Cellphones and Hand Grenades

Watch the two 60-second videos below. One is a commercial for a Israeli phone company where a bunch of soldiers play soccer with Palestinians on the other side of the separation barrier. The other is a spoof of the commercial used with real footage of a group of Palestinians who actually tried kicking a soccer ball across the real fence. It's my first experience seeing actual footage of tear gas and grenades.

My first thought that the spoof was tragically hilarious. And if the short film wasn't created by a company more committed to selling phones than creating peace, then of course it would have seemed more sincere.

But either way, both shorts represent what art can be at it's best: a picture of what we hope the future will be and a picture of how the world really is. Vision and Reality. Hope and Sobriety.

It's also a picture of the prophetic role artists can play in culture: helping us see things as they really are and inspiring hope that they don't have to stay that way.

Imagine the day when vision and reality become the artist's paintbrush not simply to sell phones, but to lead a community or city or country out of the world as we know it and into a world we could barely dream of.

There are a few already creating this world. We need more. See one community of artists' attempts here.

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