From the people that gave us the CGI recreation of Tiger Woods’ sexcapades and the Conan/Leno fiasco comes the following video about Goel Ratzon, Israel’s so-called harem messiah. Chinese language skills not necessary:
Update: The following was added after the post was first published.
After watching the brilliant Israeli rock opera ‘War’ on stage, and blogging about it, I have been corresponding by email with musician Kobi Vitman who created it based on his experiences in 2002 as a reserve infantry soldier during Operation Defensive Shield, and the PTSD that followed. A couple of months ago, when the original cast recording was issued, I tried to convey to Vitman my own experiences as a listener and a fan of the genre, emphasizing the difficulty in trying to track down these musical gems once the curtain closes on the original show. In accordance with my beliefs about file sharing, copyright laws and my own experiences searching for recordings of Israeli musicals, I tried to push for making the entire album available online.
Well, I am so very happy to announce that as of this week, the album is indeed available online and for free. You can still purchase the physical CD, booklet and all, for 40NIS, but if you just want the MP3 files, they are now legally available on WarRockOpera.com. You can still watch the show live in its acoustic version. Check the website for details.
I saw the eye doctor
And he showed me
A cool book
Filled with pictures.
He then said
There’s something wrong
With my 3-D vision,
But not to worry
I can still lead
A full and productive life,
But when I’ll join the army
I can never be
An Air Force pilot.
At age 7,
My life was ruined.
Go back to being fabulous
Ignore the pain inside
Find some compensation
for all the love denied
After all that we’ve been through
only tears can tell the truth
– – “For All of Us” – from the musical “Closer To Heaven” by Pet Shop Boys
Last Saturday a masked gunman opened fire in a gay youth club in Tel Aviv, killing a 26 year old male and a 16 year old female and injuring eleven others, before fleeing the scene. The event rendered me speechless. I have been searching for the right words ever since and just now decided to give up that and use this platform to call people to action instead.
This coming Saturday a demonstration will be held in Tel-Aviv, supporting the gay community. Titled ‘Continuing With Pride’ this event will mark one week since the shooting and will be a more organized event, as opposed to the impromptu rallies that were held all over the country in the last few days. Singers will sing (Rita, Ninet, Ivri, Margol, Dana), speakers will speak (Mayor, ministers, MKs), but most importantly people will stand. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and loads of straights will make a stand for democracy, pluralism and freedom. Worldwide solidarity events are planned for the same time in Warsaw, Paris, Berlin, Bern and Madrid.
What: LGBT Demonstration
Where: Rabin Square, Tel-Aviv, Israel
When: Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 8:30pm
Why: Stand against homophobia and transphobia
Who: You, me, all of us
How much: Admission is free
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
H/T: Guy Yitzhaki
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.
[singlepic id=214 w=320 h=240 float=right]On yesterday’s Friday at Five program on Israel Channel 1, the chyron read “The age of Hussein Obama“. Broadcast one day after the Cairo speech, the usage of the American President’s middle name is an obvious attempt to say ‘He sides with them now’. Taken straight out of a Fox News’ textbook, referring to the leader of the free world by the name ‘Hussein’ has gained popularity in recent weeks within the office of the Israeli prime-minister, as Ben Caspit reports in Maariv. Since the Israel Broadcast Authority is controlled by the PM office, the phrase has naturally trickled down to the mainstream media, if you can still call Channel 1 that.
Knesset Member Daniel Ben Simon was a guest on that show and pointed out on the air that the graphics should be fixed, to which hosts Kineret Barashi and Uri Levi played dumb saying that Obama himself uses his middle name. MK Ben Simon tried to explain that no one calls the previous president Walker Bush, but the hosts just smiled derisively. Here is the short exchange:
I find this derogatory use of the word ‘Hussein’ despicable, Islamophobic and somewhat childish: when the US president says things we like, we call him Baruch Obama – and when he says things we don’t like, he’s Hussein Obama?
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:
Boys, Girls & Guns
[singlepic id=211 w=320 h=240 float=right]Israel is still technically at war with more than a few of its fellow Middle Eastern countries. This, in addition to being enmeshed in battling Palestinian terrorist groups and struggling to contain the sporadically violent extremist factions within its own society, means that wherever you go you’ll see armed soldiers. Bus stations, in particular, are filled with soldiers in olive green uniforms either arriving home on leave or heading off back to base. Having an occasion to ask, “Excuse me, could you move your gun so I can sit down there”, is an accepted part of bus travel.
What takes more getting used to is the prepubescent appearance of some of the soldiers. Unlike most standing armies, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is a citizens’ army made up of draftees – both men and women – plucked from civilian life at age 18, fresh from high school. With the conscripts out of adolescence, it’s an army were fatigues are supplemented by RayBans, and M16 rifles double as crucial fashion accessories. Nor is it always necessary to wear a uniform to carry a gun. Any soldier who loses their weapon (though rarely are women assigned to the weapon-carrying infantry units) is liable to seven years imprisonment, therefore off-duty, jeans and T-Shirt clad soldiers sometimes haul their rifles around if there’s no secure place to leave them. We once spotted two young men attempting to groove on a Jerusalem dance floor encumbered with machine guns slung across their backs – although we suspect this may have had a lot more to do with narcissism then security.
The initial spell of compulsory service in the IDF stretches for 3 years in the case of men and 18 months in the case of women. Once this has been completed, every male is assigned to a reserve unit to which they are recalled for about 30 days service each year, until the age of 35. Single women are also liable to reserve service up until the age of 34, but in practice they’re exempted once they’re about 25 years old. Presumably once a person hits their mid-30s they’re assumed to have finally grown out of teenage things such as guns.
Update: Ido Kenan from room404.net just sent some visual proof:
Israeli cable TV provider HOT has recently launched an ad campaign about its video on demand service. There are a dozen or so TV ads, but only one of them is the real McCoy: a short, smart and funny commercial that flatters the viewer’s intelligence while genuinely relating to the advertised product. Check it out:
The Hebrew caption reads: Watched an entire season of CSI
Since I usually only blog about offensive ads, I thought I would change the bitch-to-praise ratio by pointing to this rare catch. If you need your dosage of venom, go and check out one of the related posts linked below.