Throughout history, prognosticators of all kinds, from Nostradamus… to celebrity psychics… to the guy with a megaphone on the corner of State and Madison in Chicago… have been predicting the end of all days.
Are we nearing the end of the world as we know it? Are we on the verge of the Apocalypse? I think most people, like myself, don’t really like to think about total annihilation, as it tends to dampen one’s mood. But, if you pay attention, it is difficult to ignore the signs.
If indeed the end is near, then everything that is good about our world will be lost forever — wonderful works of art, progress in human thinking and development, achievements in technology, and superstores like Costco — all of it — gone. It is a terrifying thought, and I must admit, it is not how I would like to remember this decade.
Let’s say the predictions are correct — if so, then I am starting to have second thoughts about how I’ve been spending my time. Why stay in shape, why avoid eating fat, why be nice to my boss, and, for heaven’s sake, why stay a Cubs fan?! (Talk about total hopelessness and despair.)
It is so typical of my luck… my wife and I have just booked the vacation of a lifetime… right when the world ends. I hate it when the everlasting cosmic joke on existence happens when I finally get a couple of weeks off of work.
I have other thoughts about this, as you can imagine…
- The religious fanatics may be right about the end of the world. The problem is, they’re the ones blowing up everything. (I don’t mind someone making a prediction about the end of mankind, but when they are the ones planting the bombs, they lose me.)
- Violence and godlessness are rampant everywhere, with no sign of letting up… and that’s just on the talk shows.
- Is it possible that technology can save us from destroying ourselves? Perhaps computer-generated simulations of total annihilation could help us understand the gravity of the unthinkable, and then help us figure out how to prevent it. (The beauty of a computer-generated Armageddon, of course, is that it would be nothing more than a simulation. As with all computer games, if we don’t like the result, we can simply click on the “Undo” button, or turn off the machine.)
- But will technology really protect us from our true destiny? Would the dinosaurs have survived if they had access to The Weather Channel?
- “The Latest News on the Apocalypse: Catch the Live Coverage on CNN!” How about the news coverage of our last days? Every news outlet would have complete coverage of each and every calamity as it unfolded… right after the sports update.
- I have no use for the “Doomsday Clock.” I’m late for everything. It is strange to think that the period of nuclear proliferation between the United and the Soviet Union during the Cold War could actually be considered the “good ol’ days” when compared to the instability and unpredictability of today’s nuclear terrorism.
- Worst of all, if there is an Apocalypse, how will we explain it to our kids and grandkids? If the best that this world can offer is despair and hopelessness, then by all means we must try to preserve it… for unlike a computer-simulated Apocalypse, the real one will have no “Undo” command.