Our problem, as it was recently pointed out to us, is that we are just not worried enough about the global situation. Although we have recovered from the solipsism of our youth?#34;when we believed only in things we could see?#34;a very short memory, coupled with a recent strong urge to listen to the new Rolling Stones CD in the car instead of NPR, has rendered us much too calm for the current fashion.

Shame on our complacency. Fortunately, there’s no better place to live than right here to rectify a case of sangfroid. We shall begin right away with Pandemics and Security, a program offered by the League of Women Voters of Oak Park and River Forest (802-0697) on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 1:30 p.m. at Dole Branch Library, 255 Augusta St. We’ve actually been making jokes about bird flu, to show you how corrupting an influence the Rolling Stones can be.

On Sunday, Jan. 29, we plan to attend The Attack on Middle East Studies: A New McCarthyism? at 2 p.m. at Oak Park Main Library. Sponsored by A Just Peace in Israel and Palestine and St. Giles Family Mass, this lecture will examine current threats to freedom of speech in this country. Somber reflection on this precious liberty is especially appropriate for those of us who tend to think and speak simultaneously.

Our week of sober education as well as the month come to a close on Tuesday, Jan. 31, when we attend another League of Women Voters program at 1 p.m. at the River Forest Public Library, 735 Lathrop Ave. We’re not sure what topics will be highlighted in Christopher Colmo’s talk, The U.S. and Iran, having forgotten what exactly that country is up to these days. But we’re sure it’s something distressing.

Next week: Donuts, alcohol or drugs?#34;which escape route is best?

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