George Parker: Social Networking… Seven Degrees of Separation from Reality?
Living out in the wilds of Idaho, I have to wait ‘till mid-day to get my hard copy fix of the New York Times… Yeah, I know I can get most of it online hours before, and I usually do. But shit, that’s not the same as spilling your breakfast beer over the print edition and making the ink soak into the tablecloth, so your wife can give you a huge bollocking to start her day on a high note… Anyway, I digress. I look forward to the Sunday edition. Yes, it is boat anchor sized. But also, it has lots of my favorite columnists in it – like Frank Rich, not merely because, like me, he’s a left wing, cheese eating, surrender monkey, but because he can get you thinking in unexpected directions. In Rich's Sunday column, he said, “One of the most persistent cultural tics of the early 21st century is Americans’ reluctance to absorb, let alone prepare for, bad news. We are plugged into more information sources than anyone could have imagined even 15 years ago. The cruel ambush of 9/11 supposedly “changed everything,” slapping us back to reality. Yet we are constantly shocked, shocked by the foreseeable. Obama’s toughest political problem may not be coping with the increasingly marginalized G.O.P. but with an America-in-denial that must hear warning signs repeatedly, for months and sometimes years, before believing the wolf is actually at the door.”