This is How, When, and Where the World Will End
Do you like my title? Did it capture your attention? Are you reading my words at this very moment?
Thanks. Now stick with me for a few seconds more. Please. I’m a writer and I need readers, but I’m competing against so many eye-catching, gut-wrenching, deeply-disturbing titles these days that it’s awfully hard to get anyone to read what I’ve written from start to finish.
Is 3 minutes too long? I promise you that I won’t exceed 3 minutes if you can promise me to hang in there.
Doomsday sells. It always has. Humans love to read about things that horrify them. They also long for prophets, people who claim to have inside knowledge about what’s coming down the rocky road of life.
It’s like a car accident. We can’t stop looking even though it repulses us. So, the right title just might get someone to stop scrolling and read at least a paragraph.
With the internet, new journalism standards, the advent of the self published, the deeply religious roots of our nation, and a former president who normalized saying anything that popped into his head, this is where we’re at, I think. If a writer never wrote an eye-catching, gut-wrenching title, even the professionals would run the risk of losing their reading audience.
We live in the day and age of reality tv, virtual reality, and alternative realities. Real reality is stuffed into the corner and ignored.
Think about that. In a strange way, societies have come full circle. Once upon a time, our ignorance gave way to predictions that centered around the Bible. You know the end of the world predictions, the rapture, and The Great Tribulations.
We didn’t know much so we were able to easily place blame on the devil and invest hope in a god.
Then science began to dispel some of these dark rumors that were so boldly presented to us, making it a tad harder to accept just any old explanation without at first exercising a little caution. We laid to rest the idea that epileptic seizures were a result of demon possession, for example, and began the research for solutions to many physical problems. Yeah, the good old days of tribal ignorance created a lot of heartache for many. Witch burnings and social ostracism being amongst a host of hateful repercussions.
Ignorance may be bliss but it’s dangerous. You may not have to take responsibility for things you don’t know, but what you don’t know can also kill you. I always found it significant to note that out of all the fruit bearing trees in the Garden of Eden, God only made it punishable to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Ain’t that something though? Apparently civilians with knowledge have always been feared.
Yet, in spite of our progress, whenever things get kinda dicey —you know financial distress, war, pandemics, and natural disasters —we quickly resort to the ways of our ancestors.
Just like that, the “doomsdayer who dared” becomes the most read, most quoted, most reliable source. They garner a lot of attention with their sheer gall and confidence. They become preachers who lay hands on their congregation to drive out the devil rather than encouraging them to get vaccinated. They are the snake oil salesmen, convincing grandma to take a magic elixir guaranteed to fix whatever ails you.
They claim to know things and they’re ready to share what they know with you — for a small price.
Let’s face it, the well-documented, peer reviewed, detailed and thus very long article written by a well-qualified writer has never attracted a large reading audience. Most have no interest in the first place, while many lack the vocabulary to understand what they’ve just tried to read.
So, here we are, folks …
Living in the most advanced time period ever, technologically speaking, and we’re openly regressing to the superstitious mindset of our distant ancestors. That means writers have to stretch the truth if they want respect.
I know. I know. Not all readers are drawn to sensationalism. To the half dozen who don’t need embellishments, we thank you.
Okay, I think my three minutes are up! In fact, I’ve got a strange feeling that I’ve gone over my 3 minutes. Sorry but not sorry, I guess. So, let me leave you with this. I’m working on a new title.
Life Without Hope is the New Normal
What do you think? Eh? Is it grim enough for you? Then, stay tuned.
There’s more where that came from, my friend.
Teresa Roberts is a retired educator, author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.