Self Preservation Keeps the Crowd Alive

Last night Hadar told me a bedtime story. Something about entropy, quantum mechanics and waves of light with changing amplitudes. She’s clever. Today she told me that she never saw me falling asleep so quickly.

When i was about five years old, my sister Olga, who was in highschool at the time, read to me something from her physics book. It was a chapter about some experiment with a surface which magnetized or electrified or something like that, and to which nails are stuck at the bottom, and when the magnetic power decreases, the nails start falling one by one.

Actually i just bullshitted you, i have no idea what that chapter was about, but i remember a picture that went something like this:

nails falling from the table

Olga read that chapter to me and in the end i asked her: “Could you please read it to me again? There’s something i didn’t understand.” Everyone in my family remembers that and we laugh about it from time to time. I told Hadar this story. She said: “I can’t believe it! You told her that there’s ‘something you didn’t understand’?! You bullshited people back when you were five years old!”


Gathering Moss 17 – Belarus

Israeli dysfunctional democracy often reminds me of its Russian counterpart. There, too, is the leader and some bland party with no ideology. The party’s name changes from time to time, but most of the people in the middle remain the same. Once they used to call themselves communists, then democrats, now they don’t bother to call themselves anything. They just support Putin. It’s very important that Putin will remain in power, they say.

And there are a lot of other parties, other politicians with many ideas – the “liberal-democrat” Zhirinovsky, the communist nationalist Zjuganov, the social-democrat Yavlinsky, the democrats Nemtsov and Hakamada. There’s also a bunch of conservative antisemites. There’s some fuss about all of them, but somehow none of them is in power and the faceless “nomenclature” president-backing party always rules. Sometimes it even adopts the little politicians’ ideas and takes all the credit. Really very similar to Israel.

But yesterday i understood that we have another political twin – Belarus. They are having elections soon too. The current president, Lukashenk(o|a), will likely win, without the need for too much falsification. Everyone all over the world seems to hate him, but Belarusians keep voting for him. He’s conservative, he’s populist, he’s deeply rooted in Soviet culture, he develops a minor personality cult. He has some actual achievements to show. It is reported that the economy is perceived as stable and unemployment is not disastrous. Free speech and Belarusian national identity are in a bad shape, but the public doesn’t care about it. Now here’s the most striking resemblance to Israel: Lukashenko is said not to invest much effort in an actual campaign, because he’s busy running the country. And that’s just what Olmert says. His Kadima party is barely three months old, but he successfully positioned it as the ruling party. A party with National Responsibility! And change, in this case, wouldn’t be any good. “Me and Tzipi Livni are so busy running the country that we don’t have time to campaign. We don’t bother to promise you anything, because we all know that politicians’ promises aren’t worth anything. So just vote for us and let’s get over these elections. Who needs elections anyway.”

Gathering Moss 17 – Sad

The situation with Bibi Netanyahu is sad. As far as actions go, he’s actually doing quite alright – he’s doing his best efforts to amend the Likud constitution so that it will become more democratic and transparent and less corrupt and he’s trying to portray himself as consistent, responsible and serious. That’s good public relations work. But his actual campaigning is a disaster. His billboards suck – “Netanyahu. Strong against Hamas”. How much did he pay the copywriters for that crap? The newer one says – “Smolmert gives money to Hamas”. “Smolmert” is a wordplay on “Olmert” and “Smol”, which means “left” and it is absolutely pathetic. (Hmm, it can be spelled “Smallmert” in English … i pinch.) Likud now even uses “Smolmert” in all its “press releases”. Which is even more pathetic.

And you should really spare yourself from the sad sight which is the renewed Likud website.

Of all the PM candidates, i guess that i haven’t got much choice but supporting him and i actually believe that he has a tiny chance.

Just kidding.

Gathering Moss 17 – Yes

Unlike Lieberman‘s people, Kadima party’s advertisers don’t take any smartass risks. They have virtual slogans. In Hebrew it’s “Strong leadership for peace”, which, if you think about it, is so ambigous that it doesn’t really mean anything. It’s funny that their Russian slogan is worded a bit better – “(Kadima) leads Israel to peace”. I could say that the Russian slogan makes the Hebrew one less ambigous, but actually neither one of them means anything. It’s just there, ‘cuz they had to put something. The party name in large bold white letters is the only real slogan there is. And the big letters כן, which is Kadima’s sign at the ballot, and it means “Yes” in Hebrew.

I wonder if Lieberman’s people considered it when they decided on “Da” as the leading slogan.

Everything is so confusing.

Kadima billboard in Hebrew and Russian

This billboard was shot on a bridge in Jerusalem, just a few meters away from Lieberman’s. Notice the orange stripes, still here since the summer of Disengagement.


I registered for OSDC 2006. I received an invitation to join the mailing list. I’ve done it a few days too late. Apparently there was a meal today in Jerusalem and Larry was there!

I feel so stupid. I am Larry Wall’s number one fan. Now to console myself i’ll have to catch him, drug him, tie him to a bed, break his legs and keep an eye on him until he completes Perl 6.

Gathering Moss 17 – No

Avigdor Lieberman’s Our Home Israel party is going to be the “Shinui” of this election – it’s going to be the main secularist party, it is going to get a surprisingly high number of votes (wait and see), it’s going to be the most sought-after party for the coalition, it will get important portfolios – probably Public Security (a.k.a Police) for Lieberman, Ecology for Yuri Stern and maybe also Transport. They will also try to move forward with Lieberman’s “Disengagement from Israeli Arabs” program, in which Israeli Arab towns which are near the border with PA will be just given to PA; it is so logical and pragmatic that it doesn’t stand a chance. And then Lieberman will decide that it’s a matter of time until he’s gonna become a Prime-Minister, he’ll resign from the government for some stupid reason, his party will break up to little pieces and he’ll become a millionaire doing business with Moldova. (Maybe he’ll draft for them a plan of disengagement from Transnistria.) And whoever will be the prime minister at the time will take the credit for all his achievements. It will happen; i didn’t believe until very late that Shinui would break up so badly. But anyway, back to Lieberman.

Today i saw his new billboard. “Who will fight the crime? (Netanyahu) Nyet. (Olmert) Nyet. (Lieberman) Da! DA LIEBERMAN!

Da Lieberman

The Russian words for Yes and No are written in Hebrew characters. Yet this billboard is not indended for the Russian speaking voters – that’s what the numerous Russian newspapers are for. No, this billboard is intended for Israelis that appreciate Lieberman’s Russian … brutality? “Da Lieberman” is not really Russian, just like Shcharansky’s “MVD pad nash control” successful slogan in 1999 was not really Russian; it is cleverly designed to become a buzzword in Hebrew. And it might just work.

Aharoni the Movie Producer

Three movies – or rather adaptations – that i want to produce:

King Matt the First
Janusz Korczak’s most famous novel. Very bleak for a children’s book, but i like the story’s brutal realism.
Locked Room
Based on a novel by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. These unpronounceable names are Swedish. They were a couple of communists who wrote detective stories with a preachy social message. I read a few of them, they were popular(ized) in USSR and i liked the plot of this one – there’s some chick robbing a bank, and some old trade union person found rotting in his apartment, and some incompetent policemen making a connection between the crimes and jailing a bunch of innocent people. But i want to completely change it and adapt it to Israel.
The Demented Motion Picture
This would be a live action version of Brian Kendall’s “The Demented Cartoon Movie”. It is old, but i only watched it last Friday. Yesterday i watched it for the second time and i still thought that it’s funny. If you try to watch it and after five minutes decide that Brian Kendall and me are both complete idiots, you wouldn’t be too wrong.