“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wow - I found this video looking for a clip on Obama mocking successful people

Talk about free speech. This appeared on Israeli television in 2007. It is obviously satire but as I said, wow. It is over the top but can you imagine such parody about Muhammed in a Muslim country or for that matter, Martin Luther King in the US? The video may reflect bad taste but it does show that Israel practices and tolerates a level of freedom of expression with few equals.

I haven’t come across anything about the show (טופי והגורילה – “Toffee and the Gorilla”) in English, but the “concept” is pretty clear from the Hebrew interview I linked to above, and the sketches available online (on youtube and elsewhere – you can cut and paste the Hebrew טופי והגורילה in the search bar).
It’s a parody of some of the shows on Israeli state Educational TV, especially in the ’60s and ’70s (some of the sketches are even in black and white, for added effect). The messages are unashamedly racist (against Arabs, Mizrahim, Christians, etc.), chauvinist and violent, holding up a mirror to Israeli society as it were (albeit from a safe distance – placing such attitudes somewhere in the past). The show’s creator describes its political orientation as “socialist-pacifist”.
The crucifixion sketch is so over the top that it could only be satire, although its utter crudeness is more indicative of a lack of self-awareness than of a desire to provoke in order to bring home an ugly truth.
Earlier at Mondoweiss, Shmuel wrote:
The programme is produced and broadcast by the privately-owned Bip channel, not state-run Educational TV. The Ed TV symbol, music and “feel” is part of the programme’s shtick – voice of the brainwashing, racist, consumerist, sexist (hence the girl in the bikini), warmongering establishment. Poor taste, blood, and provocations of all kinds are also part of the shtick.
Here’s an interview (Hebrew) with the programme’s creator –,789,209,18794,.aspx – who says he was inspired by Team America and Southpark. [emphasis added]
Here’s the google search result for טופי והגורילה


  1. I know that some of you will be deeply offended by this video but parody and satire is meant to exaggerate and shock the senses of those that do not recognize the implications of certain truths.

  2. Again,

    How in the hell do you expect me to concentrate on the message in the clip?

  3. This problem is easily fixed:

    Fast cars, young — mainly — men and the U.S. military.

    For years, America’s armed forces counted on that combination to boost recruitment, spending tens of millions of dollars to sponsor NASCAR teams and defending it as an unparalleled way to get its brand name in front of the kinds of young men who provide the backbone of the country’s fighting forces.

    But with trillion-dollar deficits and defense cuts looming, NASCAR and other sports leagues are feverishly fighting this week to try to defend that spending in the face of a conservative-liberal coalition that says it’s time for the government to stop pumping taxpayers’ money into private sports teams — at least without more evidence that it pays off.

    All they have to do is sponsor floats at annual Gay Pride parades. They could have special events on military bases and ships during Gay Pride month and Fleet Week in NYC and lastly they could start advertising on condom wrappers, perhaps a new air force campaign promoting the mile high club. Who needs all those gear heads , Jesus freaks and rednecks anyway?

  4. The truth is easy to see...

    Jesus was an enemy of the Jewish people.

    The Romans crucified Jesus along with 100,000 other Jews in a 8 year period.

    Christians have never stopped trying to convert Jews.

    And the girl has great tits...

  5. I guess those Jews will get theirs....

    Yesterday 7 Jewish teenagers were blown to hamburger, 32 additional wounded after landing in Bulgaria.

    This of course is the anniversary of the bombing of the Jewish Community Center by Iran, killing over 100 kids...


    Those dam Jews....

    1. This is hardly a Jewish thing. It is shocking as satire because we fear points of view that do not follow what is currently acceptable. It is absurd enough so everyone should know it is not an anti-Christian Jewish issue. It is a criticism of the concept of elective and acceptable prejudice. Obvious it is a Jew criticizing some elements of Israeli society.

      It caught my attention because of the chutzpah.