OPINION

Refuge in the trite

When the important things are too unbearable or inexplicable, or simply not suitable for television, we generally take refuge in the trite. Earlier this week, several TV channels broadcast the «news» that deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is crazy about Doritos chips and would not switch brands for anything. Doritos’ manufacturer couldn’t have hoped for better promotion than that from one of the most famous «evil» personalities of our times. The revelation was made by US soldiers who had guarded Hussein and who spoke on TV about the former leader’s «daily routine» in jail. It is no small thing to discover that your neighborhood kiosk sells the same potato chips as those supplied by a canteen in a high-security prison in Iraq. Who knows, perhaps one day Saddam will be granted an amnesty and will be able to advertise his beloved chips on television, just as former Russian leader Michail Gorbachev had promoted Pizza Hut. Of course, we all know that Saddam’s chip preference is supremely insignificant. The important issue is the ongoing tragedy of the Iraqi people, but too many hours in front of the television has evidently made the general public regard significant matters as trivial. The fact that the US army is having difficulty recruiting volunteers, that less and less Americans want to sign up for military service, is mundane and boring in comparison…