Look! Everybody’s Here Again!

When it comes to television programming it seems that the pendulum is close to the edge. People have stopped watching TV, that is except for 14 year olds who are keen on buying whatever TV is selling. Whether the medium will die or correct itself in time, I guess we’ll find out sooner or later.

In this atmosphere of 57 channels and nothin’ on, the one thing that almost never disappoints is nostalgia. Israel Educational Television (IETV) has just announced that its programs, both classic and new, will be made available for online viewing on its new website. Established in 1965, IETV has produced shows that taught us English, math, and road safety, and gave us our very own sitcom in Hebrew.

Since many of these modern classics are already available on YouTube, I guess the folks at IETV figured if they can’t beat them, might as well join them and make the materials legally available for free.

Since the website will not be launched until next week, here are two teaser ads to tickle your taste buds:

Wyclef Jean – Emergency Concert for the People of Iran


Wyclef Jean – Emergency Concert for The People of Iran – Lyrics


Equal rights and justice
The kids want
Equal rights and justice
The people in Iran want
Equal rights and justice
Yeah, equal rights and justice

[Gunpowder by Wyclef Jean]
But I smell gunpowder
Tehran got the gunpowder
Iran got the gunpowder
Brooklyn got the gunpowder
I asked my mama why do you cry
She said your brother, he just died
I told him not to go outside
He said he had to fight for his country’s rights

Equal rights and justice
He said he wants
Equal rights and justice
The people in Iran want
Equal rights and justice
Yeah, equal rights and justice

My brother’s been dead ever since
I didn’t believe it, but when I saw, I was convinced
Two shots to the head, he was already dead,
He said you want to live for what you believe


Equal rights and justice
They want
Equal rights and justice

So we go on
Paint the city green
Until we get what what we deserve
We gonna paint the city green
Until we get what we deserve
We gonna paint New York City green
Until we get what we deserve
We gonna paint the streets in Iran green
Until we get what we deserve

And that would be
Equal rights and justice
The people want
Equal rights and justice
Facebook can you hear me?
Yeah, equal rights and justice
Revolution […]
Equal rights and…
For the people in Iran

[Redemption Song by Bob Marley]
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds,
Have no fear for atomic energy
None of them can stop the time.
How long will they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Some say it’s just a part of it,
We’ve got to fulfill the book.
[…] Iran
Won’t you help me sing
These songs of freedom?
All I ever had
Redemption songs

For the people in Iran
Redemption songs
All I ever had
Redemption songs

For the mothers of Iran
For the people of Iran
For the mamas of Iran

[No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley]
No woman, no cry
No woman, no cry
No mothers in Iran, no cry
No woman, no cry

I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in Brooklyn,
Oba, observing the hypocrites
As they would
Mingle with the good people we meet
Good friends we’ve had,
Good friends we’ve lost
Along the way
In this great future you can’t forget your past
So dry your tears, I say

No woman, no cry
No woman, no cry
For the mothers in Iran
Hey little sister, don’t shed no tears
No woman, no cry.

Everything’s gonna be all right!
Wear your green love tonight

No woman, no woman, no cry
No woman, no cry
Hey little sister, don’t shed no tears
No woman, no cry.

People in Iran
Don’t give up
Never give up
Don’t give up
Never give up
No woman, no cry

Hey little sister, don’t shed no tears
No woman, no cry.

For the people in Iran…

Where is This Place Where People are Simply Calling For God?

Events unfold quickly in Iran and it is becoming increasingly clear that the mainstream media performs poorly, thrown off guard by journalists forbidden to cover events. No one truly knows whether one leader is better than the other, especially Israelis who insist on searching for the Israeli perspective – but making judgement is not what’s important at this point.

People died today, people died yesterday – it’s all a blur. We have learned to be apathetic as a way of survival. “17 dead” is meaningless, until you see a video of one Iranian girl dying in front of your eyes. New media bridges the geographical distances and lets you, if you allow it, to be a witness. Since we cannot grasp the big picture at this point, there is a significance in taking in small doses of reality. For most of us – a witness is all we can be at this point, and that is a lot.


Invest 5 minutes of your time to get informed:

Israeli Actor Igal Naor Wins Award for an Outstanding Portrayal of Saddam Hussein

Last week at the 49th Monte Carlo Television Festival Israeli actor Igal Naor won a Golden Nymph award for Outstanding Actor in the miniseries House Of Saddam. If you haven’t seen this four part HBO/BBC2 co-production, this might be a good time to brush up on your Iraqi history. The miniseries spans 25 years of Saddam Hussein’s rule, starting in the 1979 coup that brought him to power and details the Iraqis’ love and fear for their leader, up to his demise. Igal Naor delivers a brilliant performance, showing the depths of the dictator’s mind, while avoiding making a caricature out of this complex man. Naor, who also played a brilliant role as an Egyptian interrogator in the 2007 film Rendition, proves that the West’s fascination with the Arab world in recent years provides acting opportunities much more significant than the clichéd ‘dead terrorist number 3’ roles.
Two other Israeli actors in this production are Makram Khoury as Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Uri Gavriel as “Chemical Ali” Hassan al-Majid, head of Mukhabarat, the Iraqi intelligence Agency.

