The Petraeus Scandal: A good yarn

Why do we care? Apart from issues of national security and the possible breach thereof, why do we care that a highly regarded former general has some tarnished brass in the closet?

We care, because it's a good story and we're a story-telling species. Great man+hubris+cosmic smackdown=tragedy. Why, it's downright archetypal.

If we're honest with ourselves, however, isn't our fascination partly schedenfreude? Two extreme high achievers brought low by vanity, boredom and lust? All that striving and what end? Aren't we just a little delighted by all this?

But as the Pentagon turns and more players enter the drama, several families are in crisis. As savory as these bits are to chew, they represent the failings of real people with spouses and children and loved ones gobsmacked by the news--bystanders whose lives are unraveling in the media.

So we feel pity, another essential element of tragedy. And read some more.




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