Amnon Melamed, the anthroposophic psychologist from the second-floor front apartment, had suffered plenty of ups and downs in the past year: a male-empowerment workshop that wrecked his marriage, a humiliating move to his parents' home, and a promising return to our building as the sex toy of the supermodel from the rear penthouse. He could have lived happily with that last twist in the plot for quite a while, had the supermodel not confessed that her relations with him were part of a self-destructive cycle to which she was captive.
"You wouldn't be here if I weren't in love with my psychoanalyst," she told him. "You're just a symptom of my relationship with him, a phallic tool I use to hurt him and myself."
Amnon wasn't sure how to react. "On the one hand, it's pretty insulting," he told me. "On the other hand, we're talking about a supermodel here and there are worse things than being her sex toy."
Amnon may talk tough, but in the end, the truth was too much for him. With his tail between his legs he once again found himself homeless and asked if he could sleep in our living room until he found a place to rent, because his wife still adamantly refused to take him back.
In his shattered state, Amnon was a prime candidate to be captivated by the Yemima Method, or as it's known by its pseudo-scientific (!!) name, "cognitive thinking." Amnon had read about the groups that are using the method developed by the late Yemima Avital in an interview with Avri Gilad, a conflicted type himself - like most of us, after all - who asserted that he used to be "not nice and unbearable" and that this method helped him to believe that he had changed, even if he's the only one who seems to think so.
Gilad apparently doesn't listen to himself, because like most of his colleagues on the unbearable Army Radio program "The Last Word," and like all those indefatigable opinion-piece writers, he, too, has firm and unassailable views on everything under the sun. But unlike his peers, he never stops bemoaning the decline of Western civilization, as he goes on spouting empty slogans in the guise of well-reasoned opinions and hosts a trivia game show on Channel 2. Basically, over the years, he's just gotten peskier.
Amnon wasn't convinced by my diatribe about Gilad. He didn't think that Gilad is part of the Axis of Evil and suggested that I calm down. But I can't help it if liberal journalists/entertainers with centrist and leftist tendencies annoy me more than Shas-nik and Hamas-nik politicians. It's not that I'm fond of the dogmatic ideologies and faith that are fueled by poverty, neglect and humiliation, and I would fight them if my own beliefs were at risk - but I can understand them. I'm a lot less fond of upper-middle-class liberal, opportunist and self-righteous media types, even if they occasionally say something important about ecology, globalization or violence against women, topics that are more or less a matter of consensus. Show them one commercial with Miki Buganim and the average liberal immediately becomes the class bully.
"Yemima would be turning over in her grave if she heard Gilad's repulsive comments about Buganim," I shouted at Amnon, who was already scouring the Internet in search of a group he could join. But that wasn't exactly true. After reading up (superficially, I grant you) on "cognitive thinking," I learned that like all the other New Age doctrines, the Yemima Method basically just helps unbearable people feel better about themselves. It teaches them to be attuned to their emotional state in order to improve "their reciprocal relations with others" and advocates "loving thy neighbor as thyself." But since it's opposed to deep psychological therapy and what it calls "picking at the wounds," the result is very superficial, it doesn't hold water. Thus a loyal adherent like Gilad finds himself falling into the Miki Buganim trap.
"I bet 'Yossi & Jagger' didn't make Gilad nauseous. At most he may have shifted his liberal butt uncomfortably in his seat during the kissing scene and mumbled something about how nice it is that minorities are getting representation," I speechified to Amnon and to my husband. "But an effeminate gay man like Buganim only gets a passing grade with him on condition that he serves us, cuts our hair, puts on makeup and entertains. The moment Buganim displays sexuality and passion and demands a slice of the pie for himself, it immediately arouses the vomit reflex in the average, Gilad-type, self-righteous liberal."
Amnon thought wistfully of the supermodel.