2012: Seize the Apocalypse – Make your last year on this world a doozey.

With the world economy circling the drain; with the unsettling number of earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and tsunami strikes in recent years; with the Mayan calendar ending; with Christians 99% sure this time the Rapture is going to take the 2-3% of the world’s virtuous and pious to heaven, leaving the rest to suffer Hell on Earth; and with a black president about to be re-elected to a second term, it’s pretty clear that this is our last year on Earth. Hollywood (with their filled-to-bursting burlap sack of apocalypse films) and 2012ologists everywhere have confirmed this terrible truth, assuring us that we earthlings are rapidly approaching our preordained expiration date.

The question now is what to do with the time we have left. Will you curl into a ball and suck your thumb for the next 11 and half months? I would hope not — that would be a colossal waste of time.

Think about it; what would you do if your future was relegated down to a mere 30,672,000 seconds?

Screw that diet you’ve been trying (and failing) to maintain; buy a year’s supply of Milky Way bars and eat them in a month, then hit up the local convenience store for some Ben & Jerry’s.

Screw that job you hate; finally tell your fat bitch of a boss how you feel about her.

Screw that no touching the stripper rule; grope away — and hey, it’s the end of the world, she might just go with it.

And most important of all, screw that carefully (or, more realistically, carelessly) managed savings account! There’s a whole wide world of hookers and blow, video games and fast cars out there! Carpe diem, mother fucker! Who’s with me?

Yeah, you’re an idiot, then.

Fortunately, I, the top apocalyptic anti-expert, have come up with a fail-safe plan for meeting the 2012 apocalypse, whatever it may be, with a non-deranged smile, and you should totally listen to me.

There are countless ways the world could end. No one really knows which one it will end up being — we just know it’s coming on Dec. 21, 2012.

Preparation is the key. The only way you’re going to be able to enjoy the apocalypse is if you’re not worried about it. While the world is crumbling around you, instead of pissing your pants, muttering “Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck” repeatedly to yourself, you should be serenading the fall of civilization with: “World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed, dummy with the rapture and the revered and the right – right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty psyched. It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.”

The following is an all-encompassing guide to a happy apocalypse, regardless of what it ends up being. So get a pen and some paper, my friend. You’ve got some errands to run.

The Hunter-Killer Apocalypse

This type of apocalypse includes such world-enders as the much dreaded (and much pined over) Zombie Apocalypse, the Alien Invasion, Godzilla, the Robot Takeover (SkyNet), Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Nuclear War, and, though not many people consider this scenario and its consequences, Economic Collapse. (Think about it. The world economy collapses; people don’t have any money for anything; Occupy Wall Street spirals out of control; some dumbass cop shoots some punkass protester — queue anarchy and war.).

In this type of apocalypse, you will need to rely on combat skills. Zombies need to be bludgeoned, Alien’s need to be zapped (or sprayed with a water hose — good one, M. Night), Terminators need to be lured into molten steel mills, dirty apes need to be damned to hell, and unwashed highway marauders ambushing you along the only road through the desolate nuclear wasteland need to be disemboweled by a sweet-ass machete.

This is not, however, exclusive to the Hunter-Killer apocalypse. What I am about to describe will form the basis for each of the other types of apocalypses. This is so because, essentially, each of the apocalyptic variations produce a certain level of anarchy, and as history has shown, in a world of anarchy, whoever has the guns wins.

Therefore, without further ado, for the Hunter-Killer scenario, you’re going to need to store up on the basic necessities of life: food, water, toilet paper, etc. — toilet paper is key. You’d be surprised how demoralizing not being able to properly wipe your ass can be. It’s the apocalypse, your demoralization plate is full. Don’t add an itchy, stinky ass to it.

You’re also, obviously, going to need to invest in weaponry. Specifically, this means a 10X scoped sniper rifle, an AK-47 with an under-barrel grenade launcher attachment, a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun (preferably with an over-the-shoulder holster), 2 M-9 semi-automatic pistols with underarm holsters, a Colt Python revolver with leg holster (Hi, Rick), a small revolver of your choice with an ankle holster, a little-league titanium bat (remember:  there are no anti-steroid regulations in Major League Apocalypse), and a KABAR knife with an ankle sheath. You’re also going to need a healthy supply of ammunition — I’m talking enough to support a small army.

