Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

Bring back the DVD Movie Guide

The DVD Movie Guide is/was a fat book full of short film reviews, with ratings which range from Turkey (really really bad) to five stars. The formal purpose of the book was to help in the decision which movies to rent or buy, but it also served as an indispensable pool of film knowledge, especially thanks to its director/cast indexes, where you could look up who did what and with whom. This was especially helpful in the pre-Internet age, and here lies the rub.

After 22 years the DMG’s publisher, Random House, decided to discontinue the book, citing the internet as the main reason for that. The logic behind it was that since we can find all film information on the net, nobody needs this book anymore. Right?

Wrong.

The DMG was a special book. I’ve been buying and reading it since 1993, when it was still called Video Movie guide. What made the DMG great wasn’t the indexes – those did lose their relevance in the age of IMDB, although it’s still fun to check them out just sitting on a couch with the book at hand, and I still do it from time to time with my old copies – No, the reason was pretty simple: The reviews.

The DVD Movie Guide was always a no-nonsense, down to earth, film review book, with honest, insightful and sometimes damn funny – reviews. While other film reference tomes of its kind, most famous being the Leonard Maltin guide, mainly review films from a critical, even snobbish point of view, what made the DMG special was it being a movie review book by moviegoers for moviegoers. By saying that I don’t mean that the reviews were written lazily or information was partial and wrong, I’m saying the entire approach in reviewing films was that all films no matter their genre, no matter who made them, no matter their subject matter, all deserved a fair chance. What made this book close to my heart was the almost perfect synch it had with my taste. I rarely go wrong by watching a film recommended by this book. that’s not to say that it was always prefect (you can’t honestly except a 100 percent anywhere in life). Few films which received five starts weren’t that perfect in my eyes, and  some films which got two starts deserved better, I thought (that’s where the “guilty pleasure” discussion comes in. On the other hand, a turkey is almost always a turkey). But for the most part I almost always agreed with their reviews.

There are so many movies out there, so when you find a reliable film guide you should hold on to it and treasure it. It becomes your best friend. It helps you separate the good from the bad and it helps you save time. And one more thing, perhaps the most important: What the DMG or any self-respecting film guide does best is not to tell you Casablanca is good and Ishtar is bad. You knew that already. What it needs to do is help you DISCOVER those films you never heard of or thought they were lousy just because of  prejudice or because you didn’t like the poster or the trailer. Not too long ago I persuaded friends to watch the wonderful Hot Fuzz. They weren’t too enthusiastic about it at the beginning. They never heard of the film before and the DVD art looked tacky. They thought it’s just a moronic comedy. Instead they discovered a clever, hilarious spoof of American action films and British rural mysteries. And that’s what DMG has done for me time and time again. Helped me discover those gems that I never heard of or didn’t much care for.

The DMG was edited and partially written by Mick Martin and Marsha Porter. They were assisted by a hardy group of film reviewers. (just like the Maltin guide. Although his face is on the cover, he cannot review everything by himself ). So it’s amazing that DMG managed to stay so consistent over the years. That’s what I call great editing, and the kudos here go to Mick and Marsha.

I had a short e-mail correspondence with Mick Martin where he explained to me what happened. DMG was discontinued on September 2006, right around the time when the last edition was published. He and Marsha tried their best to find another publisher but to no avail. DMG has its fans. People want it back. The decision to cancel it, while Maltin’s and other yearly review books keep being published is a real shame.

They’ve cancelled the best film reference book out there.

I don’t know if there was decline in sales. I don’t know if it’s for other reasons. I just know that the reason Random House gave Mick Martin was “because you can get it for free on the Internet”. I’m a heavy Internet user. I spend a lot of hours on-line, whether it’s at work or at home, and unless you’re a webmaster and that’s your job, I don’t think anyone ruins his posture in front of a computer more than I do. And if I’m ready to keep buying the DMG than I can’t imagine anyone else not doing the same thing.

“You can’t stop progress”, someone might say. “Books are a way of the past”, someone else might add. Well, screw that. (Yeah, I’m talking to you, Kindle).

