The Unbearable Banishment: Mitzva Tank Attack!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mitzva Tank Attack!

It's passover week and that means the Mitzva Tanks are winding their way through the streets of Manhattan. They're fantastic! Mitzva Tanks are mobile homes owned by the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidism. They blast music and hang out the window and wave at stunned onlookers. Their mission is to spread good will to non-observant Jews. And you don't have to be a Jew to get a free pamphlet!

Many Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidism believe the last Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson who died in 1994, was actually the messiah.

I report this with all due respect. I believe ALL religions have their own preposterous claims. I don't find this any odder than being told that not prescribing to a specific set of beliefs will send me straight to hell, as the Christian and Muslim lunatic fringe would have me believe. Besides, how can you feel anything other than good will towards someone who drives a Mitzva Tank?! They seem so happy! I ran into these guys on my lunch break along Central Park South parading in front of the priciest hotels in the city.

* * *

Hang around graphic design long enough and you'll realize that a good design is something that should be beaten to death. Case in point. I noticed that the Sunday New York Times Magazine had a cover graphic that looked an awful lot like the cover of the new Bruce Springsteen CD. I'm sure the chunky-white paint font look is just a weird coincidence.

Then I was walking through Times Square tonight and noticed the chunky-white paint font on a billboard, but this time with a splash of blue. That's what's called a "design innovation."

This sort of thievery has gone on for ages. Corporate logos have repeatedly used a modified Nike swoosh. It's not exactly like the swoosh, but it's born from that. There's the upward swoosh...

...the downward swoosh...

...and the swoosh on top.

Believe me, there are hundreds of examples. If you take note, you'll start to see these modified swooshes turn up everywhere. The "design innovation" for the swoosh is to use a bunch of them instead of just one.


Anonymous daisyfae said...

i would drive a Mitzvah Tank. possibly on the sidewalk, but i would love to drive one anyway!

April 4, 2012 at 7:36 AM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

I've never noticed the plethora of swooshes before. You're a very observant man UB

April 4, 2012 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

daisy: The next time you're in town we're going to hotwire a Mitzva Tank, blast Elvis through the speakers and drive up on the sidewalks.

nurse: Now that it's in your head, you'll see them turn up EVERYWHERE. You can't avoid them.

April 4, 2012 at 7:48 AM  
Anonymous mjp said...

You forgot:

April 4, 2012 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

Them there Mitzva guys sound like fun!

I'm off in search of swoosh's now, well not exactly now, I'm reading you and drinking Heineken exactly now, but later (maybe tomorrow) I'll search for swoosh's, and Mitzva's. And I need more Heineken, mustn't forget the Heineken! Up, up and Oy Vey! :¬)

April 4, 2012 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

i love that they're called "tanks." from a purely semantic perspective, of course. as to the swooshes, they are now going to be a visual rick roll for me, sugar! tyvm! *sigh* xoxoxoxo

*joining map for a beer, but make mine a stella*

April 4, 2012 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

mjp: Well, that one hit a little close to home but, yup, they're guilty.

map: If you find a bottle of beer with a swoosh on it you're in business.

sav: Isn't that the beauty of it? They've taken a war weapon and rechristened a vehicle to deliver a hopeful message. Clever! And I think the three of us should sit in a corner pub, drink swoosh beer and swap spousal stories.

April 4, 2012 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Nothing is safe. Can one patent a swoosh?

April 5, 2012 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Maybe they're are the answer for Palestine/
And @ Mr.Map: "up,up and Oy vey!"
You can come over here and mop up the coffee, young man.(I'll drink Hahn Lite while I watch!)

April 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger tennysoneehemingway said...

I'm still reading, I'm still reading! Just not commenting as often. Didn't want you to think I'd forgotten. I'd add a swoosh of my own here but I'm not sure how. Maybe )?

April 7, 2012 at 9:29 AM  

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