- January 2022
Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. You could say I observed it a few days early with a distinctive experience.
On Sunday I was up to my knees in swastikas.
No, you don't need to start worrying about me.
You see, a friend of mine, Maria, works here in the Seattle area helping seniors move to new homes. Her most recent client's late husband collected authentic Nazi memorabilia. Maria freely admits she isn't versed in history, so I volunteered to go through the stuff and find an appropriate destination for it all.
In addition to wanting to help Maria, I had three other reasons for taking on this job. First, I'm a history buff. Second, I'm a hoarder—now you can start worrying about me—and we hoarders just adore getting things to the right home. Third, my German-born mother carried German guilt the size of an Alp all her life, and making sure these symbols of that dreadful time and place don't fall into the wrong hands seemed like a gift I could give her, five months after her death.
That's how I came to be sorting through World War II German army and navy uniforms, helmets, boots, Nazi flags, a Nazi armband and more. The late owner had amassed a sizeable collection, and his wife told Maria it could fetch some money. She was right. I checked.
But Maria convinced her to give the articles to a museum, so they couldn't wind up on the open market, and fall into the hands of some 20-year-old neo-Nazi from Akron.
The woman who manages the Holocaust Center for Humanity's permanent collections came to pick up the whole shebang on Tuesday. She'd made it plain that the Center would keep some of the items, and transfer other pieces to different Holocaust museums. The remainder would be destroyed. The history-loving part of me felt a twinge over that, and you might assume the hoarder part of me went into unbecoming spasms.
Actually, that part of me thought destruction was perfect. Remember I mentioned how hoarders often strive to get things to the right home? In this case, the right home is no home.
About a year ago, after the world got wind of Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene's 2018 conspiracy theory that Jewish space lasers caused California wildfires, a company called Dissent Pins released pins and caps and t-shirts identifying the wearer as a member of the Secret Jewish Space Laser Corps.
I wanted a shirt, but I felt funny claiming to be Jewish when I'm not.
Apparently I wasn't the only one, since I see Dissent Pins is now coming out with pins and patches and stickers and t-shirts with the same design, but the words "Goyim Squad" added.
Now anyone can be, as Dissent Pins puts it, "Mazel Tough," and anyone can sport their disdain for Georgia's foremost meshuggeneh.
- March 2021
It's St. Patrick's Day, which always make me remember my father telling my siblings and me when we were young that technically we should wear not green but orange on this day, because our ancestors were Protestants from Northern Ireland.
Having a tendency to want to keep everyone happy, I now wear both green and orange on St. Patrick's Day. My mind is at peace, even as my sartorial color combinations add up to a gay leprechaun's worst nightmare.
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