The Romans knew a thing or two about keeping the crowd diverted. Hence the expression "bread and circuses" which pretty much summed up their solution to vexing social problems.
Feed the crowds and give 'em dead bodies to cheer about.
And while the front page of today's NYTimes doesn't offer much in the way of edible goodness, it does offer a fair amount of spectacle to slather over.
In one article Senator McCain has outlined his broad proposals for the US economy which consist, mostly, of tax cuts. For rich people. What chutzpah. How daring. Breathtaking. Yawn.
That's on the left side of the page. On the right side we have a headline "Big Tax Breaks for Businesses in Housing Bill." Well of course there are. Only an idiot wouldn't know that when Joe Blow gets fifty cents from Uncle Sugar, General Motors will get 100 bajillion dollars as part of the same deal. Tsk. Tsk. Everyone knows that.
Then, in the middle, we have "Iraqi Unit Flees Sadr City, Despite American's Plea" in which we read about an Iraqi army unit which turned tail and ran in the middle of the night, leaving an American patrol to fend for itself, despite the outright begging of the American commander. It's nice to see the Iraqi's finally shifting for themselves. We should be able to leave there in no time.
Like, literally, in no time. Never. Ever.
The final lead item is headlined, "Pope, in U.S., is 'Ashamed' of Pedophile Priests." That's nice. They ought to be. But how about a little shame for all the heretics they burned at the stakes over the millenia? Or the bloody crusades? Or how they turned a blind eye to millions of other atrocities over the centuries when it was very convenient to do so (or inconvenient not to)?
Is it asking too much for the world to be slightly less pigheaded, stupid, cowardly and greedy than it apparently is?
Have we maxed out on our collective credit card of common sense?
I guess it really is a dog-eat-dog world. And to paraphrase Norm from Cheers, "most of us are wearing Milk Bone underwear!"