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Musings of a Malcontent: Tick Tock Goes the Clock

Musings of a Malcontent: Environmental Irony in an Imperfect (but humorous?) WorldWell it looks like the Doomsday Clock is at it again.

Just when I thought we were safe at 6 minutes to midnight, those pesky cold war nuclear scientists bump it up to five. To be honest, given the number of events just in the last two weeks you would think the clock would be much farther along. An earthquake in Indonesia. Mt Elba erupting (which I think is not a totally unknown occurrence). Flooding and tornadoes in Houston. Massive snowstorms in Alaska.

Those events alone had me shaking my head.

I mean who needs a Doomsday Clock? Just turn on the Weather Channel.

Luckily the movement of the clock is based not so much on natural events as on manmade events – or inaction – to determine its placement over the years. As you might know it was created in 1947 by a group of scientists from the University of Chicago who were involved in the Manhattan Project. The second hand has bounced around a lot over the years as our relationship to Russia and other nuclear-possessing countries waxed and waned, not to mention our inability as a country to sign any meaningful treaty on anti-global bludgeoning. They actually pushed it back a few years ago, as they were feeling hopeful for some reason.

Silly men.

Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnightGiven its sensitivity to world events I was surprised the clock didn’t explode this week. Just the announcement that Russia is planning to build a 100 ton nuclear missile nicknamed “Satan” should encourage the needle up towards at least 4 – don’t ya think? I mean what do they possibly need with a 100-ton bomb? I know Disney does kick-ass firework displays every darn night of the week, but that’s no reason to get us all killed by building something that will block out the sun. It’s not a competition Russia. Disney just rocks – let it go! Plus what is with the name Satan? Could you pick a more disturbing name? How about Santa?

Mickey would be totally bummed at Russia if he knew these shenanigans were going on.

Add to this the discovery that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon in a secret bunker – which we have satellite photos of – and I am surprised they did not push the second hand to 3. Iran must be pissed the whole Internet knows exactly where their secret laboratory is. Darn Internet. Thanks Al Gore!

I thought the whole plan was having a few less of these crazy ass weapons that can singe the planet. Right? Did I miss a meeting somewhere? Are nuclear weapons FDA approved now? It just does not make any sense. I don’t care how great Heaven is – it’s not worth messing around with things that should be left alone.

Corpses, after all, can’t buy iPhones (especially in China).

To top it off, a 14 ton Russian spacecraft will come plummeting to earth at some point in the next couple of days. The thing is it was only launched in November. Some glitch is resulting in its demise along with the 12 tons of rocket fuel that will ignite fabulously in the atmosphere at some point soon. Three months old and its crashing to earth? Nice one.

Between the massive oil leaks, Chernobyl wasteland and unstable spacecraft, maybe Russia needs to take a time out. Go sit in the corner with the other misbehaving countries and think about how to play nice. Actually that would be a very crowded corner. I am glad I am not the teacher in that classroom.

Seems to me that the announcement of the clock hand moving this week did not really move anyone. I am thinking an abstract clock face is not going to cut it as an image of impact, especially when you have video of US soldiers urinating on Taliban fighters floating around. Or the images of a “whites only” swimming pool sign a landlord hung at her Cincinnati apartment complex because a black tenant’s child’s hair products “clouded” the pool. Or the images of Haiti two years after the earthquake looking like – well – an earthquake just happened. With these kinds of compelling images, a few scientists moving a clock hand closer to midnight may have lost its poignancy.

Snooki standing on a wobbly chair over a vat of sharks might make a more fetching message. Not going to shape up global powers? Then we knock off a chair leg. It’s up to you to save her life! Ship up or shark out! Are you going to let one of the greatest 21st century icons die because you can’t stop blowing things up?

If that’s the solution, we’re doomed for sure.

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