Musings on the End of the World
In the wake of last week’s ten-ton meteor exploding over Russia with the force of an atomic bomb, as well as the asteroid that silently glided past Earth within about 17,000 miles, I’m starting to wonder about the next “oh-my-gosh-the-world-is-going-to-end” ordeal. In just my lifetime, there’s been the whole Y2K incident (not that I was really aware of that happening considering I was six years old, but in any case), multiple threats of rapture and apocalypse, and of course the whole December 21, 2012 Mayan calendar debacle. Clearly we’re all still here, but I have to wonder about the reactions of people who truly believed that the end was near on each and every one of those occasions. I’m sure that they had prepared for months, specifically renovating their basements to include a maximum-security bomb shelter complete with a well-stocked pantry of all your necessary apocalyptic needs: a plethora of canned foods, bottled water, plenty of boxes of tissues, and a couple stacks of books of extreme-difficulty Sudoku puzzles to pass the time.
I guess my main concern if an apocalypse occured would be whether or not I would have internet connection, because, honestly, as long as there were WiFi, I could probably survive in my basement on peanut butter and zero human interaction for at least a month until I started going slightly stir-crazy. It really wouldn’t be all that bad. So the next time someone gets the idea that the angle of the moonlight at precisely 2:34 AM on a Thursday aligned with the Pacific Ocean at a temperature of 26.8 degrees Celsius will result in all of earth’s volcanoes erupting simultaneously and thus eradicating the human species, I’ve pretty much ironed out a plan: I will retreat to my basement with my laptop and hope for the best. Sounds like a good time to me.
It’s kind of funny how obsessed humanity is with the end of the world. When I went to see the midnight premiere of The Hobbit, practically every single trailer preceding the movie had something to do with the end of humankind as we know it. This isn’t a new phenomenon by any means, but it seems like after the Mayan calendar situation, the entertainment industry realized that people really can’t get enough of apocalyptic hype right now, and it’s picked up even more so than usual. I understand why people are fascinated by the idea. In a weird way it’s kind of fun to think about what you would do if you found out that the world was going to end tomorrow. You might finally tell that girl that you love her, fulfill your lifelong dream of hang-gliding off of Mount Everest, get a tattoo of the Mona Lisa on your upper bicep, or do a whole number of sensational things that wouldn’t happen in every day life. Basically, #yolo would become a reality and things would get pretty crazy right before the universe imploded.
Though, at the same time, trying to predict these things really doesn’t do anyone much good. Unless we hurry up and start colonizing some new solar systems, humanity is not going to stand much of a chance of putting up any sort of fight against what the universe has in store for us. Not to be depressing, but some day it’s going to happen, probably when we least expect it, and then the world will be gone before we ever even realize what’s happening. So, really, there’s nothing to be alarmed about. But in the meantime, we should probably all just take comfort in the fact that the sun isn’t supposed to burn out at any point during our lifetime, so we should relax, go about our lives like normal, and not try to organize a cult following to escape the rapture.