The Age of Miracles

TIME

This is how I spent a few days at the end of last summer.

At a meeting in Europe, I heard colleagues who work on humanitarian relief tell heartbreaking stories of suffering in the refugee camps and rubbled cityscapes of the Middle East. Back in the U.S. for Labor Day, with Ukraine in the headlines, I was at a dinner at which well-informed conversation turned—for the first time I can remember, and I’m 63—on the real possibility of a general war in Europe. At work after the holiday, I read reports of the brutal execution by ISIS thugs of the journalist Steven Sotloff, and then was briefed on the terrifying spread of Ebola in West Africa—and the pitifully inadequate international response.

Then, trying to escape the despond into which the news had plunged me, and browsing Facebook one evening, as you do, I came across a post by Aric Press…

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Lemme Change Into Something More Comfortable