Let's see, Russia teeters on the brink of anarchy, Somali gunmen are using U.S. helicopters for skeet-shooting practice and it looks like we're in for a total overhaul of our health care system. But I think we'd all agree that the big question around these parts is: How's ol' Joey Buttafuoco doing these days?
Well, the answer is: Things could be better, thank you.
It seems that Buttafuoco, the beefy auto body shop owner who burst into national prominence last year in the infamous "Long Island Lolita" case, has finally admitted to having an affair with Amy Fisher.
For the past year and a half, of course, Buttafuoco adamantly denied that he'd had sex with Fisher when she was a 16-year-old high school student.
"Oh, gosh, no! That's sick!" Buttafuoco told everyone, from Phil Donahue to Howard Stern to the tabloids to his own wife, Mary Jo.
Then he suddenly showed up in court the other day and told the judge something like: "OK, I slept with her. Yeah, yeah, in a motel. Now I gotta get back to work, OK? We're banging out the fender of a '74 GTO."
Apparently what persuaded Buttafuoco to come clean was an impending court-ordered blood test that Fisher said would prove that Buttafuoco gave her herpes.
Yeah, I guess the basic ingredients of this story -- sex, violence, suburban lust, a straying husband and his psycho teen-age lover -- weren't enough. They had to throw in a sexually transmitted disease, too.
Buttafuoco now faces a maximum of six months in prison for one count of statutory rape, which, thank God, should only slightly slow production schedules for the spate of new made-for-TV movies we can expect now.
Amy Fisher, of course, has her own problems, the largest being that she's currently doing five to 15 in the slammer for the little matter of shooting Joey Buttafuoco's wife in the face.
Adding insult to injury (if that's possible in this case), Amy chose to gun down Mary Jo in the doorway of the Buttafuoco home, apparently based on the convenience factor.
Let's face it, you don't have to do all that wearying and time-consuming stalking if you shoot someone in their own home.
Anyway, the district attorney's office was real picky about that charge.
In effect, the D.A. told Amy: "Look, we know you've got a busy schedule with the movies and talk shows and everything. But this was attempted murder, OK? It just won't look right if you don't serve some jail time."
Amy was understandably upset by this.
After all, what kind of a country do we live in when you can't even shoot your lover's wife and start scripting the movie without being hauled off to jail?
But, finally, she said, "OK, OK," and surrendered herself to the authorities like a good sport.
Now she sits in her cell all day speed-dialing her agent and barking: "No, no, Chynna Phillips is out of the question! Either Nicole Kidman plays me or there's no movie! Do you hear me? NO MOVIE!!"
"OK, fine, maybe we test Winona Ryder, too! But that's it!"
Unfortunately, there's no doubt that a new movie based on this whole sordid business is forthcoming, with steamy scenes of the couple groping at each other in a dingy Long Island motel room.
We've already seen, what, three horrible made-for-TV movies?
One starred what's-her-name . . . chubby blond, plays all those teen-age-temptress parts . . . right. Drew Barrymore. I wonder what that did for her career? She could be working in a Bonanza steak house by now.
And didn't Ed Marinaro play Joey in one of the movies? Geez, it was a terrible movie. All three were terrible movies.
Naturally, my wife watched two of them.
She would have watched the third one, except it aired on a Sunday night when there were 19 other terrible movies about abusive parents, teen-age runaway hookers, satanic cults and battered wives to choose from.
Look, what I know about casting you could put on the head of a pin.
But for the next movie about this whole mess, I see a Nautilus-pumped Jim Belushi in the title role as Joey, Shannen Doherty playing Amy and Ruth Buzzi as Mary Jo Buttafuoco, with a cameo role by Judd Hirsch playing the befuddled motel clerk.
True, I don't exactly know what Ruth Buzzi is up to these days.
But with a quality role like this up for grabs, I'm sure she won't be hard to find.