SUPERSTRUCTURE

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First, a disclaimer: like everyone, I am saddened by the killings at Virginia Tech, and I wish they hadn't happened, and I hurt for the parents, who have suffered an unimaginable loss. But for the last several days, I have heard several commentators intone in their gravest voices, "Today we are all Hokies," and every time I hear it, God help me, I laugh. Hokies. It sounds like they're saying, "today we are all morons." If this had happened at the University of Baltimore, would these guys be pronouncing, "Today we are all Super Bees"? Or at Cal-Irvine, "Today we are all Anteaters"? My powerful adolescent Sparky sarcasm is aimed not at the victims, I repeat, but at the news dopes who claim to speak for the entire American people. Katie Couric was a notorious practitioner of this bit of annoying rhetoric. She would benedict some poor schmo with the solemn condolences of the entire country, and then scoot over to a neighboring set and be instructed in how to firm up her tummy in 15 minutes a day. We're so awash in spin and recrimination and self-consciousness and low attention span and media overkill these days that it's hard to take a moment and experience a pure, simple, sincere emotion. I do have to say, though, that if we all had to make the daily affirmation, "We are all morons," nothing but good would come of it.