It’s The End of the World As We Know It (and I feel like napping)
Show of hands: anyone actually think the world is going to end this Friday?
I won’t judge you if you do. I personally don’t, but I’ve almost got apocalypse burnout at this point. I was talking about it with my wife Lisa on either Friday or Saturday, and the two of us could think of at least three ends of the world we can remember living through without so much as a scratch. Four if you count the film.
The first I can remember was in 1994. Noted nutbag Harold Camping had published a book a couple of years before in which he said that Jesus would come back in September ’94 (and this time, it would be personal!) I don’t know why, but this particular apocalypse prediction gained a lot of steam, and people in my school were convinced it was going to happen. I remember checking the clock throughout the day, slightly nervous… but when the appointed hour came, nothing. I had to get up and go to school the next morning like every other day.
Then there was 1997, which, if you were alive and plugged into the news cycle at the time, you probably remember. Heaven’s Gate. The world ended for at least some people then, the true believers in their brand-new Nikes. I’m guessing the shoe giant would have liked to have been consulted before that happened — I doubt “suicide cult” fit in with their branding message at the time. I could be wrong, though. The 90s were weird.
Then there was the big one, The Millenium. All of the computers in the world were supposed to fail all at once, launching all the nuclear missiles, shutting down all the power plants, collapsing the financial system, and causing other generalized and nonspecific chaos. I woke up on January 1, 2000 with a raging hangover, and that was the worst of it. My old Windows 3.11 computer didn’t even have a problem.
Those are the three I remember most. I don’t remember any before then, but, to be fair, we were living in a pretty generalized end-of-the-world paranoia through most of the 80s, always afraid that the Soviets would wipe us out with the Tsar Bomba.
So you’ll understand why this current End of the World doesn’t have me too worried. I’ll still have to get up and go to the gym on Saturday.
What about you, folks? What memorable end(s) of the world have you lived through? Remember any I missed during the last 20 years?