(If you hate spoilers look away now)
Last Thursday I was holed up for several hours in a small windowless cell reading out-loud the diverse and various ways our planet will cease to exist.
Yeah I have the dubious pleasure of voicing not one but two documentary series about the end of the world currently. So, being as I’m an authority on the subject now, I can tell you that one of the most likely causes of our demise will be our own self-eradication. Odds are, we will either F-up the planet so irrevocably by speeding up climate change to the extent we can’t adapt quickly enough to the resulting extreme conditions… or we’ll just cut to the chase and nuke the shit out of everything that moves. Whooohoooo.
Oh and just in case you want to know, it turns out the best you can hope for in a modern nuclear attack is to be hit at close range. What you don’t want is to be a few hundred miles away. Nope. That sucks a lot worse. That’s just years of horror-defining suffering, starvation and poisoning.
(There’s nothing like brooding on the apocalypse for making you feel jazzed!)
And so, inevitably, on the way home afterwards, bearing heavily all my new knowledge, I began to have terrifying thoughts. What if it’s no coincidence that there seem to be a sudden plethora of Armageddon-based documentaries being rolled out at the moment? What if TV-Land knows something we don’t, has recognised that the danger of annihilation is imminent, and is broadcasting various End of Days scenarios to prepare us?
I didn’t sleep very well that night.
But morning brought a ray of sunshine, and with it a change of perspective. I began to imagine Trump and Jong Un, at home one night, sitting down, in their respective Lay Z Boy armchairs, perhaps with a glass of Tizer. (I like to think of Jong Un being a Tizer drinker) They turn on the TV, and just happen to come across one of these doomsday documentaries.
At first, they’re imbued with a warm feeling of power. They smile to themselves in the knowledge that they are members of an exclusive group of elite beings who hold the fate of the planet in their tiny, childlike hands. But it’s not long before their grins fade, and their mouths begin to hang open, revealing a mush of half chewed chilli Doritos in the pouch of their lower jaw, as they watch what happens when a bomb one hundred times more powerful than the one which vaporised Hiroshima, rips open a hole in the Earth. They watch North America howl with the screams of ten million innocent souls… witness the entire Korean peninsula and a good swathe of China light up with an unholy fire. And I let myself hope… that their doubts take root, and that they think, perhaps this current war of words ought to be a little better considered… Maybe not tweeted in a fit of pique…. Probably filtered through advisors.
And just maybe it’s not so farfetched to believe that. Documentaries really can be vehicles for change. Blackfish, Supersize Me, The Thin Blue Line, An Inconvenient Truth. They all played their part in actual social and political change. So why not “Doomsday – 10 Ways the World Will End”!?