Perhaps you have noticed?...that in the 48-hour period since election night, every. single. media outlet, newsmagazine, and tabloid television program has done a Puppy Segment? Thursday evening I was at the gym during the prime nightly news/infotainment clip-show hour, and I could simply look up and down the bank of TVs at the front of the cardio room and, every couple of minutes, see at least one correspondent wrassling around in a back yard or shelter or kennel, dropping the microphone and getting licked to death and snorgling a chihuahua or a labradoodle or a cocker spaniel. It is abundantly clear, what we have all seized upon in this monumental moment of our nation's history; obviously, I am guilty of the same, see below. And for two days, at least, I have decided to surrender to it, find it hilarious, and think of it as one of the things that makes America great. We are in dire economic straits, in the U.S.; we are conducting two wars; we have made a huge step forward in our nation's civil rights history on one front, this week, and stumbled badly, shamefully, on several others. The road ahead is steep, and rocky, and it is going to be hard, for us and for President-Elect Obama.
But for a few days, it has been like living in a bright glowing parallel universe. People smile and make eye contact, share their tables and their newspapers in the coffee house. I went to the blood bank this afternoon and it was packed, a madhouse of volunteers eager to give something of themselves, to endure a quick needle stick and then some cookies and apple juice, in the name of civic responsibility. And for a few days--before we all pick up the rope again and pull, before we put our shoulders to the wheel--the news is only sweetness, a refuge where in every headline and on every channel we're all picking out puppies, puppies, yaay, OMG puppies!!1!