Contrary to what you may have read in The Guardian, not “everyone in Israel is talking about the British-American BBC comedy Episodes”. In fact, most Israelis have never heard of it and it certainly did not go ‘viral’. Nonetheless, what did go kinda-sorta viral is my little post about it, published three weeks ago on my blog, in which I apparently coined the phrase ‘pickled at great expense‘.
You see, blogging about minutia you can never be sure if you come off as clever or just petty. That’s why when someone ‘gets it’, when someone understands that some of these posts use insignificant events to talk about bigger things, that a post about a television show is actually about the increasing amount of responsibility we outsource to new technologies – that’s when I feel rewarded. Also, The Google.
Big bonus: Episodes’ lead actor Stephen Mangan tweeting about it:
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Here’s the relevant part from that episode. Have a little taste of this fly-under-the-radar comedy:
I was interviewed for an article that was published today in the English edition of Haaretz newspaper, in regards to the 2008 US presidential election. Here are the relevant last two paragraphs:
As the U.S. presidential race reaches Israel, Hebrew-language campaigners try to choose words wisely
By Raphael Ahren
Some political items are created by people who can’t even vote in the United States. Obama supporter Shahar Golan, of Rehovot, crafted a poster with the Hebrew translation of the slogan “Change we can believe in.” After a smear campaign tried denouncing the Illinois senator as a Muslim, Golan felt he had to publicly declare his support for “Baruch Obama,” as he calls him. “As a born and bred Israeli, my interest in the U.S. elections is mainly because American presidents tend to influence the entire world,” the 31-year-old photographer and graphic designer said.” And since I cannot vote myself I create graphics that hopefully might call attention to a candidate worth voting for.” Currently, Golan is working on a new poster featuring a Hebrew version of Obama’s “Yes we can” slogan.
Golan knows that translations can be tricky. On his blog, he elaborated on his choice of words. “Translating ‘Change we can believe in’ proved to be somewhat of a challenge,” he muses, “as the Hebrew word for ‘we can’ (nuchal) is the exact one for ‘crook’ (nochel).” Not wanting to repeat past mistakes, he added that “even a hint of such subliminal connections can be bad.”
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