Signs of Witness
Signs of the apocalypse. These signs are all around us, coming from street corner prophets and major motion pictures, from evangelists and research scientists alike. Even the guy who cleans my ducts was raving about all the 2012/ Mayan Calendar crap (remember: always humor contractors, as they possess mysterious powers…like the ability to clean ducts – and this guy likes to gamble using online slots, so there’s a crap shoot element to the end times in his mind).
Of course, the signs of apocalypse have ALWAYS been with us. The world is always just about to end. Does that mean that it isn’t true this time? Like the online slots, low probability, but still a probability greater than zero!
Well, the world itself is in worse shape than it has been for the last few million years. Where you stand in the global warming debate really doesn’t change the fact that human beings have seriously affected (I suppose a trendier word would be ‘impacted’, presumably as the opposite of ‘empowered’, as long as it’s scalable outside the box) the beauty, diversity and all-around live-ability of Planet Earth. Homo Sapiens were a relatively benign tumor up until the 19th and 20th Centuries, when we really got cookin’ with the reverse terraforming (so to speak).
It’s so easy for humans to focus internally, study our navals, worry about our sexuality, or our aging bodies. I watched my uncle get so depressed at his physical decline that he went on a quest for testosterone therapy using a natural male hormone called bio-identical testosterone. He claims that this treatment has restored his quality of life and that without the hormone he would be a basket case. I see this as a different kind of apocalypse, but an apocalypse nonetheless. Do we need to replace our natural hormones in order to live a life of quality, and it that living a life of quality?
But I digress. This is not the time for a reasonable assessment of the widespread and probably irreversible damage that human race has caused and likely will be causing to our habitat until we wise up or go extinct (so therefore, until we’re extinct). This is for mordant levity about the weird-ass folks that believe the world is coming to an end for weird-ass reasons.
For as long as there have been human beings with a sense of the passage of time, for as long as there have been new generations and changes to ‘the way things are’, there has been the idea — either as an undercurrent or a commonly-held belief, depending on the circumstances of your existence — that things were building to some sort of final time (the three cherries of disaster?)
Yet as civilization progresses and mankind’s reach increases, the argument only becomes more and more valid. Imagine the ‘end is near’ proponents of a century ago, digesting all of the new facts and new incentives to despair — once they had got over the fact that the world has not already ended, that is!
On the other hand, the world has changed in many severe ways, both during recorded history and especially before mankind was a ‘major player on the scene’. It is not ridiculous to entertain the possibility that an event could truly occur that would be (to use the well-known phrase, and song title) the end of the world as we know it. For my contractor, this would mean no more gambling – specifically, no more searches for online slots for players in the United StatesIn fact it would also mean no more designer shoes, or fast food, or … anything.
But that’s not to downplay the disastrous potential that mankind increasingly possesses with each passing year, nor the number of possibilities unrelated to mankind that could easily spell the end of history. Between the changes that human beings have wrought upon the planet and more astronomical possibilities (comets, meteors, or just small changes in the many little details that make our existence on this planet possible), we really could, at any moment, face a cataclysm that would wipe us out.
But it’s my opinion that it will probably happen in a way that few could have predicted — especially the people that spend most of their time making such predictions. Of course, I could be wrong… And my contractor could win big at the online slots!