One of the few pleasures to be derived from studying the media comes from watching the re-discovery by the hype industry and those who share its world-view of things known to the folk wisdom of mankind since time immemorial as if no one had ever thought of them before. They say that those who are really in love always think they are the first ever to feel that way, and maybe it is something like love—love of their own wisdom, or at least their cleverness—which produces the journalistic excitement of new discovery in each iteration of some timeless theme. The Boxing Day tsunami in southeast Asia gave rise to one new revelation after another, from the power of nature to the generosity—or lack of it, take your pick—of Americans to the victims of natural disasters. Perhaps the most curious of these stale epiphanies, however, was evident in the frequently made observation that God, having failed to intervene to save any of the 150,000 or...


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