Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tranquilization by the Trivial
As noted in an earlier post, the phrase "tranquilization by the trivial," attributed to Soren Kierkegaard, for whom I leap, surely describes American culture.
Case in point:
Remarks by two presidential and one vice presidential candidates about lipstick (lipstick!) are scrutinized for significance. (Here's a new phrase, attributed to Pawlie Kokonuts, Esq.: the scrutinization for significance (better yet, scrutiny for significance).
To a significant degree, I blame the media for playing into the hands of the public hunger for trivia. And yet: this is how we are: much more "fun" to have a controversy over lipstick than something as unsexy as mortgage foreclosures.
If Nero fiddled while Rome burned, we applied lipstick to our pouted lips while the empire collapsed.
God [feel free to insert other name of Higher Power here or leave a blank space for those who believe the Sacred is ineffable and inexpressible], help us.
The insertion of the immediately preceding comma makes it a prayer (doesn't it, Mark Murphy?) as opposed to an imperative statement without the comma.
(Afterthought: Mark, "candidate" or "candidates" in paragraph 3? Probably best to use the editor's favorite tool: recast the sentence.)