Is it just me...
Or has the news over the past two weeks looked something like this?
Biggest bank failure in history
Biggest nationalization in history follows failure of world's largest insurer
Biggest non-defense budget authorization in history sought
Bailout talks explode in chaos and recriminations
North Korea reactivates atomic program
Russia lends Venezuala $1 billion to buy Russian armaments
Somali pirates seize ship carrying dozens of tanks
Presidential candidate 'suspends' campaign; hours before first scheduled
presidential debate, unclear whether it will actually take place
Largest one-day increase in the price of oil in history
Former Vice-President of the United States advocates civil disobedience in fight against global warming
Russia begins nuclear rearmament
Armed conflict breaks out between U.S. and Pakistan along the Afghan-Pakistani border
For some time now I've been joking that the world ended several years ago and we've all been living in post-apocalyptic times; it makes each little outbreak of philistinism or cultural depravity easier to face. (Sure, there's a 90210 sequel show on the air, but, hey, zombies didn't eat my brain today, so really, that's better than could reasonably have been expected.) But things are actually looking... quite poorly right now. I can't think of anytime quite like it; certainly, I never remember a presidential race so finely suspended between crisis and farce, catastrophe and clown show.
I've never really understood the "is the country on the right track/ wrong track" polling questions; they just seem to be ways of asking people "is your party in power or not?" But "wrong track" seems to be a pretty serious understatement just about now...