Every year the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists happily drag out their tedious symbolic Doomsday Clock to let us non-atomic scientist peons know how THEY have surmised we are teetering on the edge of apocalypse. I personally do not need their Board of Sponsors committee of scientists, including 16 Nobel Prize winning Laureates, to let me know that tidbit of information when I have every blathering new agency, every modern self-declared prophet, every self-promoting celebrity and every tithe-craving evangelical preacher doing the same thing. Seriously, I can read literature, interpret data and figure it out on my own, thank you very much Atomic Scientists. But here they come terrifying the gullible, into thinking we’re on the edge of some abyss of doom, lurking on our very doorsteps.
I would give this dreaded doomsday watch for the end some earnest credence if it were not always a relatively few minutes to midnight ( with midnight being the dramatic end of course). Even when the Doomsday Clock began it’s historic vigilance back in 1947, shortly after World War II, it was at 7 minutes to midnight. Hold on there, Skippy! In 1947, Europe and Asia were completely war weary, virtually in economic and political chaos, desperately trying to rebuild their destroyed countries from the war; Russia was busy burying her 26 million casualties and did not have any noted atomic arsenal at all; the United States only had a few atomic bombs and was busy demobilizing her vast armies and navy; NOBODY wanted to fight anymore conflicts worldwide and simply wanted peace again after five grueling years of total war; and the Doomsday Clock was at 7 minutes to midnight? What happened to the other 11 hours and 53 minutes?
The farthest the clock has ever been away from the witching hour was in 1991 when it dropped dramatically, through the floor, to a dizzying low of 17 minutes to midnight. Really!?! I was there in 1991 and it wasn’t that glorious and delightful a time worldwide. Maybe the older conservative Nobel Laureates had all croaked by then and the newer, more liberal Nobel Laureates, who had been raised during the Cold War and were used to the threat of global destruction, saw something the rest of us simple folk missed. Still those other pesky 11 hours and 43 minutes just did not merit a mention in the calculation.
And what if we ever reach midnight and apocalypse? Does the clock then reset itself and we’re at 0:00 again; and we’re OK? Maybe they should have had the Doomsday Tea Kettle and we can be at 209 degrees, just shy of the boiling point of 212 degrees to apocalypse. At least then you can go higher when we reach the boiling point and even get to the melting point of the Doomsday Tea Kettle. How about the Doomsday Vacuum Cleaner, and we’ll just all agree every year that it sucks.
But let’s get modern. I fully expect Apple to release it’s newest, must-buy gadget to glean our money, called the Apple Doomsday Watch of the Pockylips (to make it appealing to the Millennial generation, and children) so we can wear it on our wrist and be reminded hourly that the Atomic Scientist’s have our back. We can even have a game app called Angry Warheads, that we can stop from hitting the virtual ground and thrusting the screen into a virtual nuclear winter. Makes you drool over the anticipated apps for climate change and new technology threats.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary singular definition of apocalypse is “a great disaster : a sudden and very bad event that causes much fear, loss, or destruction”. Well, a metaphorical Doomsday Clock paraded out every year by supposedly discerning scholars could cause “much fear” to the people who take them very seriously. Are they their own definition of apocalypse. Maybe that’s why the clock always hovers around midnight. Maybe if they stopped their self-gratifying, self-perpetuating prophesying of odious doom and destruction, the impressionable would sleep better at night, without the lights on. Could be.
I will invok
(D2S2=Don’t Do Stupid Shit)
Note to Atomic Scientists: When your little symbolic gesticulation has become outdated and unrealistic, you just need to put it in a box somewhere and close the lid on it…savvy?