Sunday, 9 December 2012

Apocalypse. Again?


So the world is going to end is it?

I keep hearing from various sources that the world is going to end ... Again! This time it is because the Mayan Calendar comes to an end.

We seem to have an obsession with the apocalypse lately: though I’m sure that this is nothing new. Religious factions have declared the end at many intervals. As a child of about 12 I remember something being bandied around at school about impending doom. Since then it seems that the world has been ready to end in one form or another several times.

In the year 2000 our technology was all going to crash leaving us in total crisis. Well that didn’t happen, unless I missed it?

So I’ve been thinking, how is the world going to end – or rather how would I like it to happen?

Well ideally I wouldn’t like it to end at all. But let’s have some fun with this anyway!

Here goes with a list of my five favourite apocalypses:

1) Zombie Apocalypse has to be my first choice. If we are going out, at least give us a chance of survival (even a narrow one). And it would be such fun blowing the brains out of the undead, or practising the double-tap on the neighbour, now turned zombie, for all of those annoying, noisy things they did. I only see this as actually possible if some kind of government experiment went wrong like a virus being released into the atmosphere. For the really religious it could be that hell is full and so the dead have nowhere else to go (That’s been done already though and doesn’t really work for me as being quite as plausible). So I’m sticking with the scientific option. Although my vampire Lucrezia did cause a zombie meltdown in New York at one time (http://www.audiogo.com/uk/zombies-in-new-york-zombies-in-new-york-sam-stone-gid-1013665o). That’ll teach her to leave her Renfield alone for too long ... 

2) Why not have an Alien Invasion. I’d love that. It would please all of the conspiracy theorists because – hey they were right all along and ‘the truth was out there’. With aliens let’s make it as sick as possible please. They want us for food ... that’s really not nice for people who consider themselves at the top of the food chain, right? What’s for dinner ... you are! They might want us for breeding because they are trying to make a new race? Ick! Kill me now! (Or maybe not. They might prove to be uber-compatible with humanity. I mean most things have two eyes, a nose and a mouth, don't they? We could surely cope with some extra appendages, tentacles and the like. Those sucker things could be useful if you don't have fingers.) They want us for slaves ... well that one doesn’t necessarily say the ‘end of all things’, though does it? But at least it gives the survivor types time to build a resistance. We could have years of fun with that one! They want to build a new intergalactic highway and our planet happens to be in the way? I think Douglas Adams has that one covered. Okay, my favourite and the most gross ... experiment on us: we are just lab rats to them, and that’ll teach us for all the cruel things we did to animals in our time!

3) We could go Super Nova? That should please the scientists (because, yes, we know they are always saying the Sun is going to explode one day and kill us all) and it is the most plausible ending we could have. So the world is going to end tomorrow ... and we all run about trying to get our affairs in order, praying for salvation or just basically having the best sex we’ve ever had. Of course there will always be those that go looting for the hell of it, but that won’t make any difference if the planet is going to explode in 24 hours. Let them have that new 70" TV if they want it so badly! The world's ending, who cares? The best thing to do in this case? For me it would be best spent with my loved ones, wearing my best clothing, and go out with dignity. The last thing you want to do when you arrive at the pearly gates is look like you were dragged through a hedge backwards. I'd prefer something far more torturous though. Why not the Sun just snuffing out one day, like a light bulb that's burnt out? We'd survive a bit for a while. It would bring out the best and the worst in humanity and some of might even make it off the planet in a giant Space Ark in search of a new world ...

4) Meteoroid Showers sound like fun. If it was good enough to wipe out the dinosaurs then why not humanity when we are only the size of domestic animals compared to them? So we could have a meteoroid shower that infects anyone who watches it with some kind of super radiation. We all mutate and turn into freaks, scrabble about the planet in pathetic, and sometimes amusing ways, before we lose the intelligence to actually grow plants, breed animals and more importantly make wine. Awful ending! A world without wine. Just can't imagine that one. Or the meteoroids could hit the Earth so hard they punch holes in the planet which then stops spinning. Gravity fails and we all fall off into space. Not plausible? Okay how about this: a big asteroid falls into the sea, pushing all the water onto the land, so that we all drown. Erm ... ridiculous (but it's been done time and time again!). Besides, Bruce Willis will probably slip into a vest, get in a rocket, shoot out to space, plant some explosives on the offending lump of space rock, and blow it to atoms long before it hits the Earth. It could all be caused by some mysterious Emperor though, and it might take a blond, buff, football star, a mad scientist and a reporter to thwart his evil plan.

5) Global Warming is my least favourite ending. It’s slow, it’s dull, it’s - so what? I’m slapping on the sun screen and I'll sit this one out ... And there is always a chance that the ozone layer will repair itself, right? Of course there could be a new Ice Age. That’ll teach us! In the UK we’d have no chance; we can’t even cope with an inch of snow or a bit of ice on the roads. When that happens, everything comes to a standstill. I think if this is going to happen I'm moving to Alaska: they probably wouldn’t even notice the difference there and they have all the right vehicles, tools and clothing to cope with it already. As long as the vampires didn't attack of course. We could have a flash freeze though, like they did in The Day After Tomorrow. I liked that one. It was very cruel the way people and things just froze on the spot. But there was hope for survival and some people made it by burning books in a library. That would never work for me though ... I’d rather freeze than burn books.

If the world is going to end any time soon, and I doubt it is because some ancient Mayans didn’t make a long enough calendar, then I think the most plausible options are going to be scientific, and not based around superstition and myth. We’ll know in advance that it really is going to happen, or at least the scientists in the world will.Whether they choose to tell us or not is another matter.

Anyway, if I'm wrong and the world is going to end sometime in the next few weeks, then I had better get my latest book finished. I’m on a deadline and I’d hate to fail to reach it. Now that would be the end of the world ...

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