Ah, irony. It is as delicious as turkey. And Thanksgiving - the day we offer thanks for all the things we have - is perhaps the most ironic of American holidays, in that it is immediately succeeded by Black Friday, the day we trample people to death in pursuit of all the things we want (which is more or less how it happened back when it started, with the Indians, too). Yes, as our chubby, gravy-stained hands click the TV away from reports of terrorist attacks and over to football, it is hard not to wonder quietly if the end times are upon us, and if we don’t deserve them. Well, they probably are, and we almost certainly do. But in keeping with the spirit of irony, here are some reasons to be thankful for the inevitable apocalypse.
We will lose weight! Americans are disgusting, and this is borne out by the fact that the only significant advances we have made in the 21st century are (1) getting foreigners to answer the phone for us and (2) combining fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cheese, and gravy into a single foodstuff. Except for those of us who are throwing up three times a day, we all weigh at least 400 pounds. Well, you fat fucking fuck, once the eschaton has been immanentized, no one will ever be able to call you a fat fucking fuck again. Because either you will have burned off all that weight fleeing from the ravening hordes, or they will have eaten you.
We will have horses! Even before doomsday arrives, you will not be able to run your car anymore, because gas will be more expensive than water, which in turn will be only slightly less expensive than your eyes. And then, even if you manage to get some gas, you won’t be able to drive anywhere, on account of having traded one or both of your eyes for water. You will need a horse. You will name it “Steel” or “Charger” or “Lemondrop,” or, if you are wise, nothing at all, because eventually you will have to eat it.
We will read books again! If you, like me, are finding it impossible to finish, or even substantially begin, your space-opera novel Pothead Space Ninja because there is just so much Internet to look at every day, take heart! On Third Earth (which is what we will call our world, in an effort to maintain our sense of childish wonder), there will be no Internet to look at at all. There will probably be no paper either, or alphabet. The best stories will only be told by old men or women sitting in front of a fire, as the Ancient Ones intended.
Steampunk! Steampunk only makes sense when it is set in the shattered remains of a technologically advanced society—but then it makes perfect sense. We will use oil lamps, and our Turing machines will be powered by winding cranks. We will need trench coats and boots to protect us from the weather and radioactive fallout and the ravening hordes. We will all carry truncheons. We will all wear goggles.
Swords! Bullets will come at a premium, and so those of us who are too good for truncheons will carry swords instead. They will be made from the remains of our cars, which will prove to the benefit of those folks who are still buying American right now, rather than a European or Japanese import, because sure, better mileage with the import, but who wants a plastic sword?
We will have open relationships! Sort of! You, readers, will want to make sure that you have a sword, and that it isn’t a plastic one, because all those lame social mores and conventions that make it so hard to sleep around today will be rendered obsolete in a matter of weeks. If you are male, plan on immediately establishing yourself as a “chief” or “warlord” or “only medical doctor around for miles,” because: harem. If you are female and for some reason not interested in a career in the concubinal arts, set yourself up as a wandering warrior woman. Remember not to give your heart, or your purity, to any man but the one who can best you in single combat, or you’ll get a reputation as the wandering warrior woman who’s kind of a slut. Even in the future, some things will never change.
We will genuinely appreciate things! "We all ask," wrote W.H. Auden, "but I doubt if anyone can really say why all age-groups should find our age quite so repulsive." Gloomy, but I think he has a point: No matter how many Wii DVDs we have on our MySpace phones, a sort of emptiness pervades contemporary life. Post-Ragnarok, though, as we sit around celebrating the Great High Harvest—our swords sheathed, the horses fed and asleep, our thin wives with their goggles pushed atop their heads—and an old man in front of the fire regales us with tales of the battles of the network stars, we will be truly thankful for all that we have. At least until the ravening hordes show up and eat us.
Commenter Moff’s real name is Josh Wimmer, and he can usually be found at scribblescribblescribble.com/blog.