Its an odd time, both in the life of the world, and in our own lives. It reminds me of those post-apocalyptic films starring Charlton Heston that came out a few decades ago…Soylent Green, Omega Man, Planet of the Apes. The theme is the same, the lone human being at the end of the world. Nowadays, the cinematic Heston hero has been replaced by a small gang of men with guns in a zombie-populated bleakscape, perhaps a scenario more in tune with our contemporary NRA prepper fantasies–Armageddon with bros and babes, and the bad guys are totally non-human and can be exterminated gleefully and guiltlessly.
Its an odd feeling, but I can’t shake it. Fascism, economic anxiety, terrorism, crime and environmental desolation seem to be running amok everywhere, but here I am in my comfortable suburban fortress, with shelves full of canned goods and loaded and lubed firearms. I’m ready. Bring it on. My cars are gassed up and ready to travel, even if I have nowhere to go. There’s cash in the IRAs, but there may soon be nowhere to spend it. People like me will do all right…at least for a little while longer. And I have a ringside seat for the End of Days. Internet, telephone and television keep me up to date on world events long before they get to affect me directly. And after the Fall I’ve got battery-operated short wave radio. Never have we been as collectively well-informed at the end of Empire as we are now.
Its all relative, of course, as much as my instincts tell me we are at the edge of the abyss, my reason and my knowledge of history tell me societies don’t collapse overnight, they decay gradually over a generation or more. I know I won’t live to see the end of this one, even if it does come on schedule. The barbarians may be at the gate, but they are on foot and are mostly unarmed and disorganized, and even more powerless than I am. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it didn’t fall overnight. But it did fall.
The impending feeling of doom is mostly internal, but that doesn’t make it any less real. It affects me as much as I try to resist it, and I see it spreading amongst everyone I know, and even those I don’t. This is not an optimistic time. Its a time where you thank the gods for how well you’ve had it up to now, and that at least you made some preparation for whats coming. But its not a world friendly to young people, and its not their fault. Its too easy to sneer at the awkward and uncouth Millennials and the clueless alphabetic generational cohorts that follow them, but I pity them–and sympathize with them. We’ve left them a shitty world, and that’s our fault, not theirs. They have every right to be pissed at us. My generation saw what was coming, and we warned the world, but in the end we did nothing about it. Then we sold out. And all we have to show for it now is first-class seating on the lifeboats.