Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Friday, 20 May 2011

Five signs you might be an Apocaholic

It’s a surprisingly common affliction, though I didn’t have a word for it until I found it mentioned online (via Counting Cats), and has been around for a long time in guises ranging from the Book of Revelations to the myth of Atlantis.

Almost all religions have a clear end-of-the-world scenario, while atheists can enjoy comparing the rival claims of asteroid strike (though high priest Lembit Opik seems to have erred from the faith recently), solar flares, mega-quakes or, for the true cognoscenti, methane clathrate release.

It's mostly fairly distant stuff - though there's always the chance a Vogon constructor fleet might pop up out of the blue - unless, of course, you believe Harold Camping's assertions that the end of the world starts tomorrow. However, those apocalyptically inclined might like to feast their eyes on this at Nourishing Obscurity.

Of course, the true apocaholic doesn’t just recognize the possibility of these events occurring; the main symptom of the condition is a warm, happy glow derived from the prospect of complete global annihilation, preferably in a spectacular geological fashion.

It’s not the actual catastrophe that appeals, you understand – apart from anything else, there’s hardly going to be a safe place to stand and watch – but the contemplation of cosmic forces at their most literally awe-inspiring. If that's your sort of thing, you can have hours of fun at Armageddon Online (h/t Demetrius).

Were apocaholism confined to atheists, one might say it fulfilled a deep-seated need to stand in awe of something greater than ourselves – the fact that it transcends religious differences suggests it is rooted in us at a basic level. Who knows; perhaps one day they will isolate an apocalypse gene.

Meanwhile, you know you’re an apocaholic when:

  • There’s a well-thumbed copy of Bill McGuire’s ‘Global Catastrophes’ on your bedside table
  • The US Geological Survey website is on your favourites list and you have a google news alert for 'asteroid'
  • You have a food and water cache under the stairs
  • You watched Horizon’s Armageddon special last week - and, at the end, you found yourself shouting “Tell me something I don’t know!”
  • Deep down, a small part of you is secretly hoping Harold Camping might be right after all
Update: The Filthy Engineer has picked up another possibility

Meanwhile, the Urchin has come across a fantastic idea - what if all the workmates and neighbours of Camping's adherents spend tomorrow hiding, leaving the place completely deserted? 
"Hey guys, weren't we the ones supposed to be raptured?"




3 comments:

  1. Of course, the true apocoholic doesn’t just recognize the possibility of these events occurring; the main symptom of the condition is a warm, happy glow derived from the prospect of complete global annihilation, preferably in a spectacular geological fashion.

    As in the pic opening the 13:30 post. Zap! Kaboom!

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  2. It will happen, although I will tell you when afterwards. I see Iceland is popping off again.

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  3. JH, you mean your piece on Eschatology?
    Good pictures - and plenty of food for thought.

    Re Temple rebuilding; this might interest.

    Demetrius, I'm waiting with bated breath for your take on the latest Iceland eruption.

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