Is it just me or do readers often feel that they are living in a work of fiction? Currently something between the impending doom of The Titanic or an increasingly far fetched science fiction tale seem to lead the field?
What with economic doom and gloom becoming daily words it is a pessimistic period in many people'e lives. All that they may or may not have valued, under threat. Homes, possessions, the family unit, money, World Peace and the environment. None of these are safe any more.
One thing under threat, that until lately most of us in the West took for granted, is freedom. That loose word which encompasses so much. Freedom online, free speech, freedom of movement, the freedom to spend what you want where you want, and more. Little by little most of us are having our freedoms restricted. Some of the changes are blatant but many are underhand. Tiny so that, in the words of Joni Mitchell, you may not realise what you have lost until it has gone.
In the last two days former US President Jimmy Carter has voiced his concerns regarding the US record on human rights, or rather the lack of them.
You can of course argue that we have never been truly free. For most people modern day living has some restrictions such as work, school, how you behave and where you can go. You may feel that the world has in effect become smaller and that you can travel where you want when you want. Lose that magic document, your passport, though and see just how far you get.
The authorities however right now want to edge that bit further into an Orwellian Novel. Big Brother will be watching you. In the UK a heavy presence of CCTV means that most people's moves are monitored frequently. You can blame this on the mindless hooligans who trawl UK streets but excessive CCTV is a good tool for the authorities also.
Our current coalition government is hoping to extend snooping online in the UK under the premise of fighting crime, terrorism and pornography. Such law breakers will simply find another way. The changes will remain in force though and it will be the law abiding citizens of the UK whose freedoms will have been restricted.
As we face the threat of global war, global economic crisis and hell on earth we are being pushed this way and that.
The propaganda machine of each country and each political party is nothing new. It is however becoming increasingly difficult to sort the "wheat from the chaff". Just what is actually happening can be hard to determine. There are so many news sources these days and many are far from independent. Mainstream news also favours one way or another.
Take the 2012 US election
Articles online for instance manipulate the voter and certain situations. The way that President Obama and Mitt Romney are portrayed will be crucial in the election. Both have backers pulling strings. Both put forward an electable persona. Will it end up, as in the UK, where US voters simply opt for who they believe is the lesser of the evils? Many people vote this way now having little definite faith in either side.
Both of the above articles make for worrying reading. Both tell a tale but how much is the truth and nothing but the truth? The first details how Mitt Romney backer Sheldon Adelson also backs Netanyahu of Israel. He claims that an early attack on Iran by Israel will help Romney in the polls and also help defeat Obama. People often do not see the wider picture but simply the narrow one portrayed by mainstream media sources and vote accordingly.
The second article asks if we are looking at an imminent Third World war. Sadly many of us believe that we are. The conditions such as civil unrest, a collapsing banking system, nationalism, multiple small skirmishes, over population and more could be seen as war predictors.
So much in this world is about perceptions. We observe in different ways and then decide our viewpoint whilst outside sources attempt to manipulate what we believe. US voters have a tough task ahead, unless they are hard line Democrats or Republicans. A lot is happening right now and this is set to escalate before November 2012.
What will impact on the result of the US election though is up to the voters.