Every now and then we Americans go a little funny in our collective head. I'm suspecting that because most of us grew up with a Christian background we have this morbid fascination with all things apocalyptic. We keep looking for signs of it and we see them everywhere and in everything. If you are a raging born again evangelical you even want it to happen. You know that in your perfect, doubt free, faith you will escape it. You will be miraculously transported directly to paradise while the rest of us have to suffer the messy consequences.
Twelve years ago it was the Y2K unraveling that had people stocking up on canned food, bottled water and, because we are Americans, guns and ammunition. Since then there have been minor brushes with hysteria, most due to some evangelical radio hacks who needed a quick influx of cash for personal reasons.
This year the big thing is the end of the Mayan calender. That comes in December. Of course the Mayans themselves think all this end of the world stuff is some sort of weird North American fad, rather like chia pets and reality TV. But, who needs their input? They fled their cities for no apparent reason even before the Spanish could get to the continent and burn them at the stake for heresy and fun. Obviously they can't be trusted to interpret their own civilization's legends, traditions and myths. They are quaintly mistaken when they say the end of this calender simply means the start of a new one. After all, name even one of them who has watched the History Channel.
Unfortunately for us, December is a long way off and to the average American that is rather like a decade. So, to tide us over until then we have come up with the "Zombie Apocalypse."
Apparently this all started last week when a guy named Rudy Eugene went out of his mind, either all on his own, or because of the weird chemicals found in bath salts and chowed down on the face of a homeless man. It was on a Miami street and Eugene was quite naked. Police had to shoot him numerous times when he refused to cease dining.
Later in the week a Maryland student named Alexander Kinya admitted to killing his roommate, eating his heart and part of his brain. There was no mention of whether he had a poster of Anthony Hopkins in the room, or not.
Then there was the case of Canadian porn star, Luka Rocco Magnotta. Magnotta who has been in videos featuring him performing sex acts with men, women, transsexuals and possibly other species of mammals, was busted in Berlin yesterday. Reportedly he had moved up from killing kittens on line, to taking out a young student in Montreal. He is alleged to have stabbed the bound man multiple times for the benefit of a Canadian "gore site". After eating some of his flesh, Magnotta dismembered him and sent various body parts to political offices in Ottawa.
All these things have caused a stir in the apocalypse soon community. Currently "Zombie Apocalypse" is number two on the Google list of trending searches.
It has gotten so bizarre the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a statement saying it doesn't know of any virus anywhere in the entire universe that would re-animate the dead. Spokesperson for the CDC, David Daigle says there isn't even one that would cause live people to act like zombies. Left unsaid is that until George Romero put together that gruesome little black and white feature movie 40 plus years ago, no one had ever associated zombies with cannibalism.
Yes, unfortunately it only happens in the movies and on cable's AMC channel. What a downer.
Luckily there will be more than a few who believe that hand in hand with the end of life as we know it there is a government conspiracy to hide it from us. It wouldn't do to have panic in the streets and, quite honestly, there just isn't enough room in the secret mine shafts for everyone.
It must be a real comfort to the rest of the world knowing people like us control the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons on the planet.
Indeed, praise the Lord and pass the salt. The end, as so many of us know, is always near. Eat hearty while you can.