jewin' the fat


Top Ten: The Zionist Conspiracy

In honour of the biggest Zionist day in the calendar year this week, here’s a tribute to the ten or so biggest Zionist-stereotypes, all of whom claiming to hold the key to what a ‘true’ Zionist really is. The reality is, at the end of the day, that Zionism is not a political theory, power conspiracy nor a policy of a government (as detractors/hacks/ignoramuses may assume), it is an ideology which is inherently personal, and interpreted by the individual to facilitate self-determination as a member of the Jewish people.

As it turns out, a bunch of those Jew-Individuals got together a couple hundred years ago and, determined to do more than argue with each other on the value of a state for Jews or a Jewish state, actually set about creating it.

It is neither the plot of the 8th Harry Potter novel, 'Harry Potter and the Zionist Conspiracy to take over the world with superior money-handling skills and uber-developed business acumen mu-ha-ha-ha-hacking-cough-ha-ha!" (HT @ Diaryofanelderofzion.blogspot.com : he's a Zionist - he knows!)

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Beck, Banksy & ‘Beatrice and Virgil’
April 13, 2010, 12:21 PM
Filed under: Comment, media | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter B and the number 3 – ah! ah! ah!   

Photo: Muppet Wiki

Beck:  

The only thing that would make doing the ironing with a glass of pinot gris on a crisp autumn night in a terry towel nightgown sexier would be the hottest postmodern half-Jew in pop music, Bek David Campbell. His outrageous 1999 single Debra is dripping in smooth and smokin’ falsetto funk, and brought sexy back years before JT. Musical arrangements are fast and loose, structured and slippery, with just enough sleaze to get the housewives hot under the collar – like Beck’s coitus contemporaries Bowie and Prince. Lyrics that oscillate between self-effacing comedic genius (I said Lady, Step inside my Hyundai) and quasi-orgasmic sensuousness (like fruit that’s ripe for the picking) are packed with irony which borrows heavily from the same musical mastery as Flight of the Concords. If the last orgiastic breath of “Jenny” doesn’t make your loins quiver with excitement, you aren’t human. Take a listen here

Banksy:  

Every hipster worth his salty, unwashed, über-chic hair knows the pop-cultural importance of Banksy. What we don’t know, is who the hell this guy really is. Exit through the Gift Shop is the latest offer of an answer. It premiered at Sundance in January, and is about to hit US cinemas. Narrated by Rhys Ifans, the film tells the story of Mr. Brainwash, a French-born designer/entrepreneur Thierry Guetta, and his artistic enlightenment thanks to the Banksy himself. But like most great docos, soon the camera turns on its subject, and gazes not at the attempts of Guetta to replicate Banksy’s graffiti glory, but the man behind the mystery. Check out the trailer:  

   

Beatrice and Virgil:   

“If history doesn’t become story,” he says, “it dies to everyone except the historian. Art is the suitcase of history, carrying the essentials. Art is the life buoy of history.”  

— Henry, Beatrice and Virgil  

Props to Yann Martel – Life of Pi, which won the Man Booker Prize has been followed up with one of the smartest of literature’s handling of the Holocaust since Otto Frank published Anne’s diary. In an absurdist philosophical discussion between two stuffed animals in a taxidermy shop, Martel manages to capture the madness of the 20th Century’s greatest tragedy of human innovation and ignorance. As the author justifies his use of Animal Farm story-telling apparatus:  

“People are cynical about people, but less so about wild animals. A rhinoceros dentist elicits less skepticism, in some ways, than a German dentist.  But this animal-as-canvas quality is useful for a storyteller. It means that an animal that people feel kindly towards becomes a character that readers feel kindly towards.”  

Beatrice and Virgil is out this week. Check out all good booksellers, or here.



Just a small town giiirl
April 1, 2010, 4:39 PM
Filed under: Jewish Community | Tags: , , , ,

"OMG he was so good in Snatch. Totally Gangster"

One would assume growing up in a tightly encircled JC subculture would more than prepare me for a move from the Big Smoke to the Smaller, Less populated Smoke.  And of course, the fact that I grew up in what Real Estate agents and lazy journalists refer to as the ‘Leafy North Shore”, the sea change would really be more like a sleepover at a mate’s house just over Mona Vale Rd.

