It was a disturbing event and a strange funeral, at which grave things were said. The absentees were as conspicuous as those in attendance. It was a funeral with cheers and tasteless applause, not only for the deceased but for every bit of incitement against that enemy of the people - the mass media. Did the media kill Dudu Topaz? Did the media send thugs to beat up those who had fallen out of favor with the entertainer?
Most of those present were fans. It was a funeral in which most mourners had never met the deceased in person, but were familiar with his image staring at them from their television screens. The TV tycoons and directors and the dead man's stellar colleagues, who fed off his talents for years, the sycophant politicians who would laud him in order to get their 15 minutes of fame on his show, and most of the artists and celebrities who'd once crowded his court, the court of nonsense television, were shamefully missing. Were they afraid to be seen and castigated on Channel 2? Did Topaz's actions late in life eradicate his early accomplishments, the things they cheered and which they prospered off of? Couldn't they spare him even his last respects?
The king is dead, but the funeral was far from regal. It was vulgar and populist, just like Topaz's show. The leading entertainer was laid to rest to as his brother, Miki Goldenberg, delivered his eulogy and briefly became the first inciter against the media. A man should not be judged during a time of sorrow, but it's important to note how Goldenberg, normally a charming and gentle man, referred to journalists: "The media didn't killed Dudu, the media killed our people. They are behaving worse than the ones in prison. I suggest we physically remove them. Those who know how to physically remove them, please do so. Out with the media."
The gate of mercy had very little mercy on Friday noon. "All you media people, go work in agriculture, go wash floors," cried one mourner hoarsely. "I'm shutting down my television, there's no show like Topaz, I can't watch this trash, this country drives us nuts with the trash they put on television."
For a moment, one could imagine that this was the funeral of a cultural giant, an artist of quality and nuance, depth and delicacy that can never be replaced.
Nancy Brandes and Pnina Rosenblum gave interviews to every camera available, but very few other celebrities showed up, with the exception of some past stars who have little to lose at Shira Margalit's Reshet or Keshet under Avi Nir.
"Dudu, where are you? You abandoned us," cried another fan toward the corpse of the golden calf lying on the stretcher. The mourning brother didn't spare a description of the dead man's face: "He's less handsome than he was because he wanted people to see better," Goldenberg said, hinting at the corneas Topaz requested be donated after his death. Everyone talked about the Dudu who only wanted to "do good things for people," with the sole exception being one of his three wives, Roni Hen, who asked forgiveness from his victims, to whom he wasn't at all as good. The king is dead, the media is to blame, long live the new nonsensical king.
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