A robot uprising, a zombie apocalypse, a super volcano, or an alien invasion—what would be the ideal scenario to live and thrive in if the end of the world occurred? You may have your notions already, but lets dig in and give each a quick analysis, shall we?
I think everyone agrees a zombie apocalypse would suck. Fans of this aftermath have romanticized it to the point of being Sergio Leone fan-fiction in which the particular romanticizer is a grizzled veteran of the zombie wars whose lust for survival is only rivaled by his lust for vengeance. A more realistic depiction would be the romanticizer as a chubby middle-age guy who has the lung capacity of a five-year-old and a ring of doughnut dust around his mouth running in terror from a horde of hungry, flesh-eating monstrosities. This is the awful truth really. Imagine people fleeing for their lives when fight-or-flight mode becomes philosophy number one; consider the amount of trampling caused by the horror-stricken masses; think about the dissenting voices that would be silenced with impunity in favor of groupthink; imagine the complete Dionysian overhaul of everyone’s ethical behavior….and then try to imagine living a solitary life in such a volatile world. I wouldn’t be able to get any reading done.
I will vote this scenario out as a plausible one to live in for little ole me.
The first thing we have to understand about an alien invasion is that no matter what—if aliens come to Earth we will be their subjects. A race doesn’t simply traverse the universe and not show up with enough firepower to light up any of the world’s armies and militias. I don’t care how many forest drills one has taken part in, or how proficient one is with a rifle—Mars Attacks taught me that alien blasters rule when it comes to killing human lifeforms.
I also think regardless of intention, weird alien diseases would guarantee many of us a sudden death sentence. Take for instance the Spanish exploration of the New World. I would love to believe the they arrived and treated the Aztecs with kindness and respect, imbuing their culture with great swaths of resources and compassion. Yet, their arrival looked more like the ravaging hands of cancer, which tapped the entire culture of its health until only a shell remained. Now, unfortunately, the Aztec culture can be summed up as no more than a few ancient temples that people look at and exclaim, “What f@#$%^& losers!” Even if we were able to stand up to an alien invasion, I would have to assume that they would just Hiroshima our ass into oblivion and be done with it, so our subjugation would be assured. I think I can safely say that this is definitely not a pleasant place to live, and one would certainly not thrive in this scenario.
I am not bothered by the notion of a robot uprising. Nor am I bothered by the inevitable logic of a ubiquitous machine that finds humans to be bad for themselves. A thinking machine could take one look at ME and decide the human race could stand a peremptory hand, if only to steer the cupcakes from my mouth hole. What bothers me is the prospect of looking at naked Arnold Schwarzeneggers all day. The titular Terminator from James Cameron’s (and Harlan Ellison’s) The Terminator needed clothes, boots and a motorcycle to look like a modern guy and fit in contemporary society. In a future society dominated by machines, however, there won’t be any need for machines to wear pants in a battle with rebellious humans, because….well….really, who are they trying to impress?
Terminator Robots: “Get back to work, human, or we will destroy you.”
Me: “Could you please just hide your over-sized balls? I know Skynet doesn’t care about the whole ‘clothing’ thing, but it had no reason to give you abnormally-large junk. Frankly, it’s frightening.”
Even if I somehow remained free, I don’t think there is a chance I’ll get peace on a planet dominated by terminators, drones, and an endless human rebellion against pantsless adversaries. How depressing.
Like a great gastric belch from the ass of the Earth, a super volcano would render humanity into pasty-white sunless monstrosities. Not to mention it would kill just about everybody. The Toba eruption may or may not have reduced the Earth’s population to a paltry few individuals 70,000 years ago; and, was apparently worse for the environment than Al Gore after a gassy night at Chipotle.
Me: “Hey, why don’t you lay off the beans, Mr. Gore, and reduce some of those green house gasses?”
*A mild laugh from other customers*
Al Gore: *Looks up angrily from his steak burrito, sauteed peppers still clinging to his lips.*
“SHUT THE FUCK UP!”
While the lack of modern comforts like the internet would undoubtedly force humanity into a primitive and tribal environment, it would be far easier to avoid the remnants of a barbarous populace in the aftershocks of a Super Volcano. This particular apocalypse is probably my best option. As long as I survive the initial blast, I just have to deal with lack of sunshine (I never go outside), marauders (I don’t like people anyway, so why converse if I don’t have to?), lack of food (canned goods will do just fine), no carnal knowledge (there will be plenty of Fleshlights, I assume) and I could read most of my days away (no argument needed). Also, if I really wanted to, I could establish a home inside of an S-Mart somewhere and stave off roving bands of normal (not flesh-eating) savages with my boomstick.