Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale

I must momentarily return to Snark mode to comment on a new video making the rounds in the BDS ether.

This was created by that august Canadian film professor John Greyson who was last seen trying to gin up enthusiasm for a boycott of Tel-Aviv produced and themed films at the Toronto Film Festival (which, needless to say, resulted in those movies selling out).Actually, that’s not quite right, he was very last seen forging James Cameron’s signature to a letter to film schools, asking them to boycott their Israeli colleagues. (All together now: Oy!)

Anyway, the last three quarters of this made-for-Internet agitprop vid is standard Gaza boilerplate (Siege! Starvation! Humanitarian flotilla! Violation of 50-jillion international laws! Blah, blah, blah!) remarkable only for its limited cinemagraphic imagination (i.e., it’s something high-school kids with a copy of Adobe Premiere could have knocked off in a couple of hours – confirming the theory that those who can’t make films teach film school).

But I suspect it is this film’s opening sequence which has delighted the boycotters so much.In it, aging rock stars such as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, who played Israel this year, are mocked by having their faces Video-shopped into the credits for Gilligan’s Island (yuck, yuck, yuck).

Now I yield to no man in my limited patience with pop stars (of any age) making political statements about subjects over which they have no understanding.But in this case, Dylan, Simon et al were not making a political statement; they were just playing to international fans in one of the few countries in the region where they could actually enjoy their visit.

In fact, until the BDS cru decided to put pressure on these same aging rock stars they now ridicule (doing everything from harassing them at concerts to pleading with them on hands and knees to screw over their fans in “Apartheid Israel”), there was no political controversy surrounding performers strutting their stuff before Jewish (and Arab) audiences in the Holy Land.

It was the boycotters who decided not just the personal but everything was political, going into near orgasmic frenzies when 50-60 year old Elvis Costello and the 90-1000 year old Gil Scott Heron decided to cave in to their wishes and blow off their Israeli fans (only to end up being dissed by everyone from Johnny Rotten and Elton John to Gene Simmons and Deep Purple – once more: Oy!).

And now that their attempts at cultural boycott have failed as spectacularly as all of their other efforts, the BDSers have decided to flip these same rockers the bird claiming, in effect, that people like Dylan and Simon playing Israel has no political meaning whatsoever beyond putting them into the attempted-comedy cross-hairs of humorless non-entities like John Greyson.

When trying to find a metaphor for this phenomenon, I first thought of heel (i.e., bad guy) pro wrestlers like Rowdy Roddy Piper and his stooges bullying smaller face (good guy) wrestler until Andre the Giant showed up to confront them, at which point Roddy and company march off howling “We don’t have time for you!”But then this bully/coward image was replaced by that of a small child insisting, with regard to the present he lost by being naughty, that “he never wanted that stupid thing anyway.”

But then all these images ultimately gave way to a man in a leather jacket riding a surf board.What the hell am I talking about?Tune in next time to find out!

, , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale

  1. Jon June 28, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    In his latest attempt to avoid the subject at hand, our friendly, neighborhood Anonymous commenter introduces the concept of “pinkwashing.” For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a fellow blogger describes it thus:

    “'Pinkwashing', a term shamelessly stolen from breast cancer activists, is the new hip term in the BDS movement, for 'mentioning that Israel has a sterling human rights record on LGBT issues'. This is so true that they can't stand it, and must create little derogatory terms suggesting that allowing same-sex partners adoption rights, sending transgendered Israelis to represent the country at major music festivals, and acknowledging same-sex marriage from out of the country are all things Israelis have done simply to change the subject, and try to cover up their unspeakable evil.”

    I should add that the other source of BDSers sensitivity to the subject of gay rights in the Middle East is that there are none outside of Israel. The denial, brutal repression and even murder of gays throughout the region (again, outside of Israel) is so ubiquitous that it challenges the typical BDSer who wants to take advantage of having a common cause with homophobic bigots while simultaneously posing as a progressive human rights champions.

    What I find most interesting about this phenomenon is that there is nothing preventing these folks from acknowledging Israel’s progressive credentials in the area of gay rights while also arguing (accurately) that this tolerance does not mean Israel cannot be criticizes for other things. But apparently the only way they can get their narrow minds around the entire subject is to create a fake phenomenon (i.e., “pinkwashing” – which boils down to the claim that Israel practicing tolerance and others mentioning the subject) is dark, ominous terms and trying to make the debate about that.

    I’ve heard of doublespeak, but in this issue we seem to be seeing the phenomenon of double-think (or possibly the desire to not think at all).

  2. mrzee June 29, 2011 at 1:54 am #

    It may interest you to know John Greyson is on the Canadian ship Tahrir, (AKA the Sea Hitler) that is part of the “Freedumb Flotilla 2”

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes