Frankly, I am surprised Providence, Fate or the distraught Creator looks to grant us one more year awash with impossible dilemmas: rising populations, greedy bankers, depleted resources, nukes galore, too many guns and too much hot air -- all coming together to spell doom. Or, Doom, for does not such a mind-blowing word deserve formality? Some days the dread I read makes me wonder if another year is a blessing or a curse, especially for those of us better at complaining than throwing ourselves on the gears of a status quo nary anyone likes.
What kind of world did humanity twist into shape, when the richest live well -- only to spend their time and treasure fretting some pitch-forked minority will take their winnings. Imminent gloomy predictions for 2016 blithely assume the first week of January is not on the Almighty's schedule for local Armageddon. And that consequence promises our minuscule, third order planet a ride none of us will soon forget: imagine a one-way catapult into the emptiness of outer space. If the earth has no center, then we become smithereens that seed another world in another time. Imagine 1000 tornados triggered by nuclear explosions. Ka-blue-ie. Or is it Kablewie? We'd go where no spelling has gone before.
In the final judgment, ahem, the Biblical end of times is the only outcome that unifies secular and religious types: true Apocalypse outpoints even the scariest climate change predictions for baking (or broiling) the earth, all in all a mere ripple across the cosmic fabric. Our absence won't dent eternity, nor infinity, nor worlds that haven't ever even heard of us.
That's what we get for such inglorious presumption, beginning with the arrogance to name our paltry speck the "earth." One wonders what humbler, far-off creatures call their ground of being: Stuff? Mass? Ground? UnSky or UnWater? And shouldn't Earth always be capitalized, following the same logic on Doom? Or DOOM, presuming whatever dignity remains for mankind, considering how little time it took us to make such an unholy mess!
Certain End of the World
Bet the farm on this prophesy. Our most outspoken naysayers shout in unison: whatever is this mystery, existence-wise, can't go on. Full Apocalypse aside, imminent nuclear war gets the first nod, though there's considerable vagueness still which maniac will imperil reality with this flashiest of fisticuffs. If not nukes, then will capitalism, exploitation, predation, slavery, the dirty trio of mining, shipping and manufacturing, or gross inequality of distribution, sound our species' death knell.
I'd call on Macbeth's famously depressing aria on meaninglessness but there's fear abroad we may not even have "tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow" creeping in its petty pace. No time left, as the cliff edge erodes under our feet, for those who conclude history has only "lighted fools/ The way to dusty death." And who but a fool like Macbeth agrees life is reducible to a "tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,/Signifying nothing"? Not this camper. I tell you, hardcore doom and gloomers have nothing on Macbeth, so desperately trapped in his own hell he denies meaning is possible. By the way, this character isn't speaking for Shakespeare, who'd never have written another line had he swallowed such pap.