Saturday, November 17, 2012

AW #53: "It's the End of the World As We (Don't) Know It (And I Feel Fine)"

NOTE: This wedge has been accreted, here.
As you likely know, the world will end on December 21, which happens to be a Friday. So it eerily coincides with the end of the work week. "World?" "Week?" Coincidence? I think not.

So in the spirit of geological celebrations let's have a hilarious final Accretionary Wedge of the entire universe ever, and scoff at the end of the world, the road kill on the margins of the information superhighway who create this dreck and keep it alive, and the so called "respectable" journalists who feel obligated to act as if such idiocy should be covered in anything but a mocking, tongue-in-cheek tone.
``It's Marvin,'' he said. ``Hey, Marvin,'' he said into the phone again, ``we're having a great time. Food, wine, a little personal abuse and the Universe going foom. -Douglas Adams
So I'll suggest several approaches, but feel free to come up with your own. What I'm hoping for primarily is some rollicking laughs, but if you'd like to take some aspect of this stupid meme more seriously- and gawd knows there are grave implications for a society where such nonsense can be treated seriously- feel free to come at it in whatever manner suits you.

The original inkling for this topic came up sometime this past summer, when I suggested that a theme lampooning the over-the-top, sensationalistic, and frankly irresponsible "journalism" often seen with geological topics and disaster warnings generally might make for a good AW. Ron Schott said December was open, and I pounced. "Put up or shut up?" Oh, I am so putting up! You could make up a tale of geologic and sciency absurdity, describing in the most insanely over-the-top manner how the world/universe will end. Contrarywise, you could report on the world's end as it happens, complete with reporters going out to report "LIVE!" from the apocalypse. Personally, I think the world will go out in sectors, like an orange with 24 sections, as they pass through midnight, but I'm not sure whether it'll be at the beginning or end of the 21st.

Or, you might choose to pick a bit of "respectable" journalism, and pick it to pieces in the most acerbic way you can. (Rick Sanchez, "What's that [10 meters] in English," anyone?) Here are a couple examples of me doing that, the first to point out the myriad mindless errors and misjudgements: Science "Journalism" by Press Release. And the second to show the the original press release totally missed the boat on why this news was important and so very interesting: More On the Gigavolcano.
“Don't wake me for the end of the world unless it has very good special effects.”  ― Roger Zelazny
Or, like I said, you might have another idea. But remember, it's supposed to be a party. No downers allowed- though that might be a topic for another Wedge.

I'm going to set the deadline a bit early, let's say, December 17 or 18 (Monday/Tuesday), because I want to get this up by Thursday at the latest, or preferably Wednesday.

Just in case, y'know...
Followup note: To clarify, the idea is to find the humor- in whatever way you choose- in one of three topics: Cultists and conspiracy theorists who force us to reread this stuff, the idea of the world ending in a single, one-day event, or journalism that permits this kind of drivel to reach any level of public consciousness. "Fracking at Newberry will cause PNW Megaquake?" Mwa-ha-ha! That's just the beginning. That'll trigger the San Andreas, in turn triggering peta-eruption at Yellowstone and Long Valley. The combined force of those two eruptions will knock earth out of orbit and into Jupiter," for example.