Orson Welles made a name for himself and the Mercury Radio Theatre of the Air with his adaptation for radio of H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds in the days before most of our parents walked the earth. The end of days has been a rich source of inspiration for poets and pundits for as long as there has been sentient, restless thought about what lies beyond the edge of the fire.
All this time gone on The Big Blue Marble, and the song remains the same at least from the perspective of a recovering Cold War Kid. I, and a generation like me, can remember practicing how to tuck our heads under our desks in Mrs. Hilge's Grade 3-B classroom and turn our faces away from the window in the event of an atomic bomb. I remember going with my Dad to the Vo-Ag show at Rutgers' Fieldhouse (not the barn, the goofy Quonset hut on the far side of the quadrangle hopefully torn down decades ago) to talk to a salesman about a fall-out shelter in the backyard when we lived on Bloomfield Avenue.
Sounds quaint, I know, unless you've got stories of your own like that and then it sounds all too real, because it was. For those who survived the Fall of the Wall, it seemed that the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius was finally here, though it passed quickly as the next wave of unhappiness and unrest, possessing access to somebody's nuclear codes and discount biochemical weapons started the ticking of the Doomsday Clock even more loudly.
Here we are in the Twenty First Century and about the only thing futurists can agree on is that we're not likely to pass from the planet because of boredom. We are closer than we think to the Lightning Round where the scores can really change in a hurry.
As a semi-senior citizen I enjoy discovering that while 'the kids' still worry about the end of the world, they've got a sense of humor of humor about it we never possessed. Wandering the Web the other day, I came across an interview with cartoonist brothers, though there's got to be a more elegant way of phrasing that. I can easily envision my brothers, Adam and Kelly being these guys, which is intended as a compliment all the way around.
Near the conclusion of the interview, the pair are asked 'how is the world going to end?' and the older of the two defers to his sibling who, in nineteen words, trumps T. S. Eliot, with "(r)eality becomes amalgamated with World of Warcraft. Then, the servers go down for maintenance and never come back up." All that's missing is the whisper of a whimper and the glimpse of a goodbye.