SOUTHFIELD, MI—It is an hour past sunset on a brisk Thursday night, and, like their brethren around the globe, the Jews of this affluent Detroit suburb are gathered in synagogues, busily hatching plots for world domination through financial chicanery and media influence. But for Seth Nussbaum, it will be just another lonely evening.
"For some reason, they've decided to leave me out of the worldwide Jewish conspiracy," said Nussbaum, a 34-year-old computer programmer. "And I can't say it doesn't hurt."
While his fellow Jews are controlling the flow of billions of dollars of international currency and brokering multi million-dollar entertainment deals, on this quiet night Nussbaum is making himself a frozen pizza and watching ER, far removed from any money beyond the $28,000 annual salary he receives from his job at Cyntech Industries.
"Who's to say I wouldn't enjoy hoarding a little gold every now and then?" he said, his voice tinged with bitterness. "Believe me, I'd love to be able to sneak around behind the scenes like the Elders of Zion, pulling the strings and holding the real power in society. But I guess when it comes to working the Jerusalem-New York-L.A. triangle, I just wasn't one of the chosen people."
Unlike millions of other Jews around the world, Nussbaum holds no sway over the media, has no powerful friends within the Wall Street banking community or the Trilateral Commission, and has never run a major Hollywood studio.
In fact, Nussbaum doesn't even own so much as his own production company. "Spielberg, Geffen, Ovitz, Eisner, Katzenberg—those are the Jews who control Hollywood," Nussbaum said. "And there's countless other Jews calling the shots at every level of the entertainment industry, from agents to producers to directors. But me? I probably couldn't even get the studio backing for a $15 to $20 million romantic comedy with a mid-level star like Matthew Broderick."
And despite being a regular subscriber to The New York Times for seven years, Nussbaum has no powerful connections among the Jews who own that and every other newspaper in the United States.
"As a left-leaning Jew, I should enjoy vast influence over the press. I should be able use the papers and television stations I own to forward my biased, liberal Jewish agenda and get Israel-supporting Democratic candidates elected to Congress," said Nussbaum, sitting on the old futon he uses as a couch. "But somehow, that's just not the case."
Spurned by his own kind, Nussbaum has not even been able to gain admittance into a secondary world-domination conspiracy like the Masons. "They turned down my application," he said, sighing deeply, "when they found out I was Jewish. I guess for now I'll just have to resign myself to being Seth Nussbaum, computer programmer and powerless Jew."