The whole “covfefe” thing on Wednesday was the sort of mindless nonsense than can take our minds off big, weighty things, but maybe it’s time to move on.
We needed it, the Star Tribune’s editorial said today.
The laughs were largely lighthearted and in many ways, poking fun at ourselves, too. Who among us has not had an embarrassing typing foible or two? It happens.
To the small number who decried L’Affaire Covfefe as something more sinister: Lighten up. Good-natured comedy can lead to political comity. Let’s hope the Typo Heard Round the World provides an opening.
You hear that, Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times? Lighten. Up.
In his 1985 classic, “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business,” the media theorist Neil Postman wrote that society has long braced itself to fight against the kind of “spiritual devastations of tyranny” described by George Orwell — thought police, cameras, totalitarians. He warned of another threat to society and culture.
“Everything in our background has prepared us to know and resist a prison when the gates begin to close around us,” Postman wrote. “But who is prepared to take arms against a sea of amusements? To whom do we complain, and when, and in what tone of voice, when serious discourse dissolves into giggles? What is the antidote to a culture’s being drained by laughter?”
It’s a sign of the times when even a jumbled bunch of letters in a tweet split the country in half.