The Trouble with Doom

The trouble with doom is that it follows its own schedule and posts no timetables. The worldline is implicit, not explicit. It doesn’t happen fast enough for those impatient for the latest version of doom to release, ready for download; the four horsemen are always late; yet it blindsides the willfully oblivious when the thief in the night stages a home invasion at dawn. The Cassandras sing their arias and the rest whistle in the growing dark, in vain.

Speaking collectively, we feel doom impending, yet we feel it’s taking too damn long. We dread it, but we can’t wait, like kids on Christmas Eve, kids who still believe in Santa but who secretly fear Santa’s not going to deliver the doom we’re dying for.

Pour me another metaphor, barkeep… There is no light at the end of this tunnel, not even that of an oncoming train. We’re groping in black void, hoping to find a wall, and to feel our way to the opening of a tunnel. The tunnel has already left the station. Doom is not a train, and no political, scientific, or religious Mussolini can make it run on time, much less prevent a wreck. Neither Paul Ehrlich nor Hal Lindsay can map it out for us, because we each have our own doom. Doom happens. Doom is an everyday occurrence, yet nobody could have predicted it, and even if someone did, we weren’t listening. We were watching Lost. Or Survivor. Or American Idol. The black tide of doom is sweeping in on collective us, and we’re surprised.

Trying to predict or plan for our murderous future is, as Billy Collins said about writing poetry, like playing Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey with no tail, no pin, and no donkey. But the blindfold is still on; many blindfolds, woven on cognitive frames in the meme-driven looms of our mortal minds.

Doom is random but inevitable, and the random is harder to face than the inevitable. Randomness is inherent in nature, yet the human mind abhors it. The randomness of doom is a hard truth, and we instinctively reject it. There has to be a reason. This all means something… Look in the mirror, summon your best Jack Nicholson growl, and say, “Truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Yet you can’t escape it. You can’t save yourself or anyone else. Prepare to meet your doom. I dare you.

Note: All metaphors spilled in the gulf of meaning are BYOB (Bring your own boom).


One response to “The Trouble with Doom

  1. You also tapped into “randomness,” a thought about which had been going on in my head as I took Sport out for a walk this morning.

    I am actually comfortable with randomness (although I don’t like it), and it’s companion injustice (which I abhor) — it’s probably the primary reason I do not believe in god/God.

    More to think about.

    Thanks, Doc.

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