The International Writers Magazine:Doom and Gloom Special
you live in dangerous times - Welcome to the Year of the Dog
grew up with Armageddon. It was everywhere. No, not the movie, the
real deal, nuclear devastation. My school was next to a rocket range
Vulcan bombers carrying atomic weapons used to bank over
our playing fields and no one was more sure of world devastation
than me and most of my pals.
most of us wed sit up late in the dorms at night discussing exactly
what was the point of learning anything when we were all going to be fried
alive sooner or later.
I remember reading Neville Shutes On the Beach
and being VERY upset when I was told I was too young to see the movie.
I was first in line to see Fail-Safe but again shut
out of How I learned to love the bomb. You could say
I pretty sure that the world was going to end in a big bang and I didnt
even live in a religious household. Philip K Dick was my god and it was
my mother who bought them all and gave them to me to read from about the
age of six. I never really understood much first time around but as I
got older I re-read all of them and completely understood his paranoia.
Hell, some kids built tree houses; I dug a fall out shelter
MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) was just around the corner and I made
no plans for a career. Come 1989 and the fall of the Berlin wall, all
my chickens came home to roost. Without a nuclear winter to look forward
to, it meant that I had totally screwed up my life. I had no pension plan,
no real career (being a writer apparently doesnt count) and come
1990 I had to face reality and get a job for real. Hence here I am 16
years later teaching; still hardly any pension, but allegedly gainfully
employed with a miserable old age to look forward to.
But things are looking up. Armageddon is back on the menu, the clock is
once again at five to midnight and my aged Ma, who is tended to by Jehovah
Witness carers who seem to be smiling much more often these days. They
of course will be saved when the shit hits the fan. I will be damned naturally.
So many things are conspiring to a wonderful convergence of doom. In 1989
Russia was doomed and bankrupt, sixteen years later the Russian KGB as
entrepreneurs or gangsters to you and me, control the world
porn industry and the thermostat in your living room. They can and will
and have shut off the gas to let people freeze to death this winter and
they will do so again in order to maximise profits from gas. Pity those
in Georgia and Ukraine this year, but pity us next as Gazprom are planning
to buy Centrica, one of our main UK Gas suppliers.
As I walked to work the other day I noted a headline that not only has
the UK practically run out of gas, oil, but now water too. Reservoirs
are down to 35% in January and it might be stand-pipes in the street this
summer. Last nights news on C4 showed a map of what the UK will
look like when the Arctic melts from global warming. Apparently London
is under water, most of East Anglia and Lincolnshire and Portsmouth, where
I currently reside.
Add to this Iraq, little need be said about that quagmire, but for real
assurance that Armageddon is back on track, Iran with nuclear weapons
must surely bring a grim smile to your lips. Knowing they can deliver
them by their missiles to Israel and even Italy if they wanted to, means
that Israel will be ready to retaliate, if not pre-emptively, attack a
nation that wants to wipe them off the middle eastern map. If that isnt
enough for you Hamas has been elected in Palestine, totally dedicated
to the elimination of Israel and its people from the map. You could
say that Israel has exacerbated the problem by allowing the now - in-
a- coma PM Sharon to bully all around him these past years. His aggression
has resulted in an equally aggressive political/religious group coming
to power. Sharon is gone from power but this tense situation is his legacy.
I was growing up religious nuts always swore Armageddon would happen
in our lifetime, in and around Israel in particular, and it would
be the end of the world. It was always going to be five minutes
to midnight, I ignored them; I had my own scenario centred upon
Moscow. Thats where the world would end, but er - it seems
the nutters were right all along. Now I wish Id paid a tad
I must straightaway add that, not only have their predictions been consistently
wrong these past fifty years, but I have been consistently wrong about
everything for the past twenty-five. You name it, recessions, inflation,
house prices, the whole global economy. I was never prepared to conceive
of an entire world economy based upon debt massive debt. Every
year I begin certain a crash will come and every year I am confounded.
So too then I will be wrong about Armageddon. I have to surely conclude
that even fanatics will not unleash nuclear war that will martyr entire
Arab and Israeli populations and take out the worlds oil fields
as well. Surely they want world domination not world incineration. Should
Iran have nuclear power? Well ask yourself this. They have enough oil
to last 400 years. More than enough to keep their air-conditioners running
wouldn't you think. Their purpose in having nuclear power cannot be
seriously considered 'peaceful' given their current regime and President.
Israel knows this. Israel has no oil, by the by, and their excuse for
nuclear is for electric power but of course thanks to Mordechai Venunu
we know differently. But in such a volatile place, you could argue that
no one should have nuclear power in the world's biggest oil region.
the oil is, is of course where the fundamentalists are and they have
the means and scientists to wreak havoc should they wish to. It's
not down to good guy v bad guy. It makes no sense to have any source
of enriched uranium in that region.
We can see how unstable the whole region is right now as millions of
devotees of Islam protest and threaten suicide bombers against Denmark,
France, Holland and others for printing satirical cartoons of Mohammed.
Satire doesn't exist in Arab nations because there is no freedom of
speech, no tradition of tolerance. No understanding of the west. Scratch
this surface and you can see how the Taliban came into existance and
how quickly they could come back. Bin Laden, remember him, is the real
face of fundementalist protest. Dead or alive. But allowing Muslim extremists
to hijack this cartoon protest and call for a 'Day of Anger' they are
effectively reinforcing the negative westen view of Islam. We are on
the road to losing our rights to freedom here in the UK as more and
more oppressive legislation gives the government and the police more
power to silence anyone who practices it. We are in effect doing Bin
Laden's job for him. To what end?
you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human
face forever. ...when we can cut a man from his past, then we can cut
him from his family, his children, other men. There is no loyalty, except
loyalty to the party...'
Orwell 1984 Screenplay
Armageddon is a thrill for those who seek hell on earth and the religious
right in the US is just as guilty for pushing all the wrong buttons
on this. Some folks, those who dig holes and arm themselves for civil
unrest and hoard canned food, thrive on confrontational politics.
But I want to live in a world where I dont have to wear a radiation
suit to go shopping and I want fresh coffee in Café Nero and
read newspapers where free speech is permitted. Where suicide bombers
are not permitted to roam our streets for any cause. I havent
even got around to Google caving into Chinas censors
I am very disappointed with them.)
Armageddon is a sick fantasy for those who perhaps feel life never gave
them a chance. Well heres the news death wont either.
There are no chosen few, no safe places, the Kingdom of Heaven will
not be established on earth as long as it is radioactive.
So politicians, seek solutions please. Give Peace A Chance as
someone once said (Yes I know who)
My motto for 2006 enjoy what you can, when you can, with whom
you like thats my antidote to Armageddon tyranny.
Next time around, vote for people who will wage peace OK. It
just might be your last chance.
© Sam North Feb 2006
is the author of 'The Curse of the Nibelung - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery'
- 300 pages - Lulu Press USA-
'Chocolate will never be the same again' - Sunday Express
Buy from your favourite on-line
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