Features Australia

How to survive the end of the world

From toilet paper to George Clooney

21 March 2020

9:00 AM

21 March 2020

9:00 AM

This end of the world thing has really got legs. It’s the new black – unless you are already wearing black because it is the End Of The World or you work as a barista in Carlton and are writing a one-woman play about your student debt.

We’re at peak apocalypse now – we’ve had climate change, bushfires, Trump, Brexit, the re-election of #ScottyfromMarketing, coronavirus and the tanked ratings of the Today Show even with Karl’s resurrection from the dead.

There are vital things you need to know especially as you may be dead in three days though this might be problematic depending on when you receive your subscription copy of this magazine. Sorry in advance.

Which apocalypse should I get upset about: I always recommend going in order of imminent destruction. At least this way if you are wrong there’s always next week and the week after that ensuring you maintain a regular salary.

According to the bookies and the Greens, climate change will destroy the world in two years or ten years retrospectively if you’re Tim Flannery. The Nine newspapers are backing Trump ending the world sometime between now and the presidential election and PvO has heard from an impeccable source its ScoMo in three weeks so make sure you put your money on the exact opposite outcome.

How can celebrities assist? like firefighters, paramedics and people who read teleprompters for a living, celebrities have a vital role when Armageddon comes and leaving the country is always a favorite tactic especially if you don’t actually leave. As Jane Caro once tweeted, threatening to move to New Zealand during an impending ScoMo apocalypse is a great idea and much more elegant than standing in the line at Woolworths with a box of Sorbent under your arm. Miley Cyrus, Amy Schumer and Whoopi Goldberg all promised to move to Canada before the 2016 Trump presidential disaster but didn’t do this once he won which shows just what talented actors they are.


Whenever confronted with the end of the world, always ask yourself first: ‘what would George Clooney do?’

Why is the stock market crashing: as the Extinction Rebellion guy at last year’s Melbourne glue-in and cosplay protest probably wished he’d pointed out during his vibe-of-the-thing live cross to The Bolt Report; extreme capitalism is causing the end of the world assisted by hipster stockbrokers who are money-grasping bastards that put profits before people and are only ever happy with their head buried in a bucket of cocaine. Any idea how I can get a job?

What about franking credits: as the stoner-style Labor leader guy may have pointed out during his vibe-of-the-thing election campaign last year, retirees are greedy people who are only ever happy with their head buried in a bucket of cocaine. Do any of them actually want a job?

Apparently if you show your Seniors Card outside the Safe Injecting Room in Richmond you get a 20 per cent discount on your fix though they are struggling with the no plastic bags policy. Nobody wants some bureaucrat with an amphetamine addiction and white hazmat suit fining them $175 three minutes before they are all obliterated and the parking meter runs out.

What about God? Christians are really pissed off as their end-of-world market monopoly is being eaten into by climate change venture capitalists, pop-up coronavirus franchisees and the whole Hillsong Uber home delivery and Jesus conglomerate thing. I recommend Bible verse Revelation 52 about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the seven seals and building a luxury doomsday shelter in your backyard.  Or Matthew 5:3 that says the meek shall inherit the earth unless you’re in a liquid sanitiser stampede at Toorak Coles; or John 303 where Jesus explains to the money-lenders how if you are about to die anyway you don’t need to keep up your credit card repayments.

Say ‘how dare you’: lets face it, having your future stolen is not all it’s cracked up to be unless you’re writing a dystopian novel about end-of-the-world yacht-sailing in Scandinavia. And if you’re looking for a career in coal mining it’s the pits. Move to Australia and we’ll give you a job with Adani if it’s still there next week. Note though, according to ABC Fact Check, Australians are deeply racist and dislike blonde, blue-eyed Aryan types in anoraks unless in History Channel documentaries about the rise of Hitler. Please note: this claim is deeply, deeply flawed.

What about Greta? People often ask me what I think of Greta and I always say the same thing because I can’t think of anything else to say given I’m so busy right now with the apocalypse, the panicking and the standing in queues to buy toilet paper.

Make a list so we know whose fault it is: making a list can be very soothing in times of crisis especially if it helps you with blaming people afterwards when nothing happens. I learnt this while studying the Western canon at the Ramsay Centre after Tony Abbott told me to get a haircut. On Twitter during the bushfires, Margot Kingston and a group of free speech advocating journalists said we should make a list of any public figure that hasn’t come out and publicly supported climate change action. They’re right of course, every community-based activist group needs an Adolf Eichmann.

What do we do about the sceptics:  someone on my Twitter feed once said to me coronavirus was just a scam by Big Paper to sell toilet paper and that Big Oil underwrites Big Paper supported by Big Glue and the whole Araldite-ing your head to the road thing which eventually brings us back to Halliburton, 9/11 and the need for publicly-funded IQ tests. This sounds about right to me.

Who should we listen to at a time of crisis? We need to listen to the stand up comedian on Q&A. Failing that any high profile actor who won an Oscar this year will do. I recommend Joaquin Phoenix but only after he’s out of rehab, back on the milk and rockin’ the clown suit again.

Work/Life balance: everybody agrees that a work/life balance is essential especially if it’s the end of the world but with the kids, school, work and swallowing my anti-depressants who’s got the time these days?

Illustration: Flikr.

Michael Scammell is concerned about his future

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