Jew in the Face and Longer Each Day
One of my exes is going in for his second nose job next week. Like all of his siblings and cousins, he received his first one as a high school graduation present from his Jewish grandmother. The first one was done by a hack doctor in Long Island City during the second Reagan Administration. We're both half Jewish, though my lineage is paternal and his is maternal, so I've been told by several other exes that I'm a fake half Jew. Regardless, this ex said his main attraction to me in the beginning was that I had such a Jewish face and features, except that my nose was so clearly from the French lineage of my mother. Looking at photos from two, three generations and further back of ancestors in Quebec and eventually Normandy, I can see the same nose. So he's probably right. I don't exactly love my nose, but I don't obsess about it the way I do my other flawed body parts.
He, like 85% of my exes, was born in 1968. Three of them have had some form of surgical facial transformation and are a good decade my juniors. Thus I am sure that I am desperately overdue. When I was in my 20s, I was dating a guy who said that if he had all the money in the world, there would be two things he'd want to do to transform his appearance. I shocked him by saying that there were 78 things I'd want to change. I'm so old now, I don't know that I'd even bother with such futile procedures. And it might take the Jew out of my face.
Since last week's purchase of The Jazz Singer, I've been continually obsessed by Jolson and other Jewish entertainers that died or were popular years before I was born. One of the great revelations in The Jazz Singer is that Jolson swung his hips much more than Elvis did three decades later. I'm sure seeing someone so ethnic doing that really scared them in Peoria. More than Jolson, I adore Eddie Cantor. There is something so intentionally obnoxious and unstoppable about him. Whoopee (1930) is one of my favorite musicals, nothing beats a two-strip Technicolor musical about a Jew in black face out west. I love his version of Everybody Loves My Baby even more than Nina Simone's.
And just look at Eddie's face above and then glance at my profile. Couldn't he pass for my great-grandpa?
I've been re-watching the opening minutes and extras of Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005) . Things got really boring once they left the Hoovervilles in Central Park. However, they did have Jolson singing I'm Sittin' on Top of the World during the opening credits. Too bad they didn't let Kong sing some Eddie Cantor songs during his stage act. He certainly could pass for my uncle Chester, a burly Jew in black face.