Jews Do Not Run Hollywood – The Proof

A British-American comedy starring Matt LeBlanc? Didn’t sound like much when I first began to watch it, but Showtime’s Episodes packs an unexpected punch. Its recent episode (s02e03) was funny yet moving, and also featured a brilliant reference to Friends. Towards the end, as the characters gathered in a cemetery, one headstone caught my eye:
[singlepic id=350 w=525 h=295 float=center]

At first the Hebrew words did not make any sense, until I realized the letters were in reverse order: left to right, instead of right to left. Then I realized that even when read in the right direction, the words, while in Hebrew, sounded like a machine-translated version of English phrases; Someone might say ‘he will be dearly missed’ but its literal translation to Hebrew comes out as ‘he was pickled at great expense‘. It only took a minute or so to reverse engineer this kerfuffle:
[singlepic id=351 w=525 h=235 float=center]

Yep! Someone at set design couldn’t find a Jew to save his life and decided to wing it. Which begs the question: Aren’t we running this joint?

UPS: Oy is Just Yo Spelled Backwards

Update: The error discussed here was fixed 4 days after the post was published.

Lemme ask you this: If a corporate graphic designer posts new homepage graphics, forgetting that Hebrew is spelled from right to left, not left to right, how long would it take before someone notices?
[singlepic id=316 w=525 h=350 float=center]
sthgisni wen naiG << Gain new insights ysae edam secivres UPS << UPS services made easy UPS Solutions tuo kcehC << Check out UPS Solutions Aside: Executives concentrating on a project by Joshua Hodge Photography (iStockPhoto.com, GettyImages.com) – Selected keywords: Asian Ethnicity, Cheerful, Caucasian, Multi-Ethnic Group, Laptop, Friendship, Cooperation, Team, Teamwork, Pointing, White Collar Worker, Mixed Race Person, Office Worker, Smiling, Unity, Using Laptop.

Facebook Hacks: Multilingual Status Updates

Not sure why, but many Israelis have an aversion to the English language; “If it’s in English – I won’t read it” they tell me (in Hebrew). Myself? Although it is not my native language, I use English around the web to allow the entire world to understand what I am saying. And so I had to devise a plan, a hack if you will, to post Facebook status updates in English for the benefit of my multiculti friends, while not bothering my Israeli friends too much.

Luckily, Facebook allows you to put your friends into lists, and allows each friend to belong to more than one list. And so, in addition to my regular lists (‘family’, ‘workplace’ etc), I created a ‘HEBREW‘ list and an ‘ENGLISH’ list and attributed a language to a friend; I even put some of my more gifted friends under both languages.

[singlepic id=277 w=512 h=128 float=center]
After that, posting something in English without my Hebrew-only friends being bothered is as easy as setting the privacy of the status update to ‘ENGLISH’. Sometimes, when I blog in English and post a Hebrew translation on another blog, I publish a status update in English with a link to the English post – and an additional status update, with its custom privacy set to ‘HEBREW; except: ENGLISH‘. Thus, making sure each of my friends only sees one status update, in the language he or she prefers.

I Was Born on a Seat

Israeli newspaper Haaretz has an interesting article today on high school seniors’ misuse of electronic dictionaries during their English exams. Can you decipher what the students meant, from what they actually wrote?

  • I want you to barber about your experience
  • Drivers don’t curfew in red light
  • The weather was father-in-law
  • I was born on a seat

Read the full article in Ingleesh or in Ibroo.

H/T: Guy Yitzhaki

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN

When I created my first Hebrew Obama poster, I never imagined it would become one of the most popular posts on my blog, lead to a couple of interviews in the media, and that I will get asked to create additional graphics in Hebrew for the campaign. And so, as the Illinois Senator arrives in Israel this evening, I thought it would be appropriate to publish my latest creation.

Following are my new Hebrew posters, one in blue and one in white:

[singlepic id=92 w=400 h=800 float=center] [singlepic id=93 w=100 h=200 float=center]

To download a ZIP file containing a print-size JPG and PSD, click for
the BLUE version, or here for the WHITE version.

Disclaimer:
– Use the graphics in any way you see fit, as long as it is not for financial gain, and as long as it gets Obama elected.
– You can use CafePress, Zazzle, or similar online printing services to print merchandize for you and your friends, as long as you do not set up a public shop.
– If you have used the graphics online or printed it and held it in an Obama rally, it would be nice if you could send some photos and share the joy.
– Feel free to link directly to the original post on my blog, but do not link directly to the files.

