Do you feel like singing 'Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio'?

We all need a break from the madness that is our politics today, from a Supreme Court justice finding a right to same-sex marriage in the 14th Amendment to President Obama handing Iran $150 billion without getting four hostages back. 

I understand now why Paul Simon wrote that line about "Joltin' Joe."  I yearn for simpler days, when we shared certain values and didn't need some screen encouraging us to clap during the game.  

Joe DiMaggio was consistency blessed with elegance and class.  His 56-game streak ended 74 years ago yesterday:

On this day in 1941, New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio fails to get a hit against the Cleveland Indians, which brings his historic 56-game hitting streak to an end.

The record run had captivated the country for two months.

It captivated the country for a few reasons.

Baseball was king, and there were no NHL or NBA playoffs to compete with.  Even the NFL season was second fiddle to the pennant races and post-season.

DiMaggio did it all with such perfection and class.  You didn't have to love baseball to admire what the man was doing.  He even played double-headers because he respected the fan who had paid to watch him play.

DiMaggio was so American, the son of Italian immigrants who fully integrated into U.S. culture.  I'm sure that he never expected for voting ballots to be in Italian.

DiMaggio's world was not perfect, from segregation to the world war that the country would be drawn into a few months after the baseball season.  Nevertheless, there was a certain order and predictability to that world that I yearn for today.

Once in a while, I close my eyes and imagine what the world was like when men wore pinstriped suits and ladies were always elegant.

Yes: "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?  Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you."

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