It’s a beautiful day outside, but I’m spending it inside thinking about the end of the world. I can’t help it. Somehow it manages to seep into everything I experience in the mediated realm. Nearly every film or TV show seems to have a subtext of our impending end of days.

In television, if you take away the reality shows, the top 3 most downloaded shows all have some theme of the end of humanity: In Heroes, we have the constant threat of Earth-shattering catastrophe; In Lost, we have an undercurrent of doomsday; in Battlestar Galactica, we have humanity obliterated except for some 40,000 survivors.

In the news, we get the end of the white man. We have rice shortages in Asia and a food crisis worldwide. The Korean peninsula seems to be edging closer — at least in fist-shaking — toward nuclear obliteration. We have popular books speculating on Earth after humanity. The dollar is shrinking, the ice caps are melting, terrorism shows no sign of being defeated… It’s as if humanity feels so out of control, that there’s a weird kind of acceptance. I wonder if it’s because, at least in the United States, there’s a feeling that it’s about time, that we somehow deserve this through our own inability to show foresight. We can’t make the right sacrifices because we’re confused and powerless. We have a thousand voices telling us how bad everything is. After a while it’s hard to cancel out all that noise.

I think the pervasiveness of media has had an enervating effect on its public. People are constantly overwhelmed with whats, but they’re not given many whys. The chatter that passes as discourse doesn’t offer solutions. To provide a solution is to offer an opinion. Under the protective shield of objectivity, this is a no-no.

So people disappear into their tiny little sheltered worlds, consisting of a significant other, a friend or two, mom and dad, and maybe a dog. Everyone else has their own little world too, and all these little worlds cross paths politely, but no one really connects with our collective greater nature. It’s scary, all that thinking and opining, so let’s all shut up and smile, leave each other to our nightly entertainment, our dinner parties and favorite TV shows. If we’re doomed, so be it. Just make it quick and painless please.

I had a point to make in all this, but I forgot what it was.


2 Responses to “Doomsday”

  1. It’s funny, I was thinking the same thing yesterday.

    I tried to have a debate with a woman who has a university degree, says she knows about aquatic systems…

    And although she wanted to convince me that CO2 is driving the weather, she hadn’t seen An Inconvenient Truth, or The Great Global Swindle.

    She also doesn’t know David Suzuki or his nemesis: Timothy Ball.

    So when she realised that I was bringing up too many issues about global warming and that she knew nothing about it, she told me that SHE HAD A UNIVERSITY DEGREE, that she was right.

    So I went home, wrote a long and chaotic rant on my blog then drank beer until I went to sleep.

    I’m feeling much better now.

    You can’t debate with dogma. Al Gore is a god, apparently. Global Warming has become religion.

    And like you said: Offering solutions means forming an opinion. That doesn’t go well with religion.

  2. […] we deserve our own annihilation (again, paraphrasing Miller, but also reiterating my own opinion, which I expressed here a couple months back). It is our own mistakes, our own lack of foresight, our misunderstanding of […]

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