AM I the only person in the world who could not care less if David Petraeus was shagging his biographer? I mean - don't get me wrong. I'm reading all the stories, because I'm a shameless hypocrite just like every other gutter-brained internet browser who maintains a proud interest in quality news. Plus, it's impossible not to be absorbed by the sheer magnificence of the military strategy and time management skills on display as Petraeus, while US army chief, juggles an entire army, a muscular mistress, an apparently rigorous simultaneous relationship with a "social liaison officer" in Tampa and the wildcard factor of some shirtless FBI agent to boot.
It's organisationally impressive, at the very least - surely there must be a military braid for that level of hand-eye co-ordination.
But should it really be the end of his career?
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has now announced a military ethics review, after being questioned about the whole intrigue during his Australian trip this week. Panetta's travelling companion, Hillary Clinton, didn't have much to say about Petraeus, but there's a woman whose life would have been made much, much easier had her husband (right, with Monica Lewinsky) restricted himself to a spot of discreet biographer-rogering and left it at that.
Unlike president Clinton, Petraeus didn't fib, squirm or dissemble when he was busted. Having already discontinued the affair, he announced that he had failed his own and the army's moral standards, and marched himself briskly out of the building. No whining interviews about how everybody else was doing it. No self-pitying departure lounge press conferences sobbing about how one goatish lapse had overshadowed all the other great work he'd done.
Why was it so head-spinningly weird to see a major public figure cop it sweet in such a prompt fashion, without staying to argue the toss about whether the resignation was absolutely, entirely unavoidable?
Oh, yeah - right. It's because that pretty much never happens.
It's incredibly rare for a public figure, having succumbed to an indulgence, to respond by forbidding himself further indulgence.
Which is what, funnily enough, makes Petraeus quite a loss to public life. Sometimes the best test of a person is not the wrongdoing they commit - everybody sins to some extent - but the way they handle it.
Compare the Petraeus form, for example, to what's unfolded before the eyes of an entranced nation at the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption this week. Now, jokes about the moral standards within the NSW Labor government during its "Last Days Of Rome" phase are more or less redundant.
But the sheer, plodding venality of the behaviour described in evidence this week is soul-destroying. Not because it's surprising - more because it isn't. The NSW populace has received the news that up to $100 million in profits may have accrued to the family of former powerbroker Eddie Obeid with the dullest of shrugs.
The Obeid family, which bought up chunks of the Bylong Valley and encouraged friends to do the same in anticipation of the granting of mining licences by a ministerial chum, do not appear to have given themselves a hard time about the moral issues involved.
Obeid pal Rocco Triulcio, who went in on some local farm property with the Obeids, didn't even bother to do any cramming before his ICAC appearance this week, during which he insisted that he was interested in the farm for its bounteous grass, dams and "leisure" potential, while confirming he had not actually visited it post-purchase, let alone personally gambolled upon its meadowy expanses or fished the depths of its tempting dams.
This seems a breach of the scammer's contract. At least do us the courtesy of cooking up a proper story, or pretending to be interested in sheep! But no - the overwhelming tone of the ICAC inquiry has been one of dull unsurprise - from the perps that they've been sprung, and from the public that it was going on all this time.
It's enough to make you yearn for the ministers who lost their jobs for more fleshly failings - poor old John Della Bosca, who had a fling with a young lady called Harmony, or David Campbell who was filmed emerging from a bath-house catering specifically to the broad-minded gent.
Or even Matt Brown, who lost the police portfolio after dancing in his undies at a Parliament House party.
Personal failings are personal failings. Let public figures answer to their own gods in private for the sorts of stupid, unoriginal, universally human sins that have been plaguing humanity ever since Adam and Eve spotted the apple tree.
These transgressions should never be confused with the real crimes of public life - the enrichment of self at public expense, and the failure to repent of it.
Give me the rooters over the rorters, every time.