Also, specifically for the Zombie Apocalypse, you might want to raid the nearest Renaissance Faire for a suit of armor. Let those snappy cannibals try to bite through plated steel. Remember, there a thousand different ways you can be infected and they all stem from exposed flesh.

As much as this sounds like overkill, this is the absolute minimum arsenal you must have if you are to survive this apocalypse. Grenades, rocket launchers, and mini-guns are yours to acquire at your own discretion, but are not necessary because they are heavy, team-killing weapons that usually aren’t worth toting around. Katanas, ninja stars, machetes and battle axes are also yours to acquire at your own discretion, but remember, blades have a tendency to get stuck in zombie flesh. Also, it’s usually not a good idea to bring a sword to a gunfight.

Next, you’re going to want to find a base of operations — a castle, if you will — and you’re going to need to fortify it. Remember, whoever has the high ground has the advantage (just look at New Orleans circa August 2005). If you’re Bill Gates, then you might actually want to build a real castle complete with mote and murder holes. Of course, if you’re Bill Gates, you should probably just buy a small country and fortify it with several versions of the Maginot Line (while avoiding the use of French engineers). Switzerland, for instance. It’s up in the mountains (high ground) and you get the Swiss Army (Pope-level protection). Just a thought.

After you’ve found your base of operations, the next thing you want to do is choose your apocalypse team. This is a very important step because you are nothing without your team.

First you’re going to want to locate Timothy Olyphant. If you’re not familiar with Mr. Olyphant, then poo on you because you’re now behind the eight ball in this apocalypse game. You want Timothy Olyphant for a specific ability and tendency of his to commit olyphanticide. Now, you may be asking, “What the hell is olyphanticide?” My friends, Timothy commits olyphanticide when he’s in dire straits and the odds are stacked twelve-high against him. When this happens, he gets fed up and snaps, loses his shit, and obliterates any and all who stand in his way. And he does it in style.

For an extensive olyphanticide resume, please see the FX show, Justified, and the movies Hitman, A Perfect Getaway, The Crazies, and Live Free or Die Hard (he’s the bad guy and dies in this last one, but that doesn’t make his role less awesome). These show that he has deep cover, you-don’t-have-the-clearance-to-know-what-he-does, spec ops training, and is very, very, very…very hard to kill.

Next you’re going to want to find Mila Jovovich. She’s as lethal as Timothy Olyphant, but has valuable experience in zombie apocalypses, as well as a penchant for killing without mercy.

After Mila’s on board, seek out Jason Statham. This should be a pretty obvious choice. He’s a ninja.

Now that you have your core combat team together, go and convince Clint Eastwood to join you. Why? I don’t care how old he is, he’s badass. With Clint, you’d be able to avoid about 75% of armed confrontations. Who in their right mind would fuck with Clint Eastwood? Plus, Dirty Harry never loses. If Dirty Harry never loses, and you’re on the same side as Dirty Harry, then it follows that you will never lose. Transitive property.

Next, find a genius. Tony Stark should do. I know he’s not real, but if you can capture Robert Downey, Jr., I’m sure Stark is lurking just beneath the surface of his ego. Also, keep in mind that with Robert Downey, Jr. you also get Sherlock Holmes. His deductive powers are sure to be helpful in determining the best way to kill a zombie, alien, gorilla, what have you. He also knows Kung Fu.

Finally, if you’re a man, you’re going to want someone to keep morale high in that special, repopulating-the-planet kind of way. Now, I have no specific recommendations for who should fill this position — it’s up to your own fancy — but for me, Christina Hendricks would fit the bill quite nicely. For you, it might be Kim Kardashian, Lucy Liu, Paula Patton. You get the point. But Christina’s mine. Dibs.

Ladies, I didn’t make any special repopulating-the-planet suggestions for you because, well, it didn’t seem necessary; you’ve got Timothy Olyphant, Jason Statham, and Robert Downey, Jr. — I think you’re covered. But if you’re a little worried about the mean age of your selection, I suppose, if we absolutely must, we could include a Taylor Lautner in there. Besides, his ability to shift into a werewolf might come in handy. It’s up to you to make him put a shirt on when it’s cold out, though. Poor kid might freeze to death otherwise.

