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Everything is Stories, you know

Your Humble Blogger feels somehow that it would be a good idea to write about Michelle Bachmann’s announcement that she will not seek re-election to Congress. I don’t know what to say, though, really. She’s an interesting figure, having been among the most prominent faces of the dog-wagging tail for a few years. But, really, what do more information do you need to know? She’s retiring; there will be a new Representative from her district. That’s pretty much it. I have read half-a-dozen columns.

What it brings to mind, for me, is how attuned I am to political news, and how much I tune out every other kind of news. I mean, that’s the news of the day, for me: Michelle Bachmann won’t seek re-election. I saw the headlines about the Disneyland dry ice incident; I didn’t bother to read the articles. I don’t know what’s going on with Amanda Bynes or Justin Bieber—I know who Justin Bieber is, at any rate, but my eyes tend to pixilate even the headlines of such articles. I would not have known about the baby rescued from the sewer had my co-workers not been discussing it for two days.

And see, that’s the thing—I would not make the argument there’s anything inherently more interesting and useful about the news that Rep. Bachmann won’t seek re-election than the baby-in-the-sewer story. They are both, largely, fueled by a grisly rubbernecking (and the press mania about both smells misogynistic to me, without, you know, actually knowing about the press mania on the other one) and horrific schadenfreude. Neither have much chance of affecting my life personally. The particularly special thing about Rep. Bachmann was of course her post-policy credentials, the way she turned failing to pass or even influence legislation into a badge of honor. So it’s not like her presence in or absence from the legislature is going to change the law, just the stories. Any claim I could make to be interested in those stories because they are Important and Affect People’s Lives is… well, arguable.

On the other hand, the Toronto Mayor story? That’s something everybody can agree is fun to watch, right?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,