I thought I'd accepted all the inanities life in the 21st century has to offer.

It's OK that someone named Kardashian spawned a brood of talentless young women who nevertheless make breaking-news headlines almost every day.

I almost understand why untold millions on Facebook feel compelled to share with "friends" that, for example, their cream of wheat was on the lumpy side one morning, precipitating a downward spiral that was reversed only when they heard "Muskrat Love" — their favorite song — playing on an oldies radio station.

Snooki wrote a best-selling book, though anyone who's seen her interviewed has to wonder whether she can read one. Bristol Palin donned a gorilla suit and danced on national television. And I recorded it, and watched the whole thing.

Good luck to the Kardashians and to Bristol, and good luck to the rest of us as we continue to discover just how easy it is to amuse ourselves these days.

But when I've had enough of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" or the 2012 Republican presidential campaign, I find refuge in baseball, the thinking fan's game, the sport without a clock, just man versus small leather ball on a manicured field under a brilliant sun-lit sky.

But in New England summer isn't just around the corner, it's a pipe dream. A couple of weeks ago, as I enjoyed a cold and dank New Hampshire evening, I turned on the TV and found a Red Sox-Oakland A's game. As the Sox jogged across the Fenway infield before the start of the first inning, the camera zoomed in on Adrian Gonzalez, Boston's Gold Glove first baseman and slugger extraordinaire.

His cap with the iconic "B" on the front had an added feature I'd never seen before—ear flaps. It looked like the hat that one of my elementary school classmates wore back in 1965, the kind of hat that got this same kid beat up at recess.

What's next, serving hot cocoa and warm chocolate chip cookies in the dugout? If so, I say bring back the beer and fried chicken. Yo, Adrian, this is springtime in Boston. Dress like a baseball player, not like a model in an L.L. Bean catalogue.

I can handle that Paula Abdul has found a permanent niche on television. I've forgiven former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, who claimed "the shot heard 'round the world" was fired in New Hampshire. But when a Red Sox player wears a cap with fuzzy ear flaps, our nitwit culture has officially morphed with the national pastime. The proverbial apocalypse is a lot closer than we think.

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John Edmondson is a teacher in Hampstead.

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