DMG writers used to do something unique (at least as far as I know): Although it was extremely rare, from time to time they used to change a movie’s rating, their reasons being because times change, points of view change, or maybe a “movie just caught us on a bad day”. It’s a remarkably humble statement for a “critical” reference book.

Too bad Random House won’t do the same for them.

Any other publisher out there? Come on, people.

We’ll give you five stars,

No flying cars

2009 is here, and there are still no flying cars to be found anywhere. How disappointing. Other than that, things are par-for-the-course for the human race. You’ve probably heard about all of it already. Economy in depression, first black president etc etc. (Go Obama).

Sadly, everything is also par-for-the-course in my homeland, where Israelis and Palestinians have welcomed the new year with a new mini-war.  We bombard them with big missiles and they respond with small but persistent missiles. (they started it though. The whole thing is very childish in essence). Half a million Israelis are in the line of fire, including members of my family. I wish I was wrong, but I do believe there is no real military solution for this unending conflict. Israel’s greatest military triumphs were always when it was the underdog, attacked by two or three armies, significantly outnumbered. As in the War Of Independence and the Six Day War. On the other hand, whenever it was the big and strong IDF against terrorists, the result was usually bloody and frustrating without real victories achieved. That is because an army is ill-equipped to handle guerrilla warfare, as history showed us again and again.
The same goes for the current round of blows. Although we are fighting a vicious terrorist organization hiding among innocent civilians, the mere fact that we attack it with fighter airplanes immediately puts it in the underdog position, which is just plain wrong. The solution should and must come through political and international channels and the only way this could ever happen is if we’ll have brave politicians from both sides who will truly want this mayhem to stop.
Don’t hold your breath, though.

I sure yearn for the age of the flying car. For me, it was always a representation of a smoother, utopian future. Huge skyscrapers towering and the sun is setting behind them, and streamlined, silent, flying cars swish between them like graceful ballerinas. But I’ve come to accept reality. It’s more likely that we won’t have cars at all in the future than flying cars. And hey, I’m pro-environment, so there.

In a screenplay I’m working on right now, which takes places in the early years of the 22nd century, there are no flying cars to be found at all. Instead, I’ve extrapolated on the future use of cell phones, the Internet and first aid kits. Oh, and nobody wears glasses anymore. But flying cars? Give me a break. It’s not safe anyway. How is that supposed to work? will we have lanes and exits in midair? Just think of the headache that will cause people living in penthouses. You live on the 80th floor and there’s a traffic jam outside your window. Ouch.

It makes me sad that Israel is the only democracy in the world which still has military conflicts at its borders on a regular basis, with direct influence on civilian population. Sure, the US, along with other western nations, is engaged in a conflict in Iraq, but those wars aren’t fought in the US or Canada or the UK or France. People don’t need to go to shelters. As a result, and although Israel is one of the leading nations in cutting edge scientific research in the world  – if you were an alien landing here and you watched the media the immediate impression you would get about Israel is that while the other nations’ attention is spent on things like global warming and recycling and stem cell research, and, well, cutting-edge science, Israel is still knee deep in war and destruction, like time just froze for us back in the 1970’s. What’s the solution? there’s no easy solution. It’s just the way things are, and it’s not looking like they’re going to change soon.

Would that same hypothetical alien be surprised to find out people are not using flying cars in the 21st century like they do on his home planet? Maybe. Maybe not. What will he report back to his Mother Ship when landing here on  the morning of the first day of 2009? I think it will go something like this:

“Have initiated first contact with a peculiar life form. Its speech is slurred and its vomiting all the time. It keeps saying something that sounds like  “hangover”. All in all, it doesn’t look too impressive. Apparently it thinks its imagining me. How very peculiar. And insulting, I might add.” And then he will just swish away in his small aircraft and mutter to himself about setting his expectations too high.

Join the club, brother.

Winter is Coming

Ha. There we go again. How’s that Weather Girls song goes? “Humidity is rising, barometer’s getting low”. Only in Toronto it doesn’t rain in the winter, is snows and freezes.

We had a fairly wet, cool summer. Now it’s fall, and it starts getting colder and colder. Last winter was very hard for me. Up to that point, the coldest temperatures I’ve ever experienced were -5c, so it’s understandable that finding myself in -15, -20 territory was a… revelation.

