I was at the gym early this morning.
The bank of TV screens in front of the treadmills contained an array of programs, many of them presented by vulgarians. I began to look forward to the commercials and eventually turned my attention to a screen featuring the inside story of traffic meters.
All of which brings us to the subject of style. Is there one actor out there who even approaches the style of Cary Grant? Is there an actress who resembles Audrey Hepburn?
The latest hubbub about David Letterman's tacky comments about Sarah Palin and her daughter only serves as a reminder of how, in some quarters, low standards have become standard. It is unthinkable that Johnny Carson would have ever joked about a major politician's young daughter getting knocked up. Letterman's studio audience, of course, responded like trained seals.
A telling sign of a society's health is what it regards as entertainment. Ancient Rome had its grandeur but a society that cheered as people were ripped apart by wild animals was far from grand. We have not descended to that level - thank God - but are we moving upward or downward?