Tuesday, April 07, 2009

oy vey

Couple of amusing things to note in this BBC article about Israel and the ultra-orthodox Jewish media doing a bit of religiously-motivated gender-swapping Photoshopping activity (compare the pictures here), most obviously the hilariously threadbare loincloth of concerns about "female modesty" failing to conceal the great fat sweaty mottled pendulous cock of patriarchal oppression as practised by pretty much every religion you care to mention for as long as you care to mention.

As grotesque as that is it's perhaps less noteworthy then the bit at the end which makes a throwaway reference to "kosher telephones". Whoa, there, Dobbin: kosher telephones? Tell me more.

Not being whittled out of bacon and shrimps doesn't really set a kosher phone apart from other phones in any meaningful way, so there must be something else. As it happens most of the articles on the subject completely miss the point by focussing on the peripheral issue of these phones being blocked from dialling sex lines, having internet access and other luxury features. No, the point, if I'm reading this article correctly, is that the telephones make use of an absurdly elaborate device called a grama to do the dialling in a sort of indirect way that doesn't violate people's very real and pressing concerns with "Shabbat desecration" and "halachic permissibility", while still, back in the real world, dialling the number and connecting you with the number you've dialled in a way indistinguishable from the non-kosher by everyone - except presumably God, who, in addition to having a prurient interest in what you do with your genitalia, takes a close interest in the internal electronics of telephones and their potential to endanger people's mortal souls. For it is written in the Bible, Telecoms 2:14....wait, no, it doesn't say anything about that at all.

If you're tempted to make jokes about telephone sanitisers at this point, go for it, but be aware that (presumably) non-ironic products are available under precisely that label. Also, be aware of the difficulties in locating a kosher car park.

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