Where Was Doctor Tanya When I Was Growing Up?

If you haven’t already seen Dr. Tanya Byron in action, you should not spare another day without witnessing this human phenomenon. She is a clinical psychologist who appeared on multiple BBC THREE’s television series giving parenting advice to those in dire needs of it. Had she not explained the logic behind her easy to implement tactics, you could have sworn she was a present-day Pied Piper of Hamelin. It will take just thirty minutes of your time to prove that there are no ‘bad kids’ – only ‘bad parenting’.

Doctor Tanya Byron

In Israel, you can currently watch Dr. Tanya on these TV channels:
Little Angels – on BBC Prime – four times a week
Teen Terrors to Teen Angels – on Channel 8 – daily, starting next week
The House of Tiny Tearaways – on Channel 8 – in a future weekend marathon

Ode to Female Armpit Hair

I read an interesting poem by Kirsten Anderberg, a Seattle-based activist, titled Ode to My Armpit Hair. To tease you to read the whole poem, here's the first stanza:

I've never owned a disposable razor
I haven't shaved since '78
Prepubescent armpits are not natural on grown women
I see shaved armpits as body hate.

The full poem can be found here.

I always thought women were tricked into all this self-maintenance work, including bra wearing, hair removing and nowadays plastic surgeries. The initial taunting was probably done by men, but after awhile women started shaming one another, progressively demanding more and more work to be done before attempting to show their faces in public. Female author Ariel Levy calls these women female chauvinist pigs.

Hat tip: Simply Jews.

My One Obligatory Harry Potter Reference

ShaBot 6000 is the continuing cartoon saga of a pious Jew who purchases a robot to work as Shabbos Goy for his household. The inquisitive robot, ShaBot, decides that he is Jewish, and is therefore unable to fulfill his duties as servant. ShaBot spends his days asking questions about Judaism, trying to find logic in a religion that sometimes does not compute. Here is the latest ShaBot 6000 comic strip titled Harry Shabotter. ShaBot 6000 latest comic strip about Harry Potter, titled Harry Shabotter

What The Hell Are You Reading?

Ever noticed that every book you read has its name printed on every second page? What’s the deal with that? What kind of boring books do people buy that they just pause in the middle of reading and ask themselves ‘What the hell am I reading?’ – ‘Oh, I see, in that case – on with the boring Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ Why does every book you read has its title printed on top of every second page?

Shahar currently reads the book ‘IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation‘. If you want him to read something else, you can purchase it for him on his Amazon.com Wish List.

The Last Days of Pompeii, by Louis Vuitton

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the USSR, is making a print ad for Louis Vuitton. This comes a decade after his infamous TV ad for Pizza Hut. Either I don’t understand this new world, or I am just in denial for not liking what I see. It seems that everything and everyone is for sale: our history is for sale along with world leaders selling baggage, our childhood is for sale along with songs we grew up with now turning into soft-cheese-selling anthems.

Mikhail Gorbachev Loves Louis Vuitton

Ehud Barak, Israel’s former prime minister, (Mazal Tov: he just got remarried this Friday), took a lot of grief for his decision to embark on a business career after his 2001 defeat in the general elections. But at least he made his millions of dollars lecturing abroad about world leadership and national security, subjects that are right up his alley. What kind of cachet does Gorby bring to Louis Vuitton? What does his participation in an advertisement campaign for bags for rich people do, other than say 'everything I ever stood for is crap'. It seems that even world renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, could not mask his what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here face, with his hand holding the door handle looking like he wants to bolt from that limo.

I Spy With My Little Eye

Everyday, on my five minutes walk to school, I am being photographed by three CCTV cameras. That is, three that I know of, and possibly additional ones that I am not aware of. These security cameras, while aimed at the entrance of each building, grab big chunks of the sidewalks as well.
I spy a security cam on Coresh street, Jerusalem
Should I be bothered by this?
I spy a security cam on Jaffa street, Jerusalem
Is there a cause for concern?
I spy a security cam on Safra Square, Jerusalem
Does this make the public space safer?
Does John Q. Shin Bet have the capability to access each of these security cams, and if so should anyone but the 'bad guys' be afraid?

Lots of questions and not enough knowledge.

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

In light of the 2007 Israeli Pride Parade, commencing today at noon in Tel-Aviv, and later this month in Jerusalem (God willing), and in light of two recent articles discussing the ‘Glass Closet‘ (Michael Musto for Out Magazine, Gal Uchovsky for Time Out Tel-Aviv), I just wanted to convey it is a shame that successful people in the media cannot summon up the courage it takes to come out of the closet, and become a role model for teenagers struggling in life. Izhar Cohen missed the opportunity to tackle gay invisibility in the seventies, Ofra Haza missed the opportunity to raise AIDS awareness in the nineties, but it is never too late to be a hero in the eyes of Israeli teens. I reckon that singers with sold-out events and songwriters who write hit songs about love, have no business avoiding what everyone in this tiny country already knows.

Here are some positive role models:

Dana International Ivri Lider Rona Kenan
Nitzan Horowitz Korin Allal Miki Buganim
Assi Ezer Amir Fey-Guttman Yehudit Ravitz
Yehuda Poliker Harel Skaat Orna Banai

And others who can be positive role models:

Izhar Cohen Sarit Hadad Dafna Rechter


In a changing world
There’s so much you could be
Why can’t you choose your self
Like your enemy?
Have you ever imagined
A new you?
I could be someone else
Somebody new.
I want a positive role model
  – – From The Musical ‘Closer To Heaven’ by the Pet Shop Boys


Update: On December 23, 2009 singer-songwriter Yehudit Ravitz finally came out as a lesbian. This post was joyfully updated to reflect the news.

Update #2: On March 18, 2010 singer-songwriter Yehuda Poliker sorta-kinda came out. In a Channel 10 documentary film he used wording that left many disappointed. On July 16, 2010 in a newspaper interview in Yedioth Ahronoth, Poliker finally admitted falling in love in the past with men. Only then was this post finally updated to reflect the news.

Update #3: On October 22, 2010 singer Harel Skaat came out as gay. This post was joyfully updated to reflect the news.

Update #4: On December 30, 2011 comedienne Orna Banai came out as a lesbian. This post was joyfully updated to reflect the news.