Eurovision Blonde Contest 2008

Watching the Eurovision Song Contest last night, I could not help notice that while each country had a different representative delivering its votes, somehow the female representatives showed similar characteristics. I am a firm believer in the law of large numbers and thus think a large sample size can sometimes reveal significant issues. As an artist I use mosaics from time to time to express various opinions, and so after composing this new work I think we can agree Europe still thinks women are nothing more than eye candy:

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For higher resolution, press F11 and then click the image


Following is a legend with the name of each country corresponding to each photo’s location:

United Kingdom Ukraine Estonia Bosnia & Herzegovina Belgium
Latvia Bulgaria Serbia Israel Cyprus
Iceland Romania Portugal Hungary Armenia
Czech Republic Spain The Netherlands Turkey Malta
Ireland Switzerland Azerbaijan Croatia Belarus
Russia Montenegro Georgia Denmark



* Out of a total of 43 representatives, 14 males were excluded.
Insignificant minor retouching was done on some of the photos.
The Turkish representative’s shirt was heavily retouched to remove some superimposed graphics

The Lion, the Witch and the Jewish Russian American in the Wardrobe

[singlepic id=72 w=240 h=320 float=right]Every Jewish person that becomes successful abroad is treated here as an Honorary Israeli: Natalie (Hershlag) Portman, Gene (Chaim Witz) Simmons, the girl in the Yes We Can video – basically if you have experienced worldwide success, no matter how vague your connection to the Holy Land, or how long it has been since you last visited – Israelis will find a way to not only prove you were always one of us, but that your success is directly linked to your being one of us.

I tell you… those Israelis will grasp at anything…

Singer-songwriter and Honorary Israeli Regina Spektor      was one of the artists chosen to sing for the new Narnia film released last week. Have a listen and see if you like the song as much as I and Perez did:

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Buy the entire album in MP3 format or in CD format.

Regina Spektor – The Call – Lyrics

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
’till it was a battle cry

I’ll come back..
When you call me
No need to say good bye

Just because everything’s changing
Doesn’t mean it’s never been this way before
All you can do is try to know who your friends are
As you head off to the war

Pick a star on the dark horizon
And follow the light
You’ll come back when its over
No need to say good bye
You’ll come back when it’s over
No need to say good bye.

Now we’re back to the beginning
It’s just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can’t feel it too
Doesn’t mean that you have to forget

Let your memories grow stonger and stonger
’til they’re before your eyes

You’ll come back
When they call you
No need to say good bye
You’ll come back
When they call you
No need to say good bye

Separated Twins: Samsung Z240 And Tami4 Water Dispenser

I was ruffling through a mobile phones catalogue I got in the mail, appreciating all the glistening new models and thinking my own device is on his proverbial deathbed, when I recognized a Tami4 water dispenser within dozens of harmless looking cellphones. You see, Tami4 is a popular Israeli brand that can filter your drinking water, chill it and even heat it, but it has only one flaw: it has absolutely zero phone transmitting capabilities. Upon closer examination, I found out the water dispenser I was looking at was actually a Samsung Z240 cell phone, but it sure looks like the two are related, even if one is in better shape than the other:

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Tami4 – a popular Israeli water dispenser.
Samsung Z240 – a popular Korean cellphone.

Subverting Traditional Holocaust Commemoration in Israel

As a third generation Holocaust survivor I feel my connection to the subject differs from the previous generations’ connection – a matter I discuss from time to time on my blog. The show ‘Mabat Sheni’ (A Second Glance), on Israel’s TV Channel 1, featured an interesting segment this week called ‘Holocaust and Satire’. Directed by Michal Kafra, the segment discussed subversive and challenging interpretations of traditional Israeli Holocaust commemorations.

The segment has no English subtitles but I am not sure that is a bad thing. Here is part 1 of 2:


Click here for the concluding part.

Is That a Silencer in Your Pocket, or Is That Just A Bottle of Rogaine?

Has anyone ever analyzed the correlation between being the director of the Mossad and a receding hairline?

Israeli Mossad Directors - 1949-2009

Sixty years and not one director with a full head of hair? I suspect foul play…

In Front of You a Photo of a Rapist and a Murderer

For more than two years now, Israeli blogger Skinless       (Miki Resilevski, 24) has been eloquently describing her chaotic existence as a survivor of incest. Like many other victims of abuse, she chose to protect her abuser, her own father, and not reveal his real name or picture.

Until today.

