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Volume 68, Issue 1, Date


Let loose the nukes, end the world

Randy Woock
Opinion Columnist 

I usually wake up in the morning after my girlfriend's already left for work. While she's busy at her salaried corporate job (moral: always date people who earn more than you), I'm free to rummage through her things without the added distraction of her being there. Perusing her diary, sniffing her undergarments or eating all the food in her fridge keeps me entertained while I'm waiting for my day to officially start. I've also been hoping to find some hidden evidence of her double life as a cannibalistic serial killer. No luck so far, but the other day I did discover a copy of Charles Berlitz's apocalyptic classic: Doomsday, 1999 A.D..

Reading it, I had to laugh, just like I always do when somebody takes a risk and falls flat on their face. His language courses might've helped thousands, but apparently Chuckie made a real crappy prophet. It's almost four years later now, and as far as I can see, we're not going anywhere. It's been that way with every semi-hysterical prognostication of mass-scale doom. To me, the curious aspect of all this is not that these predictions always fall flat, but that people keep making 'em.

I'm not about to start having epileptic seizures and go into historical overview mode, but even someone with as lousy a memory as myself can recall plenty of doomsday predictions in the recent past. There were, of course, countless "End of the World" scenarios for the year 2000, none of which happened. Jesus' second coming was apparently taking over 2,000 years longer than the average male's. So, say whatever you want to about that God-thingy, but it's apparent that It has no interest in numerology. In a wasted attempt to beat the millennial rush, there was a failed apocalypse back in '99 that was supposed to take place on the Fourth of July. Nostradamus his own bad self was supposed to have issued the prediction. I dunno if the world was supposed to end in some gigantic alcohol-fueled fireworks mishap or what, but when Nostradamus speaks, people listen. The world, of course, was still there July 5, leaving some people relieved, some disappointed and myself convinced that if I wanted the world to end, I was gonna have to take matters into my own hands.

Reaching back even further, I had quite a few Mormon friends growing up, and I seem to recall their families storing up lots of nonperishable food items for some catastrophic event that was supposed to go down back in '96. This doesn't strike me as being any dumber than any other of the things most religions expect you to believe, but I do hope they donated all that unused grub to a homeless shelter. That, or everybody was stuck eating Ramen and canned vegetables at every meal for the next few years. So it's obvious that humans have about as much aptitude for apocalyptic predictions as we do for world peace. That being said, it doesn't necessarily mean that the end of the world as we know it will never happen, just that it statistically appears about as likely as my sprouting a third genital. The big question, of course, is why people keep making these predictions. What's our species' fascination with the world ending? Are we all just morbid, are we afraid of how the world will carry on , or is it something else? Hell, why not? I'm all for it. Let's end the world. Not just passively sit around waiting for the world to end itself, or for God to come back and turn the lights off on us all, but take an active hand in our world's demise. It'd be self-empowering in its own perverted way. We can wipe the slate clean and start again. Let the nukes fly, empty the chemical arsenals, release the super-viruses. Raise a toast to our species' potential for self-destruction as the world goes down in flames. Maybe the squirrels will take over once we're done. Hopefully they'd do a better job ruling the world than we did. They'd have a long ways to go to do worse.

Woock, a senior phychology major, 
can be reached at


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