Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The end of the world is nigh.. or ‘now’, if you don’t say it in an Irish Accent

A huge fuck off asteroid. Friday. Or it might be a giant hungry space Squirrel.
Or a black hole. Who knows?
So, as we approach the impending Apocalypse on the 21st of December - effectively rendering all your busy Christmas preparations absolutely useless (but at least you’ll get to avoid having any sprouts) - there is no better time than to take stock of what we've in fact achieved as a species.

As flaming eight mile wide meteorites raze our cities and turn our oceans into so much boiling vapour and we all feel a little silly for ignoring the signs – and more than just a little frustrated that some of us sponsored the crazy Mayans by buying and eating their chocolate (not to mention slightly embarrassed that Roland Emmerich was right), as we turn our eyes to the Heavens and cry out “Why?” to no avail, let’s all sit down and think about what we've done, shall we? Like we're all naughty children, albeit on a global scale. Planet Earth almost feels like a planet-wide naughty step.

Snarf being rubbish. Yesterday. The fictional cat who came
top of the 2012 'Shittest fictional cat' list. Just after Cringer.
We're a bit disappointing and rubbish as a species really. If there was such a thing as a Top Trumps deck based on inhabitants of the Universe, humanity would be the equivalent of drawing Snarf from a deck of Thundercats Top Trumps. The only thing we'd ever win on is blinding arrogance (oh, and we'd beat the telepathic mist-based inhabitants of Ursa 83 Leonis on the "number of eyes" statistic).

We're a species that possesses individuals who think that they can solve the issue of somebody killing lots of people with a piece of metal capable of launching out smaller bits of deadly metal by giving more people pieces of metal capable of launching out smaller pieces of deadly metal. And that we're entitled to own these pieces of metal in case their government ever turns on them - which would be the same government that has huge pieces of metal capable of launching smaller pieces of metal which in turn can launch pieces of metal.  They're called Aircraft carriers.

We live in a world where this can happen.
We're a species who think we're entitled to kill people over a piece of land because we can't decide which one of us is entitled to live there based on the writings of a supposed floaty sky-wizard, which is way up there as sensible arguments go as arguing that my imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend.

We're a supposedly enlightened species who still continue to maim and kill other people because they don't follow the same aforementioned floaty sky-wizard or because their skin is a different colour or because they were born into the wrong body or because fate said, "Hey, you're going to fancy people the same sex as you."

Important, influential members of our daft species suddenly found themselves able to channel the dead, saying opinions out loud that no enlightened human has had in hundreds of years - or ever, in some cases. But we didn't call them Mediums - we called them Republicans. An odd subset of people who believe in the concept of something they call "legitimate rape" and who revealed the scientific breakthrough that a womans body can somehow block out an unwanted pregnancy. In much the same way as if I tried to punch somebody for having those opinions, their face wouldn't allow my fist to connect. Or it might. A worthy experiment regardless, I'm sure you'll agree.

"Go Higgs Boson!" - Awesome shop display
But we're also the species who managed to send something hurtling 332 million miles through space and getting it to land on Mars and send back absolutely breathtaking imagery. We're the species in the process of discovering the Higgs Boson, "the god particle" which could help discover the existence of universe and life. We're a species who produced Malala Yousafzai who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban in her standing up for her right to attain an education. We're a species who are capable of incredible compassion in helping those in need - the incredible relief aid given to the victims of Hurricane Sandy to name but a single incident.

And we're capable of incredible little things as well - John Unger soothing the arthritis of his 19 year old rescue dog Schoep in the waters of Lake Superior, a photograph which sparked a story which touched the world.

But despite all that, tick - tick - tick. The 21st of December looms ever closer.

So, that was the year that was. I'm busy buying and filling as many ice cube trays as I can turn my freezer into some kind of crude cryogenic suspension pod and I urge you to do the same, so I’ll see you lucky ones on the other side when we have to get on with that messy business of repopulating the world. I intend for my new title to be “The Overseer” and those of you still around are more than welcome to share my post-apocalyptic desert lair whilst we gather leather and stockpile fuel and forge spiky metal bits to stick on the side of any roadworthy vehicles we can find.

Of course there is the chance that we're not quite due for an apocalypse yet (much as per the couple of failed occurrences of the Rapture that have been incorrectly predicted) so if we're not all dying in flame or suffocating from eleven high plumes of soot come the weekend, I sincerely wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. And if we are, thanks for reading anyway.

But for now, there are ice cubes that need making...

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