Sunday, February 24, 2013

Meditations on the Apocalypse

I've given some thought to the apocalypse, and I've come to some conclusions.  It doesn't matter to me whether it's a Biblical Armageddon, a zombie apocalypse, a nuclear holocaust or an environmental collapse; when the Terminators come to wipe out all humanity, I don't want to be one of the survivors.

Is that a shocking admission?  Shouldn't we all want to survive?  Well, of course I don't want to die any more than the next person.  But I know I don't want to live in a world that is dramatically different from the current one, especially not if it involves destruction of our modern support systems and amenities.  Most apocalyptic visions of the future include a lot of fear, destruction, and struggle for basic necessities like food and water.  I don't want to deal with that stuff.  I like my indoor plumbing, central heating, instant foods, internet and cell phones.  I don't want to live in a world that doesn't have those things.

There are lots of people out there building bunkers and stocking them with supplies to survive an apocalyptic scenario.  Although I don't know any people like that, the ones who appear on television all seem to be planning to save only themselves and their families and friends.  They appear to me to have no room in their plans for strangers who need help.  Do they really intend to turn away anyone who comes to them for aid?  Will they shoot strangers?  If the world after the apocalypse is only populated by people like that, it's not a world I want to live in.  Perhaps I've seen too many post-apocalyptic movies, and it wouldn't really be like that.  But if it is, I don't want to be there.

It's not like I'd be essential to the survival of anyone else anyway.  I don't have any children to care for, and I wouldn't be any good at caring for other peoples' children.  I can't reproduce and continue the human species; I had all my reproductive equipment removed years ago.  I hate physical activity like gardening or building.  I sew and cook poorly. I don't have any special skills or knowledge that would be useful for surviving in a post-apocalyptic situation, unless moderate knowledge of Mandarin would come in handy.   

I don't really believe there will be an apocalypse of that sort, to be honest.  If an asteroid hits the earth or North Korea starts firing nuclear missiles at the US, I doubt there will be enough of the world left to turn into Mad Max world.  If there's a societal breakdown or an environmental collapse, the changes won't be that dramatic, at least not right away.  Global warming isn't going to bring us to Waterworld in a year or even a hundred years.  I'm not a Christian, so if the Biblical Armageddon suddenly occurs I'll be in for a very rude shock. 

But in case there is some unforeseen circumstance that brings modern society to its knees in a very short period of time, I'll be thinking about checking out as soon as it's apparent that things aren't repairable.  I'd prefer oblivion to struggling desperately to get by from day to day, and I'd definitely prefer it to constantly hiding from the zombies. 

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