1. We exist in a universe that humans up to now have not been able to comprehend. We inhabit a planet with weather that at times can be merciless. At other times we enjoy its equilibrium, especially in New England. We live among a vast variety of people, including some who act violently without warning, as seen in Norway yesterday. We live in a global society functioning on innumerable tracks. The expectation is that a person will absorb news of horrendous destruction, massive loss of life somewhere, local squabbles, and consequential political turmoil, and then change gears to do Saturday morning household errands. We shake our heads, saying “senseless, unexplainable, idiotic, exasperating,” depending on the degree of tragedy. To function, we must carry these diverse threads of information in our heads and stay balanced in our response.
2. Are the national Republicans in Washington, D.C., so fearful of President Obama’s political appeal that they will not help him solve any big problem in a way that reflects even some of his policy preferences? In the U.S. Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said months ago that his primary goal is to ensure that President Obama is a one-term president. At what cost to the American public, Sen. McConnell?
3. What is going on with the proliferation of movies based on comics and the return of old-time cartoon superheroes and new versions of the same? I know the comics never went away, but pop culture is densely packed with these characters and stories. Does the trend point to something going on in a society in which many people feel overwhelmed by forces they can do little to affect? A Facebook friend posted yesterday about “Archie” comics. Archie and pals were far from superheroes.