The Mystery of Foreskin Man

Tatler of Pajamas Media claims to have found proof that behind San Francisco’s proposed circumcision ban lurks the blue-eyed monster: 19th-and 20th-century race-based anti-Semtism, the philosophy that brought you the Final Solution.

The smoking chimney, so to speak, is an indie comic book, allegedly circulated as “campaign literature.” The eponymous hero, Foreskin Man, battles a gang of fanatical orthodox Jews led by Monster Mohel, whose goal, apparently, is to seal the Abrahamic covenant with every child in the world, whether or not its parents approve.

Now, I’ll admit, Tatler makes a pretty good prima facie case. All the tropes of Nazi propaganda appear to be in ordnung. Foreskin Man is one of those blond Ubermensch types that Jesse Owens ate for breakfast. (Indeed, had the comic come out 20 years earlier, its film adaptation would have given Dolf Lundgren the role of a lifetime.) Monster Mohel and his henchmenschen could have been extras in The Eternal Jew. They’ve got that whole Shylock-on-meth look: shaggy beards and peyot, hooked noses, maniacal gleams in their beady eyes.

And yet, for me, it doesn’t quite add up.

Anti-Semitism has been called the oldest hatred, and I have no doubt it’ll always be around — somewhere, in some form. But if it’s re-emerged and metastasized in a major American urban center, I have a hard time believing it would take the form suggested by the tropes in this comic.

Let me put it another way: I can think of two types of anti-Semitism that might find a warm reception in a left-leaning cosmopolitan city. The first is the anti-Semitism of a disaffected urban underclass, or as I like to call it, Hymietown anti-Semitism, in honor of the Reverend Jesse Jackson. But even that doesn’t really fit. To take root, Hymietown anti-Semitism requires: 1) a visible Jewish elite; and 2) poor people who hate its guts. Look, I know San Francisco only as a very occasional visitor, so I’m willing to be proven wrong here, but I’ve never gotten the impression that Jews make up a very large, very visible, or very dominant group. For that matter, I don’t remember seeing too many poor people. Weren’t they all fed to the sea lions back in the 1980s?

Also, Hymietown anti-Semitism, at least in its original form, was the intellectual property of people of color. If Foreskin Man were their champion, he would not look as he does. He’d be a lot darker, for one thing, and would probably have a name like The Black Python.

The other type is what I like to call Israel-Bashing Gone Wild. Right-wing supporters of Israel exaggerate the frequency with which their opponents on the Left slip into bona fide Jew-hatred, but it does happen. I can see this becoming popular in San Francisco, particularly among academic types. But it would make no sense for rabid Israel-bashers to ban circumcision. Muslims, including Palestinian Muslims, circumcise their children, too. You’d think some representative of the Muslim community would tell them, “Listen, guys, thanks, but no thanks.”

No, I’m betting Foreskin Man is someone’s idea of meta-humor — a form of satire that mocks at stereotypes by invoking them in an exaggerated way. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have dined out on this for almost fifteen years, first packing Kyle Broflovski off to Jewleeard, and later transforming Barbara Streisand into a giant mechanical monster known as the Kiken. Mr. Hess, Foreskin Man’s creator, looks to me like their heir. The name “Hess” (as in Rudolf Hess, the top Nazi who deserted to England in 1941) is probably a pseudonym, calculated to stir the pot. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the artist turns out to be a Cohen or a Moskowitz. Every Jew knows by heart the pejorative images he deploys; most American gentiles would have to crack open the history books to find them.

But here’s the thing about meta-humor. In many instances, there’s nothing meta about it. The humorist isn’t really mocking stereotypes; he’s milking them for whatever juice they’ve got left. So, to Hess, whoever he is, I leave the following Yiddish curse involving his favorite body part:

Zol dir lign in keyver der eyver, in der kishkes a lokh mit a sheyver.

(“May your penis rest in a grave; may a hole and a hernia lie in your guts.”)

So there.

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  • Rhinestone Suderman

    If Mr. Hess was trying for meta-humor, I’m afraid he failed miserably.

    This stuff ain’t funny.

    If it’s satire, he never lets us in on the joke.

    His first comic depicts a doctor turning into a hideous monster, as he attempts to circumcise a baby. Is this supposed to be meta humor against the medical profession?

    I’d love to think this is all just some kind of Onion style satire, but I’m afraid it’s not.

    (And, quite honestly, meta-humor, even when used to supposedly demolish stereotypes, was never all that funny.)

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  • tumbler

    Wimpy Catholic, you are entirely wrong. If you had bothered to do any research, you’d see that “Foreskin Man” is not some kind of “meta-humor” or a prank done by a Jew pretending to have a Nazi name.

    The SF Chronicle actually interviewed Matthew hess, and that is his real name, and he is completely serious about the comic book, and he is indeed the person who put the anti-circumcision measure on the SF ballot.

    Just because his form of anti-Semitism doesn’t fit into your preconceptions of which two types of anti-Semitism would be allowed to exist in modern America (Hymietown anti-Semitism and far-left anti-Israel anti-Semitism), doesn’t mean it simply can’t exist. You are making the classic error of denying evidence if it doesn’t fit your pre-existing theory.

    Go to the original site for the Foreskin Man comic (http://www.foreskinman.com/) which is the same site for promoting the circumcision ban. You will see it is not intended to be humorous. Google “Foreskin Man” in the Google News search window (http://news.google.com/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=%22Foreskin+man%22&btnmeta_news_search=Search+News) to find hundreds of articles in mainstream sources documenting this.

    Stop trying to minimize something because you just can’t accept it into your ossified worldview. It’s real.

    In this instance, I think it’s yet a third kind of acceptable anti-Semitism, a little-known one yet one that is persistent especially in California: Gay activist anti-Semitism. A certain subset of gays are strong “uncut” proponents and want all penises to have foreskins because they prefer them that way, and so try to force the world to comply; when they get the biggest pushback from Jewish groups, their frustration turns to hatred.

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  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Tiumbler, is there a “safe” link to Mr. Hess’ work? One that doesn’t involve going to his website? I don’t want to give the guy any traffic, at all!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    And, yes, it looks, God help us, like Mr. Hess is completely on the level with this.

  • shegide

    Do not ever underestimate the influence of radical LGBT activists. All of the far left web sites are infested by gay and lesbian activists who hate religion, but Christianity and Judaism in particular, and not surprisingly, any Christian politician, especially Sarah Palin. They are a disproportionate source of vindictive and destructive hatred of people that do not support their hedonism.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, shegide, I had noticed that.

    There’s no one more intolerant than a hedonist who thinks someone “disapproves” of him or her.

  • http://heartkeepercommonroom.blogspot.com DeputyHeadmistress

    Meta humour? Check out Foreskin Man’s facebook page (linked on his site) and read the comments.


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