T.S. Eliot is one of my favorite poets. The title of this post is a line from The Hollow Men. I think it’s one of his best poems, but I didn’t memorize it like I did the majority of Ash Wednesday, which is my favorite. It’s not often that I’m so impressed by a poem that I want to memorize it. I think Eliot was brilliant, and like most brilliant people, he speculated and wrote about the future. The last lines of the poem are:
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
That made me start thinking about exactly how the world as we know it might end, so I listed a few of the possibilities. Then I turned it into a multiple choice poll. I’d love to hear how other people think it might end.
The world as we know it will end when:
1. The earth is hit by an asteroid, thereby knocking the planet out of orbit, whereupon it will stop spinning, and we’ll all fall off into space, wishing that we’d taken more time to stop and properly appreciate the gravity of our situation.
2. World “leaders”, in their never-ending quest for global domination, play a deadly game of nuclear chicken in which nobody blinks first.
3. All water is owned by the Coca-Cola company, which will lead to the cancellation of all dental insurance plans, resulting in massive numbers of deaths due to infections caused by tooth decay because it’s such a short distance from the jaw to the brain.
4. A deadly new and highly contagious virus that makes flesh-eating ebola look like a slight rash will be unleashed after an earthquake destroys a laboratory where government scientists are currently conducting germ warfare experiments in order to be able to exterminate “primitive” societies more efficiently.
5. Global warming will accelerate until all the icecaps melt, causing a global flood of boiling water and the last collective thought of humanity to be “Now I know what that lobster felt like.”
6. In an attempt to completely control the world’s food supply, Monsanto scientists develop and plant seeds which overtake and kill all other forms of plant life and to which all of humanity is literally deathly allergic.
7. Jesus returns to earth and smites the asteroids, world leaders, Coca-Cola, Monsanto, government scientists, and the sun.
8. None of the above/other
Which do you think is most likely? If none of the above, please leave a detailed explanation.