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