The Biological Apocalypse

This type of scenario almost solely encompasses the outbreak of a contagion of some order or another, similar to how the smallpox decimated many of the Native American populations.

One could argue that the Zombie Apocalypse could also be included in this category, as it definitely has foundations in the biological and diseased, but there is also a hunter-prey relationship going on there that I think makes it more of a Hunter-Killer apocalypse. It is also a transmission à la bite type of disease, whereas the fear with the Biological Apocalypse is the airborne pathogen, the one that spreads without reservation or discrimination or impediment.

To combat this world-ender, you’re going to have to visit, almost exclusively, your local Center for Disease Control. In particular, you want to look for one of those bulky yellow hazmat suits. Well, maybe a small truckload of them. You know, for wear and tear — one rip in a contaminated zone and you’re done.

You also want to kidnap the CDC’s best outbreak response team. If anybody knows how to survive an outbreak, it’s them.

Another form of the biological apocalypse was depicted in the movie Children of Men. In it, women can no longer get pregnant. Infertility. Easily overlooked, and it comes at you sideways. Still, anarchy and war ensue while the remainder of the human race simply gets old and dies. Honestly, the whole anarchy and war bit would probably wipe us out before we get too old.

Can you guess how to prep for this little gem of an apocalypse? Think test tubes.

Survey says: Banks. Banks? Yes, banks. Swimmer and floater banks. Open up one of these banks and start petitioning anyone and everyone to open their own special little savings accounts. In case you’re still a little lost, I’m talking about sperm and eggs. Stock up while we’ve still got uncorrupted specimens, people.

Ladies, I’m sorry but this isn’t going to be as fun for you.

Guys, well…you know. Go to town. Shouldn’t affect your current lifestyle much.

The Natural Disaster Apocalypse

This is like Mother Nature’s ultimate period; that one month where the stars align to create the most horrific bitchzilla ever. In this scenario, she goes buck wild and suddenly there’s a Super Volcano, a Megatsunami, or she melts the polar ice caps causing a Waterworld scenario, or gets über bitchzilla cold on you and freezes the planet for The Day After Tomorrow scenario, or gets really pissed off and releases those pockets of carbon monoxide trapped under the ice in Siberia, which would then suffocate the atmosphere, overheating the planet until it’s as scorched as Mars.

For this, you’re probably going to have to follow Noah’s example and pony up for an ark. I know it could end up being a dry natural disaster, but a boat (especially like the high-tech boat you’re going to build) will basically give you a bomb shelter that floats. But remember, it’s got to be big enough to house two of every species of animal we know about along with a bunch of plants and also enough people to keep the race going in a non-incestuous kind of way. That’s about a 100,000 people, minimum. That’s a big boat. You’re going to have to move fast. Start in Asia. Cheap labor there, I hear.

So how’s that shopping list looking so far? How many pages is it? In review, you should have the following listed:  food (preferably canned, for shelf life), water, toilet paper, a sniper rifle, an AK-47, a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun, 2 M-9’s, a Colt Python, an ankle revolver, a titanium bat, a KABAR knife, several thousand rounds of each type of ammunition, a suit of armor, Switzerland, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Statham, Mila Jovovich, Robert Downey, Jr., Clint Eastwood, Christina Hendricks, Taylor Lautner (*optional), a truckload of hazmat suits, the best CDC outbreak response team, a sperm and egg bank and a pimped out ark complete with power windows, dent resistant side-panels and a sweet stereo system.

Yeah, probably should’ve started prepping for this back in 1992.

And you won’t even be able to ask Santa for any of this, will you. Four days short! Damn it!

I suggest you buy in bulk. Try Sam’s or Costco. In Texas.

Now, how’s that bank account looking? Granted, I did suggest you steal a lot of these items, but still, you might have to add ‘Kidnap Bill Gates’ to your to-do list. I’d say ‘Rob Banks’ but we both know there’s no real money there.

