Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

(S)kin: Hookahs and Nudes

SUBJECT: An Exploration of the Appropriate Matter for Art

Isramerica: Sisters Doin' It Right

When Sivan first approached A4I about co-sponsoring their inaugural show, we were skeptical. Literally coming out of nowhere, she, Sharon and the other ladies had an ambitious dream that seemed too grand for anyone (no matter how talented) to pull off. But, there is never enough good, Jewish art and an opportunity to see more and to watch these young women shape and mold it into a professional performance of epic proportions was irresistible.

They met, then exceeded, then literally shattered all our expectations. We witnessed a true "moment" in theater and performance, seeing the height of the talent offered by the ex-patriate community displayed with grace and excitement.

The second show has ambitions to top even that.

I am worried I won't have the adjectives to praise the next one enough. But, I accept the challenge.

Buy your tickets now. It will be worth it.

Jersey Shore, Pauly D and one messed up Israeli

It was about time. With all the cliches and stereotypes being justified live on the Jersey Shore, I knew that it couldn't be long before some other races and religions (even the hair-gelless ones) got involved. Enter an embarrassing caricature of an Israeli woman who is best and most often described as Pauly D's stalker.

Luckily, Pauly D demonstrates a breadth of true understanding about Israel when he says: "They wouldn't like me over there. I got a cross on my arm." Although, that is only what I think he said - the Marlon Brando, pasta-in-the-gums accent made it hard to decipher.

Hey Pauly - Christians like Israel too. And Israelis like Christians. Let me put this in words you understand. Sometimes you need to shoot the steroids right into the bicep. Other times, you shoot it between your toes. It is still the same steroid...understand?

P.S. Peace to the Fat Jew, the only good member of Team Facelift for the above interview with The Situation.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Propaganda can be very boring

A tool of Hamas propaganda in Gaza has created an art show commemorating the erroneous number of terrorists killed during Hamas' war with Israel last year.

It is odd to me that in an area of such poverty, corruption and hate, every single "artist" only knows how to insult Israel.

Well, allow me to insult him back.

Does everyone in Gaza look the same?

Thank you and I'm done.

Dear Israel, Let Us Paint The Fence

On the other side of the fence, the terrorists who had once crossed indiscriminately into Israel, threatening buses, pizza parlors and innocent men and women, have turned themselves into artists. Now, they paint the security fence and receive international recognition for it. By claiming the spotlight in this regard, they insure that they determine the narrative of the debate and the news parrot their ridiculous jargon.

This is a sorry state of affairs. The fence is an unfortunate but necessary situation. It has effectively reduced suicide bombing attacks by over 90%. It protects people. Period.

But, it is there. And, until Israel is willing to let artists and groups such as A4I paint messages of support and hope along the Israeli side, it will continue to be misrepresented in the media.

We beg for this opportunity.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Evgeny Kissin gets it very, very right

Evgeny Kissin, considered to be one of the world's greatest pianists has stood up against the BBC's anti-Israel bias and wrote a letter detailing many of Israel's beauties and strength. An honor.

More information HERE

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Teddy Pendergrass & Israel

I can't find any connection between Teddy and Israel. So, I lack an excuse for posting this other than the fact that we are all tied together by our mortality. R.I.P. Teddy.

Now, indulge me for a minute. Imagine if Teddy was an Israeli army officer or politician. There would be no more war.

"Close the door. Uh. Stop shooting at us. Yeah. Give it up! Give it up! Ooooow! No more war! No more fighting! Yeeeeah."

And, like that - peace.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Better Late Than Never

A4I performers at Joint-CUNY Hanukah party. Peace to Adam - the world's slowest photographer.

Daniel vs. Goliath: Daniel Ayalon Ain't Takin' No Shorts This Year

Daniel Ayalon, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister will slap you in your face, call you Sally and then say "deal with it."

A throwback to the old guard of Israeli government official who had more pride than he did political correctness and who knew that Israel must be strong and unbowed against the many enemies that wish to harm it, Daniel Ayalon decided to take a stand against anti-Semitism and against the way other countries manipulate the arts and the press to harm Israel.

After Turkey aired a highly defaming t.v. show about Israel, Danny Boy summoned the Turkish foreign minister to a meeting. At this televised meeting, he made it quite clear that: 1. Only the Israeli flag was present, not the Turkish flag, 2. The Turkish politician was sitting in a much lower chair than Big Danny and 3. that Mr. Ayalon neither smiled nor shook the Turk's hand.