As a general rule, I dislike coats and sweaters and layers of clothing. I feel most natural in a t-shirt. The immense cold of the Toronto winter, including the lack of sun, has had a real effect on my mood last year, and when spring finally came, I felt as if I’ve awakened from a deep slumber.

The winter actually scares me. I remember quite well how I roamed (stupidly) around the streets last November without any head cover and lost sensation in my ears. I remember walking up Bathurst street, arriving to the streetcar stop, and trying to ask someone something, only to realize my jaw is numb and no words, only gurgles, are issuing forth from it. I remember going out on Christmas Eve and taking off my gloves and taking out my camera to snap some photos at the ice rink next city hall – and it was so cold that I couldn’t hold the camera for more than a few seconds.

It might well be I’m overly sensitive because I hail from a warm country, but it doesn’t change the fact that I suddenly feel this sudden urge to book a ticket to California and come back in March. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love the snow and all – it was the best part of the winter, although it too overstayed its welcome – but this is really going too far.

One of my great pleasures is too just walk. To walk around town and see places. And no, I haven’t yet seen everything Toronto has to offer. In the winter you just can’t do that. You hurry from one warm place to another, trying to minimize your outdoor time as much as possible. So that sucks, because you get four months where you’re an indoor prisoner. I don’t even remember where I walked or what I did last winter. It’s all a blur. To me, it was if I experienced one long snowy, frozen month. Come on, No human is meant to experience this shit. Why can’t we do like bears and hibernate?

The funny thing is Toronto got it the easiest compared to the rest of Canada. To other Canadians, we’re like a friggin’ resort town in February. It’s true what they say, that everything is relative.

There’s only one thing i can’t understand: Where do all the squirrels dissappear to for four months?

But that is for another post.

You can leave your hat on

The fetish that many North-Americans have towards their baseball hats is a well-known fact, but recently I’ve begun paying attention to a peculiar thing. It seems that with some people, the caps have been sewn to their heads.

I work in an office that requires you put headphones while you work. Now, these guys (and not only guys) just don’t take their hats off. They just sit there, with the headphones over their hats. Not heads. Hats. This led me to one unavoidable conclusion:

They wish to become Jewish.

Religious Jews on all levels, from the ultra-orthodox to the Yeshiva boys, wear a head cover at all time, except when sleeping and showering. I guess those dudes handle their baseball caps the same way. In Judaism, the head cover is a sign of awe towards god, a kind of admittance to our humility in the presence of the divine. At this point, profusely used baseball caps may signify nothing more than nostalgia towards the Red Sox, but I have a feeling that that will change and that soon we will see talits, or praying shawls, sticking from underneath the T-shirts. I mean, insistent head cover in not-at-all-sunny conditions. What else could it be but a sweeping movement towards joining the chosen people?

Well, sure. Baseball caps might be just a form of a “cool” hairpiece, maybe to cover up baldness, or to impress the ladies, or not have the headphones scrape your skull, but I stick by my Judaism theory. It makes much more sense.

And let’s not forget those annoying people that arrive at the cinema, and watch the movie, with their hats on. Why… aren’t… you… taking… your… hats… off, for crying out very loud?
WHY ARE YOU SITTING IN THE MOVIE HOUSE WITH A HAT? TO BLOCK THE SCREEN BETTER?

In the 18th and 19th century, hats were part of the fashion lingo. Men and women wore hats all the time. Especially men. BUT, and that’s a big but, whenever a man went inside a building, met a woman, talked to his elderly father, went into a meeting with his financial partners, he ALWAYS took off his hat.
Nowadays, forget it. You won’t see them without hats. But you will see them with their hats turned. Like, in reverse. Like, the other way around.

Why oh why do people wear their hats the other way around? It’s the same thing as that habit of wearing shirts turned inside-out. It’s considered cool, or at least was considered cool back in the 1980’s. What’s next? Shall we all wear our shoes on out hands? Why not walk the streets with our underwear on our heads? I mean, that would make us look cool! different! We stuck it to the man. We transported items of clothing from their original function. We have staked our claim in this world. We will NOT be told how to wear our clothes, because this is a democracy. Have people wore their sable hats backwards in Russia during Brezhnev’s Rule? I don’t think so!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go have a shower with my coat.

