2022

            People have been prepping for the apocalypse for as long as we’ve been intelligent enough as a species to abstract the end of all things. It has taken myriad different faces. There were any number of ancient cultures who thought that ritual would stave off the long dark; European Midwinter Solstice sacrifices to scare away the Winter, South American sacrifices to coax the sun out from hiding. The responsibilities of the Egyptian Pharaonic class to entice the sun from the underworld each morning, and the masturbatory rituals to make sure the river flowed and brought prosperity. Some of these involved ritual murder, or animal slaughter, or merely an offering of ‘essence’, and they are but a minute part of the canon of ancient peoples hoping to fend off the End of Days through cannibalism, slaughter, wealth, or strength of arms.

            You may laugh, but there are people who still do it today, though with a more practical bent. People who have shelters dug and fortified, go-bags ready by the door; those who have studied survival and bushcraft to such an extent that, should they ever be woken one fateful morn by klaxons and emergency broadcasts signalling that ersatz allies have finally pushed the button, they will have no problem surviving: purifying water, starting fires, building shelters, forging tools and weapons, etc.

            And it is not the domain of the mentally feeble few. No, eschatological* fetishisation has been part of the media for decades, centuries, even millennia. Myths of Ragnarok and the coming of the Kali Yuga. Video games like the Metro and Fallout series, movie franchises like Terminator or Mad Max, books like Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake series or Isobelle Carmody’s delightful children’s romp Obernewton all exhort us to look to an increasingly more believable Judgement Day brought about by human folly and hubris.

            *Look it up. It may not be what you think.

            And yet, despite all of the voices that have cried out for centuries for us to heed the teachings from John the Revelator, Nostradamus, or the abrupt end that the Mayans ostensibly had on the books for 2012, we are still going strong. Of course, you could make a very good case by saying that these sorts of people didn’t even exist, or that John the Revelator was full of hallucinogenic mushrooms or straight up horseshit. Perhaps Nostradamus was a shyster. And the Mayan’s accounting of the astrological cycle may have been even more impressively on the money than they already were if their European pillagers had spent less time systematically destroying all knowledge produced by the ‘heathen’ nations they encountered to bring it in line with the dogma. But, even for a staunch atheist such as myself, it is getting harder and harder to ignore the signs. We have any number of honey-tongued Captains of Industry who may be the Antichrist; your Trumps, your Bezos’, your Musks. Worldwide we have suffered apocalyptic plagues of fire, flood, insects, pestilence. Our scientists tell us that our time is up. If this is not enough, and you need more, pay heed; there is one herald that was never acknowledged.

            In 2002 – twenty years ago exactly– the (apparently) prophetic musical comedy trio Tripod told us that 2022 would be the year of The Wiggles. And I, in my naivety remembered this as the clock struck midnight at a party in Braeside on that fateful New Year’s Eve. I brushed it off with a laugh. Ha! I said. Ha ha!

            By god I wish I’d heeded their warning.

            Some of the details were wrong. Jeff was no longer cryogenically asleep – having rejoined the new lineup – and while over-fishing and by-catch numbers are still decimating the ocean’s population numbers, octopuses are not extinct. Though; predominantly bipedal ones that wear tweed suits are thin on the ground so the Wiggles may have been right about Henry the Octopus’ fate. However, beyond that, The Wiggles – arguably long since irrelevant, have experienced a resurgence in 2022. The ‘largest musical democracy’ in the world told us that The Wiggles were top of the heap. They scooped the Hottest 100 with a cover of a West Australian band currently behind border restrictions and unable to escape their confinement. The Wiggles, however, as a Sydney-based entity have experienced no form of acknowledgement whatsoever that being from one of the largest cities in the country, perhaps there should be some restrictions issued on them.

            But it doesn’t end there, children. It is prophesied that the Wiggles will be ‘more machine now than man, twisted and evil.’ Well, there is an argument to be made that the sound the Wiggles produced in their cover is 60% electronic/instrument driven and/or female: to whit, not man.** They will herald the robot uprising, and yet, if the prophets are to be believed, they will also be responsible for its downfall.

            **It is not a particularly compelling argument, but it can still be made.

            Look to the signs – Dorothy the Dinosaur will be debunked as an evolutionary myth – well, as it turns out, she was merely someone in a suit to begin with. And above all else, a hero has been promised. It has been said that Captain Feathersword will crucify the Wiggles for their betrayal of humanity to the robots.

            I am not oblivious. I hear you cry ‘this is predominantly a beer blog, what on Earth does this have to do with beer?’ And the answer is I have drunk a fair bit of it prior to writing this, obviously.

            Why should you care? All the signs are before us. As the global collapse seems more and more imminent, it becomes harder to ignore the prophetic words that claimed that 2022 was the year of the Wiggles. Will you hail those fun-loving robots? Or will you join humanity’s real John Connor, Captain Feathersword in bringing down the greatest menace humankind has ever known? I know what team I am on, and we aren’t eating Cold Spaghetti or a Hot Potato.***

            ***Full disclosure, I do love both cold spaghetti and hot potatoes, but, you know, dramatic license and all.

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