It’s the Apocalypse — 2011, 2012, sooner or later, the world will end


This is the apocalypse.

Sure, there are some limits to my credulity. But there is just too much evidence in favor of the opposing view. I’m going to go cower in a bunker. No, wait, I’m going to go repent in a bunker. I need more time to sift through all the reading material!

But I can’t wait too much longer. Everything is a sign. Charlie Sheen in the West has risen up and united with Gaddafi in the East. Their actions are in no way in proportion with each other, but that’s how you know it’s the real Apocalypse, and not one of those cheap knock-offs like Y2K or the time in the 1890s when everyone thought it was all going to be over!

Meanwhile Mercury is in retrograde! Cobras are on the loose! And I’m not feeling so well myself! So everyone go pay your regards to whomever it is you need to pay your regards to, because we’re all about to be swallowed in flame!

There is no doubt that the apocalypse is upon us, literally.

The only question is: which apocalypse?

Is it the Mayan return, which I have been doggedly predicting for years?

Is it the 2045 Singularity, when we merge with the machines in a single hive-being?

Or it is that other one I’m forgetting, probably ambiguously foreshadowed by Nostradamus?

Is it the one that’s happening this May, which you can find out about from a group of fervent individuals in campers if you attend the Vietnamese New Year Festival in San Jose?

Because if it is, I hope there is some sort of special exception if you couldn’t have been reasonably notified! It seems as if my eternal perdition or salvation should not hinge entirely on whether I was in San Jose at the time of the festival, but that might be presumption on my part. Forgive me, Lord! Or, alternatively, forgive me, uh, Quetzalcoatl? I think? Look, you know who you are! I’m sorry. I’m new to this!

The sad thing about the apocalypse is that not everyone can be right. I almost hope it’s this May, because the gentleman who predicts that date had said it would be in 1994, and you hate to be wrong about a thing like that twice. Suddenly you become the boy who cried “Apocalypse!” Then when you see the real apocalypse coming, all your followers have already joined the Seventh-Day Adventists. Sure, entire sects, like many marriages, have survived the Great Disappointment. But it’s like forecasting the weather, except that every day you predict cloudy with a chance of brimstone and eternal judgment. And if you’re right, there is no one to leave a pleasant voicemail at the station.

Still, in a way, I’m excited. The Apocalypse is like a worldwide snow day. “I don’t have to study for the math test!” kids cry. “It’s going to snow.” “Now it’s our turn. “I don’t have to fix climate change or deal with rising health-care costs!” we exclaim. “The world is ending!”

So I hope this thing pans out. If the Apocalypse doesn’t show as planned, we’re going to have to do a lot of work to make certain the world won’t end anyway.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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