Some time while I worked at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (1988-1991) I was standing in an elevator area of the firm. A senior firm partner, Joel Jankowsky, was chatting with someone (whose identity I no longer recall). He was facing the individual he was chatting with, but oddly, at the moment he uttered the following phrase, Mr. Jankowsky turned, looked at me and smiled: “He needs to be cleaned out.” Yes, he actually said that. “He needs to be cleaned out.” I interpreted the statement, in my paranoid fashion, as relating to me and I saw it as an anal reference. It’s as if he were saying, “His ideas are s–t.” The anti-Semitic musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic used to refer to Mahler’s music as “Scheisse musik.”
At that moment I thought: He talks just like an anti-Semite!
Do I have a knack for spotting them — or what?