Yes, yes, the media cherrypick, and the US is huge, variegated and complex, but still:
Item: A woman in Phoenix, Arizona, ran down her husband with an SUV because he had failed to vote in the November 6 election, thereby ensuring that Obama would win. Seems a little messy. Run on the local gun shop?
Item: Imagine Dostoevsky trying to write a bedroom farce, says a friend, and it’s hard to improve on that description of the tangled hi-jinks that have perhaps inevitably been dubbed Petraeusgate. One confronts a novel by that author with foreboding, knowing it will require one’s full concentration for a dedicated period of time. But if it lacks any semblance of high seriousness to begin with, why would anyone bother with it? It’s the usual stew of American prurience, prudery, hypocrisy, self-righteousness and all-around foolishness. A mighty man has fallen, but this is no tragedy of classic proportions—it’s as though Agamemnon merely tripped on a stone. The media are faking a Greek chorus, and not very well.
Item: Fiscal cliff! Whatever it is, be assured that no one’s about to drive over it. But it’s great panic-fodder, and a superb opportunity for political melodrama.
Item: Another American ritual, carried out with all due pomp and ceremony. A last meal, anti-anxiety medication, healthy veins that “shouldn’t pose problems,” and an “execution team.”
Canada’s different. Tell you what: let’s keep it that way.
UPDATE: Heh. A flow-chart for the Love Pentagon.