One thing it seems there is never a dearth of in the world around us, is some opinionated head in front of a camera telling us how this one stupid thing that no one cares about but him, is boing to be the ultimate destruction of us all.
Texting will lead to humans no longer having interpersonal relationships, dooming us all. The internet causes information overload, paralyzing us with too much choice and dooming us all. Gay marriage will somehow cause straight people not to love one another, dooming us all. Video games, porn, Republicans, Democrats, big box stores, internet shopping, doom, doom, doom.
What it seems like to me is that anyone with a pet peeve and the opportunity to do a little ax-grinding, can make a name for themselves by exploiting a media system that is simply jumping to exploit them, in order to exploit us, because they know we’ll all spend a day or two running around like cats with bags of flaming poo tied to our tails for a couple of days. As a culture, we love to be scared, outraged, doom-laden. Then, on the third day, we forget, and settle back down into our “normal,” somnambulant existences, until the next yahoo pops up.
But let’s observe for a moment, the number of times we have all had certain doom thrust upon us. (I would hope that it would go without saying that each of these dooms has failed to manifest, and yet in consideration of the culture I reflect upon, I have chosen to write it anyway.) Here are some things that we were told would end our way of life, in no particular order:
- Interracial marriage
- Womens’ vote
- Blacks’ vote
- The pill
- Home computers
- The Kardashians (I’m still holding out on this one)
- The end of slavery
- Coffee (Seriously?)
- Halloween candy
- And the biggest one, the bible
Of course, this is far from an exhaustive list. Still, I think it’s relevant to the national discourse to observe the number of times some douche-nozzle with a public forum has incorrectly prophesied the doom of us all, vs. the number of times they have been right. I conjecture one uncountably high number to zero. Our favor.
Will acknowledging the paradigm stop it? Of course not. We are invested in our fear. Being afraid is now just one of the things we do, like brushing our teeth or masturbating. (Forgot to put masturbating on the list.) It is part of our identity, and while you may individually decide not to buy into it, that being happy is at least slightly better than being anxious, I can’t imagine the overall situation is going to do anything but worsen in our lifetimes.
Spiraling down and down, into a pit of despair and fear-driven violence.
To the doom of us all.