• Maggie Shayne

End of the World?That’s a


End of the World? That’s a Bad Thing, Right? Maybe not. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought lately. It’s hard not to, what with all the 2012 talk, (damn yous, Mayans!) and The Nostrodamus Effect running 24/7 on one channel or another. Then you toss in the weird weather (we’ve had a hurricane, a tropical storm, and an earthquake in the past two weeks. Not so odd until I add that I live in upstate New York.) And we’ve got a world economy that seems on the verge of collapse. Natural resources are dwindling. (By that I mean crude oil. Whenever we in the US say natural resources, we mean oil.) It seems like we can’t go on the way we’ve been. It seems like everything’s just getting ready to…crumble.

I’m not saying it will. In fact, I doubt it. But many harbor extreme fear of the possibility, and I think that fear is misplaced. Because what if it all did go away? (Whenever you fear something, explore the worst case scenario, and usually, you’ll find it’s not as bad as you were making it.)

So let’s do that. What if the big, computer driven, 24-hour-news-channel, Wall Street, Big Biz, Meet the Press, everything-runs-on-oil world just stopped? Not due to nuclear holocaust or pandemic. But just because we run out of oil. Or money. Or both. What would be left?

A bunch of people, returning to a far simpler way of life. Growing veggies. Using the sun and the wind and the water for energy and heat. Making our own stuff. Pulling together. Helping each other. Those who can sew things trading with those who can grow things. We wouldn’t be saving the planet. The planet would be saving us.

When you really think about it, it’s not all that scary anymore, is it? I mean, sure you’d miss some stuff. Your car. Your big screen TV. Well, you’d still have it, but it would be blank. Silent. Maybe you could paint on it.

What I would miss most if all our technology went away, would be the Internet. The way I’m able to communicate with so many of my human family online. That would really be the thing. (That, and Dexter.) I love the give and take, the contact, the connection, and I’d wonder if you guys were okay, and want to let you all know how I was doing. Ham radio anyone?


No. Maybe I’d have to leave my house and go to the nearest town and actually talk to my neighbors to find out how folks are doing. And wouldn’t that be a kick? And of course, we’d all work together and build it all back up again. I have a feeling mankind has been through this cycle a few times already.


There now. This End of the World talk doesn’t seem so scary anymore, does it? (Screw you, Mayans!) There’s really no reason to be scared about anything anyway, folks. It’s all good.

What would you miss most if our society was suddenly set back, say, two-hundred years? Just for fun–not because I think it’s going to happen. But as a writer, my favorite game is “What If?” And what would you like most about it? I think I feel a post-apocalyptic book coming on. (Dystopia or Utopia? Or a little bit of both?) Maggie

Oh, and PS: I really have nothing against Mayans.

#maggieshayne #basics #2012 #mayans #simplelife #fear #endoftheworld

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