Friday, February 16, 2007

It's Not Just the Payments that Have Become More Plastic

Peggy Noonan writes about plastic people:

The most dismaying thing I've noticed the past 10 years on television is that ordinary people who are guests on morning news shows--the man who witnessed the murder, the housewife who ran from the flames--speak, now, in perfect sound bites. They also cry on cue. They used to ramble, like unsophisticated folk, and try to keep their emotions to themselves. Anchors had to take them in hand. "But what happened then?" Now the witness knows what's needed, and how to do it. "And when she didn't come home, Matt, I knew: this is not like her. And I immediately called the authorities."

Why does this dismay? Because it's another stepping away from the real. Artifice detaches us even from ourselves.

The column actually concerns the reasons the election season is beginning so early. Noonan perceptively suggests that it has more to do with society at large than with the political professionals. Sure, there are other reasons such as the need to raise money, but Noonan captures an important strand that explains that the world of men has changed. Read the rest here.

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