Apocalypse not

Tomorrow might be the end of the world. These words might be the last ones I write.

Drops from the sky

But am I worried? No. Because the Apocalypse is not upon us. The Earth is not going to explode into tiny fragments and disperse into the universe. Why? Because NASA says so. So nah, all ye doomsayers. Note: I would have preferred a statement by the lovely Professor Brian Cox, but that doesn’t seem to have surfaced anywhere.

Why oh why do we get our knickers in a twist about the end of the world? Every few years there seems to be a diabolical threat to humanity: from asteroids hurtling toward our precious planet to fire-and-brimstone judgement days sponsored by [insert religious cult here].

My theory is that we’re bored. We’re people: we get up, go to work, take care of our families, cook dinner, watch some TV. Every once in a while we go out with friends or take a nice trip. But the daily grind can get a little ho-hum. We need — perhaps crave — some distraction.

So, if one person interprets a “sign,” has a seemingly prophetic dream, is visited by an apparition, or somehow comes to the conclusion that our fair Earth is about to meet its certain end, well, a few people are bound to perk up. Armageddon — if anything — is exciting. And the better the story, the more quickly people will share it. And the more it’s shared the more people will believe its truth.

The end of the world gives us something to focus on. When there is no World Cup or royal wedding to look forward to, the Apocalypse serves as a handy alternative.

Yes, there will be fanatics. Which is both head-scratching and heartbreaking. We do not want to see believers inflicting violence on others or themselves.

Aside from this grim downside, there are actually some positive potential outcomes of our looming and ultimate demise.

  1. Builds community. All over the world people are talking about the Apocalypse. We all live on the Earth, and its end affects all of us. It brings us together in the spirit of collective finality. Plus, it’s a great topic to toss around on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.
  2. Encourages creativity. The writers and artists of the world have a deep, rich vein of subject matter to mine. Stories and songs and photos. Heck, it gave me something to write about today.
  3. Serves as a life wake-up call. There’s nothing like a looming Armageddon to make a person take stock of their life. Do I need to make some changes in my life? Am I happy enough? Should I learn to surf or play the sousaphone? Should I call my Mom tonight?
  4. Great excuse for a party. If anything, Doomsday makes a great excuse for some celebratory snacks and cool cocktails, no? If we’re all about to meet our glorious end, why not face it with a Bourbon sour and a smile on our faces?

If this is my last-ever post (and it won’t be), I raise my glass.

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