Monday, December 10, 2012

The End of the World?

The End of the World?
A long ranted essay about nothing.




Let me begin by saying, yes, I understand most people won’t read this wall of text. Even fewer will take the time to have the computer read it for them in order to not interrupt their day. That gives me a sort of freedom in text that I am going to take full advantage of currently. I figured the best time to talk about the “end of days” is eleven days out. The party plans are still getting nailed in, and the “what if this is legit” panic won’t happen until the 19th. I am going on record, hopefully not to be wrong, to say the world will end in the same fashion it did at the turn of the millennium.

When time clicked over from the ‘99s to the ‘00s, something weird happened. Not a damn thing. The previous statement isn't entirely true though. Everything happened with no keystroke. The main threat of our last major doomsday came with our computers going off line. Back then, only businesses and banks really used computers. They weren't even in every household yet, just the lucky ones. Because the network stayed up without a hiccup, If it were to go down today (or even in eleven days) some normal human beings will not know how to function. This is the same line of thinking as “if Walmart closed their doors today, Americans will starve.” Yes, those people would adapt, but the curve may be too much for some. The problem is, we know our magic boxes of binary will continue to work unless a global EMP cut all power. There’s already a TV show about something like that, so it’s doubtful for reality.

There have been weird occurrences in line with prophecy though. Oddly enough, it all started with the arrival of an unexpected “comet.” I was sitting in the back of my friend’s blue pickup truck (how you know a southern story is true btw) when we both saw a comet like flash in the sky. We talked about it all night and the news eventually said it was a satellite that crashed. Fair enough, I’ll take it. Then we had a partial planetary alignment. Not long after horoscopes were messed up after the stars “shifted.” This was followed by a full on planetary alignment, a few beautiful blood moons, a “super moon” and weather patterns as unpredictable as… the weather… 

So will the world end? No. This rock has been kicking around for longer than humans have been cutting down trees. Angels will not walk the streets striking down demons with swords of lightning and valor. The Mayans aren’t going to return in a gold and ivory spaceship to kill and rape your children like they were Spanish explorers. Although it’s likely we’re not alone in this universe, it will take very theatric aliens to show up to Earth’s End of the World parties. I can also ease the minds of those who think Obama has a twitchy nuke finger. There’s no reason to push the button without a manufactured threat.

There are a few things I do know for sure. Humanity is young. America alone is only 236 years old. The oldest person died at 116. We now have all of the world information and opinions at our fingertips. Book burning started because too many people believed in “false books.” I can talk to somebody in Australia or Japan without opening my mouth in real time. If that is too informal, I can video chat with them live. On the internet, the “10 drow rule*” is always in effect. Eight year olds have iPads, and at least somewhere a child not of two knows touching a screen can make music. Cultures and realities pushed forth by belief stemming from location and family are now all able to interact without barriers. We are going to have to learn how to live with each other or die trying.

Needless to say, I will not really party during the end of the world. I don’t want to spend it in quiet reflection either. I know where I want to be and with who, if I am welcome. Maybe that’s the point of it all. Reset the culture. Remind us all what’s really important, one major scare before a true and real Christmas. 

Be warned though. The technology you are using to read this, either from a desk, lap, or palm, is going to change the world more than the concept of industrialization. In a lot of ways it already has, and it’s not going to go away.

~Robert Kowalczyk















*If an adventurer strays from the story too far and train wrecks the entire campaign, an angry GM may throw up to a 10 drow encounter as punishment. They know how you fight because they’ve been watching you and following you the whole time. This will usually occur in an exchange as follows.

“Forget the castle; I’m going to the tavern to get drunk and shoot the Duke!”

“You enter the tavern. There are nine drow seated at the bar and one tending to them. Everybody is silent and their gaze pierces into you. They know you. They hate you. You don’t know why.”

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