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I used to have terrible insomnia. It’s been better in recent years, though I still do battle with it occasionally. The other night, as I struggled with another bout of it, I had the misfortune of hearing the song “Send in the Clowns,” which has now become an annoying earworm.
But since I couldn’t sleep, it got me to wondering what in the heck the song I remember well from my childhood was even really about. So, of course, I Googled it, only to discover that it wasn’t really about clowns – at least not of the circus variety.
Rather, it’s about distracting an audience with jokes – entertaining them so they don’t notice everything falling apart. And as much as I always thought the song meandering and maudlin, it occurred to me that it’s an apt metaphor for our times – and the highly charged political atmosphere, spurred on by a media focused on crafting a narrative it prefers rather than reporting on what is.
We jump from one story to the next, alternating between outrage and elation, and always hungering for the next tasty morsel to entertain us. Meanwhile, those we’ve elected to lead line their pockets and amass power, while we remain eagerly distracted.
Send in the clowns? Don’t bother, they’re here.
Note: This “Moore to the Point” commentary aired on NewsTalkSTL on Friday, December 2nd. Audio included below.