Two Girls One Cup One-Upped

I have got to confess: when I was shown the 2girls1cup video I had to fake being shocked, but after watching JarSquatter I was too afraid to fall asleep or even close my eyes, as I could not get rid of that image. A Frame From Jar Squatter - Blurred For Your Protection

P.S.
If you have absolutely no idea what this post is about – consider yourself blessed and do not investigate further.

If a Tree Falls in the 21st Century – and Other Things Learnt Last Night

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth,
and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth;
 
    – – Proverbs 24:17

During the recent conflict in Gaza I have watched live on Israeli television’s Channel 10 the phone call that Dr. Izz el-Deen Aboul Aish had made to reporter Shlomi Eldar. If you are not familiar with the incident, please read this post first.

While watching it live I could not really understand it but I instinctively knew our daily routine, as Israelis, has been disturbed. You see, up to that point hundreds of people were killed in Gaza but as an Israeli you want to believe that they were all terrorists, every last one of them. The Israeli army does not target civillians, and so you really want to believe that no one is killed by accident. The thing is when a man, a doctor, who speaks Hebrew fluently, and works in Israel, when he tells you his innocent daughters were just killed by a tank shell – well that was impossible to dismiss.

As an advocate of freedom of information and an avid believer in sunlight as the best disinfectant, I felt all I can do at the time was upload the TV recording to YouTube. I also posted it on my blog, but made no commentary except for some Israeli song lyrics that seemed an appropriate preface. Later I uploaded English subtitles for the video.

Now, a long time ago I came to the realization that the Internet brings all the crazies out of the woodwork, and so I almost never engage in any form of war of words. I usually let the Keyboard Fascists wear themselves out and that is exactly what I did in this case:
I just sat down,
read the comments,
noticed the video going viral,
and made notes.

Now, 43 days later, here are my notes as written in the first couple of days following the event:

Things I learned last night:

  • In the 21st century, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to document it, most people just do not care whether it makes a sound or not.
  • Thousands of years later, antisemitism is alive and well – it just bears different names now.
  • Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies is always in effect.
  • People* see what they want to see and only allow in new information if it reaffirms their own preconceptions.
  • People* have a dichotomy view of the world.
  • People* think that validating the other side’s pain surely must invalidate theirs.

 

* Instead of “People”, I originally wrote “Most people”, then changed it to “Many people”, then changed it to “Some people” – but now settled for “People” as I cannot ascertain the amount.

Andrea Gibson – For Eli

Andrea Gibson        is a spoken word artist and activist, living in Colorado, USA. Have a listen to her poem titled ‘For Eli’.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwh23QSrwKw

Andrea Gibson – For Eli

Buy this MP3 track or buy the entire album.

Eli came back from Iraq
and tattooed a teddy bear onto the inside of his wrist
above that a medic with an IV bag
above that an angel
but Eli says the teddy bear won’t live
and I know I don’t know but I say, “I know”
cause Eli’s only twenty-four and I’ve never seen eyes
further away from childhood than his
eyes old with a wisdom
he knows I’d rather not have
Eli’s mother traces a teddy bear onto the inside of my arm
and says, “not all casualties come home in body bags”
and I swear
I’d spend the rest of my life writing nothing
but the word light at the end of this tunnel
if I could find the fucking tunnel
I’d write nothing but white flags
somebody pray for the soldiers
somebody pray for what’s lost
somebody pray for the mailbox
that holds the official letters
to the mothers,
————–fathers,
——————–sisters,
and little brothers
of Micheal 19… Steven 21… John 33
how ironic that their deaths sound like bible verses
the hearse is parked in the halls of the high school
recruiting black, brown and poor
while anti-war activists
outside walter reed army hospital scream
100, 000 slain
as an amputee on the third floor
breathes forget-me-nots onto the window pain
but how can we forget what we never knew
our sky is so perfectly blue it’s repulsive
somebody tell me where god lives
cause if god is truth god doesn’t live here
our lies have seared the sun too hot to live by
there are ghosts of kids who are still alive
touting M16s with trembling hands
while we dream ourselves stars on Survivor
another missile sets fire to the face in the locket
of a mother who’s son needed money for college
and she swears she can feel his photograph burn
how many wars will it take us to learn
that only the dead return
the rest remain forever caught between worlds of
shrapnel shatters body of three year old girl
to
welcome to McDonalds can I take your order?
the mortar of sanity crumbling
stumbling back home to a home that will never be home again
Eli doesn’t know if he can ever write a poem again
one third of the homeless men in this country are veterans
and we have the nerve to Support Our Troops
with pretty yellow ribbons
while giving nothing but dirty looks to their outstretched hands
tell me what land of the free
sets free its eighteen-year-old kids into greedy war zones
hones them like missiles
then returns their bones in the middle of the night
so no one can see
each death swept beneath the carpet and hidden like dirt
each life a promise we never kept
Jeff Lucey came back from Iraq
and hung himself in his parents basement with a garden hose
the night before he died he spent forty five minutes on his fathers lap
rocking like a baby
rocking like daddy, save me
and don’t think for a minute he too isn’t collateral damage
in the mansions of washington they are watching them burn
and hoarding the water
no senators’ sons are being sent out to slaughter
no presidents’ daughters are licking ashes from their lips
or dreaming up ropes to wrap around their necks
in case they ever make it home alive
our eyes are closed
america
there are souls in
the boots of the soldiers
america
fuck your yellow ribbon
you wanna support our troops
bring them home
and hold them tight when they get here

It’s Twilight, It’s Darkening, It’s Winter in Tel Aviv

Our friends over at studioIG.com have sent us a fisheye look of South Tel Aviv taken last week:
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I cannot put my finger on it, but there is something mesmerizing about this photo. The cloudy sky, the rickety rooftops, or is it the distorted view? Whatever it is, after staring at it for a couple of seconds, I felt it might be a good time to get back to taking photos and give readymade art a rest for a while.

