By the author of Attempting Normal and host of the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, The Jerusalem Syndrome is The Gospel according to Maron: a spiritual memoir of your average hyperintelligent, ultraneurotic, superhip Jewish standup comedian and seeker.
The Jerusalem Syndrome is a genuine psychological phenomenon that often strikes visitors to the Holy Land_the delusion that they are suddenly direct vessels for the voice of God. Marc Maron seems to have a distinctly American version of the Jerusalem Syndrome, which has led him on a lifelong quest for religious significance and revelation in the most unlikely of places.
Maron riffs on Beat phenomena with its sacred texts, established rituals, and prescribed pilgrimages. He spends some time exploring the dark side of things, as his obsessions with cocaine (known to Maron as “magic powder”), conspiracy theories, and famous self-destructive comedians convince him that the gates of hell open beneath Los Angeles. As his quest matures, he reveals the religious aspects of Corporate America, pontificating on the timeless beauty of the Coca-Cola logo and even taking a trip to the Philip Morris cigarette factory, where the workers puff their own products with a zealot-like fervor. The culmination of Maron’s Jerusalem Syndrome comes during his own tour of the Holy Land, where, with Sony camcorder glued to his eye socket, he comes face-to-face with his own ambiguous relationship to Judaism and reaches the brink of spiritual revelation_or is it nervous breakdown?
Marc Maron has considerably adapted and expanded his praised one-man show to craft a genuine literary memoir. Whether he’s a genuine prophet or a neurotic mess, he’ll make you laugh as you question the meaning of life.
“Marc Maron is blazingly smart, rapid-fire, and very funny . . . A brilliant and relentless screed.” –David Rakoff, author of Fraud
“Marc Maron is the first crazy person I’ve ever envied. In his brainiac-memoir-meets-hilarious-travelogue, he demonstrates the ability to tell a story with an extraordinary provocative intelligence that is regrettably shared by few.” _ Janeane Garofolo, comedian
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Jerusalem Syndrome|
|Release Date: 03-05-2002|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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The Jerusalem Syndrome
During the summer of 1998 my wife and I took a trip to Israel. I know what you're thinking: Israel? Is this going to be heavy? I understand. That's what our friends thought when we told them about our trip. When you tell people you are going to Israel it makes them nervous. It somehow implicates their lack of religion and they want to know why you're going. They get worried. "Are you going to get Jewy?"
They don't know what you're going to be like when you get back. People change. Am I going to walk off the plane davening down the gateway wearing a tallit and a yarmulke with payes bouncing beside my ears? Then they're going to think, Now it's weird. We can't go to their house anymore, certainly not on Saturdays. That pretorn toilet paper thing gives me the creeps.
We didn't go to Israel to get Jewy. We went because a friend of mine invited us.
It was only after we got back from Israel that I read about Jerusalem Syndrome. This is a psychological condition that occurs in some visitors to the Middle East. They get to Israel and just snap. They think they are a biblical or religious figure like Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad. Some think that they are in a direct communication with God on a one-to-one level. Some think that their being in the Middle East is one of the keys that unlocks the final unfolding, which is what I like to call Armageddon.
In retrospect, I'm pretty sure I had a full-blown case of Jerusalem Syndrome. The catch is, I actually think I had it long before I left. It's hard for me to tell, because I always felt like I was special.
I was the first child of my parents and the first grandchild for both sets of g...