Are you feeling it? Or is it all a figment of the imagination stoked by the world media machine? I'm talking about the economic downturn, the worldwide slump, the global recession - call it what you will. It's like a great sleeping beast that has emerged from its cave to terrorise the human race. Wherever you go you hear its awful breathing.
My heart goes out to the many thousands who have already fallen victim to this monster. Factories closing. Building sites mothballed. Homes repossessed. Dreams shelved. For we are all economic beings and any of us could end up as victims of this cruel beast as it stalks the planet.
Economic slumps are fascinating for sociologists. Suicide rates increase. There is more thievery. More murder. More marriages are fractured. Even certain illness rates increase. There's alcohol abuse, drug abuse and numerous other ways of trying to bury your troubles.
At a time like this, we need Superman to rescue the planet. He duly arrived on Tuesday - Barack Obama whose last name in Iranian apparently means "he in us". There's even a town in Japan called Obama. Magically, he seems to encompass so much of the world - from Kenya to Hawaii, from England to Illinois. My fingers are genuinely crossed for this charismatic new leader. I wish him well.
However, he isn't really Superman. He's just another guy. Though St George could slay the dragon, the beast of worldwide recession is a very different prospect. You can buy houses in Detroit for a hundred bucks a piece, banks are buckling, shares keep tumbling, big companies are folding as little businesses dissolve in their wake. These seem like very grim times and even in the escapism of the blogosphere, you find depressing posts like this one.