…We are all guilty I suppose.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

We peeps do a really good job of really fucking up priorities on a regular basis.

Owe three months rent? I’ll just put that jacket on the card….and maybe some T-bell. Hello Crunchy Cheesy Core Burrito™.

Building’s burning down? Where the fuck is my phone? (Have you seen my fucking phone?)

Can we sit down and talk? How many more episodes of Ballers till the season finale? Because Ballers is baller …though I would’ve spelled it with a ‘z’.

But it’s gotten worse over the last decade and change, right? The Social Medias’s anonymous mega-battle zones combined with a depleted-to-mere-seconds knee-jerk mechanism and an attention span set on nil/never has put us awash in a sea of terrible.

There will be floods. There will be mega-drought. There will be a steady stream of plagues, one released after the other in a succession so fast and so virulent that nothing about the life we know today will resemble tomorrow.

Books and art and dance and tucking into a plates of blistered green beans, lime pickle aioli and crispy onions or duck liver mousse with almond biscuit and nectarines with whipped crescenza and pink peppercorn will be a distant dream — a vacant memory awash in the harvest of fear and disease and having to make impossible decisions: whether to stop and try to forage or to keep walking to an oasis that doesn’t exist. Disneyland someday (soon) will resemble a scene from a Cormac McCarthy novel. Something like:

Searchers digested and puked up toward the cracks in the sidewalk and the giant rusty machine arms which used to vibrate and hum with pleasant amounts of mitigated danger. Trolling, walking to demise in the incredible sing-song of something lost. Existing in silence undefined by age or structure or any of the old pinnings of society. They find a closed case which used to hide frozen treats. All melted beyond repair now, wrappers sticking to their legs. They’ve survived for years like this. Walking without gesture or purpose. Walking across the expanse because there’s nothing left to do. Standing still, or curling up, is certain death. So they keep going until they find a concrete hole in the ground that used to resemble a lake. There they rest for a moment by its banks and dream of a time before it all went away.

…I know, that last part doesn’t make sense to me either except int he context that every kind of post-apocalyptic writing exercise has to end with the unnamed protagonist curling up at the edge of something that used to be something else and fading to some kind of oblivion.

It is indeed the end times for humans. I know, I know, we’ve heard this before: endless wars and black plagues and dictators trying to hurry us to the edge of extinction and muthafuckin’ Cop Rock:

…But what we’ve done to this planet now is bad to Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event portions.

In other words, it started when a meteor that even Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis couldn’t distract with their straight chiseled jaws hit Mexico 66 million years ago and the only survivors were the leatherback sea turtle and crocodiles and that was just because the temperature of the Earth raised a few degrees Celsius.

…Then the Earth froze. Then it thawed. Then people eventually crawled from the muck lots of millions of years later and then after that (the last 5,000 years or so) the Earth began warming up again, steadily — about 4 to 7 degrees, which is OK. But in the last century (since we started making plastic and pushing exhaust out of everything) it has gone up .7 degrees, roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.

Yes, it would get hotter anyway, but what we’re doing is becoming so impatient waiting for the egg to fry in the sidewalk that we’re dragging the microwave out to help finish the job faster.

What that means is people — whether it takes a few, or a thousand years (hint: it’s going to be a few) — we are going to be in rapid decline from here on in.

But you knew this, right?

I mean you know this like you know we have a presidential candidate who is hosing you down with every house-on-fire crazy bit of bile and lie and spew he’s got getting everyone all fucking nut-so on race and religion and personal freedoms and angry at some kind of undeniable but unidentifiable force that makes white men — the only beneficiaries of grace and whatever your definition of God is (as long as it’s an acceptable one) in our country’s history — actually feel like they’re the ones who’ve been oppressed.

He doesn’t have the temperament, the experience, the knowledge, the know-how or, frankly, the desire to run a country; or even if he has you convinced he does, you just know a vote for him is just a suicide capsule you are so eager to crunch down upon because your better days are behind you so why not say fuck it and take the whole enterprise down with you?

…But all of the hand-wringing and click baiting (even here) ignores the simple fact he completely ignores the story of our time that will be fully realized 50 to 100 years from now when none of us are here. And the ultimate revolt against humanity, the ultimate show of revulsion is coming not from Russia, not ISIS, not Edward Snowden, not the LGBT community or the cops or the protesters or a possible third installment in the Grown Ups franchise …or even Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar (Welcome to Flavor Town!) <–OK, maybe that a little …but the planet. This is fact. This is happening.

…And yet while everyone cares that they haven’t seen Trump’s taxes, which we all know are a Flamin Hot Cheetos mess of loopholes, lies and monies that aren’t there — that he’s denying the facts of our aforementioned imminent extinction, Mother Earth’s ultimate revenge — expelling us like a sixth grader who brought a backpack full of pot, booze and porn to the junior high dance shows it’s denial we’re all in — should be the deal-killer.

But it’s not.

It’s not because we cannot bring ourselves to believe that it’s all about to be fucking over — at our own hands.

We cannnot believe it so much that we fill our hearts and minds squabbling over one lap-swimming athlete who exaggerated his drunken exploits from the night before and another ball-throwing athlete chose to sit during a song written by a 35-year-old American lawyer after he watched British warships shell the crap out of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor on September 13, 1814. A song that he, you guessed it, set to the tune of a popular English song of the day. (Yes, even the Star Spangled Banner was plagiarized.)

Yet, as we stand here on the very clear cliff’s edge, the doomsday clock set at three minutes to midnight (midnight btw is not when we yell “Surprise” and blow out a bunch of confetti and Champagne, it’s when we go extinct) it’s all this nothing that we debate about. Vehemently.

Some may argue we only fill our lives with musical chair minutiae because that’s all we CAN do at this point. And I might accept that if I thought it was true. We can talk to someone 4,500 miles away instantly by pressing a button. We can spot a planet similar to ours called Proxima b, that’s only four light years away. We can put things in space and make a Machiavellian toy maker our demigod and still have room to slot Vanilla Ice on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.

But we don’t do anything to stop our own demise. Or maybe we don’t want to.

…Or perhaps we’re too lazy to.

So we get mad at Trump for everything and Colin for not standing up and Ryan not telling the whole truth to some Playgirl-sounding NBC reporter named Billy Bush…as the clock ticks one minute closer to ka-boom.

…Hopefully we can take solace for a moment in how awesome museums of the post-human inhabitants of this Earth are going to be with their displays of us: A family all wearing hypercolor cowboy hats and S&M get ups making porn with big E.T. lookalike dolls while standing in a giant food radiator that gives them all cancer as they take aim with their weapons at their hoodie-wearing lion dogs while worshiping at an altar featuring a picture of homeless-looking Elvis that they all yell, “You’re Fired!” at over and over and over.

Oh to be able to fast forward about 40 million years.

Andrew J. Pridgen is the author of “Burgundy Upholstery Sky,” and realizes he does a very fair-to-poor Cormac McCarthy impression.

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