What I didn’t expect, was how much I would come to dread the return to said Big Smoke. The noise, the pollution, the traffic – everything country bumpkins have hated about Sydney, was suddenly everything I hated about Sydney. The pretension, the ‘extra hot skinny lattes – but do you have equal?’ coffee drinkers, the distance between everything, the tourists, the haphazard arrangement of suburbs and of course, the saturation of JC.

Sure, it’s a pretty Jüden time of year – Exodus season and all, but there was something about a particular gig last night that really irked me. And it was the sheer quantity of JC that I knew crammed into one tight Roundhouse spot.

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Eyes Wide Shut
March 8, 2010, 9:11 AM
Filed under: Comment, media | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A note. Martin Scorsese’s long overdue, much over-hyped lastest film, Shutter Island is probably enjoyed by many punters looking for a “don’t worry baby, I’ll protect you” little film to take their sweetheart to on a Saturday night. Unfortunately, it is about as organically thrilling as organic lentil soup. From the tired opening credits, to the over-worked score, which basically asks the audience to countdown to the OMFG! moment, Rocky Horror Picture Show Style, to the supremely ominous sweeping camera angles and disjointed, unoriginal dream sequences, it smelled predictable.
In fact, the big reveal moment was so much of a let down that the audience in my cinema were completely unperturbed. Complete silence, and more of the “really? That’s IT?!” variety than the hoped-for “Wow, what masterful storytelling”.
In fact, the vibe throughout the whole LONG 2 hours+ saga was unfortunately of incredulity and hyper-awareness of the construction of this elaborate plot, which, amongst other things, included mental asylums, dead wives, firebugs, psychotics, lucky strike cigarettes, and just for a little historical relevance, a few dead Nazis, some moral quandaries on the role of perpetrator/victim, House Un-American Activities Committee, and fedoras. Wow. What imaginative story telling.
Though maybe I just don’t like Leonardo DiCaprio. I’ll admit, his “Watch me Act” bit is a little tired, and even in his emotional scenes, all I could think about through out the film was “How does he keep that little band aid on his face through all that rain and hurricane? What on earth is it stuck with, Superglue?” Less than riveting, let me tell you.

2 mehs out of 5.

(Post Script: Props to Dendy Cinemas, however. My screening was captioned for the hearing impaired – and let me tell you, they don’t miss a thing. From fire crackling to creaking gates, every last indicator is mentioned. Except that stupid score. Good thing probably, they didn’t miss out on much.)



Older and/or Wiser

First things first – Happy New Year y’all. Here’s hoping that resolutions were made and broken, champagne glasses emptied and dignity lost in the fun and fury. It’s 2010, and we are officially living in a sci-fi novel – Brave New World indeed.

Secondly, an apology – I have let life, love and living get in the way of blogging. Especially because, if you weren’t aware, I’ve been Mid-East side for the past month or so. And in among all the crazy, I have let slide this little venture. … Mostly because I didn’t want to spill Jameson on my lap top. And despite being in the thick of it, with a million and one things to write reams and reams about, to put it simply, I’m on holiday, and cbf. So Sorry.

But then again, it has been a fairly decent while in cyber-terms, so here’s my resolution. I will make a concerted effort to not be a lazy ass, and get back on the blogging-bandwagon. Starting now.

2009 was a memorable year. It taught us the value of money, once we lost it, and the stupidity of trusting financial institutions. It also taught us that hiding $1 million in a mattress can backfire. It began with a bang that shook Gaza, and is still shaking the world, and ended with a silence on Darfur that is deafening.

 2009 was brought to you by the colour Green, and Twitter became (and still is) the protest medium of choice for thousands of young Iranians. 2009 was the year Australian politics got (mildly) interesting – and the first year an Abbott and a Bishop ruled the Liberal Party. It was also the year that his Honour, the Honorable Honorary Jew himself, Malcolm Turnbull, found himself out on his ass (but still with that amazing BRW Richest 200 fortune to fall back on), Nathan Rees locked us out of parliament, and the year Kristina Keneally found the spare set of keys.

