Given precedence over the war in Ukraine!


An imitation of life: Is our nation's public discourse an "imitation of life?"

There's no single answer to your question! For today, let's examine one manifestation. Let's examine the (extremely lengthy) front page of the (online) Washington Post.

As we type, at 11:15 a.m., the WORLD section finally appears, quite far down that extremely lengthy front page. 

More specifically, you have to go roughly three quarters of the way down that front page before you hit the online Post's WORLD section. When you finally reach that section, the headline on the featured report says this:

Western allies to discuss Ukraine aid; no respite in battle for Donbas, Zelensky says

That sounds like an important topic. Now, let's list some of the headlines today's reader will confront before he or she reaches that WORLD news section.

The reader will reach the NATIONAL section higher up on the front page. Insultingly, the first headline in that NATIONAL section says this:

Wedding trends: Dogs and cats up for adoption at the reception

For the record, the reader will already have hit the SPORTS section, where five different headlines appear.

Moving right along from the dogs and the cats at the wedding receptions, the reader will hit the section called THE HOME YOU OWN. These five headlines appear:

Why talking to your plants is good for them (and you)

A rotting wood door will only get worse. Here’s how to fix it.

8 steps to painting a room like a pro

She’s terrible with Legos. Ikea? Forget about it. But she built this DIY air filter.

How to safely dispose of old medications, according to experts

Before readers reach the war in Ukraine, they encounter those five reports, with one report sourced to experts.

Soon after that, readers will come to the ADVICE section. These six headlines appear:

Carolyn Hax: Must snoring and light sleeping drive a couple apart?

Ask a Doctor: Are my bowel movements normal?

A rotting wood door will only get worse. Here’s how to fix it.

Expect smaller refunds and continued phone delays this tax season

Miss Manners: Atheist debates how to respond to religious sign-offs

Ask Amy: Husband’s paranoid and erratic behavior scares his wife

In that section, that rotting wood door takes a curtain call! 

Readers still haven't reached Ukraine—but as they continue to scroll, they reach the Post's FOOD section. These four headlines appear:

How to make the most of your stand mixer

Bag the lettuce for a winter fruit salad that is all fun stuff

10 casserole recipes for hearty meals on cold winter nights

What we’re really fighting about when we fight about gas stoves

Bagging the lettuce will lead the reader to a whole lot of fun stuff!

At long last, the reader now hits the section called WORLD. Having fought through a maze of distractions, the Post reader is offered a link to news from the war in Ukraine. At long last, the endlessly distracted reader of the online Post is finally told about this:

Western allies to discuss Ukraine aid; no respite in battle for Donbas, Zelensky says

All in all, whatever! Dogs and cats come first!

Is the American public discourse a mere "imitation of life?"  That, of course, is a matter of judgment, but we will offer this:

The ongoing reinvention of the (online) Washington Post strikes us as a visit from moral and intellectual Hell. So too with this unmistakable fact:

As with the tree which falls in the forest, a major American newspaper can reinvent itself in this way without anyone so much as hearing a sound!

Is the (online) Washington Post's front page really an "imitation of life?" We'd be inclined to say it is, but so is the overwhelming bulk of our failing nation's sorry and sad pseudo-discourse.

"A rotting wood door will only get worse?" So too, major experts insist, with a rotting national discourse!

UPDATE! MOVING RIGHT ALONG: As with the constantly moving river in which a person can't step twice, the online Washington Post's front page is in a constant state of flux.

Even now, as we post, a major news topic has been added to the online Post's cavalcade of important topics.

We refer to one of the six news reports now featured at the very top of the online Post's front page. The headline alerts us to a major news topic. The headline in question says this:

Prince Harry’s rejection of fashion is a fashion statement of its own

Is our discourse an imitation of life? We've reported, you can decide!


  1. Surely the fella with a $10 billion Pentagon contract knows how to arrange the headlines in his publication.

    Doncha' think, dear Bob?

    1. The more we talk about billionaires, the more we can remind people that our tax rates are far too low.

  2. You don’t have to scroll down. Just click on World to go directly there.

  3. Is Somerby mentally challenged — he can’t figure out how to work a user interface and he thinks news articles about everyday life are an imitation of life. Somerby seems like a real moron.

  4. I feel like the same column is running over and over. Is Bob living in Groundhog Day?

  5. What a boring person Somerby must be if he is so incurious that he only wants to read National or World news in the paper. Life has so much more to offer.

  6. "Given precedence over the war in Ukraine!"

    The position of a story in online news no longer seems to be an indicator of the importance of the news.

  7. "Prince Harry’s rejection of fashion is a fashion statement of its own"

    Prince Harry has enough personal problems without Somerby piling on.

  8. Lots of fine Ukraine coverage on
    MSNBC but Bob can’t watch because
    they are unkind to his disordered

  9. A Republican lost an election, so he shot at Democrats’ homes.

  10. The placement or order of stories on Somerby’s home page is no excuse for him to never mention the war in Ukraine. It is all over the news, including MSNBC.

    The order of stories on Somerby’s home page of the Washington Post is probably related to the types of stories he actually seeks out. (Web pages nowadays are automatically customized by computer algorithms working behind the scenes.) so, the sorry bastard probably clicks on all those “trivial” stories, so it presents them to him first. It’s highly likely he has never read a single news article about Ukraine. It’s no coincidence that a large swath of today’s right wing favors Putin and wants to defund Ukraine.