This Week’s Non-Story: “On Apocalypses”

I thought about this for most of the week.  Deciding whether to comment on Mayan Day or post a short story.  With the past apocalypses, I’ve kept my mouth shut, shook my head, had a Coke and a smile, and went back to watching something Batman.  But I felt that I had to comment on apocalypses, at least once.  Then I thought whether to make art or fact my opinion of apocalypses.  Some days, you gotta break metaphor.  So, taking a page from Becca’s unfunny Saturdays, I’m gonna be unfantasy.  I’ll be writing blind so if this ends up rambling, blame the tea.

I’ve survived almost three decades, two centuries, two millenia, high school, and at least four apocalypses.  Three of those I’m proud of.  I’ve noticed in my lifelong people-watching that people who live unfulfilled lives tend to be the ones who wish the worst for the world.  Ask anyone who has most of the things they want in life whether or not they believe in an apocalypse.  They’ll probably laugh and offer you a milkshake.  Abusers of power also are on the apocalypse bandwagon since, guess what, it gives them more control over those they lord over.  The weak always look for an easy way out: by armageddon or their own hands.  Makes you wonder what happens when both fail them.

Earlier this week, I read an article about this group of people called “preppers”.  Their whole purpose for being is to prepare for whatever end times sells their products.  I understand that people need hobbies, but c’mon.  And shame on billboard companies for going along with the scare tactics that guy a while ago.  You know the one with the scorpion.  “The world’s gonna end this day!  Wait, I misread the book!  It’s gonna happen THIS day!  ::disappears with millions of dollars from his supporters while said supporters wither into halfway homes::”  If the preppers really believed that the world was gonna end for whatever reason (this year’s reason: Obama), they wouldn’t sell anything.  They’d give it away.  What good is money gonna do you once the world’s pfft’d?  All these people complain about violence in entertainment corrupting children, but this end-of-the-world talk is doing much worse to them.  Entertainment is fiction and the kid can go to mommy or daddy to be told that it’s fake, but there’s a problem when mommy or daddy is telling the kid that fiction’s real.  There’s a rant about responsible parentage in there somewhere but I feel I can do a better job with that as a story.

On apocalypses: there won’t be one.  Humans are too good at surviving for that to happen.  We’ve survived ice ages, we’ve survived wars, we’ve survived diseases, we’ve survived nuclear weapons, we’ll conquer asteroids,  we’ll conquer machines uprising, we’ll figure out how to keep our sun going past its death until we can make our own, we’ll outlive the universe.  The most each human can do while they’re alive is to make sure the world doesn’t end for them.  Tori Amos once said that the apocalypse happens everyday, that it takes courage to defeat the beast.  With the suicides and murders happening lately, and societies not admitting that they’ve been bad neighbors and instead blaming something as harmless as entertainment, it’s obvious that a scary amount of people are too afraid to face themselves.  But I’m not.  And I’d like to think that those around me aren’t.  Squirrels, maybe, but they seem to have a hive mind of skittishness.

Next week’ll have a real short story.  We swears.

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