The American freak show

Particularly in an election year, we’re always looking for things that define who we are.

It’s an effort doomed to failure from the start — we can’t be defined — but we persist anyway.

So it doesn’t really do any good to point out that we are a people who will sit in front of the television to watch a guy who swallowed an arrow, get shot in the throat by his partner. And we will define this freak show as “talent.”

It happened live last night on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

“It just caught my shirt,” comedy daredevil Ryan Stock said. He also said it was the first time the two had ever missed.

In earlier appearances, Stock suspended himself by his nipples, swallowed a chain saw, and used a blowtorch on his tongue.

Because: America.