I have a service which tracks traffic to this site, and from their reports I know that when I comment on news - domestic or international - more people visit the site that when I talk about life on the farm. When I want to see a spike in visitors, a sure way to accomplish that is to mention the word "Obamacare." Any remarks on that topic is a guaranteed crowd pleaser - or teaser.
But getting fired up over a national or international story seems infinitely more difficult now that I have retired. I still scan the headlines of several publications each day, but seldom do I encounter anything that sets my blood to boiling.
I know that Malaysian airliner is still missing, and, as predicted here, there are those mumbling about a conspiracy with a covered-up hijacking. And while it might be fun to stir that pot a time or two, the sad truth is that it's a mighty big ocean, and the odds weigh heavily toward that plane being somewhere at the bottom of it.
I know that the President of the United States met with the Pope at the Vatican, and that most of the pictures of them at that encounter showed the two men smiling or laughing. Apparently they hit it off very well. The Republican Party, which had considered the Catholic Church its personal fiefdom, isn't too happy with a free-wheeling and free-thinking Pope, and certain party leaders are now yammering on saying that the Pope really is no liberal. No, he's far from an Adlai Stevenson or a Eugene McCarthy - but he is also an entirely different breed of Catholic than his predecessor, Pope Ratzinger. Praise Jesus!
I know that you can no longer register comments at the Huffington Post without a Facebook account. (What's with that affront to civilization, Arianna?) I know that Karen Handel is going to lose the Republican senate primary in Georgia, I know that Alan Grayson will email me at least once a day begging for money, and I know that Rush Limbaugh is still a shameless windbag.
I know not to shop at Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Chick-fil-A, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Papa John's, or any other place that espouses right-wing nonsense or mistreats its employees.
I know lots of stuff, and can prattle on with ease - but the fire just isn't igniting. (Maybe its the chilly weather.)
I would rather talk about my newest issue of "Backyard Poultry" which arrived today, or comment on the fact that I have finished unpacking - though not organizing - my house, or discuss old friends and past lives which I will be reliving at a dinner tomorrow night in Springfield, or describe the birds that are hopping about and feeding beneath the window where I am typing.
My head, heart, and soul are slowly disconnecting from the stream of angst that makes the world spin, and my focus is narrowing to ten acres in south-central Missouri. I suspect that once my life here gets organized, my concern for the macro problems of mankind may reassert itself, but until the fire flares once again, this space may read more like a farm journal. Bear with me.
And . . . Obamacare!