Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Sha Na Na.

Most of these guys, after their at least semi-successful showbiz careers, went on to become doctors, lawyers, university professors -- meaningful contributors to society (obligatory crack: maybe not the lawyers); whereas the usual route for such people would have been to milk their modest fame for the rest of their lives. Most of the members seem to have been Jewish, and from New York.

Eventually, someone is going to have to investigate New York's Jewish culture from the period of about 1900 - 1960. Something they were doing turned out an astonishing crop of successful, useful people, who excelled in literally every academic, business, scientific, and artistic discipline, remaking the world in the process. It is, I think, an intellectual and creative explosion of output unseen at any other time in history outside maybe -- maybe -- classical Greece and the Italian Renaissance. And I don't think it an exaggeration to say America owes its dominance during that period to the people of that cohort. Yes, Jews have a long history of achievement, but the Jews of that time and place stand out even compared to the history of their own people. If we could recreate that on a larger scale, or hell, just recreate it on the same scale, with our current population base, God only knows what the world would look like in 100 years.