Here Thar Be Monsters!

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A Superhero Without Really Trying

"I'm beginning to think I'm invincible," came the first message as I got off the plane.  It was quickly followed by, "I survived Y2K, bird flu, 9/11, rapture 1 & 2, and now the Mayan Apocalypse!"

It was my Canadian bud feeling cocky with a new lease on life.

"Don't forget the planetary alignment of 1982, the swine flu and the Asian Contagion," I shot back.

Indeed, those of us of a certain age can boast that we have survived the End of the World as We Know It so many times now, it's getting rather passe.  I may even stop prepping, since if the end comes in the first half of next year, I won't care because I've dodged the bullet so many times I'm ready to surrender to the next shot fired.

I became a 'prepper' at an early age.  I was still in swaddling clothes when Hurricane Carla tore up Houston in 1961.  Then there were the double hurricanes in the early 70s.  Then Alicia, Rita, Katrina, and a half dozen other big storms.

I've side-stepped tornadoes and water spouts, earthquakes, wild-ass lightning storms, floods, and landslides.  And let's not forget the Munich bombing in 1980, or being shot at on the Afghan/Iran border the day the American hostages were taken when the Shah fell.

I've been in knife fights (I brought a gun...duh), nearly fallen 800 feet off a cliff and almost died from dysentery in Paris.  A little thing like the Mayan calendar ending ain't gonna stop me.

My bud was right...with all the apocalypses we've all survived, I think it's about time to admit we're all either dead and this is what hell looks like, or we're really immortals living out a Highlander existence.  Not sure about the latter.  I need to behead someone first to test the theory.

Here in Jakarta, it kind of seemed like the end of the world.  Beginning Friday evening, there was an epic rain for three days with severe flooding all over the city, leaving everything in gridlock.  As usual, I dodged that one by being 500 km away enjoying a lovely time eating Javanese food and hanging out in the mountains.  I did see Jesus there, but he was already dead, so nothing to fear on that account.  As for Muhammad, Buddha and Shiva, they were all missing in action.

No clouds parting, no stars falling, no whores of Babylon being eaten by dragons while drinking the blood of martyrs.  No seals were broken, no galaxies aligned.  No global coastal events.  And as far as I know, the sea is still blue-green, or at least the part that I flew over today.

The way I figure it, the Earth has been spinning around the Sun, according to best guestimates, for 4.5 BILLION years.  Odds are pretty good that it will go on spinning for another 5 billion or so.  About the worst thing we puny little humans can do is wipe ourselves out, but it won't be the end of the world.  We'll just be some cool bones buried deep in the bowels of the Earth for whatever creatures come after to dig up.

Hell, they'll probably tell themselves that oil comes from our rotting carcasses.  They might even theorize that we were wiped out by a giant meteor with a weird name.  Hopefully, though, they won't have a Mayan calendar to spook themselves with.

Those of us in the 50+ category have now survived at least a half-dozen apocalypses.  It's our job now to teach the younger generation to stop all the BS and start thinking about the in making it better and not always wishing for some deus ex machina to come along and clean up our mess.  It's too easy to give up and hope for a supernatural 'do over'.  The real task is to realize we're on our own and our future is ours to make.  There won't be gods riding in on clouds, or ETs with miracle technology, or whatever dream team you believe in.

As a species, we are rounding adolescence and heading straight for adulthood.  Our parents, whatever we think they are, aren't there to clean up our rooms for us anymore.  It's time we grow up and take responsibility for our own actions.  We can't hide behind mama's skirt forever.  We now know our place in the Universe and it's time we get out there and start making something of ourselves.

Yup, we're all superheroes now.  We've dodged bullets, leaped tall buildings and outrun locomotives.  So, time to download or get off the pot.  We're still here, for better or worse.  Let's, gor God's sake, start focusing on the 'better' part of things.