Far be it from me to put a damper on the seasonal festivities, but is anybody else noticing a kind of restrained hysteria in the news, at the stores, out on the streets?
Oftentimes, it helps to get a little perspective. Tina Brown, everyone’s favorite gadabout with a standing invitation to every dinner party, soiree or cocktail drop-in around town, tells those of us not on the guest list what’s being chatted up these days among the glitterati. Any ideas? Turns out it’s the story that refuses to die.
I guess we take refuge in the Tiger [Woods] story because it’s so much more fun and less scary than the stuff we ought to be worrying about but can actually do nothing about. More than 15 million people out of work, 46.3 million people with no health insurance. The sickening conundrum of Afghanistan.
In the face of all this, the Tiger story is full of the reassuring primal juice that’s so lacking from our national politics. Everyone is tired of not understanding things: why the banks got away with it, why people still can’t get a loan, how our Afghan troop “surge” is suddenly going to make Karzai into George Washington. Even the Senate doesn’t understand what’s in the health care bill. …
The nation bleeds but we seem to have a president for whom emotion is notional. … We liked Obama’s low temperature on the campaign trail, but now life is grim and, baby, it’s cold out there. The glaciers are melting, the deserts expanding, the seas rising, even the ice and snow at the North Pole disappearing but most people are frightened of something more horribly local—the loss of their job. Santa Claus is drowning in the cold dark water alongside the polar bears.
So much safer to cost out what Tiger’s peccadilloes have wrought on his marriage or his annual income than it is to consider what the horrors of the past decade may end up costing all of us.
The Tiger Binge