“Mistah Kurtz – he dead.”

T.S. Eliot chose that line from Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness as the epigram for his poem “The Hollow Men.”

Oh, come on, you know:

The novel, and the poem, about the terminal termitic decay of what we laughingly call “civilization,” and the “hollow men” who (barely) populate Western society?

With all that scarecrow and “straw men” and trophy-heads-on-pikes imagery?

“This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a wimper” and all that?

Or maybe you don’t.

And you don’t want to know, either. Not anything.

What difference does it make?

In a world where “Benghazi was a long time ago,” expressing what used to be called “common knowledge,” or asking what once was considered “a normal question,” is verboten.

You see:

Jason Collins is gay, therefore Jason Collins has always been gay.

That he’s gay is everybody’s business, but it’s nobody’s business that John Maynard Keynes was.

Get it?

You’d better.