And I Feel Fine
April 1, 2008 11:32 PM   Subscribe

The End Of The World As We Know It. If you want to imagine the catastrophe - how you would cope, what would you do to save yourself and your family - where do you turn for advice?... The idea of dying together, all of us, in some ways seems less appalling than the thought of going alone. Via.
posted by amyms (29 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't mean a sushi shortage or the end of the last series of "The Wire".

Sentences like this are the reason I don't read many articles.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:41 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


the idea of dying together, all of us, in some ways seems less appalling than the thought of going alone

This is, in and of itself, a somewhat appalling fact.
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:48 PM on April 1, 2008


The idea of dying together, all of us, in some ways seems less appalling than the thought of going alone.

Yep, it's really appealing, to all die at the same time.
posted by zouhair at 12:14 AM on April 2, 2008


Hmm, at a second thought, seems like an Iraqi guy talking about his daily life.
posted by zouhair at 12:21 AM on April 2, 2008


Ta for this. I enjoyed this article... I do have a thing for apocalyptic fiction and cinema. Of course, living right near sea level, near the centre of a really large metropolitan area, I'll be one of the first to go.

We'll certainly be having a 'smoke-em-if-you-got-em' end of the world party, though.
posted by pompomtom at 12:36 AM on April 2, 2008


That was a great read, despite the fact that it reinforced my long-held suspicion that as a pansy-boy London IT worker, I don't stand much of a chance when the big day comes.

And now, Patton Oswalt on the Apocalypse.
posted by Optamystic at 1:14 AM on April 2, 2008


I hope we have enough time for an End Of The World Party. I think that's what freaked out some people about the Large Hadron Collider possibly making a black hole, 'cause one of those would reduce us all to sub-atomic packing peanuts before anybody saw it coming, right?

On the other hand, a really slow apocalypse, like Global Warming would cause, would suck far worse. Think of the Twilight Zone episode "Midnight Sun". Nope, if we're all gonna go together, it has to be with some notification but not too much, either Atomic War via ICBMs (so NORAD can tell us it's coming) or Collision With Giant Asteroid (which hopefully will be visible in the sky for just a few hours before).
posted by wendell at 1:15 AM on April 2, 2008


We are dying together.
posted by nicolin at 1:36 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've always felt that one of the most annoying aspects of dying isn't necessarily the fear of what if anything comes next, though obviously that is always going to be something of a factor. Instead it's the certain knowledge that we will never find out how the story ends. I like history, scientific and artistic achievements, and the grand sweep of the progressive brush and dammit I deserve a bit of conclusion here. If I can't have immortality I want an apocalypse and 48 hours of warning.
posted by vbfg at 1:41 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Speaking of dying, I think the server just bought the farm.

I've always liked Robert Sheckley's short story about the party at the end of the world. I can't remember what it was called, but lots of 'ludes were involved.
posted by nasreddin at 1:41 AM on April 2, 2008


>The idea of dying together, all of us, in some ways seems less appalling than the thought of going alone.
Like hell! But then, I moved to Canada a long time ago. I will surveeve! Uh, survive! Screw the rest of you non-species supporting scum.
posted by CCBC at 1:46 AM on April 2, 2008


I'm not going to survive more than a few more years (decades?) in any case, but the sum total of knowledge humanity has at great cost and sweat wrested from the universe can and will survive until the heat death of the universe.

If all were ending in catastrophe I suppose I'd want to make some monument to, some repository of, that knowledge -- either for any survivors, or if there are to be none, to commerate six million or 200,000 years of human evolution and 10,000 of human civilization.
posted by orthogonality at 2:35 AM on April 2, 2008


the idea of dying together, all of us, in some ways seems less appalling than the thought of going alone

Everyone dies alone. Doesn't matter who else happens to be there at the time.
posted by psmealey at 3:43 AM on April 2, 2008 [3 favorites]




psmealey writes "Everyone dies alone. Doesn't matter who else happens to be there at the time."

Speaking from my own experience, psmealey's absolutely right on this. If the dying's slow enough for thought, as you shut down, you're aware you're cut off and quite alone. Even after you can't communicate, you can still think, and what you think is, "I'm alone here and I'm dying".
posted by orthogonality at 4:13 AM on April 2, 2008


Let's not forget this "gem," from this fine thread.

