(Read on …)

Sometimes the Phoenix Burns………. Sometimes the Phoenix Returns…………by Robert M. Katzman

Sometimes the Phoenix Burns

Sometimes the Phoenix Returns

by Robert M. Katzman, October 3, 2016

(in classical mythology) a unique bird that lived for five or six centuries in the Arabian desert, after this time burning itself on a funeral pyre and rising from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle.)

On a grey drizzly Rosh Hashanah morning, I was sitting on my squeaking old cedar swing in Racine, Wisconsin, where Jews seem to be an endangered species. Just sitting still, staring at this massive brick fireplace I built out of heavy reddish paving bricks during my long winter without Joyce. Her illness kept her away from our home for months. I wanted to build something permanent, something that would stay with me. I decided to build a fire.

(Read on …)

Rose Bliss, Country Charm and a Killer Baby Robin…by Robert M. Katzman

Copyright July 6, 2016

There is a fluidity and capriciousness to time and events.

There is no way to predict what will occur next based on what has happened before. Even a series of good events, one following another, doesn’t mean that kind of luck will continue, or the reverse, either. There is no pattern, no rationalization of balance to why things happen in a person’s life. Why do I write this?

Last September, during a street fair in Racine, Wisconsin, a smallish town of less than 80,000 located next to Lake Michigan, just north of Kenosha, 30 miles south of Milwaukee and about 27 miles north of the Illinois border, my wife Joy and I met a very nice local couple named Brad and Rose Bliss.

In this nine months later follow-up story to what happened in that story, just about every single significant thing changed. No, none of us is or was famous and no one would have read about any of us in some newspaper; but what happened then caused our paths to cross during that street fair, and subsequently made a friendship bloom between two new settlers in Racine and a long established couple.

(Read on …)

David’s Star…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Depression and Hope,Jewish Themes,Life & Death,My Own Personal Hell,Rage!,Social Policy and Justice — Bob at 9:11 am on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Copyright June 20, 2016

 

Hanging on a thin necklace

Around my neck

It’s always there

A silver star

David’s Star

(Read on …)

Bribing a Chicago Judge with a Sawbuck…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Cops,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,Humor,Jewish Themes,My Own Personal Hell,Politics — Bob at 6:37 am on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bribing a Chicago Judge with a Sawbuck

By Robert M. Katzman

Copyright © January 2, 2014

 

In the spring of 1965, in Hyde Park, an area seven miles south of Chicago’s central Downtown area and home of the University of Chicago and jazz, my father, Irving, felt it was time to explain corruption in the Chicago Machine and teach me the basics.

 

I was fifteen, and if you can imagine the setting, we’re in our small apartment sitting on either side of the scarred kitchen table. I was listening and playing with the salt and pepper shakers at the same time. He may as well have been explaining etiquette customs on Mars to me. I had no clue about what he was going to say.

(Read on …)

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