the end of the world

Ashton Kutcher greets 2nd Security Forces Squa...

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In the February issue of Men’s Fitness, Ashton Kutcher, Twitterati royal and husband to the preternaturally preserved Demi Moore, informed the world that end days were upon us and he was not going to be caught with his bunker bare or minus the necessary para-military skill set.

“It won’t take very much, I’m telling you. It will not take much for people to hit the panic button. The amount of convenience that people rely on based on electricity alone. You start taking out electricity and satellites, and people are going to lose their noodle. People don’t have maps anymore. People use their iPhones or GPS systems, so if there’s no electricity, nobody has maps.”

Ashton’s end of the world prep includes a well-stocked arsenal, hours of running the canyons that surround his suitable remote home and studying Krav Maga, the deadly Israeli combat techniques used by their assassins special ops forces.

He motivates himself to run by envisioning hordes of wild boar bearing down on him and he keeps himself limber and lean for all the hand to hand combat with daily Bikram, which is a beginner practice. I would have thought a survivalist would go for Ashtanga , but I digress.

Normally, Ashton amuses me with his lightness of being, so I am chagrined to find myself rethinking his weight class.

I am not convinced the world will collapse in the next year or the year after. The world tends to tip and totter and right itself for extended periods between major collapses. We are due, but a lot of things have to happen before anyone in the U.S., at least, is motivated to actually step outdoors and take up the torches and pitch forks. French or Russian revolutionaries, Americans are not.

One has only to look at footage of the Beck and Stewart rallies this past year to see just what kind of “radicalism” might fuel the next uprising and those people? They had lawn chairs and coolers packed with snacks. Not exactly matches for the heavily armed killing machine like Ashton.

Ashton. So not a name that strikes fear – my apologies to all you rough and ready Ashtons – he might want to rethink and go with something a hard vowel sound.

Kunstler, over at Clusterfuck Nation was spouting French Revolution comparisons in his most recent uptempo post about the coming of “end days”, but I think both he and Ashton overestimate people in the lower part of North America (and I am including those Canadians who dwell close to the U.S. border in my low opinion of their potential inner-anarchists).

No one is going to protest until it’s all but over and the only choice will be meek submission or meaningless death.

Look up from their texting or Internet surfing long enough to really see what’s going on around them and potentially do something positive and productive?

Nah. This is America folks. The proud, uber-prepared few are training like Ashton as I type this and will be the new overlords in the future, which isn’t here yet and not likely to be for another decade-ish or more and that could change. Yoda did say that “difficult to predict is the future, always changing”.

Ashton, of course, has time and money to burn. Nothing pesky like a nine-to-five or living among the masses to distract him from one day taking his rightful place  of territorial dominion over the grasshopper people.

In the meantime, people will scoff and he will bear the Internet equivalent of a swirlie, but he will have the last villainous laugh when the credits roll.

So yesterday gay couples began readying to marry in Iowa, Swine Flu reached def-con 4 on its way to possible pandemic, our own military did a flyby of downtown Manhattan, and there was an earthquake of not insignificant magnitude near Mexico City of all places. Shouldn’t you get a pass on material devastation when you are already beset with plague?

Add all this on top of economic near collapse, impending food shortages and general world-wide instability and we should all be breaking into rounds of REM’s classic ode to the end of days.

Sunday as I was reporting yet another update to Rob on the growing scourge that is officially, pig-bird-human flu, he remarked,

“Why do you seem positively giddy about all this?”

Is my life that dull?

No, I really don’t know why this particular disaster, following as it does on the heals of one disaster too many in the last few months, should be perking my ears up. Could just be my latent Catholicism showing. I was raised on the idea that the world would grind to a glorious halt only after much hardships and suffering had been meted out to snare as many last minute repentants as possible. Or it could just be the survivor in me hears a call to arms.

You don’t want to live in interesting times, do you? Shouldn’t it send you scurrying?

Mom left a message for me while I was out this morning. Her voice was a bit strained when she asked if I had heard about the travel restrictions.

Restrictions? The warnings I’d read about seemed awfully non-committal in terms of warnings. Not exactly “thou shalt not” in nature. More like guidelines. The U.S. was advising that non-essential travel to Mexico be put off, but if they really thought it was dangerous, they’d simply forbid it. After all, Americans haven’t been able to go to Cuba for 40 some years for lesser reasons than a potentially lethal highly infectious disease. If the great American Powers wanted to cage its citizens and lock out the world – it could.

I assured Mom that it was too soon to really know if we were facing a pandemic and that it was too late really for containment. We had probably all come in contact with someone who’d been to the epicenter recently by some degree or other. We would either get sick or not and since she wasn’t supposed to travel up here until late in June, there was still plenty of time to cancel.

So, am I “giddy”? I don’t have reason to be other than this is certainly interesting to the writer in me, but as an asthmatic, in a scary ass Stephen King-ish flu pandemic, I am toast. No doubt about that. I don’t have the lung strength or resiliency, so not really giddy. It would make a great novel though.