Levi Johnston, Bristol Palin and predictable news
By Alexandra Petri
Forget the news cycle. This is the old news cycle. Sharks are terrorizing swimmers, just in time for the Discovery Channel's Shark Week. NFL sources say that Brett Favre is retiring. (Based on his performance in the quarterfinals last year, I assumed he'd already retired, but there you go.) And Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin have called it quits, again.
"He's just obsessed with the limelight," Palin confided to People magazine.
Make that two of you.
“I got played,” she added.
Make that three hundred million of us -- give or take the three sensible people who know better than to follow this sort of thing and those who live in areas without reliable WiFi.
But after all this talk of Chelsea Clinton’s happy nuptials, Americans were probably about ready for stories of break-ups and betrayals.
Someone wise once noted that religion is an effort to impose ritual time, circular and seasonal, on linear time. Cult figures and gods rose and fell with the seasons -- from Persephone to Dionysus to Jesus. Every year, history -- duly and reassuringly -- repeated itself. The sun rose, the sun set, the leaves turned various colors, and the cycle began again. We were getting older and changing, but our gods remained the same, constant in their fickleness or in their constancy.
Our religion of celebrity-worship falls right into the pattern. Larger-than-life figures supply us with the same comfortable narratives, over and over again. Rumors that Brad and Jen are back together? Must be April. Brad and Angie stronger than before? Yup, it's November. Bristol and Levi have figured out their place in the cycle. Next summer -- mark my words -- they'll be back together.
Along with Brett Favre and the sharks.
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