On Friday, the State Journal delivered an editorial that was completely puzzling to us, almost unsettling. It was about traffic roundabouts (in support of). It’s such a random topic that it seems to set a new high water mark for eccentric WSJ editorials. Traffic roundabouts are, we suppose, interesting enough, but only in the same way that everything in the world is interesting. Only in the same way that the internet is interesting. A curious person can begin anywhere and follow the beckoning bread crumbs which lead off in new directions, on and on and on, until it’s time for bed.
But it’s difficult to imagine how the topic of traffic roundabouts would make its way onto a newspaper editorial page, as it did on Friday. How would it rise above the other billion-or-so topics in traffic engineering, ship design, logistics, refrigeration, and so on? Does the editorial board meet? Do they just let Milfred loose on the internet to see what strikes his fancy? Does the publisher arrive in the office with roundabouts on his mind and tell Milfred to get to work on a roundabout piece? Does he tell Milfred whether to support or oppose? None of this is really imaginable to us.
It just seems weird. We do believe that staff changes are in order — overdue, in fact — if this editorial page is ever going to improve. And we need it to improve. But we don’t want those staff changes to be the result of a breakdown. Bring back the old snarling, stupid editorial page — for a day at least — just to let us know that everyone is OK.