On December 25, 2012, I am going to wake up, brew some delicious Colombian coffee, and open Christmas presents with my family. I will be happier than normal that day, too. You know why? Because maybe all these doomsday fetishes will finally have blown over. It seems like every time we turn around, someone on TV or the radio is prophesizing the coming of the end. Quite frankly, it’s getting old.
Shocking stories make the news. There’s no question about that. What’s more shocking than the end of the world? Not much. The problem is, people shrug off the end of the world catch line because it’s too disastrous. So the media (bad media, that is) has to start small. What makes the news are things that can kill YOU!
The airwaves are paraded with baby-killing BPA, tainted tomatoes, and poisonous peanut butter. Mini doomsday scenarios pop up, one after the other. If something utterly accidental happens to someone, the news wants you to freak out. If it happens to an unlucky few, national epidemic ensues. There’s too much mercury in your mackerel! There’s lead in your paint . . . so don’t eat it! Bird Flu! Swine Flu! Flu flu! Your medicine could be killing you! The ozone has a huge hole over your house! Crack kills! There’s black mold (not to be confused with really, really dark green mold) under your floors! There’s anthrax in your mailbox! There’s anthrax in your email box! Knives are sharp!
Not to worry, however, because the end of the world is coming soon, anyway. And people are as serious about it as they were about Y2K. Y2-what? Oh yeah, I slept through that one, too. Mayans predicted the end. The planets are going to align. Nostradamus tells of apocalypse. (The only way we ever know he’s right is after the fact. Anyone could write a bunch of bizarre prophetic poems and eventually they’ll come true. Well, this one really helps, doesn’t it? I guess we’ll know once we’re all dead. Er, something like that.)
The media has convinced us that anything can happen because they started with the small stuff and worked their way up to doom. Websites and organizations exist now to help you plan for the end of the world. They’ve accepted the fact that it is inevitable and now we have to plan on it. I’m not a rocket scientist (yet), but isn’t it kind of counterintuitive to plan for post-death life on earth?
End-of-the-world shmend-of-the-world. I wish it would end already so we can move on with the rest of our lives.
By: S. Cole Garrett