Forward Thinking

Joe Mentioned Malarkey. Drink Up!

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

  • Print
  • Share Share
josh nathan-kazis

All but four of the people at Professor Thom’s bar in the East Village on Thursday night were watching the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.

The other four were watching the Yankees lose to the Orioles in extra innings in their playoff series.

In a bar that leaned heavily Democratic, the cheers for the Yankees landed incongruously, one coming in the midst of what might have been a Ryan applause line in another bar.

It’s hard to get a good read on the response to a candidate’s performance in a boozy, partisan watch party at a pub. (I tried a similar thing in West Palm Beach last week, where I sat in on both Republican and Democratic debate watch events.)

As far as I could tell, though, the experience of the Democrats at the divey NYU-area sports bar last night was anxiety, followed by relief.

“I’m worried (that) I’m maybe in denial for not being worried,” said Rachel Schwartz, 23, expressing a complicated nest of election-related issues. Schwartz was attending a debate watch event at Professor Thom’s organized by something called the New American Tavern, which plans political-themed events at watering holes.

Speaking before the start of the debate, Schwartz sat at a table full of beer pitchers. Two tables over, a group of friends had sketched out an elaborate drinking game with a marker. A mention of the word “deficit” meant that everyone at the table had to “drink.” A mention of the notion that Bin Laden was dead and General Motors was alive required a “shot.” And a mention of P90X, the workout program Paul Ryan favors, required that players “chug.”

They had a long night ahead of them.

Evan Berkow, 30, and Megan Gohlke, 34, didn’t arrive in time to get seats. Standing by the bar while waiting for the debate to start, both said they were nervous. They cut the tension with jokes.

“He’s like an evil Eddie Munster,” Berkow said of Paul Ryan, presumably referring to the Republican vice presidential candidate’s prominent widow’s peak.

Once the debate started, the crowd let Biden and Ryan handle the zingers. They appreciated Biden’s jabs more. One circle of young women nearly screamed at Biden’s snide, “Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy.”

As the debate wound down, the room seemed pleased.

“He killed it,” Gohlke said.

At the table that had been playing the drinking game, things were a bit disorderly. Craig Hirscheerger, one of the players, gestured to the vast number of empty pitchers and glasses on the table. Justin Chotikul, another player, thought the group could have gotten drunker.

“We could have had malarkey on there,” he said..


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: the jewish vote 2 2012, professor thom's, east village, Paul Ryan, Joe Biden, vice presidential debate

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.