A goes into B

The following article contains explicit language and mature subject matter.

Porn isn’t about sex. It’s certainly not about people. Porn is about organs.

Great, you might say. The celebration of the human reproductive organs up-close-and-personal.

Yeah, if only it had been so poetic.

I guess someone, somewhere, thinks that watching extreme close-ups of male-female sex organs having it on is pure bliss. I guess someone thinks that seeing a guy comes all over a woman’s face is really sexy. You see those porn girls staring at a cock as if it’s the best thing they’ve ever seen in their life. They’ve been to the Pyramids, they’ve been to Mt. Rushmore, they hiked through the Amazon, but they’ve never seen anything as amazing as that ugly cock standing at attention. I’ve never seen a guy staring at a woman’s vagina with such adoring fascination.

No, guys in porn are nothing but human fucking machines. Most of the time you don’t even see their faces, because their faces are not important. It’s the dehumanizing aspect of hard-core porn that makes it so unsettling. After you watch that stuff for more then two minutes you feel like taking a bath. Not because you soiled your pants, but because you feel dirty. That’s why they call movies like Hostel “torture porn”. It has the same unpleasant dehumanizing effect, but it uses violence instead of sex.

This kind of porn is not sexy, it’s mechanic and soulless, reducing the act of sex to an industrial equation: Here’s a hole. This contraption needs to enter that hole. It’s like a game of building blocks. And yet, there is immense built-in fascination with porn. It seems forbidden, that’s what it is. Every time you watch porn you feel like you really shouldn’t be doing that. That every minute the Behave-Yourself Police is going to storm in and arrest you. In a repressed world such as the one we inhabit, porn can be very liberating. It frees your dark, naughty side. It lets you play forbidden games. That is why it’s so popular. It has a powerful psychological attraction. Nobody really needs porn to jack off. Hard-core Porn is first and foremost a psychological outlet for repressed urges, and only then does it serves as a titillating vehicle.

But again, everything has a limit. Woody Allen once said that when he watches a porn film, for the first half all he wants to do is have sex while for the second half the last thing he wants to do is have sex. What that means is that at the bottom line, porn is boring, especially in long increments. I don’t know who can sit and watch a 90 minute long porn movie. Porn really gets repetitive after a while. Sure, there are high class productions shot on tropical islands just for the eye candy, but basically it’s all the same. Holes and cocks.

Porn is empowering women and demeaning them at the same time. And anyway, men are really redundant. Who needs to see them, lumbering into the room with their phallic appendages hanging like some freakish mutant sausage and then start humping the woman with the gentleness of a bull. And indeed, this stuff reminds me a lot of nature films, where the male lion climbs on the lioness and starts humping her.

Maybe porn is just a nature show, only with humans. We are like the animals, humping each other in a matter of fact way with no emotion whatsoever because that’s what nature, or a fat check, drives us to do. But we are people, and yes, not all sex derives out of love or emotional ties. Sometimes it’s pure impulse, purely physical, but we, as humans, are bound to feel empty the morning after because, admit it or not, we all eventually seek the warmth and pleasure of love, compassion and mutual understanding. In porn there’s no love. Porn has only holes, and organs, and bodily fluids, as if people are pieces of meat. Why do people get off on seeing that? When Rita Hayworth pulled out her glove in Gilda it was much sexier than the entire running time of College Bimbos 17.

In Horror films, when you don’t see the monster and have to imagine it, it’s making it more scary. The same principal works, or should work, in porn. Because the more you see, the more you get bored and unimpressed. It’s the unseen that is really sexy. If in horror you have a glimpse of a shadow, in Erotica you have the glimpse of a leg, a fleeting lock of hair, a bare shoulder. That’s why strippers are such a hoot. It’s the taking-of-the-clothes part that drives men crazy. But the minute she’s naked? You stare at her for a second and then… Yawn. Let’s go home. Nothing to see here, folks.

