We oldies, including the boomers and the wrongly-named silent generation, put the country on an innovative path when we were young, idealistic, and energetic. Even before the boomers fought for social, economic, and political equality, the silent generation had instigated the feminist movement, crafted the foundations for equal rights in the workplace, and displaced the traditional bifurcation of male and female roles.
Heck, we popularized rock and roll! We practiced free love! Well, okay, not everyone.
We know how to be effective and provoke change. What should we tackle next? We’ve already advocated for pulling the plug. Let’s ride out another crusade. How about something entertaining? Let’s debunk the fear of an apocalypse!
Numbers of people didn’t make plans for New Year’s Eve 2012 because the Mayan calendar ended that December. Why bother purchasing a new dress and an expensive dinner? The world was coming to an end. Norse mythology experts calculated that the Vikings believed doomsday was in February 2014. Not!! The world recently escaped another Armageddon on January 1, 2017. Apparently the followers of The Sword of God Brotherhood were wrong. Hmmm…sounds like the name of a cult in a fiction book.
The hysterical, 1966 movie The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming was old news. We oldies grew up during the Cold War and the “imminent” threat of nuclear war. Years before the movie, bomb drills at school had us hiding under our metal and wooden desks. Even then, we understood the inadequacies of that strategy!
During our lifetimes, we’ve heard hyperbolic warnings of population explosions, global famines, evolving bacteria, water wars, oil exhaustion, falling sperm counts, thinning ozone, acidifying rain, nuclear winters, Y2K bugs, mad cow epidemics, killer bees, and a variety of pandemic viruses.
Not to mention alien invasions, the Black Plague, and robot rebellions.
Did you know that half of all Americans today think climate change is a sign of the apocalypse? Oops, ignore that.
The author Gary Alexander—who is one of us (an oldie)—coined a word that describes some individuals’ craving for dire predictions: “apocaholics.”
No problem feeding that addiction. Since the beginning of time, there have been apocalyptic predictions. As evidenced, somehow, they just don’t happen. Baseball legend Yogi Berra was correct when he reportedly said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
So far the Russians have only invaded in films. Various apocalyptic dates have come and gone. But, each time they result in a “D” tone for the country—dark, depressed, dysfunctional, dismal, down, dispirited. You get the idea. It’s more like déjà vu all over again. The apocalypse is coming…again. And …again. Meanwhile, the Internet constantly stirs these fears, propagating false, alternative apocalyptic facts at lighting speed!
Helpfully, the National Preppers and Survivalists Expo prepares people to face an apocalypse, civil unrest, natural disasters, alien invasions, zombie attacks, or some permutation of all these “threats.” In addition to promoting machine guns, the expo features gas masks, bullet-proof vests, freeze-dried foods, medical supplies, hydroponic food-growing kits, portable power generators, water purification tablets, and beekeeping equipment.
If we were apocalypse believers, our must-have list would differ—although we are enamored by beekeeping concept even in non-apocalyptic times. Everyone can easily procure our suggested items and store them in the never-used bomb shelter that was built by Russian-fearing relatives in the 50s. Our list would include:
- Apple cider vinegar (with the mother, whatever that means) – This miracle item can help with the dyspepsia from the stress of surviving. Look online for its many other uses now… because hackers could take down the Internet at any time.
- Chocolate – This could be a problem as it really should be refrigerated. But, it is important for its “aphrodisiac” effects. Hmmm…may be better than gold.
- Drugs (recreational and medical) – Along with the apple cider vinegar, drugs would help with the ensuing dyspepsia and make us popular with other survivors. Note to selves: don’t forget matches, lots and lots of matches.
- Extra reading glasses – Ever see the Twilight Zone episode about the guy who survives the world’s ruin, as does the library, but he falls and breaks his only pair of glasses? Think about having Lasik now.
- Hard copies of all sorts of how-to books for dummies and non-electric tools – We’ve never built anything in this life so far, but who knows. Maybe we could barter with others.
Never mind. This is way too difficult. Let’s stick with our conviction, based on our experience, there will be no apocalypse! At least in our lifetime.
So, our wrinkled wisdom for today? Bet heavily against the next apocalypse. Heck, if you’re wrong, no financial risk. We’ll all be dead. If not, you’ll have lots more money to leave the kids. Have Lasik anyway. Ignore the urge to head to the store to buy toilet paper and coffee creamer when the weatherman predicts two to four inches of snow. Block the words “apocalypse” and “doomsday” from your grandchild’s computer. And, don’t give your assets away too soon. Without an apocalypse, more days ahead. You’ll need that IRA.