They are updating the Doomsday Clock tomorrow morning and I got to tell you, I don’t think it’s going to be good
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is an organization and publication that was formed in 1945. The idea, basically– “oh shit we just created an atomic bomb and that might not have been such a great thing, so let’s keep tabs on where this is going.”
In 1947, the nerve-wracked scientists debuted the Doomsday Clock, a metaphorical visual aid to show just how close we are to nuclear annihilation. Some years the clock ticks forward to Doomsday (aka Midnight on the clock) and other years, to a sigh of relief, it falls back in time. Over the years, the organization has added other factors to consider, in addition to nuclear proliferation: climate change, bio-weapons, and cyber threats.
Here’s some Doomsday Clock highlights:
1947: Doomsday Clock debuts at 7 to Midnight
1953: 2 to Midnight, the closest to Midnight the clock has ever been. This is the year the H-bomb was created.
1991: 17 to Midnight. The end of the Cold War pushed the clock the furthest it’s ever been from Midnight.
2015: The clock ticks to 3 to Midnight. Only two other years chimed this close: 1949 (when the Arms Race was heating up) and 1984 (the height of the “mutually assured destruction” days of the Cold War.)
2016: The clock remains stuck at 3 to Midnight. It is, as the Bulletin notes “not good.”
You can see a longer timeline of the clock here: www.thebulletin.org/timeline
What will 2017 bring? I think it’s painfully obvious that tomorrow morning we will see the clock edge even closer to Midnight.
Let me give you just two quotes from the 2016 presidential campaign:
“I would bomb the shit out of ‘em. I would just bomb those suckers. That’s right. I would blow up the pipes…every single inch. There would be nothing left.”– Donald Trump on ISIS
“…carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out.”–Ted Cruz on ISIS
Just a small sample of things the Bulletin had to consider this year, in addition to other nuclear threats, and a new administration who believes bigly that climate change is a hoax and not a priority.
Tomorrow I will be up bright and early to grab donuts and coffee and watch the Doomsday roll in. The Doomsday Clock reveal and press conference will be live streamed at 9am CST here: clock.thebulletin.org and I will be tweeting out my reactions here: @TeaKrulos
Hold on to your butts.
The Apocalypse Blog explores the topics of Tea Krulos’s third non-fiction book, which is about doomsday predictions, prepping, and pop culture. It’ll be published in 2018 (if the world survives that long). His first two books, Heroes in the Night (2013) and Monster Hunters (2015) are available from Chicago Review Press here: http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/krulos–tea-contributor-296670.php
People know me from a variety of different phases of my life. From roughly 1998-2006 I would say a major focus of my spare time was drawing. That was the dream, to be the next R. Crumb or Daniel Clowes or some new freakish grandmaster of cartooning. I drew hundreds of pages of comics and illustrations. They appeared in publications like the Milwaukee Orbit (long gone), Riverwest Currents (still around. The Comics Page, which I founded, is now 12 years old and has been edited by 5 different Milwaukee cartoonists), a wide variety of zines, flyers, etc. I edited a comic anthology called Riverwurst Comics, that was a lot of fun.
In 2006, I had a year of major transitions, some good, some bad. My paradigm shifted. I still enjoy drawing on occasion, but in that year I felt like my comics and my life in general was heading nowhere, the wheels were stuck, so I started writing instead. I think it was a good life choice.
One of the issues I had in my comic drawing life was that I had no patience and I had a frustratingly thin skin. A first round rejection was enough to kill an entire project for me. I would draw a comic, send it out somewhere, and with a rejection letter (or even just no response), I would scrap the idea without trying to present it anywhere else, no attempt to revise it. I would get pissed off and I would hate myself. If you want to get something published, I highly recommend you don’t act like this. You need to believe in yourself and keep trying.
Anyway, what follows is a comic I discovered while digging through a box of archives recently. I drew it in 2005, ten years ago. I submitted it to High Times magazine and got no reply, so stashed it in an archive. It has never been published anywhere. It is really stupid goofy, but it is my birthday, so I’m publishing it. It stars a stoner alligator character I invented, Hella Gator, and his girlfriend, Cat. In this comic he has a dream he where he encounters parodies of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, psychic John Edward of Crossing Over w/ Aforementioned, Judge Judy, and a cameo by Potential Future President Donald Trump. Some things have changed since then– who has a satellite dish anymore? Steve Irwin is dead, John Edward has a different show, but Donald Trump’s hair still looks like a loaf of bread. I no longer find inspiration from smoking weed and watching basic cable (apparently the basis of this comic), but here is something that survives from that era.