Sunday, August 27, 2000 by Dave Winer.
From Howard Singer.
"Dear Dave, I love everything you write, but I have to correct you about your use of the word michegas. You lost the element of precision that I have come to expect of you. Michegas, the core meaning, is simply craziness. A mishugener is a lunatic.
"If you dispute me, I will be happy to cite the sources, not only in Weinreich's Yiddish dictionary but in the Hebrew, from which this particular Yiddish word is derived. I'll grant that it has been bowdlerized into crap, (by the non-cognoscienti) but I thought you were a scholar of arcane expressions.
"Oy vay. That you should make a mistake like that. I forgive you. But a nice boychik like you shouldn't let it happen again."
It's true, I do love words, especially beautiful colorful Yiddish words like michegas. I stand corrected.
An American Jew, it's coming to me later than sooner that there's a beautiful culture in my ancestry, in Russia and Poland and elsewhere, and not surprisingly Napster is helping me explore this.
Listen to Zero Mostel and Maria Karnilova sing in Fiddler on the Roof.
"The first time I met you was on our wedding day. I was scared (I was shy), I was nervous (so was I), but my father and my mother said we'd learn to love each other, and now I'm asking, Goldie, do you love me?"
Such vulnerability, such simple humanity.
Tevye wishes he was a rich man. Goldie says "You're a fool!" Tevye says "I know."
I agree. From my point of view, he *was* a rich man, in the only way that matters.
"It doesn't change a thing, but even so, it's nice to know."