The Malcontent on: The End of the World


Personally, I reckon the apocalypse would be a real inconvenience. There are lots of things I plan to do in the year 2012, and being dragged screaming from existence is not one of them. In fact, the end of the world and extirpation of all mankind would really mess up my schedule. Even simple tasks, such as going to buy some milk, watching Downton Abbey, or laughing at a man shouting at a dog on YouTube, would almost certainly be disrupted by global Armageddon.

Moreover, it’s frankly rather irritating to have devoted hour after hour of hard work to a degree, only for you, the degree, and indeed the very concept of tertiary education, to be incinerated. Even non-students will be angered by their impending extinction. Take Jodie Marsh, for instance, who must be jolly cheesed off to discover that all her effort becoming a human bicep will be wasted when she is incinerated.

Except, there’s one small problem. 2012 has dawned, and there have been no plagues, volcanoes, earthquakes, meteorites, or swarms of walking piranhas. I dare say quite a few people probably felt a little worse for wear on New Years’ Day, but, all in all, mankind seems to have survived. Humanity one, Armageddon nil.

Of course, it’s not one-nil, really. It’s more ten thousand-nil. It seems that not a week goes by without some bearded lunatic predicting the end of days and slobbering up an international hysteria. The latest offender: the Ancient Mayans, who may or may not have given 2012 as the date of our doom. To be honest, this seems to me to be rather pretentious. Who are the Maya to tell us when we must all be vaporised? Apart from being anarchic, cannibalistic and generally quite unpleasant, they constructed their weaponry out of glass. This makes the Mayans the historical equivalent of a drunk starting on you with a broken bottle.

Let us be honest. The end of the world is probably going to ruin the day of a great many people. But, equally infuriating is having to endure a game of eschatological cry wolf, started by an extinct race of South Americans whose idea of a good night out was to strap someone to a pyramid and disembowel them. Granted, we mustn’t get our hopes up; with its economic crises, political instability, and continued existence of Jedward, 2012 looks set to be an annus horribilis. But, chances are, we are not all going to die. Happy New Year.

-James McKean


Sign up for the newsletter!

Want to contribute? Join our contributors’ group here or email us – click here for contact details