The Zionist Conspiracy
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
MoC, The Fed, and Mort
In response to my e-mails, MoC usually claims to be on the phone with the Fed, dealing with an emergency that threatens our global economy and requires his immediate intervention. In my mind, MoC is a superhero, anonymously saving us from disaster at every turn.
Last night, for example, I e-mailed MoC to ask whether Mendy's is still available at Madison Square Garden. He asked whether I was going to the game. I responded that I was. He wrote he too had tickets, but would probably be late because he was on an urgent call with the Fed. (Of course, MoC saved our economy and arrived at MSG by the time the game became moderately interesting late in the first period; needless to say, his tickets were much more expensive than mine, but my seats were better.)
I'm still not sure whether Mendy's sells at MSG, but MoC's latest mention of the Fed triggered my memory of my own singular experience involving the Fed. After nearly 20 years, the following may finally be publicly disclosed:
It was May 1989. Davey Johnson was managing the Mets and Joe Walton was head coach of the Jets. It seemed like an ordinary Thursday. During the yeshiva lunch break, along with a friend, I went to another friend's house to watch TV. The friend whose home we went had occasional use of his parents' car, which was somewhat notable for 11th graders in a charedi Brooklyn yeshiva.
We were just about ready to go back to yeshiva when we learned that our friend with the car would have access to such car all the way through that evening's mishmar session, at which we were to study Talmud following dinner.
This was unprecedented. We had cut school many times that year to attend sporting events and television shows, or to watch old shows at the Museum of Broadcasting. But we did those things via subway, within the boroughs of New York City.
Now we would access to a car. It was an opportunity we could not miss.
We stopped by my home. I remember retrieving Madonna's Like A Prayer album there, and playing it in the car.
We had no idea where to go. Anyplace accessible by train was of course a waste. None of us knew how to get to Long Island. So we decided on New Jersey.
Of course, the way to drive from Brooklyn to New Jersey was via the George Washington Bridge, so we spent more than 2 hours in Manhattan traffic before finally crossing state lines.
We decided to watch horse racing at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Until that is, we saw a sign for Secaucus.
Secaucus, the home of WOR, Channel 9. Which then broadcasted the Mets, the news with Sara Lee Kessler, and, most importantly for our purposes, the Morton Downey Jr. Show.
So we quickly forgot about horses and took a detour and headed into Secaucus. And within a few minutes we saw the sign for WOR and entered the parking lot.
Could Mort be taping that night? Yes, the show was starting in less than five minutes. There were two seats left, but they let one of us sit in the seat of a guest who would be arriving late. We signed a form stating that we were all 18 years old, and entered the studio.
Mort was famous - or infamous - for chainsmoking, for getting into the face of, and screaming at, guests and audience members, and for televised clashes between Al Sharpton and Roy Innis, and debates between Meir Kahane and his "friend" - Arab activist M. T. Mehdi.
A few weeks earlier, Downey had staged an "attack" in which a swastika was painted on his face and his head was partially shaved.
Perhaps MoC would disagree, but from the perspective of three yeshiva high school students, there wasn't very much excitement on the Morton Downey Jr. Show on this night. The program was about the Federal Reserve, and how they are secretly controlling our economy and stealing our money. The guests consisted of conspiracy theorists, some of whom would resurface 12 years later to claim that the Jews orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.
It was extraordinarily hot in the studio, and when the one sane guest tried to respond with common sense, Mort got in his face and shouted, "You're Sweating!" when, like all of us, the man perspired due to the heat.
Our drive home was uneventful, with the exception of our picking up Slurpees at a 7-11. I don't think any of us had ever had a Slurpee before.
During the course of all this excitement, it turned out that something came up and my friend's mother needed her car. So she called the yeshiva looking for him. Went to the yeshiva to find him. Called my parents and our other friend's parents.
Unlike our other friend, whose parents went truly ballistic, I get into a little trouble at home, but nothing too severe. As for the guy with the car, his parents agreed that to avoid future inconveniences, he should have his own car. A month later, he was driving his own shiny 1981 Nissan Maxima.
Last I heard, they are both living in Lakewood, New Jersey.
Mort was canceled a few weeks later. To this day (I just found his website, which is filled with hatred of Jews), one of the conspiracy crackpots on the show that night claims that the cancellation was due to Downey's taking on the Fed.
There is a 7-11 a block away from my residence, so Slurpees no longer seem too interesting, though I'll occasionally have one. Nor does Secaucus, which I pass on the way to Jets games - to which I would never take the GWB from Brooklyn. The Mets aren't on Channel 9 anymore. Nor is Sara Lee Kessler, who became observant and sued WOR for religious discrimination when it insisted that she be on the air on Friday nights.
Some things haven't changed. I have still never been to a horse race. The closest I've come to the Meadowlands Racetrack are the two times I was forced to park there when attending Jets games at which all the other lots were full.
Finally, if anyone wants to learn the real truth about the Federal Reserve, or just misses Mort, in my old room in my parents' home is a video of the May 1989 program.