They Found a Way to Make Dystopia Worse

Some Hunger Games “fans” were outraged upon seeing that one of the more beloved characters of the first installment, Rue – a twelve year old tribute from District 11 (you can guess what happens to her, so I don’t have to spoil it – although the book has been out for about four years, and it’s about a bunch of kids killing each other, but I digress) – is portrayed by Amandla Stenberg. Why? If you said because she’s african-american then you’re right on the money. Continue reading

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George Deserved Better

During the weekend I went to catch a screening of Martin Scorsese’s depiction of George Harrison – Living In A Material World. George has always been my favorite Beatle, I’ve admired his unique but alas too rare contributions to the Beatles’ seemingly endless catalogue. When Sir Paul McCartney played here in Tel Aviv, the most meaningful and resonating moment for me was when he brought out a ukelele and did a rendition of Something, dedicating it to George.

Even knowing the movie was intended to be a two-parter (and has a running time of 208 minutes) and yet the cinematheque was insisting on showing it back to back with no intermission, did not deter me. All the reviews I had read were filled with praise and Saturdays at noon time are meant for this sort of outing. Continue reading

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Putting My Possessions Where My Mouth Is

Two weeks ago I declared 2012 to be the year I consume less and become less materialistic. The main reasons being money and some sort of amoral imperative I can’t articulate without sounding like a pompous asshole. I have since realized that I seem to be a bit late to the party. People world-wide have been implementing all sorts of schemes to overcome our basic urge to have. Yielding the conclusion: nowadays, we tend to crave access and not ownership. And here Collaborative Consumption comes into play. It’s something we all do on a regular basis but at a small scale, lending to other people and borrowing when needed, instead of buying. Continue reading

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Resolutions (What Are They Good For? Absolutely Nothing)

I hereby proclaim 2012 to be the year I stop buying crap. I’ve always been more of an emotional eater than buyer, but still I do buy quite a lot of useless junk (I didn’t mean you, my trusty laptop, please don’t make a fuss and breakdown now, you’ll only be proving my point) and as income drops, cuts need to be made.

But this is also a deeper, more complicated issue, since materialistic society has driven earth dwellers to a situation that few would argue is better off. Materialism tends to lead to exploitation and depression, as the impulse to always want more becomes embedded in our day to day life.
I already have more than I can chew at the moment: a macbook, an ipod, a smartphone, a desktop computer, countless books and cds, enough clothes to not do laundry for more than three weeks. I think I’m set.

I’m gonna try and instead of having a 30 day challenge, which will inevitably be followed with extreme shopping at the mall, to actively change my lifestyle. No buying of anything that is not imperatively needed. I’ll try to make whatever I own work and to be a better consumer. Scratch that, from now on I cease to be defined as a consumer.

I wonder how long this will last.

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Easily Overlooked

Aside from toppling dictators and civilian uprising, 2011 managed to produce a few good things that seemed to have escaped the public’s eye. Some are large scale ones, and some effected just one person, all very uplifting. So in case these flew under your radar I present “Things you probably missed in 2011 (because you were too busy wondering what the hell is going on)” :  Continue reading

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Best of “Things” of 2011

The year that is coming to an end, hasn’t been the best one on the macro level – totalitarian regimes shooting at their own civilians, markets collapsing, democracy slipping out of our fingers, the Kardashians. But still, there were a few very random things that will make me look back with fondness when I think about 2011.

This is in no particular order. (Update: This is now in the order the bf suggested) Continue reading

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Taking A Stand

This summer we experienced a social waking-up, I’m afraid the winter has put us into deep slumber again. Prices haven’t really dropped – 2 shekels less on cottage cheese doesn’t really add up to as much as people thought it would. Weird laws keep popping up like mushrooms after the rain, like an attempt to make electricity Kosher or restricting

mosques from operating their muezzin call or limiting journalistic freedom. These do seem to add up. We’re becoming a country that no longer appreciates its democracy, who’d rather trample on people’s rights than try to restrain fringe elements. I was shocked when a member of parliament didn’t feel ashamed to be advocating McCarthyism (the term for reckless, unsubstantiated accusations? That McCarthyism?). All the while, citizens, who apparently should not be called terrorists, are terrorizing not only the Arab community, or leftist activists, but also high ranking uniform wearers.
It feels as is it’s all going to hell.

Up until now I’ve felt more preoccupied with my personal plights than with the need to occupy Rothschild. But this week I’ve found myself making a step towards regaining my voice. Why do people, who don’t represent my peers and me, determine the environment where I’ll raise my children? Why should the extremists or populists govern?

The system of our politics has created a situation in which the few rule the many. If you register to a major party, you get to select the people from whom the rest of the country chooses its delegates. That basically means that our votes count as less. That if a few thousand people get together they can put a candidate in a viable spot, come next election. That’s how most of the nut-jobs currently on government payroll got there. So why not have our own “nut-job”? Why not finally use the system to get people who are not raging fascists, proclaiming to be patriots, into the Knesset?
The buck stops here.

In a year and a half the strongest party in Israel, the Likud, is going to hold its primary election. It’s probable that the first 20 elected will actually serve a term in parliament. Instead of having the “honorable” Akunis and his likes elected again, let’s show how idiotic the current system is.

Gil Kidron is doing just that. He’s running with the hopes of being the first ever left-winged candidate in the Likud’s list (It all seems very Stephen Colbert). He vows, if he’s ever elected, to uphold the principles of democracy and social equality. Nothing more, nothing less – that is to say, just right. You can register (here) for 64 shekels a year and buy yourself a second vote in the upcoming election. 64 shekels and you get to flip the bird to all the people who are threatening the fabric our democracy. It seems like a fair price.

Election reform has to take place, until that happens, if the system is f**ked – perhaps it’s time to f**k the system.

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