It’s that magnificent time of year when we can wallow in the short dark days and add to the gloom with blood-curdling predictions of disasters, and all the things that will go spectacularly wrong next year. Of course, this year we’ve been able to indulge ourselves in this favourite pastime since the bright long days of the summer, when we were warned that the world would all but end for us if we voted to leave the European Union. Those predictions have now been deferred until next year. We should comfort ourselves with the reassurance that every generation in human history has thought that it would be the last one.
Actually, the definitive ending of the world was supposed to have been in 2012 when the 5000 year old Mayan civilisation’s calendar ran out. A year earlier my favourite book of all time The Coffee Table Book of Doom was published by Art Lester and Steven Appleby. Here is a flavour from the advertising blurb:
“…with the apocalypse at hand, don’t fret about dying uninformed. The Coffee Table Book of Doom is a revelatory, brilliantly funny, superbly illustrated and erudite compendium of all the 27 doom-laden horsemen we need to worry about – personal doom, gender erosion, asteroid impact, pandemics, super storms, sexual ruin – and much more besides.”
I can’t speak for all 27 doom laden horsemen but at least the prospect of being vaporised in a nanosecond by an asteroid is now less likely than the book suggested because a more recent NASA study has downgraded the threat: apparently there are only half as many threatening asteroids than was previously thought.
There is still plenty to worry about. Only the other day I heard that there is a volcano under a lake near Naples rumbling away and if it blows it will make Vesuvius look like a camp fire. The lava lake under Yellowstone Park could go at any moment, taking most of the USA with it. Unfortunately ‘remoaners’ would not be able to blame either on Brexit.
With elections in France and Germany next year, and every possibility that Greece or even Italy might still crash out of the Euro, there is plenty that could destabilise one of our major export markets beyond anything that Brexit might be blamed for.
Personally, and on the contrary, even on these dark mornings I still wake up – as I have done every morning since the 24rd of June – and my first thought is “we are going to be free again, WE ARE GOING TO BE FREE!”