Text size

This week, as always, I read a lot about the garden parties and rooftop parties. I'm up to date. Serious people read newspapers for serious people. I, however, think less of the importance of being earnest. I turn directly to the gossip columns.

Once, sitting in a cafe minding my own business, I was caught in a passing photographer's lens. Pretty soon I got a call from a freebie paper. You're seen in a photograph, absorbed reading our column, the column's editor said. I hastened to plead guilty. You have no idea, I told him, how much I learn with your help, and I thank you. You are my guide to the perplexed - who's hobnobbing with whom, who's against whom, who's the toast of the town and who's ostracized.

The main heroes are the celebrities, who are hard to tell apart, perhaps because they are all the same - soccer players who are models and soccer players' models, singers with no song and actors with no words, "reality" survivors who rose to false fame on their backsides. They are famous for being famous - had they not been famous they would not exist.

But these people are all less important, even though myriads of children dream of being born in their image. The rich and powerful are more important. They support and encourage each other. As law-abiding people they humbly obey the iron law of oligarchy.

Could any reception be held without Ehud and Aliza or in the absence of Ehud and Nili? And don't forget Nava and Shalom, even though some have changed their partners. And what will a party look like - especially a banquet - without Buzhi or Fuad or Meir and Ruti?

The opposition is holding its own, too - Bibi and Sara, Silvan and Judy - because the real coalition can be found in penthouses and villas and first-class flights, not necessarily in the Knesset.

Governments rise and fall, but the national unity government stands forever - at cocktail parties - and there is no need to ask to re-form it as a magic remedy for all our ills. How else could we learn about and celebrate Shimon's activities? For without these columns we might have mistakenly thought that his contribution was summed up in the President's Conference, once in 50 years.

On the opposite side - no, wait, actually it's the same side - we have Shari and her husband, Rani and his wife, one Nochi and two Bennys from the diamonds and Perry from the bank. Not to mention Yossi from natural gas, Dudi from the Square and at least one Strauss. And it won't do without a few lawyers - Rami and Eli, for example - because you can't move today without an attorney.

I've already proved my familiarity with the important people and their people's ways and customs thanks to these columns. I highly recommend to this newspaper to publish and cultivate such a column.

When I'm done reading the gossip columns, I turn to the main pages and only then do I understand the stories printed on them.