Make sure you check out my other design:
Hebrew Obama Poster: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN | frgdr.com

I will elaborate a bit on my artistic decisions:
While the literal translation of ‘yes we can’ to Hebrew (‘KEN ANU YECHOLIM’, כן אנו יכולים) was what I aimed for when I started this project, it quickly proved to be unacceptable from a graphic point of view: unlike the English words, each one spelled using three letters or less, the third Hebrew word (YECHOLIM) is spelled using six letters, thus breaking the balance of the original design.
Since the original slogan became so prominent in the official campaign, I had to exercise some ingenuity if I wanted to incorporate Hebrew into it, and so YES WE CAN soon became YES OUI KEN, affirming the candidate in English, French and Hebrew, correspondingly. Yes, it’s a trick, but I was forced to use it.

Now let’s talk fontology:
Just like with the previous poster, I used WhatTheFont?!, which helped me discover Arial MT Black is a pretty close match to the original.
For the Hebrew word KEN, I first tried Hebrew fonts but none did the job, and so I decided to use the English letters O and I, the former was changed to look like a the Hebrew letter KAF and the latter was extended to look like a NUN SOFIT and not like a VAV.

The original English PDFs were downloaded from here (now defunct).

John’s Not Mad – Alin and Shani Aren’t Either

I have always been fascinated by Tourette’s syndrome, which naturally manifested in my seeing virtually every documentary ever made on the subject, including:

That is why I was very happy to find out that Israel’s Channel 10 will broadcast an Israeli documentary about the subject titled ‘Involuntary‘ (2007), directed by Boaz Rosenberg. The film follows Alin Tubul (30) and Shani Nulman (18), two young Israeli women very different from one another, as they struggle with severe Tourette over the course of three years. The US National Institutes of Health estimates 200,000 Americans have severe Tourette’s, which might infer there are 4,700 Israelis in predicaments similar to Alin’s and Shani’s. If there is, in fact, strength in numbers, I cannot imagine how lonely it must feel to have Tourette’s in such a small country as Israel.

After watching that many documentaries, I categorize Tourette’s portrayal in popular media into three depth levels:

  • Hollywood’s Tourette, as depicted in TV and movies, emphasizing the quote-unquote funny side.
  • Tourette 101, as depicted in every documentary made so far, emphasizing the day-to-day struggle with social stigmas.
  • Full-blown Tourette’s, which I have yet to have seen in popular media, revealing the typical comorbid conditions of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), intrusive thoughts and suicidal tendencies.

I can only hope future documentaries will deal with this third category.

Here is a fascinating news story about Alin and the documentary, by Channel 10’s Nesli Barda (Hebrew):
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TT9VqLrh0Gk
(Please note that for some reason Alin Tubul is referred to as Alin Biton in the story)

‘Involuntary’ will be broadcast on Israel’s Channel 10 this coming Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 11pm.

Aside:
Been thinking about Digital Footprints lately and the need to write an eloquent post about it. During the writing of this post I easily found a photo of the film director sitting naked on the toilet, as well as phone numbers (home and cell) of Alin, the film’s protagonist, along with her mental health history. What do your Digital Footprints reveal about you?

Hebrew Obama Poster: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN

Inspired by Will.i.am’s video and the Yes We Ken Girl, as well as being moved daily by Obama’s rhetoric and promise of a better America and vicariously a better world, I thought I would do my part: Following is an Obama poster I translated to Hebrew. It is my first creation for the campaign, and I am thinking about making a Hebrew video as well. We’ll see…

[singlepic id=18 w=450 h=693 float=center]

Click here to download a Zip file containing a print-size JPG and PSD.

Disclaimer:
– Use the graphics in any way you see fit, as long as it is not for financial gain, and as long as it gets Obama elected.
– You can use CafePress, Zazzle, or similar online printing services to print merchandize for you and your friends, as long as you do not set up a public shop.
– If you have used the graphics online or printed it and held it in an Obama rally, it would be nice if you could send some photos and share the joy.
– Feel free to link directly to the original post on my blog, but do not link directly to the files.

