Afflicted by Boredom…”Say something new!”

My piece at First Things, today:

With something like horror I realized that I—the news junkie whose earliest memories involve sitting on the floor, transfixed as Nancy Dickerson read the afternoon headlines and the iconic black and white images burned themselves into my imagination; the girl who had devoured political and religious stories and had made a happy career out of the chomping; the woman whose greatest joy after family was the perpetual wellspring of the internet where one could read something, bang out a reaction and then click the mouse and do it again, ad infinitum—had become bored beyond endurance.

I am bored by the same people saying the same things, week after week, and by their dismaying contempt for curiosity, and by my own, too.

A few days ago, the gaffe-prone (far more than the press will admit) President Obama said, “the private sector is doing fine.” Opposition predictably jumped on it; sympathizers predictably worked to spin it; all of the same people who have been in our faces for decades were in our faces again—on television, on the radio, in social media—and their busy words, predictably, boiled down to “shut up; other opinions are unconscionable and do not belong at our lunchtable.” No one seemed remotely curious to ask, “does the president actually believe this? If so, why? Is his brain all right?”

Read the rest. The ending was written real-time and…it surprised even me, before I dashed out and found something new.

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About Elizabeth Scalia