Hard-core porn is adult entertainment for those who don’t want to discover anything by themselves, for the short-attention-span ones, for those who’s seen it all and nothing but women having it with zebras will give them satisfaction. All they want are the organs. Bring us the organs. We want to watch organ A enters organ B. Yes, we like it. It’s really sexy.

Now all we need is Sir David Attenborough narrating.

Animal Farce

Why is it that people use the word “animals” to describe some negative human activity?

“They raided the village, pillaged and murdred. They were like animals”.

That’s really not fair to the animals. Animals have no sinister motives. Animals don’t kill for the sake of killing. Animals don’t hurt other animals just for the hell of it. Animals don’t know hate.

I think we confuse violence with wildness. Sure, wolves and tigers kill in cruel ways, but they do it in order to survive. Does men only kill one another to survive? Of course not.

The sad truth is that there is nothing to compare human cruelty too. Mankind’s super-evolved brain and self-awarness has always been its blessing and its curse. The same mind that is capable of reaching amazing, creative heights is also capable of plunging to horrendous, violent lows. Whether originating by pre-meditated, cruel calculating or by a mentally-ill mind, human violence and cruelty belongs to us humans and us alone.

So when trying to describe acts of barbarism, don’t say “they acted like animals”, because they acted like human beings. Maybe that’s something that is hard to grasp. That human beings are capable of doing things like genocide and the Holocaust.  Maybe we have to compare it to something else, because the naked truth is too hard to take, to believe, so we use the wildness of animals as the closest thing that resembles it.

But that is doing ill-service to the animals. It paints them, in the eyes of some not-so-bright individuals, as evil vermin, hence the disrespect and cruelty a lot of humans show towards animals.

Leave the animals be. They do not know greed, jealousy and hate. They are what they are, an in many respects, they are much better than us.  

The unbearable lightness of clicking

It’s a seasonal thing. Before, there was myspace.com, now there’s facebook.com, and tomorrow there will be another one, a different one.

Websites that are supposed to connect people. You register, write about yourself, post a picture or two, and then you can invite “friends” or get in touch with “friends”. or do whatever with your “friends”. That’s right, the word “friend” is meaningless here.

Hordes of people register in those sites, each of them has friends. Do these friends actually meet and do stuff together? Usually not. They are just friends there in the virtual world. What is the point of that? What need do I have for some grinning fool to post his picture in my page and call himself a friend? Becuase we both like the Beatless?

You can be on Myspace.com and have a long list of friends. Does it matter? No, it’s meaningless. You still sit at home alone on the weekend. There’s nothing more pathetic than sit alone in your house in front of the computer screen and look at all your “friends”.

Meeting on the Net and in the real world are different as night and day. Look at e-mail, for example. It’s a great tool for connecting people, but also for alienating them. I stopped counting the number of times I sent an e-mail and didn’t recieve a reply. And I’m not talking about e-mails sent to huge corporations which are swamped and can’t possibly answer everyone, but for e-mails sent to individual, private people.

The truth of the matter is that people don’t regard e-mail as an actual mail. It’s much easier to dismiss a pile of words on your computer screen then a physical paper on your desk, which is ironic, since it should be the other way around. After all, with a real letter, you have to put it in an envelope, post stamp it, and go to the mail box. Using your legs. The thing is that an e-mail is a far more widespread form of communication than snail mail ever was. When we used to have pen-pals we waited each day for a letter to arrive, tracking the mail man as he crossed the street to our house. And when we got a letter – oh, what a joy, what a special occasion. It was much harder turning your back to an actual letter. I mean, the person that sent it to you actually sat down, wrote it with a pen or pencil and sent it to you. Actually went ahead and dropped it in the box. That’s got to count for something, doesn’t it?

The internet is simulteaously a great tool for connecting people and alieniting them. E-mails are a woefully impersonal way of communication, and all your friends in “social networks” sites don’t mean shit at the end of the day.

One more peculiar thing with e-mails is the “how to end a correspondence” phenomenon. Many times, when you e-mail back and forth with someone, a conversation forms. And a lot of times it goes on much further than it should have, just because no one really knows how to end it. “Should I be the last to answer? Should I say “Ok, so I’ll talk to you tomorrow?” Usually, it just ends when one side stops writing arbitrarily, making both sides happy in the process. Gee, I tell you. This e-mail thing. Either you write too little or too much. And if you think you can actually know someone through e-mails. think again. I happen to know a person which always ends her e-mails with a smiley, but when you approach her in real life she never, ever smiles!

