February 14, 2013In recent years, there have been a lot of dire predictions about the impending collapse of civilization and/or the end of the world.
In 2008, there was the collapse of the financial markets. That calamity caused by the Wall Street fat cats and the bankers with their credit default swaps and other fancy financial instruments was supposed to cast the world into an economic death spiral that would send us all back into cave life.
But, it turns out, that "crisis" was easily manageable simply by giving trillions of dollars to the people who caused it.
Then, in 2009, the Hadron collider started up, and, if you remember, that was supposedly going to create a planet-devouring black hole that would, well
devour the planet.
But that too turned out to be a false alarm.
Then, last summer, there was the start of the zombie apocalypse, where ordinary bath salts were turning human beings into flesh-eating carnivores with an intense craving for human flesh, and all the news reports at that time predicted that zombies were going to be everywhere. But then, after a great deal of hoopla, the zombie apocalypse died down. I think that problem was solved primarily by people switching from bathing with bath salts to bathing only with soap and water.
Then, two months ago, the world was supposed to end at 12 minutes and 12 seconds after 12 noon on 12/12/12.
And a week after that, right before Christmas, a giant asteroid was barreling toward the earth and was supposed to take the entire planet out, but the asteroid missed which left the planet around to face The Big One.
That, of course, was the infamous Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Everyone just knew the world was going to end on that day because the calendar of the ancient Mayans only went up to Dec. 21, 2012. (Which, it turned out, was about 2,000 years more than the Mayans actually needed for their own use.)
But Dec. 21, 2012 came and went and nothing happened.
In my column over the years, in contrast with a lot of doomsayers out there, I've tried to ease people's minds about all these supposed catastrophes. I've always preached calm and tried to encourage people to simply ignore all these preposterous nightmarish "end of the world" scenarios touted by these highly irresponsible doomsayers.
Every time some new threat would show up on the horizon, and people feared the world was on the edge of collapse, or feared that civilization was unraveling, or that the world was falling apart financially or whatever, I was never worried because of one thing.
I would always say: "How bad could things be we still have this
And then I would say the two words that made people realize everything would be OK.
I mean, I would say, if things were truly bad, then there's no way this would still be around.
And as soon as I said those two words, reminding people about this, they would realize that what I was saying was true, and they would agree with me that that was a sign things were still OK.
I mean, if civilization really were falling apart, if the government were truly running out of money and resources, if the zombie apocalypse really were so bad, if so on and so forth, insert your crisis here well, then how could we still have this?
You know, I would tell people, how can things be so bad if we have
As long as you had a government stable enough to provide you with something as frivolous and unnecessary as Saturday mail well, really, how bad could things be? If there were a real crisis be it a financial one, or a large-scale zombie attack there's no way the people in charge would have enough wherewithal to continue bringing you mail on Saturdays.
So, needless to say, I was greatly disturbed to pick up the paper recently and read the news.
Now you have permission to start worrying: Saturday mail was the thing that stood between us and the abyss, and in August it will be gone.
One Slate.com article titled, "The Postman Rings Every So Often," had a subhead that told me something I already knew: "The end of Saturday mail is coming—and Friday mail might be next."
After the elimination of Saturday mail this August, the rest of the days will fall like dominoes.
The next thing you know, there will be no Friday mail, and then no mail on Thursday.
And then Wednesday mail will go away, followed by Tuesday mail because, hey, the people in charge will try to convince you, one day of mail a week is enough mail for anyone.
And then, one day, not far in the future now, they will finally announce that they are stopping Monday mail.
Even after the mail has stopped, you'll still occasionally go out to your mailbox to check the mail out of habit, and when you open the mailbox and it's empty once again, you'll remember: Oh, yeah, there's no mail anymore. And you will turn around to go back into your house and a zombie will grab you and begin eating you because, you know, there's no more mail and no more civilization and you are doomed for sure unless you can make it to the secluded island because zombies can't swim.
Good luck and Godspeed and may you make it to the island unharmed, uninfected and uneaten.