Why Everyone is Obsessed With The End of the World

As you already know, Japan was struck by a 8.8 earthquake today—the fifth-strongest on record in the world. In terms of a natural disaster, this one took the cake by incurring serious damage as well as triggering a giant tsunami that has hit the coast of Hawaii and is reported to strike in Northern California.

I was alerted of the news when I woke up this morning via a text message from my best friend in San Francisco that simply read, “If anything happens with this tsunami, I love you like the brother I never had, and I’m so grateful to have you as one of my best friends.” My stomach dropped, and I rushed to my computer to find out what she was actually talking about. Although I was shocked and saddened to hear of the news, my fears were abated when I read that the waves weren’t expected to be nearly as high in Northern California. I almost wanted to text back my friend, “Drama queen. You practically gave me a heart attack,” but then I realized I would’ve probably done the same thing. Because an earthquake in Japan could mean the end of the world, right?

Growing up, there was always this palpable fear of some natural disaster happening/invasion of aliens that would signal the end of days. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching movies like The Day After Tomorrow and films  similar to that are still getting made today (Battle: Los Angeles anyone?) We’ve been taught to fear both the unknown and Mother Nature. So when something catastrophic occurs, my friends and I (and many others, I’m sure) can’t help but wonder if this is it.

Earlier this year, a massive amount of birds fell out of the sky and died with no logical explanation. Around the same time, a large amount of fish perished. Fish and birds: XOXO, Life. What does it all mean? Are we going to die tomorrow? This could be the end for real. This doesn’t make any sense. THIS IS SOME SCARY SHIT.

As a culture, we’re obsessed with our own demise, which I find to be very interesting since we don’t actually know how to deal with basic run-of-the-mill death. Being wiped out by an astroid or tsunami is much more bearable than knowing someone who choked on a piece of chicken at dinner and died. Maybe it’s because it’s easier to know that we’re all going to go out together than alone.

When I was 17, my boyfriend at the time once woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that he didn’t feel safe. He had a strong premonition of something terrible happening to the Earth, and believed we were all going to perish or something. It’s easy to write that off as stoner paranoia, but having “bad feelings” about the state of the Earth is something a lot of people experience, especially in California. It’s because it’s the land of energies, chakras, and crystals. New Age spirituality hovers over everyone there, and people can be particularly sensitive to anything they deem to be a “shift in the Earth’s vibe.”

New Age flakiness aside though,  it’s pretty obvious that we’ve all been pretty much fucked by pop culture. Hollywood loves a good doomsday scenario. Hell, they recently made a big blockbuster movie starring John Cusack called 2012, which was based on one terrifying Mayan prophecy. Knowing why we’re all paranoid freaks doesn’t make it easier to figure out why these messages are there to begin with though. Understanding why we would spend $13.000 in New York to see a movie about the city getting blown up is sort of fascinating, no?

I worry about it all becoming a sick self-fulfilling prophecy. We’ll think it, we’ll believe it, and, voila, instant Armageddon. So cut it out right now, you guys! Let’s cease any and all discussion of the world coming to an end. Because the Earth might hear us gossiping behind its back one day and just be like, “Fine. You want this? You got it!” TC mark

image – Bluedharma

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • http://wayindie.blogspot.com kelly huckaby

    everyone is obsessed with the end of the world because it would be an end to all their problems, plus they could throw ___ sheets to the wind and try and fuck the person they want to fuck but can't fuck because of various complications.


      Sadly a lot of truth to this.

      • http://rafi-dangelo.tumblr.com Rafi D'Angelo

        This is pretty much…80% of how I feel about an impending doom. I want enough warning ahead of time to go porking people.

  • Guest

    Don't see why anyone should be worried about a doomsday scenario. The notion that humanity will be around 'forebber and ebber' is hella narcissistic. Things have to come to an end now or later. Waking up in the middle of the night to a 'premonition' is only going to slightly delay yr demise in some end of the world scenario. Cool article anways.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/nvvmxac danne rassle

    I've noticed mainly via twitter that Americans are pretty carefree when it comes to around the world's disasters, but if a backpack is left in front of the white house … let the madness begin

  • Jordan

    remember the Y2k hysteria?

