The next dimension of my map of Digitism I want to consider is Awareness.
When I was in college I went with my roommate to his home in Queens, NYC. Growing up in the wilds of Upstate NY, I had not knowingly known any Jewish people. I had never eaten a bagel. Certainly I knew Jews existed, and their history of diaspora and persecution.
My roommate was Jewish, as were several of my college friends. I was puzzled at first that foods they considered Jewish, I considered Polish.
My roommate’s parents were survivors of Auschwitz. Upon release from there, my roommate’s father vowed to enjoy the rest of his life as much as he could. Part of this was that he ate steak either with or for dinner every day.
So when I sat down with them for dinner, we might have gwumpki with various side dishes. My roommate’s father ate stuffed cabbage, but had his steak as well.
One afternoon my roommate and I were in the living room listening to The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. After a minute or so of Strawberry Fields, my roommate’s mother burst into the living room from the kitchen.
Let me take you down, cos I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever
“What are they saying about Israel?!” She asked, clearly upset.
“No no no” my roommate said, “They’re not saying anything about Israel. They’re saying “Nothing is real.”
“Well OK then – that’s fine.”