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The Human Touch

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I have received the following letter from a regular reader, both of The Jewish Daily Bulletin and of this column, one Max Levy, of 230 West Fifty-seventh street. I have not read the article which is the subject of the letter, nor the issue of the magazine in which that article is contained. I am therefore unable either to agree with Mr. Levy, or to differ with him. I can only say that I am a bit avers to the sport of hunting for evidences of anti-Semitism which may be only inadvertent. But since I do believe that Mr. Levy deserves of me at least hospitality for the expression of his own findings and conclusions, I give you his letter now with no further apology, explanation, or annotation:

“You should comment on a piece about Jews in Hollywood appearing in a current magazine. It is absurd anti-Semitic drivel, but there is a reason for noticing it.

“The author, who has written many scenarios, does not like the output of Hollywood. He has also observed that the manufacture of films is an exclusively Jewish industry. Aware of our “tender” sensitiveness to disagreeable criticism, he warns us that he is a Jew in filmland. He has heard, too, of a science called psychology, which can be used to make nonsense sound profound. You can appear learned by turning everything upside down, and then sprinkling your manuscript with words such as ‘subconscious,’ ‘sublimitation,’ ‘overtones’ and ‘frustration.’

“You are now equipped to prove that the Jews have degraded moving pictures. Poor fellows, it isn’t their fault! Just the subconscious, inescapable result of racial characteristics in Freudian reverse. Jews, you see, are all cowards. An ‘unknown factor in the psyche of the Jew’ drives him to an excessive, but always subconscious respect for physical strength. The result naturally is that the films glorify brutality. Screen melodrama is a “projection of his [the Jew’s] thwarted ego.’

“Also, the Jew is a vulgar exhibitionist, dazzled by elegance and display. This time we did not dip into the subconsciousness, for we can readily see that the lurid, tasteless settings in which screen dramas are played, are merely Jewish ‘ego-expression.’

“Again, the Jew is a banal sentimentalist, with the ‘spongiest heart in history.’ Therefore, the plots of Hollywood are obviously “all the mawkish emotionalism of a lost people gathered here and flung out in an orgy of masochism. The cinema is the new Wailing Wall of Israel.

“The Jew is also a desperate sensualist. But only subconsciously. Our psychological research gets a bit confused at this point because we learn that Jews have inhibited their licentiousness from the rather conscious motive of material caution. However, the presence of sex in pictures is a ‘fabricated anchorage’ of the Jews to avert the shame of their devouring carnality.

“There is much more about vicarious releases, not of pictures, but of Jewish suppressions. Traditional Hebrew ethics have falsified life for film patrons. The happy endings of the screen will be eliminated when ‘a more pagan people, free from the moral compulsion’ are put in charge of Hollywood.

“I must explain why I trouble you about this malicious screed. If you assume that it was written to frighten the readers of a Klux organ or that it is in a pamphlet of Hitler’s disciples, you will be wrong.

“I have described and quoted one of the leading articles in the July issue of that sterling ‘journal of Jewish life and letters’ called Opinion.

“Very truly yours,

(Signed) “MAX LEVY.”

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