Anyway, the thought process was interrupted by the horrific news out of Virginia. The murder of two young journalists -- Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27 -- on live TV won't be the only senseless killing today (every hour in America, on average, seven people are shot and three people die by the gun). Nor is it any more awful than so many of the others, like last week's murder -- in Ferguson, Missouri -- of a 9-year-old girl, Jamyla Bolden, who was hit by a bullet as she sat on her bed doing homework. It's all sad and it's all overwhelming -- the violence and the seeming collapse of our political system to deal with this, or anything. Truthfully, someone should politicize today's murders, but not me. I can't do it. I'll just offer my heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Alison and Adam and their journalist colleagues.

I will just note in passing: The center is, yet again, not holding -- even less so than when Joan Didion channeled Yeats a half-century ago. It's probably not a coincidence that this American opera of political farce and .44 caliber tragedy plays out as the Dow sheds a couple of thousands points. The panic on Wall Street has been greeted with mostly calm on Main Street, because everyone knows this is the 1 Percenters' game, and the game is rigged. It's just one more sign that the unraveling is getting faster. The last 24 hours have felt like a bad sequel to Paddy Chayefsky's brilliant-if-talky 1976 "Network," the film that put our country's dueling penchants for violence and mindless entertainment into a satirical blender.

Then, I picked up this morning's Daily News, with a front page about three bodies that a North Philly funeral home had left to rot out in the garage. The stench, it seems, is coming from everywhere.