…if Clinton’s answers come off as well-intended lectures, Obama is offering soaring sermons and generational opportunity. In 1960, the articulate Adlai Stevenson compared his own oratory unfavorably with John F. Kennedy’s. “Do you remember,” Stevenson said, “that in classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, ‘How well he spoke,’ but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, the people said, ‘Let us march.’ ” At this hour, Obama is the Democrats’ Demosthenes.

A moment from another world! Imagine a reporter dictating an exclusive story, a lead story, sourced from the President of the United States, from a telephone just off the White House dance floor to the strains of Lester Lanin’s dance band.

Up till now it has been thought that the growth of the Christian myths during the Roman Empire was possible only because printing was not yet invented. Precisely the contrary. The daily press and the telegraph, which in a moment spreads inventions over the whole earth, fabricate more myths (and the bourgeois cattle believe and enlarge upon them) in one day than could have formerly been done in a century.

Pretty average headlines for a worldwide catastrophe,” Jane remarked as she read from Hollywood’s Highest. “Some man in Africa claimed to have found the cure for AIDS, yet another politician said something about the president and now formally regrets it, and a pop star OD’d while an actress lost fifteen pounds overnight, and here’s how you can, too!” She continued reading. “Oh, wow. The ‘Celebrititties’ section says she was in a car accident and her arms had to be amputated. Damn.