This is not the end

22:21, Dec 18 2012

Recently I witnessed a conversation on Facebook between two acquaintances in which one person was expressing a concern that something Big and Scary might happen on Friday (like the apocalypse) and another person saying that yes, it would be interesting to see what happens.

Let's just get this straight. When nothing spectacularly earth-ending happens on Friday, that will not be "interesting". It will be normal. If the dung really does hit the ceiling fan on Friday (it won't, but let's just say as a hypothetical that it did) then it also will very much not be "interesting". Documentaries about WWII are "interesting". Your husband's rollerskating Daffy Duck tie is "interesting". The Apocalypse is rather outside the scope of "interesting" and more in the realms of "AAAARRGHHHH!"

Trust me when I say that disaster and catastrophe do not keep appointments. They do not turn up at a predetermined day mystically divined by some ancient know-it-all. And I'm not talking about the Mayans, I'm talking about Harold Camping, who as recently as last year was predicting The Rapture, which, unsurprisingly, did not occur.

No, disaster and catastrophe make a big entrance when you least expect them, out of nowhere while you're sitting at your desk sending a tweet about Jennifer Love-Hewitt's bedazzled genitals* they turn your world upside down and introduce you to their friends Terror and Uncertainty*. One minute your life is completely normal, predictable and mundane. Then without warning nothing in your life will ever be the same again.

A fact that 20 sets of parents in Newtown, Connecticut, know only too well.

My point is there is plenty of terror and destruction in the world that is actually real. We as a species have no need to invent terror for ourselves. Or if we do, that is what The Walking Dead is for. Prophesies of End Times are really pretty unnecessary and my own experiences with scenes of chaos and gathering up supplies and feeling as though the world was ending mean I have little patience for the imagined apocalypse fantasies that people might be indulging in. Unless they involve John Cusack who, even after being in some terrible films, I still find strangely hot...


Moreover, I hold no truck with people who take a punt each way, holding their breaths to see if "something" happens on 21/12/12...while continuing to buy Christmas presents.

You can't have it both ways. You can't have a nagging worry that the world will end and also be concerned about whether there will be enough roast spuds for everyone at Christmas lunch. Either you genuinely think the Big Bad is on its way or you don't. If it's the former, you should be spending your time saying sorry for every crap thing you've done in your life and telling your family that you love them. If it's the latter then you should just carry on as usual and not "what if" about it.

Do you know any apocalyptic fence-sitters and are they starting to annoy you? Will you be relieved when Friday comes and goes uneventfully, not because you were worried, but because it means that people will let their "2012" fixations go?

* Apparently this was what I did immediately before the big quake hit on February 22. I don't really remember as things got much more "interesting" after that.

** I have the perverse notion that somewhere in the world there are sisters who are named misspelt versions of this.