Here’s a short inside look:

Design for Obama: The TASCHEN Book – Follow-up #1

About two months ago I published a post about a new Design For Obama (DFO) art book by TASCHEN that will include my Hebrew Obama graphics. Following is a quick update I got via Twitter:

DFO book editorial assistant Vikki Warner:

DFO book has gone into production. Layout went smoothly and was largely on deadline. I can’t wait to see the finished book!

DFO website creator and book editor Aaron Perry-Zucker:

book is nearing completion! Everything is in and we’re just about to start looking at the cover! Still shooting for Nov 4

DFO book publisher TASCHEN:

Design for Obama will be published this fall, available in the US early November. we’re excited for it.

Update: The book is now available for pre-order.

Dramatization of Future Obama Book by TASCHEN

One Song to Leave Behind – RENT in Jerusalem

[singlepic id=226 w=240 h=320 float=right]Now that the reviews are out, I am much more comfortable mentioning the local production of the musical Rent: The Jerusalem community center Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah has gathered a diverse cast of actors, made up of religious and secular people, new immigrants, foreign students and native Israelis, to perform the Israeli premiere of Jonathan Larson’s Broadway hit which ran for 12 years. I think it would be very interesting to see how the local production touches on the edgy subjects raised by this musical, especially in a city as political as Jerusalem.

Here’s a little taste from the original Broadway production to get you in the mood:

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Director: Rafi Poch
Musical director: Sara Halevi
Conductor: Jeff Rosenschein
Choreography: Marvin Casey
Acting Coach: Kate Nachman Brody

Location: Industrial lot rooftop of El Halev / Merkaz Edna, Pierre Koenig Street, opposite Kanyon Hadar, Talpiyot, Jerusalem
Dates: June 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25
Time: 8pm
Tickets: 80 NIS (student discounts available)
Phone: 052-603-9197

The Revolution Will Be Twittered

Mock not. As the regime shut down other forms of communication, Twitter survived. With some remarkable results. Those rooftop chants that were becoming deafening in Tehran? A few hours ago, this concept of resistance was spread by a twitter message. Here’s the Twitter from a Moussavi supporter:

[singlepic id=225 w=525 h=333 float=center]

Read the rest of this short, yet very important article by Andrew Sullivan here.

H/T Lisa Goldman.

Menu Frisbee – Israel Through the Eyes of the Lonely Planet Guide Book

I said it before: you can literally drop me off anywhere on the globe and all I need is the relevant Lonely Planet guide book to make sure I have a peaceful, hassle-free, insightful journey. I learned this while travelling in South Asia back in 2001-2002, and that’s why upon returning to Israel I also purchased the Lonely Planet guide for Israel, as I knew it would be interesting to read about my own country from the point of view of a backpacking foreigner. Following is one ‘boxed’ nugget for your enjoyment written ten years ago:

Sorry For What?

[singlepic id=210 w=320 h=240 float=right]Two recent immigrants, one from Russia and one from America, and a native Israeli are at the supermarket where they come across a sign reading ‘We’re sorry, but due to shortages we have no meat’. The Russian turns to the other two and says, ‘What is meat?’. The American shrugs, ‘What do they mean by shortages?’. The Israeli shakes his head and looks perplexed, ‘What do they mean by this sorry?’.
The Israelis tell this joke about themselves, and any visitor who’s been in the country for more than five minutes will nod despairingly at the punch line. The Israelis, as they’ll readily agree, are not hot on the niceties of social intercourse. No official or sales assistant will acknowledge your presence until addressed directly. Dining out, staff will frisbee a menu at the table, then indicate they’re ready to take the order with a disinterested, ‘Yeah?’. Likely looking places to ask for directions or timetables ward off all potential enquiries with prominently displayed ‘No information’ notices.
For those who perceive the difference, it’s not, explains writer Stephen Brook, that the Israelis are bad mannered, but rather that they have no manners at all. Faces with a waiter who shrugs aside your complaints of cold food with ‘People don’t like it if it’s too hot’, anyone might feel that such subtleties are irrelevant; but one thing to remember is never lose your temper and start shouting, because there’s nothing Israelis love more than a good row.

Would You Like to Add Me as a Friend?

Yes! Just nailed my vanity URL on Facebook: facebook.com/frgdr
It shouldn’t be such a big deal, but unlike other websites that implemented this option from the get-go, Facebook have been postponing this for years.

To share my joy of trivial things, listen to Chumbawamba’s song Add Me:

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