Israeli gallows humor

From Ha’aretz today. I think it’s hilarious.

[Tue, Aug 20 2002 – 16:52] Matthew (email) err, don’t get it.

[Tue, Aug 20 2002 – 18:17] Felix (www) (email) neither do I. But maybe that’s because, at heart, I’m working class.

[Tue, Aug 20 2002 – 18:54] kartika (email) Is it a reference to floods in Europe? I don’t get it either but then living in the Antipodes, what can you expect?


[Tue, Aug 20 2002 – 20:44] Matthew (email) are they supposed to be american? fat, tv-watching, baby-nursing americans? it’s even badly drawn.

steffls, i think your long trip has addled your brain

[Wed, Aug 21 2002 – 02:00] Stefan (email) You’re all morons. They’re Israelis, mock empathising with the plight of the Europeans and their floods when of course it’s the situation in the middle east that is so dire. And there is an element of Schadenfreude that they can’t resist articulating.

[Wed, Aug 21 2002 – 02:32] kartika (email) Please! I am less moronic than the rest- note the use of the term “flood” in my earlier email. But please-perspective Stefan-the cartoon is rather obscure to those of us outside the silver spooned diplomatic hamlet of Israel.


[Wed, Aug 21 2002 – 10:34] upPINGton (email) i got it first. you guys are all morons, by the way, apart from you kartika. stefan, you too.

i mean you are a moron, by the way, just in case you though i was you too-ing you with kartika.

of course, when i say moron i mean it in a good way, not a bad way.

[Wed, Aug 21 2002 – 11:32] Felix (www) (email) I dunno, man, that’s what I thought it meant originally, but that would mean it wasn’t funny, while Stefan said it was hilarious.

[Wed, Aug 21 2002 – 12:15] Matthew (email) so the suckling baby is supposed to represent what? wetness? a thin allusion to wet nurses? and why does the man have scabies? they both look happy. what’s that about if their life is supposed to suck? are they laughing at the europeans? because euros haven’t been supportive of israel? and what kind of moral comparison is there to be made between flooding and terrorism?

as nat king cole once sang, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

[Wed, Aug 21 2002 – 16:14] Zach (www) (email) Are they smoking in the cartoon?

Maybe that is the connection?

I can’t figure out from recent entries whether smoking is cool or not.

Need guidance.

While I am here: BIG props to the Beaver Me First crew. Had a Director’s Cut viewing a couple of weeks back at the St. Marks Playhouse. First rate. Raves for M. Rose’s subtle acting debut.

Finally, NYC without Stefan is like Mogador without Hummus. It is like Cafe Pick-Me-Up without coffee. It is like Rosa without Itay. It is like Itay without Winstons. Smoking. Cool? Uncool? Stefan leaving NYC makes me sad.

Peace out.

[Wed, Aug 21 2002 – 17:21] Matthew (www) (email) smoking is cool, unless you have lung cancer, in which case it could be termed inconvenient but cool nonetheless. not cool are smoking apostates, like joe esterhaus. in fact, annoying and hypocritical are words that also come to mind. as does ‘twit’ and ‘moron.’

as for my acting debut, i think i’m the first ack-tohr to open and close mouth in a close approximation of talking only to have no comprehensible sound come out.

bring back stefan.

[Wed, Aug 21 2002 – 19:45] kartika (email) Thank you Uppington for my unique non-moron status. The kindness of strangers touches me still. No doubt you will have a marvellous wedding- if you want tips on how to stay married happily or just married you can email me -for having worked as a family lawyer I can tell you what NOT to do.

Stefan- your friends LOVE you and miss you- that brings a tear to my eye. sniff.Or perhaps they just miss making you the butt of their jokes, either way you occupy a place in their lives.

Too too beautiful


[Wed, Aug 21 2002 – 19:46] kartika (email) whoops

I meant the fact they miss you is too too beautiful.

Not that I, Kartika, am too too beautiful.


[Thu, Aug 22 2002 – 17:19] Charles Kenny (www) (email) You are all morons. The set-top-box is a sign that the family gets cable in Israel, and thus can watch Fox TV. The baby is being fed, thus occupying her mouth, stopping her screaming. The non-screaming is a subtle reverse-reference to what they couple are watching –‘American Idol’–and the way that the contestants sing. The man is saying ‘those poor Europeans’ comparing A.I. to the Eurovision Song Contest, which must be on about now, too. The man’s hair-piece and plastic smile is in homage to Terry Wogan.

[Fri, Aug 23 2002 – 03:10] upPINGton (email) charles, you are the moron here. and not in a good way, i am afraid

[Fri, Aug 23 2002 – 07:46] Ben (email) This sounds just like a conversation that could have taken place at the Bambi Bar or in somebody’s Via Irnerio kitchen almost ten years ago. I am glad you gentlemen have not changed. Uppington, I trust you have instructed Stefan in the proper use of the Swedish language so that he will fit right in in Stockholm.

[Fri, Aug 23 2002 – 08:16] upPINGton (email) less of your superciliousness, young ben, lest you be tarred with the moron brush too. you wouldn’t like that, oh no.

as for stefan, due to a inferiority-superiority complex of staggering proportions he is resistant to education, believing as he does either a) he knows what it is you are trying to teach him already, or b) if he doesn’t know it already it can’t be important so he doesn’t need to know it. the only thing he has learnt at all since we left SAIS is stuff he has taught himself, mostly to do with computers (which can be guaranteed not to judge him lacking if he makes a mistake). in fact there are many who would argue, pointing to his academic record at SAIS, that he didn’t learn anything there either. knowing him as i do i would guess that learning swedish falls into category b), and that he has made zero effort to learn the language spoken in his adoptive country. if he was to learn, it would have to be from a book, as he would be unable to accept that any living person he comes into contact with knows more than he does about something he needs to know. so no, i haven’t bothered.

[Fri, Aug 23 2002 – 09:50] Matthew (www) (email) i’d also like to take some umbrage at the phrases “you gentlemen” and “haven’t changed” and “10 years.” very clearly, much has changed:

1) eurof is now being bossed around by a greek, NOT an austrian.

2) for kenny’s t-shirt collection, gray is the new red.

3) there are now many, many more subjects in the world that stefan knows more about than anyone else than there were in the mid-90s, including topics that he has invented himself (memes and the plot flaws in minority report come to mind).

4) err. that’s all the change i can think of.

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