Remember that one time, when the world was going to end?

Monstrous tornadoes ripping cars right off their cinder blocks and out of every front yard in tornado alley, massive tidal waves wiping out entire hippie communes up and down the Western U.S. seaboard, gaping fissures ripping open and swallowing large women and their tiny dogs in the blink of an eye, and heat so intense that even baby seals and drowning polar bears burst into flames.

This may be a slight exaggeration on the picture painted for us by modern doomsday prognosticators, but it isn’t that far off. Unfettered by that pesky little idea about history repeating itself, they continue to press on, spitting in the face of restraint, rational thought, and every other delusional egomaniac that came before them.

One generation after another, after another, after another thinks this is it, this is the time, it’s the end, we’re all going to die… and each time, apparently to their sad surprise, instead of some epic turn of cataclysmic events leading to their noble demise, they stub their toe on a rusty gate and die from infection.

Recent generations have come up with more inventive ways of destroying humanity than just the old standard of God’s terrible wrath smiting evil-doers with one wag of the finger. However, these fun new ways to die are more a reflection of modern man’s circumstances than any real originality or imagination. I don’t want to discount the effectiveness of a good old fashion smiting, Revelations style, it’s just that it’s been done to death. Just know that for a very long time people walked around with their eyes down waiting for God to take a heavenly dump on their heads.

So, with the rise of modern warfare and modern weapons, the 50’s and 60’s saw the emergence of the idea that the world would simply be blown to little bits by atomic or nuclear warheads:

“More coffee dear?”

“Why, yes I think I’ll have some more. Say, do we have anymore shoe polish?”

“Well, I’m sure I saw some on your…”


Congratulations, your ass and seat are now one and the rest of you is a black stain on the wall!

Next came acid rain… dun-dun-dun! What other two words could you possibly stick together that would sound any scarier? I mean, it’s acid and it falls from the sky… onto your babies and other valuables apparently. Bravo, instillers of fear and exploiters of paranoia!

Movin’ on up (Jeffersons reference) to the 80’s and 90’s we still have nuclear war hanging over our heads, but now technology is thrown in as a little twist just for fun. Uh oh, we don’t even have to press the button, maybe the computers will do it for us! Wargames, Terminator, Terminator 2, Y2K, and Short Circuit 2 all left people terrified of the possibilities.

Now that people have started to climb off the ledge a little bit, we get hit with a nature bomb. As the vengeful and terrifying God of the past is slowly being replaced by a kinder, friendlier, Earth and the worship of nature itself, the damn planet is pissed and is now going to wipe us out. Well, that’s great. Thanks a lot for the pep talk Al Gore.

If I were a betting man (and I am) I would put my money on things spinning along swimmingly for quite some time.

Keep feeding your dog. Keep clipping your toenails. You’ll be glad you did.

Some spectacular failures of the past: Top 10 Failed Apocalyptic Predictions – Top 10 Lists | Listverse

11 responses to “Remember that one time, when the world was going to end?

  1. I liked this gabriel…well written…I DO think we have some things to watch out for…pollution shouldn’t be tolerated if we have better ways to do things, greener ways…that create jobs and pushes us to think outside the box. I don’t like the spin on global warming either way you look at it…its become 100 percent political…saying “oh we can’t afford to do business if we have to be accountable for the pollution we create” The only problem with that statement is that its a lie. Yes, it will raise your costs to do business, but it will raise the costs to do business across the board…what it will also do is force the solution to the problem, and in doing so push our technology further and further along. Don’t u think we would have much more technology if the powers that be didn’t completely strangle off any competition to the already established products. The ones that pay for their campaigns? I don’t know…im rambling here but what i wanted to say is open up the market place to a free market and poof problem solved….unless your the powers that be….and if you are….disregard this.

    P.S. – I liked how google ads are running 2 antichrist books, gods army invading the earth, and then….jumping into different dimensions to access higher understanding….THIS BLOG HAS IT ALL!!!

