I'm back after around four months with no posts. At first, the reason was that I was very busy and often in places where WiFi isn't exactly easy to find. In January and February, I went to (in order): Grenada (yes, the one we invaded in 1983); London; Tanzania; and Rome. Then I was in Paris in March for a bit.
But since at least the end of March, I can't really claim that I've been busier than normal, and I always used to crank out a couple of posts a day. By then, however, I'd begun enjoying being out of touch: not only was I not blogging, I wasn't keeping up with U.S. news by, e.g., reading blogs (including Demagogue). And it was pleasant to stop paying attention. In my absence, we've had the surreal Danish cartoons-beget-Lebanese-arson saga, and I gather that the U.S. has witnessed the confirmation of the obvious fact that the White House was behind the Plame leaks, John McCain's genuflection in Jerry Falwell's direction, the puzzling plummet in Dubya's popularity, and so on. All wonderful topics for blogging, but frankly kind of depressing.
So it was nice to stop thinking about all of the crap going on in the world, and particularly in my homeland. But now I'm back, refreshed and ready to be a responsible democratic citizen again: i.e., ready to pay attention.
By the way, if you're wondering why I find Dubya's free-fall both puzzling and depressing, take a look at Zoe's post on his 29% rating. His numbers starting heading southward a little more than a year ago. It didn't make sense to me then--what did we know about him that we hadn't known when 51% of us voted for him in November--and it doesn't really make sense to me now. Sure, there have been some unpleasant revelations, but mostly his decline seems to be self-perpetuating: it becomes conventional wisdom that he's in free-fall, and then everyone starts jumping on him--generals going after Rumsfeld, the media suddenly rediscovering their spines, and so on. But do I expect the idiotic one-fifth of the population who voted for him 18 months ago and now doesn't like him to apologize? to explain rationally why they've changed their minds? to make a better choice next time? No, no, and no. And if there's any pleasure at all in being proven to have been right on issue after issue, it's greatly outweighed by the realization that people are waking up too late to cut short Dubya's eight-year disaster and the sad realities of Iraq, the federal budget, etc., etc., etc.
Sigh. Maybe I should take another break.