The No-Hope Apocalypse

And then there’s the No-Hope Apocalypse. This is the end which we mere mortals are, even to the minutest degree, unable to cause, effect, or survive. No amount of guns, toilet paper, or Clint Eastwood can help us with this apocalyptic event — it’s an unavoidable and immediate demise from which there is no escape. Scenarios included in this category consist of our sun going supernova, planetary pole reversal (and subsequent gamma ray immolation), Planet X colliding with Earth, a rogue star colliding with Earth, a rogue asteroid…etc., planetary destruction via Death Star superlaser, and my favorite, the Rapture.

For this type of apocalypse, you might want to add a moon-bounce to the list, or a backyard rollercoaster, a trampoline, a pogo stick, a hula hoop, Sock ‘em Boppers, magical mushrooms, a Nerf Dart Gun, a laser tag arena…you know, the simple things that make you happy.

Or, if you’re particularly desperate about escaping, a space shuttle. But all that will do is give you a front row seat to the planet poofing like a squeezed snowball. You might live a few weeks longer (if the TIE fighters don’t get you) but eventually you’re going to run out of fuel, food, water, and then once the batteries die, you’ll just slowly freeze to death.

That’s the point of the No-Hope Apocalypse. There’s no hope.

In the end, there is nothing we can do if the three thousandth clone of Emperor Palpatine shows up in orbit with a space station half the size of our moon and reduces us to a tiny asteroid field, no matter the preparation. “Screw spending all this time and energy on preparing, then!” you say. You could, but then what if Dec. 21 comes and it’s the Hunter-Killer Apocalypse? Hi, welcome to Zombieland:  You’re fucked.

Remember, the preparation is so you don’t have to worry about the apocalypse. Who can really get their end-of-the-world party on with a big white you’re-going-to-die elephant in the room? Six months of preparation — of buying guns, assembling your team, building your fortress and transforming your body into a lethal weapon — and then you’ll be able to sit back for most of the last six months and do whatever the hell you want. To enjoy it.

Do this so that if Planet X does end up coming around — if that big ball of dead rock is growing large in the sky, blotting out the sun, making the oceans roil, the volcanoes erupt, and the ground shake and bake, you can sit comfortably in your favorite lounger with your i-Pad6 (Yeah, 6 — don’t try to tell me Apple’s not going to come out with four more models before December) laughing your ass off to an episode of Tosh.0.

Breathless, tearful, side-splitting laughter — that’s how I’d want to go out.

That, or in the throes of sex.

Apocalypse sex is the best kind, I bet.

Soon, Christina Hendricks. Soon.

PERSPECTIVE

On a serious note, while researching apocalyptic scenarios for this article, I came across an essay addressing the stigma associated with the Mayan calendar. The essay, which is a piece of scholarly work (you know, the kind with a bibliography and no spelling or grammatical mistakes) is written by an intelligent, coherent, and grounded individual by the name of John Mink.

In it, Mink gives anthropological background to the Mayan culture and society (which serves to provide crucial context to the issue that is otherwise absent) and considers popular media influences and misinformation associated with the apparent end of the Mayan calendar system. He argues that Dec. 21, 2012 only serves as the point in time where the calendar cycle resets to zero and starts counting again, much like 11:59pm changing to 12:00am, signaling the start of a new day, just bigger — over 5,000 years bigger. A better example might be how the year 999 AD became 1000 AD, not the end of the world. It’s just a counting system.

After reading Mink’s essay, I felt more confidently assured that this entire 2012 spiel was utter bullshit. However, even with this assurance, it nevertheless makes me nervous. Who am I to say “No, this is absolutely not going to happen”? It absolutely could. Do I buy a small army and the weapons to outfit it in preparation? No. But I might act a little differently. Rumors don’t only say that the world is ending soon, but they’re giving you the exact date. Only a fool would blindly dismiss that.

Personally, all the hype about the apocalypse that has been building over recent years has caused me to consider more and more my own mortality. Sure, there are a thousand different ways the world could end, but they’re all based on speculation and highly unlikely to occur in our lifetime (more likely, my world could end tomorrow from the rough kiss of a Mack track hitting me while I’m trying to simultaneously cross the street and text my homeboy). It all just serves to remind us (me, certainly) that life is finite, and that all too often Time seems to be slipping stealthily through our fingers like granules of sand.