To you and I this might seem all rather silly, as if it were a teenage girl discussing getting snubbed at the Sadie Hawkins Dance. But, in the Gossip Girl world of foreign diplomacy, these gestures are as sharp as a Kassam to the eye.

Avigdor Leiberman, the Foreign Minister (and potentially only hope for Israeli strength) offered a very half-hearted apology which was, itself, more of an insult. Ayalon is still in his position and Turkey is taking its ball and running home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Morally Degenerate

According to a story in Haaretz, a Palestinian homosexual has been granted a waiver to live in Israel out of fear that returning to Gaza would cause his death. Apparently, the Arab dictator, terrorists who run that area are not too keen on civil rights. Neither are the people:

Speaking to Haaretz, he said that "in other times, when they brought me to the roadblock the entire village chased me and beat me, and nearly killed me.

"Palestinian" law declares homosexuality "morally degenerate." We declare such laws "morally bankrupt."

A4I applauds Israel's tolerance and protection of all human rights.

FOE = Freedom of Expression

A poll by the respected Near East Consulting agency found that over 50% of Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank (and under Arab, "Palestinian" control) believe they do not have full freedom of expression.

The other 40 plus percent were probably lying out of fear of being punished, arrested or killed for speaking out against their terrorist, Arab dictator overlords.

As Artists, we are saddened by this terrible situation.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Meek Met

It has happened so many times now that I can not bother to muster the excitement or righteous indignation that would normally be brought about by news such as this. It is no longer shocking and while still scary, the attempts at self-censorship by America's most proud and prestigious art and culture institutions, are so commonplace that I fear I am becoming immune.

So, I won't call this post The Evil Met or the The Cowardly Metropolitan Museum of Art. Seems that the Met isn't even under any kind of real threat, actual or imagined. It is all so trite now - rather boring actually.

Afraid to offend Muslims, the Met has pulled images of Mohammed from its Islamic Art section.


Freedom is just another word for EVERYTHING to lose. The Arab Writers Union Fiasco

As is being reported HERE and HERE, the Arab Writers Union has a formed a bureau (the political kind, not the kind used for storing dirty laundry) to prevent the "normalization of cultural ties with Israel."

How normal is it to be so fearful of the power of ideas that you must spend so much time, energy and money on making absolute certain those ideas don't spread.

Does this not seem contradictory to the purpose of a "writer?" Isn't the very essence of a writer his ability to spread ideas, to influence culture, to normalize and understand that which is little known or poorly understood?

As is the case with most Arab melodrama, this has the requisite idiocy to lull you into a false sense of complacency. In this instance, that means that one of the chief concerns of this Bureau is that Hebrew words not get adopted into the Arab lexicon. Lucky for Israel, Yiddish is much more pervasive - we should have Arab children saying "tuchus" and "schlep" any day now!

But, don't allow the insanity of the above to hide from the very real, pernicious evil that is being attempted here. This is good ol' fashion brainwashing at its core. This is cultural imperialism. This is the very reason that when my friends ask me why the two sides "can't just stop fighting" my answer is and must remain: ask them.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Experiment is a Success! Love and Licenses wins!

Off Broadway, Experimental Theater in Support of Israel.

A4I constantly on the next level.

Sold out performance. Opened auxiliary seating for another 100 chairs.

Diverse crowd from ages 15 to 55. For many, this was their first time hearing about Israel. For others, this was a changing of the guard. Important Jewish leaders recognizing the importance of A4I.

It could not have been done without Seth Wolfson, Tara Gordon, Marianne Pane, Racquel Reinstein, Alicia Post and many, many others.

Thank you to the CSS for their diligence.

To the old man who was disgusted by the "unnatural" gay kissing scene. Wake up, times are different. Israel defends all rights, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. No one else is effectively reaching out to the gay community. A4I is.

Equity - hahaha. Who shot ya!?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Demonstrative of the Demon

Sometimes, it is the little things that explain the biggest concepts.

The head of Iran's Soccer Federation has apologized and the Head of Iran's Soccer Federation Foreign Relations Department has resigned over accidently sending a generic Season's Greetings card to their counterparts in Israel.

Not even the most silly civilities are allowed.