Scoopy’s Notebook, April 27, 2017

Scoopy the cat was The Villager’s office mascot in the paper’s early days. In fact, there were a number of Scoopys over the years.
Sax appeal? Gilad Atzmon in concert. Photo by Richard Kaby
Controversial sax appeal? Gilad Atzmon in concert. Photo by Richard Kaby

Theater drama: It seems that Lorcan Otway’s Theatre 80 on St. Mark’s Place will be picketed by “antifa” (anti-fascist) protesters on the evening of Sun., April 30, when the venue will be hosting a talk by the controversial word-slinger (and saxophonist) Gilad Atzmon. Neighborhood activist Bill Weinberg, who says he will be among the protesters, told Scoopy: “Atzmon has a Web site full of Holocaust revisionism and shameless defenses of age-old anti-Semitic tropes. This isn’t anti-Zionism. It is anti-Semitism, and it is high time activists learned to tell the difference.” Local leftist writer Donna Minkowitz turned down an invitation to be on the panel with Atzmon. She wrote about the episode in The Forward, in a piece entitled, “Why A ‘Proud Self-Hating Jew’ Asked Me To Tout His Book.” She writes: “Since 2000, Atzmon has been spewing viciously anti-Semitic writings with statements like ‘we must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously.’ ” The Facebook announcement for the protest indicates that Minkowitz may be joining the picket, as well. Weinberg says he considers Otway a friend and comrade despite this episode. “I hope my friendship with Lorcan will survive this ugliness,” he told us. “But he has to understand, that if he is going to open his venue to a Jew-hater, I have no choice but to protest it.” Otway did not respond to a request for comment by press time. Weinberg said he was sure the theater impresario would say the event is being held in the spirit of encouraging open “dialogue.” However, the East Village journo said, “There can be no dialogue with such fascistic voices. Would Lorcan open Theatre 80 to David Duke or Marine Le Pen? I see little difference.”

Corrections: Last week’s article on the David Peel singing memorial, due to an editing error, said that Charley Crespo paid for Peel’s memorial at Peter Jarema Funeral Home and also his funeral on Long Island. But it was Harold C. Black who put up the bucks for both. Last week’s article on the inaugural Future of Pier 40 Working Group meeting this Thurs., April 27, said a spokesperson for the Hudson River Park Trust declined comment on what would be discussed at the meeting. However, the spokesperson actually had responded before our press time, saying, “At the request of C.B. 2, we’re just going to be providing some basic background information about Pier 40 and the overall park.” Finally, in last week’s Progress Report section, in Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s article, due to an editing error, the agency that Brewer said displayed a lack of oversight or input on the Rivington House scandal was not the Department of Citywide Administrative Services but the Department of City Planning.