Therefore, I suggest you take (with reservations for the future, of course) some of this apocalypse hype to heart. Get adventurous with your New Years’ resolutions this year. Think of things you’ve been wanting to do, but have been too afraid, too busy, or too stingy to do and make a point to finally follow through. Ask out that guy you’ve been afraid to approach, propose to that girl you know you love, take that honeymoon you and your spouse missed, make that career change out of that job you hate, spring for that trip to the Bahamas, go backpacking through Europe, search for that elusive double rainbow and film yourself not joyously weeping, go to Space Camp, start a literary magazine.

Carpe Diem.

Whether you buy into this apocalypse talk or not, take this year to really live so you can look back later in life with serenity knowing that, if just the one time, you didn’t let anything get in the way of living. Instead of that year you thought the world might end, make 2012 the year you’ll always remember as the best year of your life.

Dan Morgan, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The McOwlerson Journal

 

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Reference

Mink, John, “Truth, Fiction, and the Popular Imagination,” 2012 (blog), October 1, 2009, http://archive.cyark.org/2012-truth-fiction-and-the-popular-imagination-blog.

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POINT / COUNTERPOINT

Who would you choose as your apocalyptic survival team?

POINT

The Four-Man Group Dynamic

The model I look to for a successful apocalyptic survival team is the video game Left 4 Dead. In it, you fight your way through the Zombie Apocalypse with a team of four people. There’s something to be said about a squad of four, isn’t there? It’s probably a highly researched number for ideal group cohesion. In Left 4 Dead, the group consists of an old badass with cool stories, a middle aged man to hold down the fort, a smart working stiff, and a woman you can find sexually attractive.

So, taking this model into account, here’s my team:

Clearly, I’m the middle aged man (albeit a young middle age) who’s there to keep shit on lockdown. Now, there’s only one elderly gentleman to call upon when it’s time to fight, Mr. Badass himself, Clint Eastwood (but you knew that already). Next up, for the smart working stiff, I’m going to take Dwight Schrute. He’s eccentric (and probably crazy) but he’s a man with a plan. And finally, I have to choose a woman who is not only bangable but also owns some ass-kicking boots. Easy: give me Jessica Alba all day. Besides her obvious smoking-hotness, she can channel both Susan Storm and Max Guevera (Dark Angel). In other words, she’s a lady ninja who can turn invisible and summon force fields. Boom! Period. The end.

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Hooktaun Faunix was once bitten by a spider. To this day, it baffles him that he didn’t wake up the next morning with superpowers.

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COUNTERPOINT

Pull From the Old School Apocalyptic Survival Roster

Let’s face it – if you find yourself thrust into an apocalypse, the last thing you’re going to want is some has-been action hero from 40 years ago. Clint, you were the man, but as someone who appears half-dead already, I can’t trust you to be the unconquerable gunslinger I need you to be. Instead, what I’ll want – nay, need – is an arsenal of stone cold apocalyptic aces who have already been to hell and back.

The marine from the video game Doom (heretofore referred to as “Marine”), without question, is my first overall draft pick. He was literally the first man to survive an apocalyptic hell, knew how to use weaponry far beyond the capability of any normal human being and made Brunswick stew out of Cyberdemons.

I should probably pick a nerdy guy next, but fuck that — I choose Duke Nukem. Sure, he’s the newer, less cool version of Marine, but where Marine is a silent bulwark, Nukem’s got witticisms in spades. Sometimes you need a little levity on the apocalyptic battlefield, like: “It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum…and I’m all outta gum.”

Next, I’d want Columbus from Zombieland on my side. You know, the character that Jesse Eisenberg played? If someone as skinny, pale and generally helpless as he is can survive an apocalypse, then he must be doing something right. He would be my go-to consultant of tactical strategy in case Marine and Nukem were to die (however laughably implausible as that may seem).

Sticking with the Rule of Four, as CJ so eloquently illustrated above, my final choice would be for reproductive purposes only. Please welcome the fabulous, the voluptuous, the maddeningly sexy Colombian, Sofía Vergara. I know, I know – sometimes life hands you lemons. But this guy’s about to make some lemonade. And by lemonade I mean babies.

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Jerome Blackhawk’s opinions are like scripts to porn movies –- they rarely matter. However, he continues to share them anyway as a contributing writer for The McOwlerson Journal.

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