If We Don’t Change Course Soon, Tuesday Will Be Upon Us
Are you afraid? No? Well, you should be.
“The world is closer to catastrophe than ever: the Doomsday Clock, the metaphorical measure of challenges to humanity, was reset to 90 seconds before midnight on Tuesday.” — NPR, January 24, 2023.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, except, really, I do know, and it’s everyone. You, me, him, her, those guys over there… all of us are in this together, and we are all headed straight for disaster, I’m afraid. You should be afraid, too. Are you afraid? No? Well, again, you should be.
Some of us, a while back, last week, took a long, hard look at the state of the world and everyone in it, and we did not like what — or whom — we saw. Not one bit. And even though the inhabitants of the world now are not quite the same as were here then, our collective circumstance has not improved. To the contrary, things are much worse.
We’d had a feeling that humankind was already on a dangerous course, but what we discovered was even more grim than we’d feared. To convey the uncomfortable truth as simply and directly as possible to as many people as possible, we promptly devised a symbolic representation of our shared state of affairs: a series of seven simple boxes in a single row. As of this morning, when we last updated our ideograph — the so-called Tuesday Timetable — by shading in the top half of one box, with a №2 pencil, we made it clear that the human race is just one day shy of Tuesday.
Some of us, a while back, last week, took a long, hard look at the state of the world and everyone in it, and we did not like what — or whom — we saw.
Tuesday is, of course, the worst day of the week. Whether you consider Saturday and Sunday as a pair to be the weekend or, separately, the week’s opposite ends, those days are nonetheless days of leisure, pleasure, and wonder. Monday — though it is the day that many of us return to work, school, or a third place we would rather not be — is the best day to buy a new car and the least likely to be a rainy day. Wednesday is “Hump Day,” while Thursday — named for the Norse god of thunder — is the day of most movie premieres in Australia and considered by many to be “Friday’s Friday.” Fridays, generally speaking, rule.
But Tuesdays do not rule, at all. Tuesday is just another day. Tuesday was named for a Norse god that no one has ever heard of. Californians are less likely to barbecue on a Tuesday than on any other day. Tuesday is the day of the week least likely to have Christmas Eve fall upon it. On the other hand, Constantinople fell on a Tuesday, and the Stock Market crashed on a Tuesday. Nobody likes Tuesday.
And yet that is just where mankind, in all its pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, sloth, and humanity is inexorably headed.
But there is some good news. We don’t have to accept our fate and shuffle headlong into Tuesday like lambs to the slaughter. We can avoid plunging heedlessly, needlessly into Tuesday. We have a choice. There is still time for us to take control of our own fate.
If we can bring about the end of the world today, we’ll avoid Tuesday entirely. Easier said than done, you scoff? Hardly! We have everything we need to bring about the total destruction of mankind in very short order. We have sufficient nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, and other devices at our disposal, any one of which could eliminate a significant swath of us, but all of which would guarantee the death of all nearly eight billion of us in a matter of hours. Which is good enough, because we have only hours left before Tuesday is upon us.
Now, there are those daysayers who would remind us that humans have survived Tuesdays already — and not a few of them — but it is precisely because we have, and because we learn little to nothing with each passing week, that Tuesday perpetually looms large over our species, why we are forever looking forward — with fear, sorrow, and a deep sense of existential futility — to one Tuesday or another. Enough is enough. These might not be the days before the End of Days, but each of those Days before Wednesdays is just such a drag.