Four Black Horses and a Cherry Tree

I have a co-worker who is convinced that we are living in the "End Times," and not in a Ha Ha ironic way. I'm fairly certain, from the exasperated dogma she sputters while faxing things, that she truly expects Ol' J.C. is en route.

Why now? Ask her and she would cite that the world is just getting "too crazy," with so many wars, plane crashes, earthquakes, crime, fiscal implosions and what have you. This uptick in human hardship (in addition to some portentous dreams she's had) is a fairly solid indicator of mankind's proximity to The Rapture, and the beginning of some wacky adventures starring Kirk Cameron of Growing Pains fame.

This is, of course, a horrifying extrapolation of the old curmudgeon standby: "Back in my day..." which as we all know, is just adorable.

I am of the David Byrne "Same As It Ever Was" school of thought, which posits that humans war, kill, die, and fuck up about as much as they did in the 1950s, 1420s, and 10,000s BCE, ad infinitum.

And while technology has given us a leg up on suffering from time to time, for every penicillin there's a super flu. For every light bulb there's a sleepless night. And the Internet's a joy until we nuke the Earth back to the Precambrian Period.

This balance is a friendly reminder to me that we *may* never be bigger than nature. Same as it ever was.

So why the constant gloom and doom lately? I see it more as a "tree falling in the woods" situation related to mass media. I mean, where was Anderson Cooper when the Black Death hit Europe in 1347? And if the ageless silver-plumed man-child was not there to report it, can we even be sure it really happened?

So while my office mate will throw up another "Lord Help Us" at every breaking news alert, I will just continue eating my hormone-and-antibiotic-encrusted turkey wrap that I neither hunted nor gathered. Because if I'm going to live to be 140, I'll probably need some fries with that.

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