We are apocaholics, so coined writer Gary Alexander. We love everything world ending: Global war with nuclear winters, global warming, global cooling, global famine, (apocalypse is always global, ya know), infrastructure collapse, oil shortages, porno shortages (ok, I made that one up), Mayan calenders that end (which infers to some that the world must end, too. If that were so, the world ends after December 31 according to the calender on my wall), alien invasion, asteroid impact, plagues, religious Armageddons, and our sun aligning with galactic center…and countless more. And that last one I don’t even know what that means; aligns with what, exactly?!
These scenarios are being devoured by the general public worldwide. People are walking around dropping tons of feces into their pants that they might witness the end of all the know, love, and hate, at any moment. Like it isn’t enough to worry about one’s own personal demise from heart attack, cancer, plane crashes, car crashes, serial killers, mass killers (ok, I’m stopping now, my BP is rising) let alone the end of life on the planet. I mean, if you’re dead, you’re dead, doesn’t matter the mechanism. The world ends for you anyway. I could die of a massive embolism as I type this, and then an asteroid could punch a do-nut hole through the earth three seconds later or our planet could trot along happily another 500 billion years till the sun becomes a red giant and swallows it up, and I won’t know it, either way. And like I’ll give hoot.
The public eats this up, because, for some mad reason, they just love to be scared senseless. And tellers of horror tales, of which I am one and several friends of mine, are glad for it. It’s our bread and butter. Whatever the public fears, no matter how deeply buried in their collective and personal subconscious, we’re going to drag it from it’s dark hiding places and hold it in our hands and wiggle it in your face and say “BOO!”, watch you jump and cower in the corner whimpering, while me laugh and say, “Now gimme a dollar.” Fear is our business, and you, oh cowering ones, are our costumers.
Wait, I had a point here, somewhere, oh, there it is…
But sometimes I ponder if we writers of the fantastic, we that take full advantage of peoples fears, don’t sometimes perpetuate the most outrageous beliefs and fears. I, for one, don’t ponder on any probable apocalypse, or follow or put my faith in the Harold Campings of the world. People like him have been around for a few centuries proclaiming the end-of-the-world and there will be more still, and always disappointing their believers. In the upcoming book, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, in which I’m included, most of the stories are set in such apocalyptic scenarios. And I wondered if we authors therein, sat grinning as we typed, thinking, “I don’t believe this shit, but I’m sure gonna make some people poop a little (insert mad laughter).” And if our readers (if which I hope will be in the tens of millions, cuz I gots lots of bread and need lots of butter) who DO buy in to the apocalypse sellers, won’t have their various beliefs hardened just a little…
Part 2 of these weird and rambling thoughts, coming soon.
And as for the title, my thanks to Henny Youngman 🙂