I went to summer camp as a kid. It was one of those Christian activity day camps that vaguely appropriates Native American culture to help young boys grow up with good values and better rock climbing skills if you’re into that. During the nine-to-ten-year-old times at camp, they would read the Bible to us before bed.
I have a complicated relationship with the Bible. I think it’s an important book, for sure. It’s a marvel of human intellect, to build a mythology of such lasting importance and power, and to sustain it for millennia. It’s a storybook that has lasted thousands of years. True or not, and I’m comfortably and staunchly on the ‘not’ side, that’s a massive achievement. But all that aside, one day the counselor read to us from Revelations.
For those not in the know, that’s the apocalypse part of the Bible. Giant locusts, murderous horsemen, plagues, dragons, you get it. The end of the big bloody world. I’m not sure what the counselor was thinking, maybe they didn’t realize what they were doing. Maybe they ran out of Bible they liked. Anyway, it was different. It scared most of the kids. Some cried. It never happened again. I don’t think I ever slept better in my whole life.
I find a tremendous comfort in the end of the world. Just the idea of a big long exhale and then a quiet dark planet devoid of all life. There’s a beauty in that kind of serenity. It honestly doesn’t matter what sort of apocalypse it will be, as long as it promises to end everything.
Obviously I have preferences, though. Any dream has its specifics. So, in…”honor” is the wrong…in recognition(?) of the fact that we seem closer to the apocalypse than ever lately (because I’m still convinced that climate change and the election of Donald Trump are at least signs of a coming Doomsday, I mean the guy I think actually wants to destroy the Earth. And I’m only partially basing that off the fact that Trump looks, acts, and sounds like a Captain Planet villain), here are my top five doomsday scenarios:
5. Flood: The ocean is one of those really fucking big mysteries. It, collectively, is larger and more biologically diverse than any landmass on the planet. We have been to the moon but still haven’t charted the entire ocean. Something about it raising its massive hands in a long, final, not-so-friendly wave “hello” sounds right. Plus, before sharks and giant squids and octopi claim the last surviving humans, we get the best aesthetic in the history of weddings, novelty bars, and Disney World rides: pirates! The last shreds of humanity cowering on their yachts (or the yachts they looted after the flood) succumbing to a life of piracy and primal diving scavenging for the soaked bones of a dead civilization. Life began in the sea, let it end there. Also, again, pirates!
4. Plague: Okay, so we kind of have to unpack why I love the idea of a plague wiping us out. I think that human beings have evolved to be a planetary cataclysm. We are the next asteroid propelling this planet into a new ice age. Put another way, we’re the plague. So any disease the planet cooks up or unlocks to get rid of us is really just its immune system doing its job. We are the sickness, in a delicious twist, us dying of plague, from a planetary perspective, sounds like a cure. Plus maybe it’ll be one of those fun plagues like “whooping cough” and the whole human candelabra will snuff out like a chorus of phlegmy police sirens.
3. Alien Attack: I’ve always believed there are aliens. There have to be, right? Seems only fair. My current philosophy is that aliens stop around our planet just to look and take pictures. Like a safari, or one of those kiddie trains at a zoo. They pull up, look at the lions, take pictures, say (in weird alien languages that sound like combinations of smashed harpsichords and flushing toilets ((I’m just guessing obviously, but that sounds right)), because aliens) “Ooooh look at those lions! They look fucked up! I sure am glad we are in here, safe and sound!” We are lions. We’re a mad, locked up, blood crazy exhibit. Our orbital defense weapons are pointed at our own planet. If aliens do come close to earth, So, if an alien race decides to take it upon themselves to proton beam or phaser blast our deserts into glass and our beaches into steam, destroy every monument, disintegrate every man above the age of six and experiment on the children, fair to them. Historically, we’d’ve done the same thing. We don’t deserve their handshakes and message of peace. We are not the center of the universe. Perhaps we need some big headed phone home motherfuckers to remind us of that. With lasers.
2. Literal Biblical apocalypse: I’m an atheist through and through. I like the idea of the big black and no one else. I honestly enjoy the randomness of a cold indifferent universe. But, I also enjoy being apocalyptically and ruinously wrong. No moment in human experience could match the rush of being devoured by a hellspawned plague locust with a woman’s face after believing my whole life that I knew better than some big dumb God. Also there’s that whole bit with the Dragon, and I’m too much of a Game of Thrones fan to watch the world end any other way than that.
1. Nuclear Armageddon: The one thing better than a capital-G God, capital-R reckoning blowing out the candles on this burning birthday cake of a planet, is us doing it to ourselves. Nuclear weapons are the pinnacle of human achievement. All of our intellect and scientific understanding, all of our unlocked knowledge of the universe and its endlessly complex mechanics, fashioned into a glorified gun we point at each other in an endless high-stakes game of chicken. We’ve accomplished so much as a species, we deserve to end ourselves in a glorious fireworks display, don’t we?
Note: You’ll notice that there’s a glaring omission on this Apocalist. I’m not forgetting about zombies. I’m saying, by omission, fuck zombies. They’re dumb, boring, played out, uninteresting, and useless. Yes, that includes the Walking Dead. No, I don’t care. If the world is gonna end, it can end in better style than the eschatological equivalent of white people’s love of pumpkin spice shit. It’s popular…doesn’t make it good.
I am open to fighting about this: GusNuggetBlog@gmail.com