Your Monday Dose of Doom & Gloom, Gotterdammerung-Sized
SNAPSHOT ONE: A soldier who never faced combat "snaps" and murders three of his fellow soldiers before turning the gun on himself. This happens on the grounds of one of America's largest Army bases.
SNAPSHOT TWO: A week after the deadline has passed, nobody can say for sure if a trillion-dollar health insurance overhaul law has actually resulted in a net gain of people with insurance. This is despite executive lenience, if I may coin a phrase, towards who counts as having "purchased" "coverage."
SNAPSHOT THREE: The American President, having been embarrassed in sequence by having his demands ignored by the leaders of Iran, then Syria, then Russia, finds himself hailed for "facing down the war machine." This claim is made in the face of Russian preparations for further aggression, continued Syrian foot-dragging on giving up its chemical weapons, the ongoing refusal of Iran to be talked out of its nuclear program, and something close to a crisis in Sino-Japanese relationships.
SNAPSHOT FOUR: America's equities markets experience broad declines on news that the American economy created nearly 200,000 jobs in March following weeks of bad weather. Wall Street wasn't looking at America's stubbornly high underemployment rate, which actually rose slightly. Instead, Wall Street worries that even modestly-good economic news will slow the free money raining down from the Federal Reserve.
SNAPSHOT FIVE: A California state senator and gun control advocate, widely expected to have a long career in politics, is arrested on charges of bribery and trafficking automatic weapons and missiles to Muslim separatists in the Philippines. The mainstream American media for the most part yawns.
SNAPSHOT SIX: Oklahoma, of all places, experiences "record seismic activity."
You don't have to be a millenarianist these days to get the sense that the world is coming to an end. Our six snapshots above don't show a world sucked into itself on the battlefields of Megiddo, but instead flying apart seemingly at random in a million different directions.
Our first example, the most recent Fort Hood shooter, was made possible -- perhaps made inevitable -- by the Administration's refusal to even just reexamine military policy towards carrying firearms on base. Our second example, ♡bamaCare!!!, remains a mystery, wrapped in fuzzy numbers, covered by a media haze. The state of affairs in the Far East, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere, is the sad result of the world's thugs having six years to take the measure of the man behind the Resolute desk and finding him irresolute at best. In our fourth snapshot, good news for Main Street has become bad news for Wall Street as we continue, after more than five years of "recovery," to buy today's feeble growth at the cost of tomorrow's crushing debt. Leland Yee's bizarre case in California is yet another example of why Americans, especially young Americans, continue to drop out of politics and tune out the dinosaur media.
And earthquakes in Oklahoma? While we can't pin the blame for those on anybody in particular, they certainly do add to that feeling of existential dread I experience each morning before flipping open the lid on my laptop or lighting up the screen on my iPad.
"What's next?" I think all of us find ourselves asking after scanning the headlines or turning on the radio for the top-of-the-hour news. "A new outbreak of some terrible disease? China and Japan going to war? Human sacrifice? Dogs and cats living together? Mass hysteria?"
It's difficult to enough to fight vainly the old ennui -- where are we going to find the energy to fight all the new?
And so I present to you the VodkaPundit Plan for Dealing with It All™.
Take 30 minutes after work each day and do with them what you will. But there is a short list of do-nots.
● Discuss work.
● Read the news.
● Turn on the TV.
● Perform any chores more involved than making a cocktail for you and yours, if you imbibe.
Take 30 minutes -- just 1/48th of your day -- to be unencumbered by any issue bigger than telling your kids to take it outside, or if you're feeling really ambitious, to walk all the way over to the liquor cabinet to refill your beverage.
Take those 30 minutes and make them yours.
It's not like the world is going to end if you do.