Ahhh, good times. Doomsday always brings out the best in people, dontcha think?.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:55 AM on April 2, 2008


Metafilter in the Ruins. (Blogging the apocalypse, from 2003.)
posted by mothershock at 5:21 AM on April 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Dammit, Faint of Butt beat me to it.
posted by notsnot at 5:27 AM on April 2, 2008


Reminds me of my fourth grade teacher telling us she'd go up on the roof of the school if the Russians dropped the bomb instead of suffering through radiation poisoning and dying slowly. This was at the height of the Reagan era, and from the sound of it, she was pretty convinced it could happen. Her comment screwed with my head then and clearly, over 20 years later, it's still stuck in there, so THANKS A LOT, MRS. K!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:24 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've recently gotten over my apocalypse fixation, and let me tell you, it was a long time coming. So many zombie related "thought experiments", so many plans. Countless revisions to my "go bag". Real LAMOE stuff. I still love the fiction, but it doesn't intrude upon reality anymore, and I'd like to tell you all why. I suspect many MeFites are deeply in love with the rugged individualism that is inevitably born from each variant on Armageddon. There is really nothing wrong with that.

Realizations:

1) There is simply too much invested by humanity in civilization to allow it all to collapse on itself. Everybody out there who isn't infatuated with "rugged individualism" has more incentive to protect the status quo than us nihilists do.

2) My idea of "survival" is woefully romantic. This second conclusion arrived shortly after the first, as I was watching HBO's John Adams special. I like not worrying about Smallpox anymore. Thanks Civilization!

So my fantasies are even healthier now.
posted by butterstick at 7:59 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


This film is a rather fun examination of how we'd all go out together.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:36 AM on April 2, 2008


Don't worry...I've stocked up on butter.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:39 AM on April 2, 2008


I used to worry about the apocalypse until I realized something very important:

I am immortal.

Now, there is a very minor chance that I'm wrong about this, but, and this is really key, if it turns out that I can be killed, I won't know it till I'm dead, and then I won't care.
posted by quin at 9:33 AM on April 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've talked about this at work—living in Ann Arbor, I was reasonably sure where to go, and that I could get out of the cities if they collapsed, grow my own food and live (rather shittily) off the land. A few books from the library, a copy of My Side of the Mountain, and a gun or two from the all-too-willing-to-help neighbor, I'd be pretty set. My biggest general worry would probably be a lack of reliable birth control. Ideally, I'd be able to make it all the way to my uncle's farm in Wisconsin, where life's already pretty rustic and idyllic.

Here, in LA? Fuck, man, I don't even know. If shit looked impending, I'd probably try to trade on my being white and survivor-looking with the gun shop owner a couple blocks from here, then try to hole up in the local school cafeterias. Eventually, I suppose I'd have to make it out to some arable land, but who the fuck even knows where that is around here? I mean, places that could legitimately survive without artificial irrigation?

So, gun, hit up one of the bike shops near me for one of those bicycles that have the electric motor on 'em that's charged through solar and pedal power, maybe head North toward the coastal rainforests, or a bit inland and hope that someone's growing something and that I can throw in my labor?

This plan doesn't seem very good.
posted by klangklangston at 10:53 AM on April 2, 2008


"'the idea of dying together, all of us, in some ways seems less appalling than the thought of going alone'

This is, in and of itself, a somewhat appalling fact."


But it's such a heavenly way to die...

Rather than worrying about when we're all going to die, how about wondering about what life will be like when we all live? I mean, embracing the moment, forgoing the "drink yourself into a stupor in front of the TV", writing that screenplay, and taking responsibility for our lives.

We'll probably all be such unsufferable twits.
posted by Eideteker at 11:10 AM on April 2, 2008


“If all were ending in catastrophe I suppose I'd want to make some monument to, some repository of, that knowledge -- either for any survivors, or if there are to be none, to commerate six million or 200,000 years of human evolution and 10,000 of human civilization.”

As of now just about the only thing will be the plaque on the moon with Richard Nixon’s name on it.
Reason enough not to go gently into the night.

And yeah, kids change everything. I’m pretty much bulletproof. I know how to survive, I learn fast and adapt well. All that pretty much means nothing now that I have kids. Eating bugs, subsistence farming in some half-dead pit world, not going to be any kind of future for my children.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:33 AM on April 2, 2008


"... you push the button on the bomb, and you and the lion die like one."
posted by chimaera at 1:14 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I was younger I used to morbidly obsess over the idea of a full-scale nuclear war, and I concluded that in the event of a full-on nuke attack I'd want to be directly underneath the first one to hit. Reading The Road last year reinforced this belief; I think that going up in a puff of smoke would beat the hell out of bludgeoning people to death for canned goods.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:35 PM on April 2, 2008


Also, anyone interested in end-of-the-entire-world scenarios should rent Last Night. It's basically the Canadian Armageddon.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:39 PM on April 2, 2008


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