Once upon a time, a dental or medical exam was an opportunity to read a book. No more. The TV blares. It was talking heads discussing whether a football player had been sufficiently punished. The offense was unclear. The question was whether the lashes were sufficient.
It brought to mind that punishment has become a primary feature of American, indeed Western, society. A baker in Colorado was punished because he would not bake a wedding cake for a homosexual marriage. A county or state clerk was punished because she would not issue a marriage license for a homosexual marriage. University professors are punished because they criticize Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians. Whistleblowers are punished—despite their protection under federal law—for revealing crimes of the US government. And children are punished for being children.