Thursday, August 31, 2006

Die Motherf*cker!

How will we all die, you ask? Well, that’s a good question, and one that deserves to have our advertisement-divided attention for two hours. Thank god for the ABC network.

“The Last Days on Earth” aired last night. A dramatic laundry list of the most catastrophic ways that humanity can meet its final demise. Interspersed between the CGI “Armageddons” were testimonials of what people would do if they learned that the life as we know it was going to end in the near future. Stuff like “If a big asteroid were coming to devastate the planet I’d:”

Spend time with my family.
Take that vacation that I’ve always wanted.
Go on a shopping spree.

You know, important stuff like that. I suppose that I should go easy on these people in the testimonials. After all, they’ve been asked an incredibly dumb question. What the hell difference does it make? Unless you’ve got the money and know-how to build a planet-killing-asteroid-proof bunker…or a new planet, any answer you give is just an exercise in creative writing.

But I would like to see some of these people be honest. Granted, I didn’t watch the entire show, so I might have missed something, but I didn’t see anyone say “If a big asteroid were coming to devastate the planet I’d run around like a fool, throw some garbage cans through a few store windows and loot and pillage like there’s no tomorrow…which, ostensibly, there wouldn’t be.”

Pretty much everyone was taking the high road. I don’t blame them; they were on TV after all. But come on, we all know what it would really be like if we all discovered that the world was coming to an end. It would be chaos. It would be hell on earth. Madness. Confusion. No one would be taking vacations because the planes and trains and boats wouldn’t be running. Hell, you’d be lucky if you could get gas for your car. Gas station employees barely work now as it is. The last thing that anybody wants is to spend their few remaining days on earth working the cash register at the Flying-J.

Personally, I’d probably just shoot myself. I couldn’t deal with the violent madness. And if nothing else, I’d kill myself just so I didn’t have to listen to those idiots with the “Welcome Back Jesus” banners and their incessant “I told you so-s.”

But the reality is that I probably won’t have to kill myself. The odds of a giant asteroid hitting the planet are fairly remote. I just don’t worry about such things anyway because, I mean, what’s the point?

Here are some of the other ways in which ABC wants you to know that you can die along with everyone else you’ve ever met.

Death of a Star (Gamma Ray Burst and Black Hole):

A star could implode near us and we could be pounded with gamma rays or it could suck our universe into a black hole. The black hole thing sounds cool, but we’d all be crushed into a singularity. And I don’t really like my neighbors all that much to spend the rest of eternity being one with them.

Death by Machine:

No, they don’t mean being pulled into the automated pig masher at the local slaughterhouse. They’re talking about AI: Artificial Intelligence. I wasn’t a huge fan of that movie, but I don’t think it would cause massive death. I kid. No, scientists are afraid of robots. Smart robots to be exact. One thing that you must remember is that scientists are geeks. They worry about these kinds of things. Hey scientists, if you don’t want computers to take over the world then here’s some advice: Stop trying to invent computers with the capability to take over the freaking world!

Again, this problem is pretty remote and a little bit stupid. But it’s a cool and scary way to die so it was on the show.

Super Volcano:

A really, really, really big volcano. A volcano that will erupt without you even knowing it until you’re about to die. That’s something to worry about, huh? Think of all the positive things that can come from worrying about a super volcano eruption that you have no hope of preventing. Just embrace the super volcano. Embrace your firey death! Why not? What other choice do you have?

Asteroid Strike:

I already mentioned this one. If you saw “Armageddon” with Bruce Willis, you know what will probably happen. Also, if you saw Armageddon…I’m sorry.

Nuclear War: (read politics)

Scientists are still really concerned about nuclear war. I’m not all that worried myself. See, when I was a kid, I was terrified of nukes. I thought that just one of them could destroy the planet. They can’t. Sure, they all could. But there’s little chance of all the world’s nukes going off at once. Nuclear bombs will more than likely just fuck everything up for a while. And I think I can live with that. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t stop building them. We should. We should dismantle all the world’s nuclear bombs. I’m just saying that they’re not all that scary to me anymore. Hey, they're no Super Volcano.

Germs/Disease Plagues and Bioterrorism: (read politics)

My computer doesn’t know how to spell bioterrorism. It’s a relatively new threat. Sure, we had mustard gas in WWI and that was nasty. But new militarized strains of disease are worse. These are scary. And we can try to get rid of all the bioweapons. But, realistically, if an asshole has his heart set on releasing this crap, there’s nothing we can really do about it. Why not write to your congressmen and tell them to have the Pentagon destroy all of the stockpiles? Washington DC controls way more bioweapons than Saddam could have ever hoped to.

Global Warming: (read politics)

The scariest of them all. Why? Because this one is the only one completely controlled by money. Money is motivating global warming. Money and convenience. Why has President Bush cut the environmental protection laws? Is it because the atmosphere is doing just fine the way it is? Sitting up there, above our heads, looking cute and being all disproportionately “carbon dioxidey?”

It might have to do with competing in a global marketplace. It’s the battle of who could care less out there. It costs money to be environmentally responsible. And, my god, that might hurt the economy (thank god that Bush cut those repressive laws! Our economy is thriving!)! The misconception is that if factories are made to be more responsible, they’ll lose money, the price of the goods they manufacture will rise, American consumers will turn up their noses, everyone will start buying tee-shirts from China and the commies will take over the world!

That’s true a little bit. It will cost more…at first (and it’s a forgone conclusion about the commies, face it). But shit, what other choice do we have? Bushie and his cronies will tell you that we can’t compete with China. “China’s not being environmentally responsible! Why should we?!” Look, Bushie, if China jumped off a bridge, would you? No, really, if I could convince China to jump off a bridge, would you? Please?

That’s why global warming is so scary. It’s real. Life will change as we know it. I’m telling you this now. But you already know it. Other people have been telling everyone for years. Since at least the mid 80s, we’ve known about global warming. We were told that if we didn’t do something about it soon, life as we know it would change forever.

I know change is hard. It’s too convenient not to die!

Maybe it’s time to go on that shopping spree?

…Or loot.

Fun Fact: I dislike our President. I think he’s an ass. I saw that interview with him by Brian Williams. Honestly, can anyone out there explain to me why we elected this clown?

Really. I want someone who voted for Bush to defend him. I have to know. Why?! Why would you vote for him? Because he could deal with the terroists? What the hell made you think that? Because he had such an illustrious military career? Please help me! Is it because he’s a “Christian?” Is it worth selling out the rest of humanity just so that gays can’t marry or women can’t have abortions? Please? Please!

Sorry, I’m getting emotional. But, I’m telling you, I’ve just about had it. I’ve reached my “smug indifference” limit.

I hate George W. Bush. That’s a fact.

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