Peace on Earth? Hell in a handbasket?

Is there any way to reconcile the various strands of (miserable) news out there?
A maniac divorced a grand total of one week decides to go on a murder suicide rampage in Southern California, dressed as Santa Claus.
American officials are urging both sides to behave calmly, as evidently, both nuclear armed South Asian powers, India and Pakistan, appear to be engaging in troop movements toward each other. And this… only a year after Benazir “Pinky” Bhutto was killed .
Amidst other miserable economic news, after soft holiday sales, retailers expect even softer post-holiday sales.
We won’t even discuss the simultaneous losses of Eartha Kitt and Harold Pinter.
Man. We could use a laugh at a time like this… and Blago’s exploits aren’t really what I was talking about.
Well, at this time of year, when we’re supposed to celebrate… what are we supposed to celebrate, anyway? It seems at a time like this that the wheels are coming off… having been told “consume, consume” as the answer to everything… some wonder if it is the answer to anything. For those capable of living a balanced, or meaningful existence, they can figure out (one hopes) what is important… it is my fervent hope that you’all are in that category… and in my own way, perhaps I can help you unbefuddle your lives, just a little bit, by at least showing you what I think is important… Hopefully, you can cut through the noise that is deliberately being foist upon you, and go right to the direct meaning of everything, which, if you can turn off the noise… isn’t so complicated, or hard, after all. Or so I hope, anyway.
Here’s hoping you have a meaningful holiday season– satisfying to you at a level that you know is important whether or not at the material.
Update: (12-27-08) And as bad as things are, I seem to have left out the carnage now going on in Gaza, amidst a massive Israeli air-strike, possibly to be followed up with ground troops. As Mrs. TD reminds me, her parents… and mine… were discussing things of a similar nature (Middle East unrest) going back decades… while the rest of the world goes on, it seems, some things are, sadly, all too consistent…