Yesterday’s news that giant mutant space zombies are invading Earth and preparing to kill or enslave all 7 billion of its inhabitants can be viewed from two perspectives.
The natural reaction of course is intense, widespread panic. People perceive that their way of life is being threatened, that immense creatures not of this world with unfathomable powers of destruction will automatically mean a reduced standard of living.
Change is always difficult for the human species to adapt to. Most of us can’t help but feel unnerved when our desks at work are rearranged, or when our usual barista at Starbucks has been replaced by a new hire.
Imagine, then, the challenge we’ll all be facing in the coming days of apocalyptic calamity. Our everyday routine is bound to be seriously disrupted as these giant mutant space zombies (or GMSZ) prowl our planet’s landscape, raining death and dismemberment down on innocent populations. Simple chores like grocery shopping, taking the kids to soccer practice and continuing to exhibit normal bodily functions will no longer be the breezy exercises they were in the past. Everything is destined to be more difficult.
But change can also represent the prospect for improvement. In China (before it was obliterated by Wednesday’s death ray that took out huge swathes of east Asia), the word for “crisis” is the same as that for “opportunity.” True, it can be hard to find a silver lining in a cloud as threatening as the one comprised of poisonous gases unleashed by the GMSZ that is now approaching the Western Hemisphere. But, frankly, we have little choice in the matter.
When President Obama, Pope Benedict XVI, Queen Elizabeth, Vladimir Putin and Regis Philbin made their joint appearance on television last night to deliver the news that we’re all doomed, the world offered a collective gasp of horror. Never before had Earth faced the challenge of being overrun by superior creatures from another galaxy.
“The days ahead will be difficult. The trials will be many,” Obama said. “But in the end, I am confident that the American people will respond with the calm and patience and resolve that has made our nation great. We survived a Civil War, we survived the Great Depression, we survived the widespread social disruptions of the sixties. I know we won’t survive an alien invasion but — hey — a guy can dream, can’t he?”
“In this, humankind’s greatest hour of distress, we must turn to God for comfort and solace,” the Pope said. “I, for one, will be deep in prayer, asking Him how in the hell did He neglect to reveal to his loving children that we’re all going to die at the hands of giant mutant space zombies?”
Perhaps, though, it was left to a talk show host to offer the most realistic take on how the coming days and weeks will reveal themselves.
“I’m almost 80 years old, and I’ve had a good run,” said Philbin, host of the popular “Live With Regis and Kelly” show. “Humanity, too, has had a good run. But now it’s time for us to step aside and allow the new kids on the block their time in the sunshine.”
There is a good side to all this gloom and doom. No longer will we have to worry about a sluggish economic recovery that has failed to produce enough jobs to get the unemployment rate to an acceptable level. Concerns about the environment, about international tensions, about the menace of Islamic fundamentalism will now seem trivial. Having to watch the oversized dwarf known as Cee Lo Green on “The Voice” and other TV shows will only be an issue for a few more days.
We’ve got much bigger problems now. Big, mutant, extraterrestrial problems. It’s time we put everything into proper perspective.