Melbourne trains got an overhaul, Brendan Fevola got pissed and lost his shit at the Brownlows, and Nate Myles got pissed and actually took a shit in a hotel corridor. The British Supreme Court ruling against the Jewish Free School told us how to be Jewish, and John Safran’s Race Relations showed us how to be crude – ish.

Settlements, Satire, Sexting and Sagging – we remember 2009. Another year older, but not necessarily wiser. Except for Ron Weiser. That guy is a champion.



You Can’t Stop the Music
November 20, 2009, 8:24 AM
Filed under: Comment, Israel | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Usually my Thursdays are a mixture of Glee-ful indulgence and some kind of beer-based afternoon beverage, but yesterday I pushed my cultural boundaries and instead of watching over-styled pop-musical theatre on a box, I sat in a blissfully cool auditorium and listened to The Jerusalem Quartet and Zvi Plesser.

For those not of the classical music ilk, the Quartet is four guys with string instruments, blasting out Handel, Schubert and Vine. Zvi Plesser is an Israeli cellist with a 200-year-old cello and hands that are insured for a small fortune – a Julliard graduate, and all round musical genius. Zvi was brought out to Australia especially, but Musica Viva have counted Alexander Pavlolvsky, Sergei Bresler, Amichai Grosz and Kyril Zlotnikov as Quartet in residence for the past four years, and this concert series was their farewell to Australian audiences across the country.

Bringing down the average age of the audience by about 40 years, I turned up on a stinking hot afternoon, and while I was waiting for my friend to turn up with tickets, I noticed three middle-aged ladies with placards and pamphlets congregating near the entrance. Yep, you guessed it, the protestors were out in force, and after a few minutes, a fourth joined her fellow rabble rouser posse, and they proceeded to hand out flyers to patrons entering the venue.

So after unsubtly walking past a couple of times, I eventually went over and asked for a flyer.

“We do hope you enjoy the Jerusalem Quartet’s performance this evening. Music can so lift up the spirit!” read the opening sentence. Apparently it’s also a propaganda tool used by governments to reel you in with promises of beautiful cello duets and sexy Russian men who know how to gently rest a lady-shaped instrument on their shoulders, and then leave you with convenient impressions that everyone in Jerusalem plays the viola and can read music.

WRONG.

I am all for diplomatic/economic/political sanctions on a country, but you cannot tell me that boycotting (read: refusing to attend, not being unable to afford to attend) a music recital, or film, or concert series will in any way be a useful, effective means of voicing your concern with that country’s government policy.

Boycotts are not a useful, meaningful way of engaging with an issue or igniting the passion of the masses – it is a complete disengagement, a refusal to enter into discussion, and a means of stifling debate. It tells our children that some people are not worth talking to, or being heard – and that is not the way to inspire tolerance and understanding in the next generation. If Barack “Talkin’ bout a revolution” Obama is right, the only way forward is not through cultural boycotts, but through measured and sincere dialogue.

With that being said, if you are going to boycott a nation-state’s musicians and artists, you better be aware of what it is you are giving up – amongst other things, like a ripsnorter of a night out, getting crunk to Schubert y’all.



For Shame
November 11, 2009, 10:28 AM
Filed under: Comment | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Remembrance Day is a sacred part of Australian culture and history. There is nothing more spine chilling than a nation stopping on the 11th day of the 11th month, at the 11th hour, to remember their fallen sons, brothers, fathers and friends. 

Even as I stood for a minutes silent reflection, I found myself moved to tears at the awesome sacrifice over 102 000 people have made in the name of our country. It is an overwhelming act for many people, and an all to real one for others.

But standing at work is not the only way to mark Remembrance Day. I was only 19, beautifully re-created by Australian hip hop group The Herd(here), the power of Laurence Binyon’s poem, For The Fallen, and services at Australian War Memorial in Canberra have long been a means to remember our fallen soldiers.

But how on earth did the Queensland Retired Servicemens League imagine a RINGTONE would be an appropriate, respectful, and tasteful way to bring Remembrance Day into the 21st Century?

Disgusting.