Thursday, June 06, 2019

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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cafeTel Aviv, June 6 - Journalists from some of the major media outlets in the country expressed frustration and disappointment today at the relative paucity of retail hot beverage establishments catering to a young, woke crowd where they can sit and eavesdrop on conversations that dovetail with the journalists' pre-existing worldview, and then present those remarks as illuminating or groundbreaking.

Reporters and columnists for Haaretz, Channel Ten, Kann radio, Galei Tzahal, and several other news operations came together this week to discuss Israel's shortage of hipster coffee shops, venues that elsewhere appear to function as a breeding-ground for overheard statements that either cast those who differ ideologically from the journalists in a negative light, or purport to indicate a shift in popular perceptions that heralds the onset of a newfound appreciation for the rightness and virtue of the journalists' own Weltanschauüng.

"We have lots and lots of coffee shops, and lots and lots of hipsters," acknowledged Rogel Alpher of Haaretz. "We even have lots of hispters who frequent coffee shops. What we don't seem to have - and this is obviously a result of the far-right demagoguery of Netanyahu and his minions - is a critical mass of hipsters in coffee shops upon whom we can rely to supply us with quotable, indicative remarks that confirm what we, in our superior wisdom, already know but must find a condescending way to convey to our readers."

"Twenty years ago coffee shops were barely a thing in Israel," observed Ilana Dayan, a television presenter. "We always had some people who fit the description 'hipster' though. I guess things didn't develop the same way in Israel as elsewhere, and that's a shame, because I'd love to be able to sit in a coffee shop booth within earshot of some hipsters and record the bits and pieces of what they say, with an eye toward doing a whole segment on how things are going to hell in a handbasket as indicated by snippets of overheard hipster conversations. Or maybe just tweet about it."

Not all the journalists present agreed that the lack of hipster coffee shops in Israel poses an insurmountable problem. "Come on, guys," urged Gideon Levy. "Since when do you need to actually overhear someone saying something in a coffee shop to make it true? Heck, since when do something have to even be true for us to claim it's true? It's like none of you have ever read a single word I've written."

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