    • Pollution is bad, yes. Being more green, less wasteful, using methods that cause minimal environmental impact, all great things. Good for humans and animals alike. Still don’t buy that it has anything to do with Global “Warming ” “Climate Change” or whatever. Toxic waste and pollution may kill everyone off anyway, but I just haven’t heard anything that conclusively proves it is what is causing supposed “warming trends.” I’m all for environmental awareness, I just don’t like the scare tactics used to bully people into falling in line. Just gimme some truth (as Lennon would say.) I also don’t buy any great conspiracy to subdue new ideas and options. There is no poof solution, in my mind. The only thing the powers that be are worried about is money. The consumer decides. If it makes money it gets done, that’s why being green is so fashionable now, because people are finally coming around and buying green products and services. The powers that be don’t give a crap about green or non-green things. Whatever it takes to line the pockets. A couple decades ago people didn’t want it so it didn’t happen. Now they do, so it does. This blog does have it all.

  2. Remember Y2K? The sheer panic? I have this total flashbulb memory of sitting in my uncle’s tobacco-stained kitchen with the entire family, watching the clock tick down on the tiny television set. Midnight came and went, and the lights didn’t even so much as flicker.

    There’s something to be said for a little bit of *excitement* about the end of the world, don’t you think? 2012 and all that.

    Anyway, awesome post. 🙂 Enjoyed thoroughly.

  3. Did my mother’s generation believe in acid rain? That wouldn’t surprise me.

    I am pretty sure I was sleeping during the Y2K, and will be during the 2012 hype, pollution scares … anything go green related, really. Anyhoo, good stuff. I’ll keep feeding my dogs and stopping by your blog!

  4. Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned alarmist?
    It’s true, for as long as we’ve been around, we’ve loved to have something to be terrified of. Besides, if the world ends tomorrow, I hope I don’t see it coming. I don’t need the extra time to regret haha

    – Calhoun

  5. Huh. I agree about the fear-mongering thing. It’s often counter-productive because people figure if it’s all going to hell, might as well live it up now. And the cynical side of me thinks that it’s just another sales technique.

    But I kind of think you’re wrong on the nature thing. Even at the most simplistic level, if you have a planet surrounded by an atmosphere that’s made up of stuff that keeps stuff inside it, it stands to reason that burning a whole bunch of crap is going to eventually have bad effects on the planet and, more relevant to us, the life on it. Burning less stuff (by using less stuff) is probably a good idea.

    • I guess it’s all a question of extent. I agree it is not good, not smart, and detrimental to everyone and everything. What I don’t believe is that it will end the world or end life on it. At most, I think, it will just make it a lot less comfortable to live and a lot harder to support the population, but all it will really take is a little forward thinking and smarter practices to right the ship. Nothing to lose sleep over.

    • After thinking about it further I think I have found a way to explain why I don’t feel there is a great need to worry, because I don’t think I did a very good job of explaining it earlier. It’s actually the fact that we do live in a self-contained bubble that will eventually solve the problem. Everyone always talks about “balance.” Balance-this and balance-that, there has to be balance, everything is balanced. Well, humans are not immune or external to that balance, we can and will be balanced out. It’s not even within our capabilities to control it. IT WILL HAPPEN. People always throw out these “facts”: the population doubles every 20 years, the earth is getting hotter by degrees at a time, 1 1/2 acres are cut down every second, and so on and so on. They want you to believe this all happens in some static universe where nothing changes and that a few decades from now you’ll wake up and the earth will have 48 billion people, be 150 degrees and there won’t be any plant life left. Just not possible. Natural corrections are in place to stop it. Before you even come close to cutting down the last tree people will be dropping dead from lack of oxygen. The population does double every 20 years in a perfect environment, but otherwise there is not enough space or food for it to continue. Balance will win out whether we like it or not, so I don’t worry about it. Pump up and burn all the oil. Good luck. What are you going to do after that? Humans are so near-sighted we can’t see very far forward or backward. People forget that millions of years ago, the Earth was much hotter than it is now, there was no fossil fuels in the ground and no polar ice caps at all. That’s the worst case scenario put forth by environmental alarmists and yet life thrived. I’m not saying treat the planet like a piece of trash, I’m saying that the people who do will eventually reap what they sew, but life will go on, it always does.

  6. Is surviving really the only goal though? The world could get pretty bad before it actually kills us, but is that where you want to live?

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