Years ago, my three young cousins and I watched Charlton Heston (the greatest ham actor of all), play the last man alive in the B-grade movie classic The Omega Man.
Charlton — or Charlie as we call him — spent his days driving through a deserted Los Angeles, shooting at anything that moved, playing chess with his hat, and occasionally donning a white doctor’s coat as he tried to find a vaccine to liberate the plague-ridden zombie survivors. He was an appalling actor and his excruciating love scenes, complete with green teeth and a smarmy smile, were shocking to behold.
The cousins and I would roar with laughter as Charlie demolished every scene.
Since then, we have seen many Charlton Heston movies together, most of which feature an apocalypse of some kind.
Unfortunately, Charlie’s acting never improved. In fact, it got worse. If you need proof, check out his hilarious Moses impersonation as he descends from Mount Sinai.
Deb is the eldest of the three cousins and over the years we have developed an apocalyptic vision for our world. This is partly due to good old Charlie and his doomsday flicks, and also to a realisation that humankind is rapidly destroying this planet and all life on it, including ourselves.
We have degraded land, sea and air to a point where Gaia will drive us into extinction. There are now many threats that foreshadow our demise. Here are a few:
- All countries are run by big business, accountants and economists. This has led to a philosophy where the economy is everything, and pollution and the damage wrought by toxic chemicals do not feature in economic calculations of prosperity and wellbeing.
- Exposure to chemicals has increased many thousand times in the past few years—herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, oil and coal industry by-products, plastics (there is a vast Pacific ocean vortex miles across and miles deep where all the plastics in the world end up) and toxins spewed out into land, sea and air by heavy industry.
- Immune systems, both for humankind and other animals, are under threat. The appalling rise in ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, bi-polar, anxiety and general craziness, can be a consequence of pollution. One in two Americans will suffer from cancer in their lifetimes, and one in three will acquire Alzheimer’s disease.
- Alcohol, junk food and gambling are having a debilitating effect on the young. (In Australia, at the end of each gambling ad a solemn voice says, “gamble responsibly”, which makes as much sense as “drink yourself into a stupor responsibly”.) We have now reached a stage where the present generation will have a shorter life-span than the previous one. This is the first time this has happened and alarm bells should be ringing.
- Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are increasing world wide because of Monsanto’s influence. Monsanto develops the GMOs, drenches them in Roundup (also made by Monsanto), and places a killer gene in them so they don’t seed out. Guess what? Monsanto then sells the GMO seed to farmers for next year’s crop.
- Vaccination. The vaccine makers — global drug company conglomerates — have already decided to produce vaccines for all diseases. Scare tactics and fear mongering are now rampant, with unvaccinated people being isolated, financially penalised and treated as the enemy. We could have gated communities full of vaccinated people (the “Vax”), with the filthy, poor and unvaccinated people (the “Unvax”) howling at the gate (Charlie would star in the movie version of, of course, and spend his time shooting at the Unvax hordes). Vaccination should always be a choice, with some vaccinations being essential, but the present push for multiple vaccination in the very young should be treated with suspicion (Big Pharma likes to get them as young as possible).
- As population pressures increase, there is a world wide trend towards aggression and racism. This is fostered by governments who are in thrall to big business. There is no thought for environmental issues, particularly climate change, since this would slow the economy. The scramble for food, water and energy will only get worse and wars will be fought ( they have started already in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Israel).
- Cruelty to animals has increased markedly, and this is a precursor to cruelty to women, children, asylum seekers and the marginalised. The live export trade, caged hens, feed-lots for cows and pigs, cruelty to greyhounds, racehorses and cruelty to our native animals (including ducks), should all be banned.
- The aboriginal population was decimated by frontier wars, introduced diseases, grog, and white-man’s tucker. They were kicked off their land, and then subjected to rule by missionaries, colonialism and bureaucratic bullshit. And they are still suffering, with no redress against the big mining companies.
Both Deb and I could be accused of being alarmist, depressing and gloomy, but I think it is because we have a reverential respect for all life, not just for our species.
We are not joking when we await the next catastrophe. It will happen and our apocalyptic vision of the world will come true.
I will survive, of course, along with Deb and anyone who agrees with us.
And Charlton Heston will be there in spirit.
I hope his acting’s improved.