A couple of hours ago Skinless posted this photo along with this post, translated from Hebrew for your benefit:

In Front of You a Photo of a Rapist and a Murderer

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Rapist, abuser, dictator, sadist, terrorist, murderer

In that place, on that green sofa, at the very spot where this photo was taken, he raped me for the first time. There it all began. There he started abusing me, there he vandalized my flesh and my soul. There he tormented me without end, and still does. The face is of a monster, a pathetic creature that made my life miserable, a worm eating me up and does not stop.

And today – today I say – Enough. No more. Here is his face. A face I kept hidden in a sickening loyalty. I will not be silent any more, will not sew my lips that seek to shout to the skies. I will not hide – for not I am the sinner. For they shall see, and shall fear, for we shall scream our cry, the stifled wailing and the trembling body, the choked up throat and the throbbing pulse. We, the victims of sexual, physical, verbal and mental abuse. The victims of fear, horror and terror. No more.

And if you happen to see his despicable face on the street – spit on it.

I am free. Almost.

These Are Your Citizens – Tell Them Thank You for Coming to My Birthday Party

Barbecuing in a nature reserve is generally considered Israel’s national pastime, and from the look of it, the secret ingredient is placing the grill near thousands of your fellow Israelis. The more crowded the place, the tenderer the meat gets. Sacher Park in Jerusalem is just a big patch of grass within the capital city, but nevertheless thousands of Israelis choose to celebrate holidays by having a picnic there.

Hagigit  , the Jerusalem artists’ cooperative I co-founded, erected its second outdoors photo studio in Sacher Park on Israel’s 60th anniversary, for that very reason. It was an opportunity to document a cross section of the people of Israel, and we had a lot of fun doing it. Here is a sample of the photos we took. Clicking a photo will open a larger version:

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Hagigit group was founded by eight graduates of the Musrara photography school in Jerusalem. The group’s main goal is to create and encourage interdisciplinary art activities in Jerusalem, including exhibitions, street performances and cooperation with artists in different mediums and with the local community under the belief that art should not be confined to a small section of the public.

A Letter to Israel on Her 60th Birthday

Dear Israel,

I know we aren’t that close. I admit I don’t keep myself as well informed about your goings-on as I should, but I do hear about you around town. You’ve got quite a reputation, you know that?

It’s hard to know what to make of you being 60 years old. Some 60 year olds are grandmothers, and sometimes you feel like my grandmother. Like when you paid for my 10 day trip to come visit you, and then lectured me about marrying a nice Jewish boy the whole time.

Click here to read the rest of this letter, beautifully written by Leah, my friend from the 2004 Birthright Israel trip.

The Five People You Meet in Web 2.0 Hell

38-year-old Eddie is convinced his digital life would be better upon meeting five types of people and showing them the unexpected negative impact they have on others:

[singlepic id=60 w=320 h=240 float=right]The Under-Tagger – This guy would spend a week going through old video cassettes, finding the amazing CNN footage from 1983 he was looking for, but upon uploading it to YouTube would title it: ‘She Lied!’ and would tag it using three keywords or less, at least one of which is misspelled. The Under-Tagger assumes that since you can clearly recognize the people in the video, there is no need to be petty and elaborate on it in the title, description or keywords, and as a result of that no one can find his video even when searching for relevant keywords.

The Non-Linker – This guy would spend an hour blogging on a recent survey or commenting on an obscure news item, spewing lots of words and ideas without supplying a single link to the actual survey or the original news item. If this guy writes in a different language, say Hebrew, he would never consider supplying the English spelling of names of people or companies he writes about. The Non-Linker believes he is the alpha and the omega and thus his readers need not check out additional data on other websites.

The Voluntary Spammer – A relic of Web 1.0, this guy truly believes everything he reads in emails he receives, and feels it is his moral duty to forward them to all his friends. From a new computer virus and PowerPoint slideshows, to ladies dying from perfume spraying and cash giveaways from Microsoft, this guy assumes the newspapers do not report the big stuff, and that everyone in his contact list is interested in the small stuff. The Voluntary Spammer tends to get offended when you try to explain this to him over the phone, claiming he only wanted to help.

The Armchair Activist – This guy had joined dozens of groups on Facebook from curing AIDS to freeing Tibet, and truly believes he has done his part. Without once leaving his house or donating a buck to causes he really believes in, the Armchair Activist feels so good about himself he often tries to recruit his friends in the hope that AIDS would really be cured if only one million people click a button.

The BCC-Denier – This guy sends an invitation to his new exhibit by email, adding hundreds of people to the TO section, assuming that since all of them know him, they should all know one another. A direct result of this gross faux pas comes from recipients who RSVP by clicking Reply-All, and people who harvest email addresses revealed in the email for their weekly newsletter.