Doomsday destruction

By Colleen J. Miller

Managing Editor

There’s nothing more satisfying than watching the world almost come to an end, but be saved just in time by Will Smith, Ben Affleck or a sexy Hollywood no-namer. It gives us false hope that we can avoid our imminent extinction, the ways of which are outlined by voice-overs and balding scientists on shows like “The End of The World” and “Nostradamus: 2012.”

In case you missed it, History Channel dedicated an entire week to doomsday programming. It’s like a “Sex and the City” marathon, but for people who are not just cynical about relationships, but cynical about the existence of mankind. It’s actually a great alternative to watching TV shows and movies that make you feel like your life is the only thing that’s pointless.

But there’s a downside to this guilty pleasure. You go into it, after watching the sensational commercials that promise the worst of the worst. You think that it will cement the idea that the world really is going to end, and it will make you feel better about all those Ferrero Rochers you just ate instead of going to the Rec Center like you resolved to do when the semester began.

Instead, these so-called “Armageddon” shows dangle destruction in front of you with the numerous ways it could happen, which ancient prophecies predicted it and all the credible scientists that agree. Then, like the 15-minute mark of an episode of “Full House,” the producers bring in a little optimism. Total buzz kill.

Why do they need to make a rationalization that there is a chance that we won’t all vanish or drown internally from a cement-like mixture or instantly incinerate when the planet becomes a fireball? I don’t want hope at the end of a show like that. It’s like opening Pandora’s box to release the evils of the world and a little bit of “hope” slips out before you can slam it shut. What’s with that?

Actually, that’s a pretty good metaphor. Since we’re going to refer back to ancient civilizations that obviously didn’t know enough to keep themselves alive anyways, let’s not leave out the Greeks. OK, so who would be the “hope” among the one, two or six disasters that would be capable of wiping out 95-100 percent of life on Earth? Holy Crap! It’s right in front of us — President Barack Obama.

Some of the shows use this “unless we stop business as usual we might be able to avert our immenent extinction” bull to make you warm and fuzzy inside after accepting death. Unless it was supposed to be Hillary, because hope was one of her tag lines too.

But if prophecy meant for Hillary to be the one to bring us away from the “business as usual” in order to save the world from destruction, we still might be alright because she’s the secretary of state and all.

Flashback: Ridding “business as usual” was one of John McCain’s talking points. Uh oh.

Either way, if you’re still bitter about the 2008 election or even if you’re hopeful about the outcome – regardless of who you voted for – you can interpret the whole “hope” savior any way you would like, just as the balding scientists and History Channel producers interpret ancient prophecy to get awesome ratings in possibly the most depressing month of the year.

Sorry if your birthday is in January, but seriously, it’s depressing out there.

I personally don’t believe in changing the path in which a prophecy has set us upon. I can’t even force myself to recycle the life insurance offers I get in the mail, let alone believe that the world population can band together to actually change in a significant enough way to override Nostradamus’ word. The man predicted Hitler for God sakes. But if there’s anyone that can do it, it would be Obama. After all, he already did what so many thought was impossible.

I just wish that Hollywood and History Channel (well, scientists and stuff) would get together to make something I can watch about the end of the world that would actually be beneficial. OK, if a few of the possible scenarios play out nobody will live past five seconds, but there are a lot of others like plaque, nukes, super volcanoes, meteors and climate change that would at least leave a bottleneck of survivors to carry on the human race.

In one History Channel show, the movie inappropriately titled “Armageddon” is referenced because apparently, blowing up an asteroid (by the way, we are almost certainly going to all die from this giant asteroid heading toward earth, if not the first time it comes close then the second time) is the worst possible thing that you can do. WTF? Thanks a lot, Ben Affleck.

How many other movies are totally lying to me? If there’s a terrible outbreak, should I not let one of the infected bite me? Even if it’s my mom? I just don’t know what to believe anymore.

Should we not let a pilot like Will Smith and a drunken crop duster save the day when aliens attack the world’s major cities? I want a movie or TV show that isn’t going to sugar coat it or make up fake ways to save the planet. Just give it to me straight.

Since we’ve already broken the barrier for making a movie about a president while he is still in office, I want to see a film about Obama saving the world that shows people what they should do in such disasters.

According to the History Channel there should be at least a dozen of these movies. Maybe a History Channel exclusive series? Or one movie with many, many bonus tracks. The perfect ending: Obama blows up an alien ship that is about to cause the eruption of an overdue super volcano which would cloud out the sun for decades and cause an ice age.

Cut to scientists (only a few, about the amount that could staff a shift at McDonalds) creating an awesome thingy that will save the polar bears and the polar ice sheets that keep the ocean currents going that keep us from all dying off like the dinosaurs might have while they have Tom Hanks up in Apollo 667 slightly altering the orbit of an asteroid the size of the moon so it doesn’t kill us all.

Cut to Hanks living it up on a nice desert island with his coconut and his wife.

Cut to Vic Zambardi eating Ferrero Rochers.

Cut to Will Smith and the scientist guy lighting cigars.

Cut to Obama, saying “F” the White House policy and lighting up a Marlboro, inhaling the relaxation and the relief.

Now that’s a guilty pleasure.