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).

Subverting Traditional Holocaust Commemoration in Israel

As a third generation Holocaust survivor I feel my connection to the subject differs from the previous generations’ connection – a matter I discuss from time to time on my blog. The show ‘Mabat Sheni’ (A Second Glance), on Israel’s TV Channel 1, featured an interesting segment this week called ‘Holocaust and Satire’. Directed by Michal Kafra, the segment discussed subversive and challenging interpretations of traditional Israeli Holocaust commemorations.

The segment has no English subtitles but I am not sure that is a bad thing. Here is part 1 of 2:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2dvsoz-XfA

Click here for the concluding part.

Nobody Puts Swayze in a Corner

Following the troubling news about Patrick Swayze’s pancreatic cancer, and after reading Perez Hilton’s suggestion for a gesture, I thought I would do one better and watch Swayze’s hit movie ‘Dirty Dancing’ again – as I have only watched it once, 21 years ago.

A couple of nostalgia notes:
1. I first watched the movie when it came out in 1987 in the local cinema in my hometown. The coming of age of Baby (Jennifer Grey) was also my generation’s coming of age, and as 300 people left the cinema that evening (this is before the tiny cineplexes came around), all the boys wanted to be Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and all the girls wanted to be with Johnny Castle.
2. Patrick Swayze’s song ‘She’s like the wind’, played when Johnny is forced to leave the vacation resort, was the song we all slow danced to in 4th grade. I can still remember the birthday party in which I danced to it for the first time with Amit Sadeh who would later be my first girlfriend and my partner to many other firsts that year.
3. While I knew it was inconceivable, for years I was certain that Swayze is singing ‘She’s outta Ma’alit’ (elevator in Hebrew). Have a listen before you dismiss it:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Okay, so he actually sings ‘She’s outta my league’ – but my English skills did not peak until later on.
4. For years I was certain that Jennifer Grey and Sarah Jessica Parker are the same person. It may sound silly, but I think I tracked down a number of extenuating circumstances:
First, I think there is a general similarity between the two, which goes beyond the nose:
Left: Jennifer Grey (1987) – Right: Sarah Jessica Parker (1984)
Left: Jennifer Grey (1987) – Right: Sarah Jessica Parker (1984)

Second, both actresses played in the big dancing movies of the Eighties: Grey in Dirty Dancing (1987) and Parker in Footloose (1984).
Last, Matthew Broderick surely agrees with me, as he dated both actresses, was engaged to Grey and ended up marrying Parker.
Aside: Grey played Broderick’s sister in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), after which the two became romantically involved – Does that count as an incestuous relationship?

A couple of notes following my seeing the movie in 2008:
1. Even by today’s standards it is a very entertaining movie, although the protagonists are not given enough time to grow. This is especially evident when Baby delivers her memorable line about being “scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life, the way I feel when I’m with you”, which seemed to me as appearing too soon in the relationship.
2. Only after seeing the movie as an adult did I finally notice how Jewish the film is. All of a sudden it dawned on me that the only guests at Kellerman’s are the Housemans, the Pressmans, the Schumacher, and even “on the west porch, we have a symposium by Rabbi Maurice Sherman”. Then again, my only Catskills experience is watching PBS’s The Jewish Americans series.
3. I was surprised that twenty years later I vividly remember a lot of scenes from the movie, including tiny gestures by Baby like the double take on the bridge, the squinty head nod before the climactic lift, Johnny’s sweaty look after jumping off the stage – and worst of all, the entire chorus of the Kellerman’s Anthem (…voices, hearths and hands…).
Memorable Dirty Dancing scenes (from left to right): Baby's double take on the bridge, Johnny's sweaty look after jumping off the stage, the Kellerman's Anthem, Baby's squinty head nod before the climactic lift.
 
 

Hope Swayze gets well soon – I am off to watch Ghost (1990).

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?

Monopoly Game Manufacturer to End a Century Old Conflict

A month ago, I updated my readers on Hasbro’s worldwide vote to find the 22 greatest cities for the new world edition of the Monopoly board game. On my post titled ‘Up and Answer, Jewish Yeoman – Vote It Joyfully Aloud!‘ I jokingly called upon every right-wing nutter to defend Jerusalem, ‘eternal capital city of the Jewish people’, by voting for it on the Monopoly website.

Well, it turns out the joke was on me and my people:
Hasbro decided that the quickest way to end the Arab-Israeli conflict is to change the status of Jerusalem from the capital of Israel to an undefined territory, belonging to no man or nation. Although I probably should have foreseen that old shtick making a comeback, I did not – and so you will have to believe my word that the first version of the website listed ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ in one of the rankings.
Following are screenshots of the second and third versions:

[singlepic id=27 w=450 h=500 float=center]

As you can clearly see, on the second version every world city is naturally located within a country, except for Jerusalem. Smart way to end the conflict, right?
After the Israeli Embassy protested Hasbro’s doing (no, I am not kidding), the company decided to put on their smarty-pants and remove all the countries. Yes folks, just like every fourth Eurovision Song Contest and every second Olympic Games event, someone always wants to show preemptive kindness on the official website, so that the people who tend to get mad – won’t. Even as we speak, Hasbro is removing additional connections between cities of the world and their corresponding countries:
Can you find which words are missing from one of these four Monopoly city guides? (yellow highlight mine)

[singlepic id=23 w=235 h=500 float=center] [singlepic id=25 w=235 h=500 float=center]
[singlepic id=26 w=235 h=500 float=center] [singlepic id=24 w=235 h=500 float=center]

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.

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.

MTV Releases New PSAs You Might Find Interesting

MTV’s activist social network, Think, have launched two public service announcement videos. The videos were directed by Michael Franzini and I thought his approach to the subject was just brilliant.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_UxNxRgwew

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18vW8tPeZt8

Hat tip to The Viral Workshop.

Up and Answer, Jewish Yeoman – Vote It Joyfully Aloud!

[singlepic id=2 w=320 h=240 float=right]Monopoly is the best selling board game in the world, sold in 103 countries and produced in 37 languages. Game manufacturer Parker Brothers has launched a worldwide vote to find the 22 greatest cities in the world to be included on the new MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition game board. You can cast your vote online and make sure your favorite city will be included and maybe even placed on the highest rent property. I know many right-wing Israelis would take this as a chance to further the notion that Jerusalem is the ‘eternal capital city of the Jewish people’ – so I just wanted to give you the heads up.

Voting period ends February 28, 2008.

Hat tip to Albert C. Veldhuis from the Monopoly Lexicon.
 

Is Perez Good for the Jews?

Perez Hilton by Hanoch PivenAside from covering ‘What’s Britney doing now‘ stories, gossip blogger (and Forbes’ 2007 Web Celeb) Perez Hilton publishes from time to time posts from the real world, in an effort, I guess, to educate his celebrities-obsessed readers on other things they should care about.
As an avid reader myself [you may choose to pause for laughter here] I have read a number of posts that hit close to home, including positive coverage on Israeli singer Ivri Lider’s first video in English, positive coverage on budding Israeli singer Yael Naim, and appropriate coverage on conservative commentator Ann Coulter’s incredibly insulting Jews-need-to-be-perfected speech.

Now granted, Perez being gay gives him enough reason to bash equal-opportunity-hater Coulter and praise Lider’s gay openness – plus Naim being half French doesn’t hurt – still, with the disproportionate number of Jewish/Israeli related posts, I have to ponder is Perez Hilton good for the Jews?