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Of course the world will end

By Mark Wignall

FOR those in an obsessive embrace of the idea (fact to them) that the world, read, the Earth, will come to its finality today—December 21, 2012—the information I have for them is: wait a while longer.

Outside of the Doomsday groupings which have always latched on to the latest signpost that the end is imminent, most humans have somehow developed a need to believe there is someone like us, but at liberty to exercising the most awesome power that that "God" can bestow, who will decide our ultimate destiny.

In other words, the He is omnipotent, all-knowing and, as much as He is benevolent, He is also capable of personal and global destruction of us all.

But, as I said at the beginning, according to scientists, the world is headed for its ruination. No, not global warming or an attack of warped-minded pop musicians on the assumed innocence of our children's puny intellect.

It will not be caused by a global conflict brought about by, for the first time, control and usage of the digital space between sovereign states.

It's all about our galaxy, called the Milky Way (how is it photographed or imagined?) merging with another years from now. Of course when that happens there will be a great cosmic rupture and seemingly celestial chaos.

When it happens, it will simply be the continuation of the universe, continuing on its most violent path but, in the hugely randomised sequences that result in a planet of burning sulphur as against the relative calm of planet earth, there will be no guarantee that any space in the universe will be fit for human habitation.

According to astrophysicists and those who study the skies way above us, this rupture will occur. Not based on religion or what the latest cultist wants to wish on us, for the glorification of himself.

If you have patience, way beyond being seated in Accident and Emergency at the KPH (Kingston Public Hospital) for ten hours or waiting to see your political representative after his first time win at the polls, then you will be okay. I have tickets to the event but I would suggest early purchase as I may not be around to deal with it in its entirety.

Yes, they say, in 4.7 billion years from now, we will be toast. How utterly disappointing! You mean I will not be able to be there for my great, great, great... grandchildren? Who knows, maybe by the year 2040 they will discover a capsule that, once ingested, will make us live to 4.7 billion years.

Seriously now, although there have been no modern-day Methuselahs among us, which person in the present dispensation would want to live to be, say, 200?

Who would want that?

As a man I would be dried up in places that I would have preferred to have left un-dessicated. And to add insult to the most tragic of injuries, even if I were effective in my "un-dried" out place, which woman would want me, and, if she did, would I want her?

What would a woman do at 200 years old? Gaze at her husband, at 205, playing with the hot coals in the barbecue because he has forgotten how to appreciate the absence of pain? Watch him sipping beer and dribbling it all down the front of his shirt because the alternative is to consider living for another 200 years and another until 4.7 billion is totted up.

In such a consideration, death has its rewards.

The world will not end today because we have been here before. Whether it was Jonestown or Waco, we have become used to, and even welcoming of, the cultists among our boring lives. What would we do without them?

I met a bright young woman recently who told me she was a firm believer in the world ending on December 21.

"Why do you believe this nonsense?" I asked her.

"Mark, have your ever met my boyfriend?"

I figured it had to be a joke.

"We have been together for five years, cussing and loving but, cussing more. I want to get married. If he does not tie the knot soon, someone is going to die," she said.

"So, that's it?" I asked.

"Sure, you thought I really believed that foolishness about the world ending!"

I felt totally taken by this young woman.

I have not got a sense that our Jamaicans are too much into the belief that an asteroid will crash into the earth and cause a cataclysmic end to civilisation simply because we are not as locked into the global information highway as we ought to be.

Perversely, there is some good to that arrangement, as we are not as moved to join the herd on the fringes of the world's radically idiotic cup of soup.

Jamaicans are more willing to believe "Jesus will come" like a "tief in di night" quite probably because they know if He should come by day, He would be held up, robbed and maybe murdered.

As one young man said to me recently, "So how you so certain that is not God coming on December 21?"

"I'm certain it will not be any God, but, if it happens and I am still around I will give you 'props'."

"But," he said. "If it end, how wi a go talk?"

"Ah," I said. "That is where it will get interesting. We will have absolutely nothing to say to each other because we will exist nowhere."

He stared at me for a while and smiled then said, "Last one to show up on the 22nd buys the drink."

—Courtesy Jamaica Observer

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