From One 'Talent' to Another

With my eyes closed I can write the life story of Hedda Boshes, an angry culture correspondent of days gone by, because I remember her in every respect.

Ultimately, it must happen to each and every one of us glorious journalists. After having been all-powerful, after with a swipe of the pen and the flick of the tongue we knocked people off the chessboard of life, mercilessly kicked X, whose face we didn't like, cruelly grabbed Y by the hair and shook him until he gave up the ghost, and even after he gave up the ghost, wouldn't let his corpse rest in peace - after all that comes the moment when we go out of style.

People get fed up with us and the game of torture that we played, and all of a sudden we've been cast into the abyss of oblivion. We become shadows, the fact of whose physical existence does not move anyone one way or the other. And then we die, and a young editor who has heard something vague about us harrumphs one morning upon reading the death announcement, and says to himself: "Jeez, we have to write something about him. Whom am I going to call to do it?"

Eran Wolkowski

Thus, all of us highly praised journalists have the same biography: We live the moment with intensity. We play the anger and wrath game, taking the role of the glamorous replacement of the prophet admonishing at the city gates. And having fallen so much in love with our role, we forget it is only a mask that one day will be taken from us and given to someone else. And indeed, when we are at the height of our glory, what do we care about the future when the present is so intense, intoxicating all our senses, making our head spin?

Our biographies are so very similar that with my eyes closed I can write the life story of Hedda Boshes, an angry culture correspondent of days gone by, because I resemble her in every respect. Indeed, the nuances of the differences between us could be discerned, if at all, only with a microscope.

Both of us taught ourselves to be sarcastic. Her journalistic life, exactly like my journalistic life, was created because we were identified as a "talent," as it is called these days. That is, one of the embodiments of which is the persona of the critic of refined taste - elitist, in professional language - who is pleased by nothing. The one who is easily bored by everything, hates everything that is done here, and dreams about some abstract "there," some other promised land, Paris or London. There, everything is good and people are polite, the theater is wonderful and the restaurants serve dainty dishes and not crude hummus and falafel dripping with oil, the way they do here.

The talent, by virtue of being a talent, performs his task in the best possible way. Sometimes even a little better than expected. The talent is asked, for example: My dear Hedda Boshes (or, for the sake of this argument, of course, my dear Benny Ziffer ), what do you think about this or that television program? What do you say to writing about it in your column this coming Friday?

We, as trained hunting dogs, understand that the fact of the request to us to write about a certain program means we are asked to demolish, devastate and destroy it, leaving not a single stone of it intact. After all, it is for this they declared us talents. Now sometimes it turns out that by mistake we didn't understand the orders properly and in fact the intention was that we critique something gently. In that case we have to apologize for the error that flowed from our pen. But we even use the letter of apology to sink our teeth deeper into the twitching victim. For such are we, the glorious talents.

In a blunt challenge to the Zionist slogan, "There is nowhere else" (for this must be known: We are bold subversives ) - each of us has chosen another place of his own where, we have proved, we feel completely at home. For Hedda Boshes, it was London. I chose Paris and when I got bored with Paris, I moved on to Cairo, to Istanbul, to Amman. Which goes to show you, it doesn't matter where that ideal other place is located. The main thing - don't you get it, you provincial idiots? - is that we annoy you and make you feel miserable in your barren and boring Zionist home.

Believe us: If you weren't, dear readers, moaning with pleasure under our floggings, we wouldn't survive for a single day. It was you who engendered us out of your own souls, out of your self-hatred, which needs a concrete person to play the role of the strict teacher, who looks at your homework notebook, casts a scornful glance at you and shouts: "Idiot! Ignoramus! Worthless clod! Get out of here. Go bring your parents immediately!"

Therefore, it only appears that Hedda Boshes has died. She will remain with us as long as, deep in the heart of every yearning Jew, as the national anthem says, there is the grappling with the question of what in fact we are doing here, in this violent place that smells of falafel balls fried in used oil, and not in some other place, whatever its name might be. Its specific name might have been replaced by another, but is that of any importance when the main thing is the aim? The aim, according to the bottom line, is to be hated. Therefore, from the cage where they display us to the public, we continue to spit on you even way after our death, you provincial scum, you worthless clods!