Greetings From The End Of The World

bonnet_macaqueIf what all those unscrupulous “new age” authors and their acid-casualty devotees say is true, we are only a week away from the end of the world as we know it. As much as I want to believe that this nightmare known as civilization is about to get put out if its misery, I can’t quite convince myself of it. But despite my incurable skepticism, I am sure of one thing: this is my second-to-last column for Borderless News and Views before I bid you farewell and move on to my own exciting new misadventures.

Before I drive off into the sunset, let’s review the state of the world on the verge of its alleged end, Haitch style. 1, 2, 3, go:

*The US is teetering on the edge of the “fiscal cliff” that will plunge us into ever-lower depths of destitution and all the government wants to do about it is argue like a dysfunctional couple on a bad date trying to figure out who’s picking up the tab. Why am I not surprised…

*Israel and Palestine…Perhaps the only political issue I’m ever reluctant to shoot my mouth off about. Maybe it’s my Jewish upbringing keeping me in check (although I have not practiced Judaism in 15 years, the Mediterranean guilt, neurotic work ethic, and copious Chinese food consumption seem permanently embedded in my DNA). Or maybe Noam Chomsky already said it for me, so there’s no need for me to chime in.

*Paul McCartney filling in for Kurt Cobain at a Nirvana reunion? If you needed any proof that there is no god and we’re all going to hell in a handbasket, here it is.

*Washington state legalizes the weed. Cool. I’ve never been a big stoner myself, but I’ve always found it suspect that over half of America’s prison population is locked up on minor drug offenses when it’s pedestrian knowledge that alcohol and tobacco do far more harm to far more people than every “street drug” put together. I can only conclude that our government’s motivation for criminalizing pot is political, not civic-minded.

*My home state, Maryland, is now issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Awesome. If we can enact new laws denying homophobes the right to marry, serve in the military, etc, then we’ll really have something to celebrate.

*A monkey was found wandering around an Ikea in Toronto wearing a snazzy winter coat, having freed itself from its locked carrying crate and the locked car by which it was transported. This, combined with the story of the monkey who evaded and confused Tampa police and animal control for 3 years, should serve as proof that I was completely right when I asserted that a rhesus macaque would make a better president than any human on the ballot.

*I’d bet all the money in the world that centuries from now, people will look back on the current wave of urban gentrification the same way we look back on Europe’s original colonization of the Americas.

That’s news to me. Seeya after Christmas for one last tearful goodbye…