The last of the cyborgs stumbles through the final crumbling city of man. He tightly clenches a battery charger as he desperately searches for the last powerpoint in existence. With a tiny electronic chirp, he collapses and is embraced by the ashy ground. As he lays dying, a single short-sheet of thermal paper shoots out from his chest unit. It reads:
“Shit Wi-Fi and no PayPass. Most disappointing apocalypse ever. 1 star would not experience again.”
And so the world ends not with a bang, but with a poorly written TripAdvisor review.
Apocalypse, doomsday, Armageddon, the Big Crunch. Whatever you want to call it, movies, television and the news are saturated with it these days. We’re fascinated, flirty and a little bit scared by it. We, the apathetic generation, aren’t seeking a serious relationship with doomsday, but just a casual fling and some great selfie opportunities with the Four Horsemen (Plague is totes hot). Because why bother? History tells us all this has happened before and will happen again. Rome left the iron on, the Mayans popped down to the shops for some milk and never came back and Atlantis couldn’t get a plumber in on a Saturday morning. If history repeats itself, is the entirety of human development just full of crap reruns? But how exactly will we meet our ultimate end? A robotic uprising, led by the world’s mistreated vending machines and ATMs? Will last week’s leftover lasagne gain sentience and form an allegiance with gangs of troubled youths? Will all the bees use their combined mass to push the moon into the Earth?
For me, when it comes to global cataclysm, I love a good asteroid. Over the years they’ve brought us Triffids, alien viruses, Martians, and Donald Trump’s hairpiece. However, I feel that these charming space rocks go largely ignored these days. Sure, every now and then one visits our corner of the celestial neighbourhood for tea, scones and a bit of planetary remodelling. But alas, it’s always a near miss, and they remain as six-o’clock-news sandwiched filler between Tamagotchi resurgences and Britney Spears’s latest nose extension. Credit where credit is due – meteorites did manage to dent a small section of Russia last year, and dinosaurs died out not because they were unable to comprehend LinkedIn, but by their inability to deal with giant flaming space rocks. One point to you, asteroids.
But when civilisation collapses inwards like a cheap meringue, will the streets and highways belong to vicious thugs or just bewildered human clots? I predict society will clump together: dentists will travel in hunting packs, call-centre workers will retreat to underground catacombs and gangs of public servants will cruise the desolate highways in Priuses propelled by sails stitched together from discarded OH&S forms. Like it or lump it, many of us will have to find new employment or re-train. Face it: a barista with good retail and Excel skills won’t be much use in a world where sand is the primary currency. I suggest learning how to artfully stack giant piles of skulls or teaching scrap-booking to mutants at a community college.
Perhaps apathy is the right approach to the apocalypse. I’ve decided I’m not going to get too involved. I’m just going to kick back with a pizza the size of a coffee-table, enough Diet Coke to fill a small lagoon, and wait for “The Biggest Loser: Radioactive Mutants Edition,” as I let Armageddon slowly wash over me.
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