Make sure you check out my other design:
Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

I will elaborate a bit on my artistic decisions: Translating ‘change we can believe in’ proved to be somewhat of a challenge, as the Hebrew word for ‘we can’ (NUCHAL, נוכל) is the exact one for ‘crook’ (NOCHEL, נוכל). In this age of Rovean politics, even a hint of such subliminal connections can be bad – remember the 2000 Democrats/rats ad by the Bush campaign? For that reason I chose wording which loosely translates to ‘change that can be believed in’, which has the added benefit of being misread as something like ‘Change, you can believe in him’. Since Hebrew uses a different Alphabet altogether, I could not use the original fonts. These are the closest I could find:

The original English PDF was downloaded from here, now here.

Update: This post was originally titled ‘We Need a Mentch in the White House‘, but was renamed upon releasing my second Hebrew Obama poster.

Everyone Is Talking About modu – But What Is modu Talking About?

Avid readers of my blog know all about my disdain for Engbrew, the English/Hebrew language that threatens to replace the holy tongue. Based on a child-like fascination with the American culture, many Israelis think speaking English-peppered Hebrew makes them seem more intelligent. Yes, just like the people who think wearing glasses makes you look smarter, many Israelis think that the more English words, terms and idioms they use while talking to their peers, the more cool they seem.

Last night, as I was watching a news report about the new Israeli cell phone company modu, my jaw dropped when one of the executives started speaking Engbrew:

httpv://youtube.com/watch?v=LB_ASueGI3U

Obama Wins* Super-Tuesday – or – Who Would Jew Vote For?

We all know Jews control the media. Yes, ever since our secret protocols were revealed the entire world knows our real intensions. Today as I watched will.i.am’s inspirational Yes We Can song in support of Presidential candidate Barack Obama, I could not help noticing how deep our control of the media goes, as one of our spies was able to insert a subliminal message in our secret Hebrew language.

Watch the clip, and roll to minute marks 1:09 and 1:44:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjXyqcx-mYY
[singlepic id=12 w=320 h=200 float=right]Now you know how Obama won*: our very own Israeli-born Mossad agent/part-time model/struggling actress Maya Rubin       was able to infiltrate the editing studio where the video was made, and inserted a message to all our sleeper agents in our encrypted holy tongue: ‘Ken, Anu Yeholim‘ which loosely translates to ‘Yes, We Can’. Those of you in the know remember that this is the same message that notified American Zionists not to go to work on that day in 2001.

* At the time of publishing this post the polls are still open, so obviously this is another Jewish scheme to lure people who Google the subject.
Any reference to Jewish schemes, Zionists plots, acts of espionage and the general conspiratorial undertone in this post should be taken as mere satire by anyone reading this.
Except for Jews, which are ordered to take this post literally by the General HQ.

Optical Illusions: Finally An Israeli Company Who Will Not Tolerate Contemporary Advertising Trends

Rabbi Raphael Halperin, owner of Optica Halperin (and a former wrestler), announced yesterday that he is cancelling the tender for the company’s advertising account. This was the first time in 19 years the company called a pitch to run its three million dollars account, but after reviewing the bids Halperin decided to continue advertising on his own, buying media as an individual.

Halperin told Maariv newspaper that he did not like any of the ad agencies’ bids, as all of them focused on changing the company – not advertising it.

I applaud Rabbi Halperin as it must be difficult to watch the current advertising trends, and say with conviction: You are all crazy, and I must be the only sane person left. While he did not elaborate, I am willing to put my money where my keyboard is and suggest each of the bids received included at least one of the following overused superficial makeovers:

The Acronym Shtick:
In lieu of creative thinking let’s just acronym the company’s Hebrew name into English letters, just like with these companies:

Matim Li   >>   ML
HaMashbir Mahsaney Ofna   >>   H&O
Lilith & Varda   >>   L&V
Avigdor Shoes   >>   AVG

The Color Shtick:
They say if you can’t make it good, make it big – and if you can’t make it big, make it red. The following companies actually paid money for this advice:

Cellcom (telecom)   >>   Purple
Pelephone (telecom)   >>   Blue
Orange (telecom)   >>   Orange
Bezeq (telecom)   >>   Blue
Mirs (telecom)   >>   Green
Hapoalim (bank)   >>   Red
Discount (bank)   >>   Green
Leumi (bank)   >>   Blue

The Logo Shtick:
One of my favorite shticks, and the one that proves ad agencies basically create their own market by convincing companies to change their logo every couple of years.
Here is a visual timeline I created for a number of leading Israeli companies, one not-so-leading company that has never changed its logo, and one organization that was brave enough to revert to its vintage logo after two years of using a new-and-improved logo.
Please note this is a draft and some dates are mere estimates.

Timeline of Israeli Logos