In the 70's, Joan Didion had a realization that overwhelmed her. She was motoring in Los Angeles at the time, working on a movie, and it dawned on her that "narrative doesn't matter anymore" in American culture. She had to pull off the road. I'm an American in Scotland, on my first morning after the flight from New York, and I'm having a double-take in the opposite direction.
It was harrowing to hear David Brooks of the NY Times ho-hum the bombing of schools and refugee camps on American national radio (NPR) last Friday. Ten years ago, he gave the thumbs up to an Iraqi War that would inevitably take a heavy civilian toll, with the human cost so obvious from the first moments of "Shock and Awe." Brooks and war-fever buddy Tom Friedman are opinion-makers who brought many traditional liberals to accept their gruesome idea of necessary violence.