What hyperbolic sentiments are journalists writing this week? --*"Before his tragic fall, Mark McGwire was baseball's white knight. A man who batted fat pitches into the stars. Those baseballs still hang there, illuminating our night. But like McGwire's record, it was all just so much illusion."
--*"Commodity prices are not just dollars and cents. They are the butter that we put on our toast. They are the lithium we put in our laptops. They are the flint that strikes our matches. They are the iron ore that builds our cities. They are the oil that lubricates our civilization, spirit and fancy. We are commodities. And sometimes something so precious can be so misunderstood."
--*"Barack Obama is more than just a candidate for president. He is a storm. He is where the lightning gathers and the air ignites. He is the expression of millions of quieted desires. The farmer who has lost everything. The young child who finds fascination with a bug in a jar. The runt who dreams beyond the limits of his size. The aged person who wants once again to retrieve his faith."
--*"Sarah Palin is more than just a candidate. She is the moose-wrestling mom who fights earmarks and spending with a special needs baby suckling at her breast. She is married to the machine that drives back the snow. She lays the pipe that pumps the juice for our thirsty, growing nation. She commands the wind, but is as graceful as a whisper."
--*"Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is not just a policy wonk. He is Richelieu. He is the man with the president's ear. He is the man that scoops giants like Bear Stearns from the Vesuvian waste; he is the fulcrum that turns the fortunes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He is the jangle of change in your pocket. He is the Atlas that must bear the economy on his shoulders."
--*"The Dark Night" is not just a film. It is the birth and death of a great artist. In his fulfillment of God's desire that he live at the greatest depth of human emotion and despair, Heath Ledger went where no man could go, understood the depth of life's pain in all its contracting measure, and, after coming back to tell us what he had learned, could not possibly survive the scar of having known it."
--*"Hurricane Katrina was not just some storm, the No. 5 deadliest storm in the history of the United States. It was Armageddon. It was Biblical fury unleashed on the most innocent of us. It was where we all of a sudden stood aware of ourselves as vulnerable, perhaps in a way we had not so since the Garden of Eden. It brought out the worst in us. And the best."
--*"Lance Armstrong is not just a bicyclist. He is a hero for those fighting against all odds. A specimen of great physical strength fighting the forces of entropy from without and from within, and defeating them (for now) with a heroic sense of mission, of self, and destiny."
--*"Kurt Cobain was a man who faced great inner demons of self-loathing, great physical pain, ambivalence about the world he lived in, the relationship of art to reality, and to the self. His ultimate self-destruction was an act of certainty, a final decision to say to the world "No. I will not go with you."
--*Sept. 11 was ... oh darn...I just can't think of any 9/11 hyperbole. I wonder if anyone else will be able to this Thursday.