Don’t get me wrong, socially speaking, the World Wide Web had revolutionised the world. I myself have met some cool people through it which I wouldn’t have met otherwise. People that helped me a great deal, or just people I came to know and be friends with. None of them were friends of mine on Myspace, though. I met them all through message boards and various web sites.

Furthermore, as a screenwriter, I don’t believe in collaborating on a script through the Net – collaborating with a total stranger, that is. This kind of creative link is usually bound to collapse after a short while. You can’t really connect in earnest with some faceless guy sitting behind his desk somewhere. If you want to collaborate, you should meet. Physically. At least once.

People will always be people. No matter what technological advancements we achieve, we crave for the same things people have always craved for. The methods maybe new, but the human psyche will always stay the same.

The Web has brought comfort to many lonley hearts (I haven’t even mentioned dating sites, which I despise, by the way), but in the end it is a hollow, temporary victory. You need to be able to turn the virtual socializing to a real-world socializing in order for it to mean something.

So go out, stand in the sun, feel the wind in your hair, and watch people. Listen to them. Observe them. People-observing is one of the most fascinating things in the world, (do you hear that, all you lost-in-my-ipod folks?)

And who knows, you might find some new friends in the process.  

The Empire Strikes Back

On my last day in NYC, before going to Toronto, I decided I just had to go to the Empire State Building. I mean, it’s a landmark, isn’t it? Built in the 1920’s, it stands today as the tallest building in the city (now that the Twin Towers are gone). it’s a symbol of New York City if there ever was one. It’s the building King Kong climbed on. It’s majesty and history all rolled into one.

Isn’t it?

Well… it is, but after 20 minutes inside, the Empire State Building becomes only one thing.

A line.

You see, when you approach the building, you see a line. A small, not too intimidating line forms on the sidewalk outside, and you’re inside in less than ten minutes.

In the entrance there’s a sign which notifies of the approximate time to reach the observatory.

Three to four hours.

At that point, I became worried, but I dismissed it as some optical illusion created by the converging of the sun’s rays and the exhaust fumes from the cars.

It must have said 30-40 minutes. Yeah, it must have.

We went up and came upon a BIG line. We stood there for about 40 minutes. Now, this is not Israel, so everybody didn’t become friends for life, but still, you hear different languages, see all kinds of people, it’s really interesting.

Until you want to pee.

That line was for the security check. Next, a line for the actual purchase of the tickets. This one went fast, only about 15 minutes. So I bought my ticket, went ahead, and came upon…

Well, you guessed it. A line. A big line. A HUGE line. The Mother of All Lines.

I was in a dilemma of sorts. On the one hand, I really had to pee. On the other hand, if I’ll go to the bathroom I won’t enter the line, which means that people that came in after me will now be in ahead of me.

Well, what can you do? I went to the bathroom and then came back. The bathrooms, by the way, are very clean. Probably because everyone pees in their pants.

This line (all lines, actually) went ahead in an orderly and amazingly well maintained fashion. either that people are very patient, or they knew what was coming. That didn’t stop some of them from sitting on the floor now and then. I just tried to imagine that sort of line in Israel and came to the conclusion that if the Empire State Building was in Israel it would’ve been torched long ago by an angry line-hating mob.

That line was for the actual entrance into the elevators and it broke down into a couple of smaller lines. We got stopped every few meters by a very polite but firm ESB employee.
I stood about two hours in that line plus the mini-lines.

And then we entered the elevators. Hurray! Hallelujah! Praise the lord!

The elevators went up and my ears started feeling the pressure. the doors opened… we were there, we were at the glorious observatory! we were-

We were in a line again.

Now, this line was the line before you actually enter the observatory. It snaked across an ugly floor which had sign that read: “sorry for our look, we’re renovating!”
Great, not only do I have to stand in line, I have to see beams and paint everywhere.

