Is This a Blah Time or What?


Everything is supposed to be spanking new these days. New age, new world order, new paradigm, new millennium. Choices, payment methods, retailing experiences--all new. This is, we’re told, a great time, “or what?” the MCI ads say.

Given the choice, we’ll take the “what.” For some reason, amid all the new, everything seems old, tired, frayed. Been there, done that. Whatever.

We’re sick of new. Sick of slick. Sick of cynicism, and of irony, and of sameness and sprawl.

We’re sick to death of Monica and Ken Starr and Sidney Blumenthal and Laura Ingraham and Linda Tripp and that ghastly Lucianne Goldberg and Steve Brill and the whole mess of them, except maybe for Bruce Lindsey and Jackie M. Bennett, who, as far as we can tell, have yet to appear on “Larry King” or “Geraldo” or “Charlie Rose.” Of all of whom we are sick.


The Clintons have been in the White House since the dawn of time. Enough.

The network anchors, all three of them, who’ve been with us since the invention of television and show no prospect of leaving. Goodness, we’re already sick of their unanointed successors, and especially of Brian Williams, who reminds us that we’re sick of Harrison Ford, and everything he stands for. (Oddly, however, we’re not remotely tired of Gene Hackman.)

We are sick of cards--supermarket savings cards, frequent-flier cards, insurance cards, calling cards, business cards, sandwich-, coffee-, car wash- and all other get-one-free punch cards.

Our ability to stomach someone or something doesn’t have much to do with age or merit. Most of the people and things we are sick of are simply superfluous.


We’re sick to death of Candice Bergen and her Sprint ads.

We aren’t sure we know what Matt Drudge is, but we are sick of him anyway.

We’re sick of the senators, the whole grouchy pack of them--Hatch and Helms, Kennedy and what’s his name, the one who should have been a dentist, Daschle.

We never thought we’d admit it, but we’re sick of Michael Jordan, and Dennis Rodman, of course, but not Scottie Pippen. And we never got tired of Dr. J. Never.


We’re sick of victims, survivors and anything plastered with the label “at risk.”

We’ve had it with Steven Spielberg. And Richard Holbrooke. We are sick of companies that say they’re giving us what we want, when what we really want is for them to leave us alone.

And Sean “Puffy” Combs. And Naomi Wolf and Camille Paglia.

We have reached our limit on Y2K, which is--we’re not quite certain which--a computer problem, a rap group or a fashion label.


We no longer wish to hear from or about the other Bennetts, Bill and Bob. We are bipartisan in our sickness thereof.

We are sick of Leonardo DiCaprio, even though we haven’t even browsed through any of those books about him or even looked in the general direction of any of the 94 consecutive People magazine cover stories about him.

We were sick of Charlton Heston, and then he went and became chief of the National Rifle Assn., which is such a hoot that now we’ll watch him do anything.

We are permanently sick of television characters with ridged skulls.


We’re sick of soccer, World Cup or peewee version.

We’d be sick of Christopher Reeve, but that would be wrong.

You’d have to pay us a huge amount of money not to be sick of Bill Gates.

Sick to death of Leno and Letterman and Koppel and Magic Johnson, though we haven’t actually seen his show.


Minivans--enough already.

We are sick of simplicity.

We want to be excited again, and even frightened, even as we live our predictable and secure lives. We’ll never be sick of “The Godfather” or ice cream or loud music or Thanksgiving dinner. We were never sick of the Cold War.

We are sick to death, and our supreme crankiness makes us swell with hope and revel in the fresh possibilities of tomorrow.