Monday, July 9, 2012

No Worries, the End is Coming

I wake up thinking, "Good news, the world didn't end during the night. Let's see what happens tomorrow night."
How will Bloomberg fudge the grad rates? Credit recovery

Maybe that's why I often wear ear phones and listen to sports radio to put me to sleep -- so I won't be woken up by the end of the world. But really, why worry when we know that the end is coming eventually - either in billions of years when the sun blows up or tomorrow when some fool gets a hold of a nuclear weapon?

So I don't worry about it but do track how close to the end we may be getting. I want to make sure to wear clean underwear.

How about that global warming which I've been tracking since I moved near the ocean 33 years ago? I actually expected to be under water by now. I was beginning to think even if I live as long as my dad's 94 or Ernie Borgnine's 95, being 3 blocks from the ocean and half a block from the bay (which has a sea wall), I might just have a shot at staying dry (though I won't vouch for my basement). But then at a July 4 party someone told me that the rate of acceleration of Global Warming is much greater than expected. I started thinking about the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps.  I just might end up with beachfront property yet.

I love Armageddon movies and books. In most scenarios the earth survives some catastrophe --- take your pick: nuclear war (The Road) or even more phantasmagorical - an earthquake off Japan sets of 4 nuclear reactors due to human error and they end up polluting and destroying most life on earth, but it takes 10 years for it all to happen.Then a small band of people fight off other people - or even zombies - to find a new civilization on a small patch of land -- and it's always such a good looking couple that survive. Truly the 1%.

A favorite book as a teen was the 1933 sci-fi book "When Worlds Collide" followed by the sequel "After Worlds Collide." (by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer -- see, I still remember). I found it in Miss Gouldsmith's library at Gershwin JHS (not to be closed).

Earth gets wiped out by another planet but that planet had a twin and some people were able to escape in a rocket and land there to continue civilization. Continue? We have civilization? If the world ends how will be be able to follow the Kardashians?

I wonder how Wylie and Balmer would have played out the story just a few years later with Hitler stalking the earth? Guess who would escape to start the new civilization? Imagine, Hitler and entourage land on new planet and find synagogues on every block. The ultimate Twilight Zone story.

In the book there is a first pass by the big planet and 8 months later it comes back and wipes out the earth and the smaller planet replaces it in orbit.
Tidal waves reach heights of hundreds of meters, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes take their deadly toll, and the weather runs wild for more than two days. As a token of things to come, Bronson Alpha's first pass takes out the Moon.
Oh, the casualties. Remember the George Carlin routine where waiting for disaster numbers to come in becomes a rooting game to beat the record? This was a wowser.

On the Twilight Zone July 4th marathon one story had the earth moving either closer to the sun or further away -- either way, bad news. And there was a recent story in the New Yorker where the earth rotation slows down and people go crazy over 48 hour days. Rahm Emmauel can expand the school day to 24 hours while offering teachers a dime. Maybe that's the next gambit of ed deformers. I laid out what Eva would do a few weeks ago as the world is crumbling around her ears. (Eva Moskowitz Deals With Armageddon).

Then there are the massive sunspot type stories that consume the earth. This concept looks like it could happen one day. I read an sci-fi novel not long ago where they had 2 years to prepare - how would that affect people waging war all over the place - bet it wouldn't  stop soem of them -- can't the see the Pentagon asking for another 10 billion dollar plane that will take 30 years to develop - just in case.

I won't go into the alien invasion scenarios because those type of stories don't interest me.

OK, so we are doomed. And there are movies around that deal with this. One just out is about a couple who meet cute - 3 weeks before the end. No worries about birth control there.

I was dying to see Lars Van Trier's "Melancholia" about a rogue planet wiping out the earth. And last night there is was on Netflix. Within the first 20 minutes of this 2 hour film I was rooting for the rogue planet to speed it up. But then again there was Kirsten Dunst, who I never much noticed before not only looking good but acting up a storm. Sometimes you just have to sacrifice. I tried vainly to hold on but fell asleep before the world ended. 


Anonymous said...

I loved that episode of "The Twilight Zone" entitled "The Midnight Sun"!

The earth getting hotter part was Norma's (Lois Nettleton's) feverish dream.

At the end of the episode, it was revealed that the earth had actually been moving away from the sun and was freezing.

Betty Garde played Mrs. Bronson (Norma's landlady) in the episode.

I vaguely recall her as the original Mattie Grimsley on "The Edge of Night."

She was also on "As the World Turns" for a while in the 1950s.

Unitymustgo! said...

Funny (at least to me) that I should decide not to sleep and instead read your blog. I just finished watching Melencholia not 10 minutes ago. Agree I wish the planet had sped up. Two nights a go I watched Tree of Life. If you think Melencholia was slow try that one. I don't know what compelled me to keep stareing at screen thinking something would change.