You might have noticed that I have been in scarce supply the last couple of weeks. I was on the Moon. Or maybe at the bottom of the ocean. Or in at Turkish prison. It really doesn't matter much, because where I was there was no news. But as any spaceman or diver or ex-con will tell you, re-entry into the World is the most dangerous part of the trip.
They ain't kidding.
Friday's WSJ usually contains a thought-provoking opinion piece by Dan Henninger, and yesterday's was no exception. It was the timing that blew me away.
There's an old saw about stepping back for a bit and asking "What would a man from Mars think if he saw all this?" I haven't had time to read newspapers or watch TV or surf blogs. There was news all around me, but it was strangled by the clock, the calendar, and the white noise from the beginning of time. So I awoke on Friday morning, still a bit out of it, picked up the newspaper, and was struck dumb.
"What the hell is the matter here?" asked the Man from Mars. "What the hell is going on?" Lurid text messages. Nut job nuke test. Head-stomping football player. Pedophile free in California. Amish girls dead in Pennsylvania. Amish girls!
The stories shot from the pages like lightning bolts, each one more shocking than the last. The Man from Mars thought hard about just putting down the paper and going home. And then I read Henninger's piece and I took heart that it wasn't just me. There are other Martians out there wondering how everything suddenly seems to have gone off the track. It's cold comfort, I know, but it's also the only brand available.
Soon the numbness of living with the news will return, and I'll be part of the World again.
Or maybe I won't.