While we were on that line, each of us had his or her picture taken in front of a huge photograph of the ESB. I has no idea why. It wasn’t voluntary, they photographed everybody. I thought that in the end we’re going to get a cute little memento of our visit, some compensation for standing three hours in line.
We’ll get back to the picture later.

Then, it was finally over and we got into the observatory. The million dollar question is: Was it worth it?

Well, it’s worth it, I guess. The panorama is truly stunning. I took a lot of pictures (see below), went around and around, and eventually got the point and went back inside. All in all I was there for about 20 minutes. 3.5 hours in line for 20 minutes. Crazy, ha?

So I was out, and I thought that I’m just going to take the elevator down, get out to the street, and go home to rest my aching body.

But no. There were lines on the way out. We stood about 15 minutes in line to get out of the floor. On the way out, we came to a long stand which had everybody’s pictures in it. “That’s nice”, I thought, “now we’ll get our pictures in return for all the trouble we went through”.

And we could get our picture, we only had to pay 25 dollars.

25 dollars. that’s more than 100 NIS. For a fucking picture. I said “no, thanks”. It really annoyed me that they are taking our picture without asking us and then trying to sell it to us for a ridiculously high price.

The ESB is a money machine. On the way up, through the lines, they try to sell you all kinds of things like audio commentaries and movie simulations, and on the observatory deck there is of course a gift shop full of silly, expensive stuff. But hey, if you’re a tourist, you asked for it.

But in the end, there’s nothing like seeing the greatest city in the world from sky high. It is truly awe-inspiring

Go to part 2 for the pictures and judge for yourself if it was worth it 🙂

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Rage

Sometimes I feel like smashing the damn computer. I try to do something simple, nothing too fancy. I dunno, open a web page, download a program,  watch a video… and it gets too slow, or shows a message which says: “fatal error, you have fucked up with something and now you’ve ruined everything”. AHHHHHH!

Well, as it happens, there’s something called computer rage. I mean, people get mad on their computers, sometimes hitting them in the process. Well, I can’t say I blame them(although I think it’s more prevalent at work places).

Oh, and another thing: people who talk all the time on their cell phones. People who SHOUT into their cell phones so the whole world could hear their fucking problems (maybe they should open a blog). Sometimes I feel like smacking them. It’s almost as if they stopped talking on their little cell phones, they would have to be with themselves and think about stuff. And those stupid ring-tones. Countless songs are murdered each day on the cellular battlefield. People are concerned with cellular antennas, that maybe they’re polluting our air with electromagnetism, causing who the hell knows what. But what about the cultural pollution of our environment? On the street, on the bus, in the coffee house, in the line to the doctor, people gibbering endlessly about this and that, or text messaging in the middle of a movie, in a dark theatre. I could choke those bastards. Don’t get me wrong, I think the cell phone is a great invention, but it has turned some of us into environmental hazards. It makes people feel they need to talk even when they don’t have anything to say.

And those damn commercials everywhere. Cluttering your mind with nonsense. sometimes there’s a funny one, a clever one, but most of the time it’s just annoying. Especially those that invade your house. Your phone rings. You’re outside your apartment, holding a bag of groceries. You fumble with your keys, trying to get in quickly and answer the phone. You come in, trip, the groceries are on the floor. You pick up the phone and say, panting: “Hello?!” and a recorded voice says: “Hello there, this is David from David Electronics inviting you this weekend for a special sale…”

I mean, how dare they? and really, who came up with this brilliant advertising idea? who thought that people are going to be real susceptive after someone made them feel like fools? Who was that idiot? that’s what I’d like to know.

We all have rage pent up inside of us. Some of us more than others. We all would like to hit that stupid salesman who came to bother us when we were just leaving, or that driver who took our parking space, or that lady who cut us in line at the supermarket. Humans are savages. We had to learn to repress our urges and build a civilized society, or else we would have destroyed ourselves long ago. It was a survival instinct. But deep inside, we are still what we’ve always been (especially men). We are programmed this way. Even the most mild mannered man can become a savage under the right circumstances.

The civilized, western man is actually a repressed man. And yet, after all this time, after all we’ve been through, after all we’ve accomplished, one stupid ring-tone, one error window in our computer, one annoying automated commercial, can topple it all down in a matter of seconds.

What a shame.