Congratulations appear to be in order, Dear Reader. If you are reading this, it’s reasonable to conclude that you survived the putative end of the world. No seven-headed beast with 10 horns
appeared signifying the end of the world. No spaceships emerged from ancient Mayan pyramids. No interstellar in-vaders descended to mercifully relieve us of our suffering.

And while this would appear to be a good thing, I’ve got to admit, I’m a little bummed. I’m starting to think spending Solstice Eve quitting my job, maxing out the credit cards and airing a lifetime’s grievances with the fam damily, on whom it now appears I will be depending in my dotage, may not have been prudent. I may have some grovelling to do. Nothing new there.

So, it seems we can put the concrete umbrellas away, after all. It all seems so anti-climactic now. Strangely, instead of feeling a sense of relief and renewed life, it all feels like a bit of a letdown. Admit it. You, too, were looking forward to seeing what the end of the world looked like, if only to shake things up a little bit. Instead, we are all reduced to the perennial post-yuletide drudgery of sweating out the season of excess and marching drearily through another long winter.

So, we survived the end of the world. Now what? Alas, for those like me who are morbidly inclined and like to read the entrails of our culture for signs of impending doom, the Four Horsemen are never far away: their steeds are always saddled, fed and ready to ride.

As I write this, reminders of that fact are close at hand. Our neighbours to the south continue to speed toward the so-called fiscal cliff like a bunch of ideologically crazed Thelmas and Louises (I leave it to you to decide which partisans are which). Citizens of New York and New Jersey continue to shiver amongst the ruin wrought by Superstorm Sandy, stranded – at least in part – by more pitiful partisan bickering. If the world hasn’t ended, the epoch of political courage certainly has.

Internationally, we seem to be teetering on the precipice of a new age – whether or not it’s a gilded one or a stone one remains to be seen. The optimism that greeted the Arab Spring two winters ago has now devolved into stirrings of Islamist dictatorship in Egypt and an ongoing bloodbath in Syria. Iran continues to play silly buggers with Middle East politics, backing insurgencies and destabilizing an already unstable region.

Kim Jong-un’s Christmas present to the West was a demonstration of North Korea’s long-range missile capability. Twenty-eight-year-old males shouldn’t be allowed to drive powerful cars, let alone run (potential) nuclear powers. Meanwhile, Europe looks on, hacking up phlegm like the sick man of the global economy it has become. The poles do seem to be reversing, don’t they?

Things seem to be clicking along a little more briskly in the Great White North. Our oil (you know, the stuff contributing to the climate change that miraculously no longer exists) is in demand all over the world. (Sadly, the same can’t be said of our Blackberries.) Now that Obama has secured his second term and can safely abandon his core constituency, Keystone XL is sure to be approved. This means that Canadians can abandon the madcap plan to ship oil through the most beautiful and precarious shoreline in the country, thereby avoiding both potential environmental and national unity crises.

But don’t put those Lafarge brollies away just yet, fellow Canuckle-heads, the sky may be falling on us yet (or are those just ice bombs from the Port Mann Bridge?). Mark Carney has outgrown our little colony and so is leaving us, our fiscal future thereby entrusted in the hands of somebody named Tiff (if my name wasn’t Cassius, I’d make fun of his name, but it is, so I can’t). Ontario and Quebec, the traditional economic and political engines of the country, are doing their best impersonations of Europe. Quebec, now led by a separatist party that, apparently, has little interest in separation (must be those fat equalization cheques), is finding its moral compass skewed by political corruption that may have it pining for the ethical days of the Duplessis regime.

More frighteningly, the Natural Governing Party of Canada (not to be confused with the Natural Law Party) continues to promise up Justin Trudeau as its saviour-in-waiting, somewhat like Abraham offering up Isaac in ritual sacrifice to all-powerful, all-knowing and vengeful PM. In response, He Who Shall Not be Named Stevie gleefully rubs his hands at a seemingly eternal reign spent ramming through country-changing legislation, unopposed and undebated, in the back pages of voluminous omnibus bills.

Yeesh! This is starting to feel like Apocalypse by a thousand cuts. Maybe the Mayans were right after all. Maybe the Mayans had a Daylight Savings Time that we don’t know about and we’re operating a year or two behind the times (I have it on good authority that I, for one, am perpetually behind the times, but apparently I can’t blame that on the Mayans).

It’s not too late to bring back the end of the world, is it? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a nice solar flare or magnetic pulse to put us out of our misery. A collision with an errant meteor, perhaps. A pandemic of very hungry genetically engineered, human-sized Venus Flytraps launched by ultra-baddies. Some voracious, flesh-eating robots. Just something. Pretty please?