Things that are currently worrying me, just off the top of my head:
The dumbing down of discourse. Oh, I could write a whole essay on this one, on the mad 21st century fixation on multi-tasking and list-making instead of thinking and focusing. But for a start, see this brief article about Margaret Drabble complaining that she's being encouraged to flatten her nuance.
The inability of people to learn. Too many examples to list. But, okay, what does McCain and his handlers think they're doing when they beat voters into a froth at their campaign stops? Where do you suppose they think this will lead if he's elected/if he's not elected? Do you suppose they do think?
The stock market. Last week was the worst week ever for stocks (the Guardian article is a really good roundup of what's been happening in Finance World, do read it), as in the worst week in the Dow's 112-year history. It fell 18%. In one week. It's down 40% in a year. This, people, is Not Good. We're not close to the bottom.
No on 8 is losing. The Church of Latter Day Saints is pouring cash into this mean-spirited proposition, and they're winning. If they win, the possibility of same-sex marriage will be set back decades--possibly, in my worst nightmares, generations.
Now here's a really huge one: the striking down of Posse Comitatus. So many people don't even know what it is, and yet you could argue the Bush administration has literally staged a coup.
And I haven't even got to US healthcare going the way of the dodo if either of the current candidates get to implement their silly plans, global warming, pollution and species die-off (including our own), financial apocalypse, and the occasional earth-shattering asteroid.
So why aren't I stocking the closet with MREs, water filters, hand-squeezed radio/flashlights, sleeping bags, guns, antibiotics and trade goods (like wine and opiates)? Because, well, it's a lot of work. Because I think we'll all muddle through somehow. Because the sun is shining and Goldberry is waiting. (And if you don't know what that means, go read The Lord of the Rings again and rediscover a world where, while bad things do happen, a good heart and friends, especially friends, will make all the difference.) While you're waiting for the book to arrive, please make a donation to No on 8.
p.s. Just in case this is all too depressing, I've spent some time today pondering a very practical (and pleasant) solution to feeling overwhelmed by the world, to feeling embattled and alone. It's something we can all do, that I believe we'd all enjoy; it would make us safer, happier, and more connected. I want to think about it for another couple of days, but then I'll share.