The coup in Thailand, the Hungary protests, and the UN speeches of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are only the most visible of events that seem to portend a world on the verge of plunging into a maelstrom of unpredictability.
Or maybe I just need to get more coffee brewing.
Still, it has been difficult to make sense of the sudden appearance of so many simultaneous incidents and accidents, to borrow a line from Paul Simon. The global historian in me is always looking see if there are connections between disparate phenomena, seeking to develop some overarching theory to explain and categorize.
Left: Hungarian protester stands against water cannon outside the Hungarian State Television, courtesy AP.
I have nothing to offer at the moment, except an extension of the theory that a United States bogged down in Iraq means that political actors in other areas have less to fear from the American colossus.
Beyond this somewhat obvious assessment, I will sit and watch these chaotic events unfold and - with every other world observer - to make some sense of the ball of confusion that is the Earth today.
And I will check on that coffee now.