At first, we were shocked about Charlie Sheen: He said what? Again? By the second week of his all-Charlie-all-the-time-crazy-talk tour of our screens, we were no longer shocked — we were bored.
Yeah, yeah, you're a tiger, you're a warlock, you're a rock star. Winning! Moving on now. What's next?
Have you noticed that the arc of our astonishment at the behavior of celebrities is collapsing? We're just not shocked, not anymore, or at least not for long. Once, Americans could be relied on to choke on their Cheerios at news in the morning papers or on the Today show that, say, some oleaginous politician, especially a family-values politician, was caught cheating on his wife. Nowadays we're all ho-hum. But an oleaginous politician cheating on his dying wife? Now that gets the gasps. We're shocked — until we're not and something else egregious wanders into view.