The Bookworm Sez: 'The End' is something to plan on
You have no New Year's Eve plans.
You're not even sure that you're going to finish shopping for Christmas. You'll probably be quitting school or your job, too, and that diet you were thinking about? Why even try to lose weight when the Mayans say that civilization will be over soon?
Thing is, end-of-the-world scenarios have circulated for as long as there's been a world. So bring on the chocolate, pour a cup of something good, have a seat and learn what else can go wrong by reading "The End" by Laura Barcella.
We're all doomed.
Yes, there'll come a day when the world will end, humans will — poof! — disappear, and you won't have to worry anymore about any school or job. For centuries, people have speculated about when it's going to happen and how, and the theories have ranged from the possible to the downright ridiculous.
Movie plots, for instance, often have us dying of a mysterious illness that wipes us all off the planet. Yes, it's possible — ebola and bubonic plague have surely done plenty of damage and another virus like them could actually happen. But that zombie-making, flesh-eating rage thing? The medical community doesn't really think that's going to happen any time soon, so relax.
Nuclear Armageddon is also a common movie-TV-song theory. In it, something happens between countries, we're all toast — no butter — and, depending on where you're getting the idea, we're closer to that than ever before. The good thing is, people have been saying it for decades. The scary thing is, we've come seriously close on this one and "though it's not likely, it is possible."
More than one Hollywood offering has hypothesized that the End of the World will come with cataclysmic weather. But remember, off-the-charts heat, earthquake, massive floods and asteroids happen all the time. The feasibility of major incidents is scientifically sound. Still, it's a bit of a stretch to think that they'll affect the entire planet and kill every one of us.
Vampires aren't real (sorry, Bella-Edward fans).
Alien pods are "pretty implausible" and the likelihood of alien takeover is "relatively low."
Attack birds are also improbable, so go somewhere and chill and, um, try not to think about political chaos, food-water shortages or artificial intelligence, OK?
So you say that whole Mayan thing freaks you out?
You're not sure what you'll do when the apocalypse comes, but here's what to do now: Grab this book. You'll feel much better if you do.
From the preposterous to the plausible, author Barcella takes apart pop culture's Doomsday scenarios in a factual yet funny way that's relevant to today's movie, music and television fans.
What I appreciated in this book is that Barcella isn't soothing with every bit of entertainment she highlights: Some end-of-world storylines, she says, really could happen. It's unlikely, mostly, but still.
If you're packing your suitcase for Doomsday and you're not sure what to take, this book must be on your final list. In the end, reading "The End" is something you should plan on.