The Newtown Pentacle

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One does not complain, it is “Kvetching,” which is a whole other thing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Several comments received both here, at your Newtown Pentacle, and in the real world “meatspace” have opined that your humble narrator spends too much time complaining about this or that. My obviate ranting about the singularly horrible Time Warner Cable, the inebriate legions who pollute the sidewalks of Astoria with their besotted carcasses, or the ludicrous amount of environmental noise offered freely by the neighbors – it would seem – have struck an odd chord and lent an incorrect impression to my narrative.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

First off – I grew up Jewish, and “kvetching” is as much a part of my culture as is coffee and cake – so respect the hell out of my vibrant diversity or I’ll slap a hate crime sticker on you. Secondly, one of the things that I’ve observed about the Borough of Queens over the years is the stoicism which the citizenry hereabouts displays in the face of the daily avalanches of those improprieties which they suffer. Nothing changes unless you speak about it aloud, and “just get used to it” is the precursor to a commonly quoted parable about a frog in a pot of water on a stove who doesn’t realize he’s being boiled alive because the temperature of the water is being raised in a slow and subtle fashion.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Kvetching is a running sarcastic commentary on existential woes, a general call out to others commenting on the sisyphean suffering which existentialist goyem like Albert Camus or Franz Kafka made their careers out of. Kvetching is an attempt at voicing an unease with the status quo, in the hopes of discovering other unfortunates who share in the misery. Kvetching is an attempt to stimulate a conversation about that which is wrong, one which the powers and potentates of this world might take notice of and attempt to ameliorate. Kvetching is your right, as an American, it’s called “speech.” Complaining is something else entirely.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

This weekend-

Sunday, August 3rd, Kill Van Kull Walking Tour
With Brooklyn Brainery, click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm

5 Responses

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  1. lolz! rock on Mitch!

  2. I wish you’d kvetch even more. I jes’ luv kvetching. I wallow in it.

    PS Bubele, Kafka was a goy? Oy vey is mir!!

    georgetheatheist . . . zay gezunt

    July 29, 2014 at 1:11 pm

  3. Something to consider: The friends who truly care about you may not always tell you what you want to hear, but will always tell you what you need to hear. Their motivations would not be to simply tear you down but to say you’re better than this or out of concern that what you’re doing is going to lead to something that’s not good. Maybe they have a much higher regard for you than you realize.

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste….


    July 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm

  4. Mitch, not everyone misunderstands your style. Keep kvetching. John Logue

    John Logue

    July 30, 2014 at 10:22 am

  5. Bravo for each and every kvetch, Queens is for kvetching, if you want moaning try Manhattan, or for the over the top kvetch, the Bronx. Keep on keeping on Mitch.


    July 30, 2014 at 11:34 am

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