Saturday, February 04, 2006

If the world was ending, would anyone tell you?

Of course, it’s not going to appear on the news. They don’t want mass hysteria. They’ll keep up the pretence that everything is just fine and dandy up until the last possible second. Until they’ve squeezed the last cent they can out of whatever stocks they’ve invested in. Panic equals a fall in share price. Everyone knows that.

So you’ll keep hearing soothing words through airbrushed mouths until you’re distracted by the noise of rioting outside your window, strangers fighting each other for the last loaf of bread, for the last pint of milk, for the last drop of gas.

You look from the seething scrum outside your window then back to the soothing TV, then back out to the scrum. It’s like you’re getting your TV signal from some alternate world, where everything’s just fine.

Then you look at the presenter’s face. He’s smiling, sure. But the eyes look scared. A split second after the smile cracks and falls, the test card comes up. Then the power cut to end all power cuts begins, and you go rooting in the cupboard for your gun.

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