    • http://wayindie.blogspot.com kelly huckaby

      ay la nostalgia


    There will be an earthquake in California during our lifetimes that will destroy LA, SF or both and kill a lot of people and made break CA off from the continental United States. But you do not have to be part of the continental US for to have value. We value Hawaii and Alaska.

    • http://twitter.com/JosephErnest Joseph Ernest Harper

      Thought they were kind of joke states.

  • conor

    partly why 'we' are all so obsessed with the end of the world is that information is more easily available. the internet, text messaging–technology keeps us informed of every detail of every disaster. and worse it allows for the quick spread of misinformation: twitter post, to blog after blog, to trusted news source.

    something like that. either way, it seems the news loves a good disaster as much as hollywood.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DJFI3QUNAKY63KFAHJYPX4Q2A4 JenniferH

    Actually, the doomsday scenario is supported by the end of the Mayan Calendar and prophecies from various cultures. Several different groups from the Rosicrucians to the Kundalini Yogis believe that we are experiencing a dynamic shift in frequency and energy as the planet moves from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. Aquarius, being the water sign of the astrology, is marked by severe weather patterns that bring tremendous amounts of water to land – Katrina, the tsunami of 2004, this most recent one… the flooding in various parts of the world – New Zealand and Australia, etc. Hollywood films are not creating this.
    The advice from the Kundalini is to stay focused in the higher frequencies of love, compassion, forgiveness and refrain from being dragged into the energy of fear. I think that's pretty good advice regardless if we're about to meet our collective end.

  • http://twitter.com/nanabuuui Anna B

    My boyfriend is one of the idiots fascinated by the whole end of the world bullshit. SIGH.


  • Kevin

    This was a very nice post, here are some informal videos on a doomsday “alternative”– we are living through a great time in history, a transformation of everything we once knew, and the way of life in which we live. We are moving into the next stage of human consciousness, a shift away from the conceited, self-interested and judgemental state of mind, to the understanding that we are all one, we are all connected, that we all come from the same divine consciousness experiencing this holographic “life” subjectively. We need not fear these doomsday theories, for mankind will be fine. Back in the days of Atlantis before it had sunk, their culture, knowing of their impending doom as far as 200 years prior attempted to save their land. A handfull of vigilantes took it upon themselves to build a new pyramid in order to help avoid this disaster. This pyramid, having not been build using precise geometry got out of hand, and a rift in the 3rd and 4th dimensions occurred, exposing humanity to a world they didn't understand, which lead to the consciousness fall of humanity. For thousands of years we have been building pyramids using geomancy to help build a Flower of Life grid around the earth. This has been done by our ancestors to help us get back to the state of consciousness we were at in the times of Atlantis.

    Here's a video on the golden mean/golden ratio/golden rule (sacred geometry):

    Here's a video of the fibonacci spiral, our representation of time and the coming end of time:

    For more information, try searching the i-ching out of China, and how Terence McKenna plotted them out to reveal a full representation of time, including the high and low peaks of energy, which each represent a specific important event in history. It just so happens that like the Mayan Calendar, it ends on December 21 2012. Search on YouTube/Google for “Terence McKenna Timewave Zero”

    Enjoy :)

  • roo

    it was the 5th strongest earthquake in the world since 1900, not the history of the world. .lolz.

  • Mdig28

    if you actually do research on the topic, the mayans never claimed it to be the end of the world it was basically an idea that was suggested by modern western civilization. Also science shows no evidence of anything happening in the near future to end all of humanity. Natural disasters happen, and have been happening forever. I saw natural disasters from an interesting view point when one of my professors talked about how natural disasters, like hurricanes, are a good thing, its natures way of cleaning out its rivers, and other debris, but it becomes something negative because people houses and cars get ruined, but its because they are living somewhere they shouldnt be living, therefore its just something they have to deal with. Quite frankly if your someone who believes whole heartedly in the idea that were all going to die soon, why would you bother sticking around, maybe you should worry about making some changes so that you view your life as something worth living.

  • serena

    So cut it out right now, you guys! Let’s cease any and all discussion
    of the world coming to an end. Because the Earth might hear us
    gossiping behind its back one day and just be like, “Fine. You want
    this? You got it!” –ditto!!! live and let live!

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