I generally don’t like to acknowledge personalities or events that use the media to achieve idiotic or nefarious ends, much in the way that a hurricane feeds on warm waters to increase its power. So much so that I’m not even going to provide specific examples*. Monsters can thrive on even the smallest amount of attention, so the best solution comes from Paul Anka’s song on The Simpsons: “Just Don’t Look“.
So I was hesitant to write about the latest in a centuries-old line of end-of-the-world scares. Why add fuel to the moronic fire? To refute it? Nah. Anyone buying into it is clearly beyond reason. To poke fun at it? Compelling, but it would come at the cost of helping those fueling the stupidity to achieve their ends. Because it’s 10:30 p.m. and I couldn’t think of anything else to write about? No comment.
What finally brought me around was a kernel of doubt. Maybe the world will end in a few days. Not only that, but maybe it’s ended a bunch of times already. The Millerites of 1943. Halley’s Comet in 1910. Pat Robertson’s 1982. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) prediction of 1914. And 1915. And 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, 1994, and a bunch of others since then.
You get the point. But how do we know for sure that each of those dates didn’t in fact result in the end of the world–and the beginning of a new one? Are we absolutely certain that we’ve always breathed oxygen? It seems like dogs should be able to talk, but they don’t (anymore?) Couldn’t the Great Pyramids have been constructed in a relatively short amount of time by just a handful of really determined people? How did I get here? This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife!
But if the world does end and start anew in couple of days, and you have no recollection of the old world, does it even matter?
I don’t know. And really, it’s a subject better dealt with in the realm of stories than essays. But the world constantly ending and starting up again on a compressed time frame would certainly explain a lot of odd things–little holdovers from obsolete and voided existences bleeding into the thriving one. After all, even the most diligent student doesn’t always clear every last bit of chalk off the blackboard.
Maybe we should ask the platypuses. They’ve been mighty quiet on the subject.
*but there’s a reason I haven’t written anything about Donald Trump.