Category: Opinion

Prophets Of Doom

Humans across the world have had a stressful time these last 12 months, dealing with the pandemic, and all the economic and social upheaval that has resulted. And these are signs that the world is doomed, according to some religious leaders.

At End Times Prophecy Watch, you can find the latest breaking news, related to the upcoming end of the world. When I reviewed this news, it seems much of it concerns the Covid pandemic.

But are we really heading pell-mell for Hell? I think so. At least eventually—that’s for sure. It seems the prophets of doom have always been right in message, just wrong in timing. Every age has been the end-times, according to doomsayers of every age. So of course, they’ve all had bad timing, with the possible exception of our modern doomsayers.

These days, doomsayers are predicting the demise of the human race from causes such as the following:

The Castle Bravo nuclear bomb test at Bikini Atoll, was one of many signs used by doomsayers in the 1950s, to foretell our extinction by nuclear war.

The Covid pandemic

Global warming

A new ice age

Thermonuclear warfare

Overpopulation

Tyrannical governments

Moral degeneration (apparently a threat to humanity in every age)

5G

Genetic engineering

Zombies

These are just some of the scary signs of our end-times. That Armageddon is nigh at hand. So the question is, are the modern doomsayers right this time, or are they wrong? Will we survive, or will we all perish?

I think they are right. We will all die. Sooner or later. Each in our own time. For the end of the world happens to everybody, eventually. But will we all die at once? Is the human race itself doomed?

Who knows? I can’t predict the future, so I sure can’t tell anyone. I guess it’s easy enough to imagine that any of the above-listed threats could do the human race in. In fact it’s so easy to imagine, many Hollywood writers have already cashed in on these possibilities.

But I do know this. I have seen people at the bottom of the barrel of despair. They’ve seemed to be hopeless cases, sad sacks, real heavy-goers. The end of the world was upon them. And yet they have somehow found their way up and out. They have survived one breath at a time, and stepped one foot at a time through long wilderness journeys, eventually emerging into the open air of sunlight.

And so I know that human beings are smart enough to figure things out. They can convert despair into hope, and transfigure doom into deliverance. And if they’re smart enough to save themselves from disaster, then they can collectively save the world, also. In fact, the world has been saved by such people time and time again, generation after generation. Our presence in this world is living proof of that.

And so I say to the prophets of doom, don’t be fooled by the madness of humans. Have faith in their genius for survival. The end of the world is probably not near, and probably never has been near. This world of humans, or whatever we evolve into, may survive for another 5 billion years, until it is finally swallowed up by the red giant of a dying sun.

And that is when the prophets of doom will finally get their timing right.

Dying In Our Sleep

People have advised me that the best way to die is in my sleep. I’m not sure if they were wishing for my demise, or if they were merely suggesting that if I have a choice—whether to die while awake or die while asleep—I should make the somniterminous choice (that’s a word I made up, by the way).

But is that really good advice? Why would someone who’s enjoying a nice, peaceful sleep want to interrupt their nocturnal pleasure by departing their body and journeying to the Other Side? It’s like the alarm clock going off in the middle of a beautiful dream. Or like being shaken awake by some asshole, just at the good part where you’re about to have sex with a supermodel. That would leave me in a pissed off mood. I’d act like a grump, and then my departed relatives might not be so eager to welcome me.

Anyway, how many people actually die in their sleep? I suspect it’s a lot less than some of us think. After all, heart attacks are very painful. So if someone’s asleep and the BIG ONE hits, the pain is probably going to wake them up. It seems to me like there’s a good chance they’ll be spending a few minutes writhing around in coronary pain before the grim reaper finally hauls them off to the next world.

As for me, I don’t like the somniterminous choice. I want to be wide awake when the time comes. Let my last words be, “OH SHIT!” shouted at the grill of a semi truck, for instance. Then, if there’s an afterlife, I can leave the scene of the accident without having to deal with cops, insurance, or any of that hassle. It would be the ultimate hit-and-run.

I think dying in one’s sleep is overrated. What a boring way to go. As Hunter S. Thompson once advised:

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

Hunter S. Thompson, by the way, was the original gonzo journalist. The cartoon character, “Uncle Duke,” of Doonsebury, was originally based on him. He lived a wild life, riding with, and writing of, the Hell’s Angels, covering counterculture and Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign, drinking heavily, doing drugs, shooting off guns, and thumbing his nose at authorities.

But ol’ Hunter couldn’t take aging and bad health. So at age 67, two weeks after football season ended, he shot himself in the head. His suicide note read:

No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun–for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your age. Relax—This won’t hurt.

His funeral was held exactly six months later, on August 20, 2005, with his ashes being fired out of a cannon, accompanied by fireworks. 280 people attended this funeral, including John Kerry, George McGovern, Jack Nicholson, Bill Murray, Sean Penn, and John Oates. Yep, this bastard was well-loved, inspired many, and was not the type to die in his sleep.

I don’t advocate following Hunter’s example. I’m sure I’d wince like hell if I put a gun to my head. But I’m also no fan of dying in my sleep. Just the same, I suspect that’s how it will happen. After we reach a certain age, we can’t protect ourselves from well-meaning young people who haven’t appreciated the deleterious effects of old age. So they insist on incarcerating our enfeebled bodies in nice, safe rest homes, where our half-lives fizzle out into nothing, while we wither away and disappear.

They’ll stave off death at all costs, gavaging medication down our throats, poking us with needles, and performing CPR as needed. And when we’re in that situation, perhaps the only practical escape will be to wait until lights out, pull our covers over our heads, and slip peacefully away into a sleep they can’t shake us out of.

I may not be able to avoid such a fate, because I’m too chicken to shoot myself. But until then, I may look into how I can arrange to have my ashes fired out of a cannon. That’s the least I can do.

The Merits of Apathy

What the inside of my apathetic mind looks like.

I love apathy. Nothing makes my life easier than being around apathetic people. There’s no pressure to conform to a pattern of behavior that matches someone else’s fiercely held values. I can relax, be myself, and live in peace.

Some parts of this world are run by religious fanatics. If you live there, you have to put on a display of faith and devotion so some God-loving asshole doesn’t string you up from a tall tree. What a pain in the neck.

Or, consider the plight of the Palestinians. Jewish settlers strongly believe God has promised them their land. So these poor bastards find themselves displaced and occupied by a hostile force of religious zealots.

And then there are all the fervent Communists and anti-Communists who have been killing each for more than a hundred years, over a political and economic ideal. Their goal of utopia seems to require slaughtering anyone who gets in their way. Which are generally other fanatics and extremists.

I have no problem with people who hold strong convictions. I just want them to be apathetic about it. In other words, I want them to keep their strong convictions cooled down to the point where they won’t try to force others, like me, to go along.

I think apathy is healthy, so I try to be as apathetic as I want others to be. I’ve found it keeps me out of trouble. It also gives me a good out. The things I feel strongly about today may be very different from my convictions in the future. If I’ve committed myself to aggressively pushing my agenda upon others, how can I save face when I want to change my agenda? Hell, I’d feel sheepish if people were asking me why I was no longer trying to convert them.

I’m really trying hard to convince you of the merits of apathy. But then I think, So what? Who cares? What’s it to me? Why should I care if you’re apathetic or not?

I sure hope you’re thinking the same thing about me.

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