A Guide to 21st Century Fears
Supermoons: While this sounds both delicious (lime-flavored?) and fun (is it the latest indie band/inflatable playground accessory?), Supermoons are actually one of the biggest threats to humanity. Just two days before the earthquakes that devastated Japan and Hawaii, The Week reported that a Supermoon, a lunar rotation bringing the moon dangerously close to earth, could actually cause something a lot like an apocalypse. To add to the evidence, the last one happened right before Hurricane Katrina. Be afraid, be very afraid! And read, “The Distance of the Moon” in Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics. (Also, moons can change your menstrual cycle, aw shit.)
Dad Sent on Business Trip to Space: “Hey buddy, I’m going to be going away for awhile and I don’t know when I’ll be able to talk to you next, ok? I don’t know what my reception will be like when we are outside Jupiter so I need you to keep an eye on your little sister and help out your mom. I’ll bring you back some of that freeze dried ice cream you like, right? The Neapolitan kind? And if ever you are lonely and want to talk to me, just look up at the moon and wave…because I’ll be up there, taking some soil samples.”
New Math: Fuuuucccckkksticks. I JUST learned old (regular) math well enough to help my eight-year-old nephew with his homework only to find out that there is a new “faster” base method? Let’s go back to the way things used to be where they taught you all about dividing by asking things like, “if Jamal and Ling-Ling each have three slices of pizza, what fraction of pizza is left?” (Answer: one piece veggie lover and one piece taco pizza because no one likes taco pizza.)
Microwave poisoning: Are you feeling sick? Does your tummy ache, and your poo smell a bit irregular? Do you think it’s because you’re eating nothing but Lean Cuisines and microwaveable popcorn? I do. You don’t even have to think about microwaves to realize just how horrible their evil effects can be.
Parents Divorcing Due to Reality TV: “Hi Mom. I know you’re really excited about that Botox party you just had, and I’m sure it’s REALLY making you feel like a desirable sexy woman again, but have you noticed Dad since these cameras started following us? He’s not himself. One man can only go to so many patio cocktail parties before he starts feeling underappreciated. Don’t you remember how Kris Jenner wouldn’t let Bruce Jenner have his model helicopters because they weren’t glamorous enough? You’re becoming Kris Jenner. And it’s only a matter of time until Dad drives home from one of these patio parties with a few too many novelty-sized margaritas in his veins and suddenly his DUI photo is on TMZ and slow nights on Nancy Grace. You guys can’t survive that. Then he’s going to get withholding and you’re going to realize you didn’t pull enough crazy shit this season so a divorce storyline is really the only way they’re going to bring you back next year. I hope your puckered satin dresses and Restylane was worth it, Mom. You broke the family up and now I’m going to make a sex tape.”
Getting Craigslist killed: Yes, we live in a glorious time when you can advertise transactional opportunities for free online, but there is also the threat that the other half of your trade is a vicious creep. We all saw The Lifetime Original Movie. Phobia firmly in place.
Real-life Gossip Girls: Have you watched teenager TV lately? Do you know what kids do these days when they are mad at their friends? They secretly take naked pictures of them and then text message them to EVERYONE. Then some blogger with a masked IP address puts them on the Internet and tells everyone how poor they are and about their secret lesbian experience. Then they get Facebook bullied until they swallow a whole bottle of Aspirin.
Bieber Mortality: Sorry guys, I know he’s like 17 now and everything’s great but Bieber is mortal and one day he’s gonna stop making music [via death]. Like, it could even be soon [via River Phoenix].
Russia: Russia will never stop until they activate the doomsday device and kill us all.
Government-administered AIDS: We’re not really sure what this is, but Kanye said it happens in “Jesus Walks” so we think its going to start happening soon.
Mechanical singularity: It’s pretty much accepted scientific fact that one day in the very near future robots will become self aware and kill us all. I can’t even tell you how well-documented the futility of fighting this is (I, Robot, the Terminator series) so the only solution is to hide your information in trees and bro down while you can.
Pictures of you doing coke on Facebook getting you fired: Pretty self-explanatory.
-Emily Weiss, Jason Zabel, Marcus Michalik, Becky Lang, Chrissy Stockton