I am finding it quite difficult to write my column this week. Not that there is nothing to write about, from Michael Brown and Ferguson to the upcoming Missouri veto session to the Islamic State (ISIS or ISAL depending on which news source you are considering at the time) and America’s involvement.
It's just that life has happened, and I have not been considering the implications of these events.
For years I have been actively working to understand the politics of Missouri and Columbia to start the conversation with you. Actually, it turns out to be more for my regular online antagonists, who keep the public conversation going.
Most of the readers of the op-ed page in fact keep up with the happenings in city hall, the Gray Dome and Washington. You are as concerned about the Opus complex as you are about the war and subsequent ceasefire agreements between Israel and Hamas. For some, both have equal pull.
But I am now falling in line with the many Americans who are just too busy to read the newspaper or find the news on Yahoo or AOL. If it is not a video of cats, what else is there?
I have come to rely on Newsy for a lot of national and international news. Yes, it is a rehash of other news reports, for Newsy apparently has no reporters, just good researchers. But after spending 10 minutes or so in the morning and the afternoon, I can get a general idea of what is happening in the world.
I still attempt to watch the three major news channels, but because I am so tired from work, I must be missing much of what is going on.
I really want to know more about the Opus situation and what our City Council is considering for its next move, but getting to a Monday council meeting has just not happened — even watching the meeting on the city channel (Mediacom 80, Charter Communications 992, CenturyLink 96) tests my ability to stay awake.
Maybe it is old age. Maybe I need a rest from the news for a few days to gain my perspective back. Maybe I should read my own newspaper more often — I mean the actual paper, not the online version, which sometimes diminishes the excitement of discovering those hidden-away news gems.
Right now I find myself focused on the weather — heat indexes of 100-plus degrees or a storm outside my window and the dog howling at the thunder exploding overhead. It reminds me of a friend in Florida whose standard poodle hides under the bed during a thunderstorm.
I have always been involved in politics one way or another. My mother took me to campaign for Adlai Stevenson when I was barely 5 months old. I worked for the Jimmy Carter campaign and the Gore 2000 campaign, as well as a number of U.S. and state House races over the years.
I could never understand why people just did not know what was going on in the world around them. That is, until I found myself in a job that does not permit me to go to Mule Skinners or Pachyderm luncheons, City Council meetings or to make the rounds of watch parties during the last two election cycles.
Maybe I just need a break from the noise of world politics. Maybe I need to seek a nice quiet spot at a local tavern, drink a beer or two and eat a really greasy hamburger. Maybe I should read or reread a book that has nothing to do with politics or politicians, like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" or the entire James Bond series — Ian Fleming books only.
Maybe it is time to watch the lightning, listen to the thunder and notice the rain hitting the pavement as I contemplate life in my zero-gravity chair on the patio.
Politics can wait a few days to re-energize like that silly, pink, drumming bunny.
David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. You can read more of his commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com, InkandVoice.com and New York Journal of Books.com.