Waltz With Bashir Does Not Win Oscar

A few minutes ago, Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman lost his bid for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Hebrew speaking Waltz With Bashir, an animated documentary film, or documation, was Israel’s eighth nomination in this category and while everybody here hoped it would be Israel’s first win – unfortunately that was not in the cards tonight. Previous Israeli nominees include:

Foreign Language Film Nominations:
Sallah (Sallah Shabati, 1964)
The Policeman (HaShoter Azoulay, 1971)
I Love You Rosa (Ani Ohev Otach Rosa, 1972)
The House on Chelouche Street (HaBayit Berechov Chelouche, 1973)
Operation Thunderbolt (Mivtsa Yonatan, 1977)
Beyond the Walls (MeAhorei HaSoragim, 1984)
Beaufort (2007)
Documentary Feature Nomination:
The 81st Blow (HaMakah Hashmonim V’Echad‎, 1974)
Best Actor Nomination:
Chaim Topol (as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof‎, 1971)

Here is Ari Folman sitting at a bar, drowning his sorrows, apparently holding someone else’s Oscar statuette (…yes, I manipulated the photo in advance):
Ari Folman Accepting Israel's First Academy Award For Waltz With Bashir

More on this on your mainstream media.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AiPs8NjTpU

The Rachel Maddow Show Presents: Illegal Schmillegal

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If the law says that torture is illegal and the president wants people to be tortured anyway, then how should a president proceed? One idea is to get government lawyers to say: “Illegal schmillegal, we say it’s just fine.” – that is the cue-card version of what in the Bush Justice Department. That’s what senior Bush administration lawyers told their boss.
  
– – The Rachel Maddow Show, February 16, 2009

Fans of Rachel Maddow must have been googling for this since Monday, and now their prayers have been answered: I am pretty certain that the moment you heard Rachel utter the words ‘illegal-schmillegal‘ on her MSNBC show, you thought to yourself: Hey! This would be great as my new email notification sound…

Well, consider this an early gift for the Jewish holiday of Purim from me to you:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You can download Rachel Maddow saying ‘illegal-schmillegal’ in WAV format or in MP3 format. Right-click and ‘save target as’ to your computer.

ANSI art created using HTML Image Page Builder

Jerusalem’s Answer To Magritte: das ist nicht a chazer

[singlepic id=146 w=320 h=240 float=right]The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo received new guests last week, called Collared Peccary, an American mammal whose looks resemble those of a pig. This would not matter much, only that in a city that is sacred to three religions, two of which consider pigs to be unclean animals who should be avoided – in a city like Jerusalem, a big is a pig deal a pig is a big deal.

That is why the zoo management put up a sign, which includes the regular informative stuff every visitor should know, but also the sentence “This is not a pig” in four languages: Hebrew, Arabic, English, and (get this) Yiddish for the Orthodox Jews. In Israel, even a walk in the park is no walk in the park.

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo sign: das ist nicht a chazer - Yiddish: This is not a pig

Bar Refaeli – A Crotch Retrospective

[singlepic id=141 w=320 h=240 float=right]Everyone is talking about Bar Refaeli these last couple of days. The 23 years old Israeli model can be seen on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue of 2009, and everyone is making a big deal out of it. So much so, that today on Israel Channel 2, newscaster Oded Ben Ami interrupted an interview with newly elected female Knesset members, in order to show Bar Refaeli’s interview on yesterday’s Late Show with David Letterman – equating a model to members of parliament – because, well… they are all successful women. MK Tzipi Hotobeli was not amused and neither was I.

The new SI cover has Bar Refaeli in her signature pose: fingers towards crotch, about to take her bottom half off. You see, Bar likes to touch her crotch. A lot. Now don’t get me wrong, I like to touch my crotch as much as anyone else, it’s just that I don’t do it in pictures because I am not a moron. Like any intelligent person I know exactly what pointing at your groin signifies. But not Bar – oh no – Israel’s darling does not mind teaching millions of young girls how a woman needs to look and behave, and does not mind teaching millions of young boys what they need to crave and demand.

Now, as always, there are those who will accuse me of being a prude, claiming that sex sells and at the end of the day we are talking about a photo on a magazine cover. My answer to that claim comes in the form of a commemorative mosaic, a crotch retrospective if you will, of Bar Refaeli over the years – I call this work Get In My Pants – A Hallmark of Poor Taste:

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How does a person change from this – into this?!
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