Despite the mountains of rational evidence to the contrary there are still a lot of folks out there holding to the claim that come December 21, 2012 the ire of the universe will refocus upon the planet Earth and cast us all into an end-of-the-world scenario of some kind. If those folks are right then I’ve a mere half-a-week left to get some hard-earned advice out to my readers before this blog goes offline… It’s time for another Week of Lists!
While you might be able to squeeze a few precious hours or days out of any stored up battery power, eventually the power is going to fail on that laptop or iPad and your days of blogging are nearly as dead as those poor saps who didn’t get out of the way of the blast front.
Not that it matters how much electricity you’ve conserved; The Internet is bound to be fried, zapped, subsumed by a rouge intelligence or — at the very least — reduced in an innert tangle of wires and routers.
But any survivors of the end of the world who’ve spent the last few years neck deep in social media will may be interested to know that blogging existed long before the web. It was called keeping a journal, writing a diary, publishing a “zine” or manually hand-cranking out a manifesto-come-newsletter on one of those old-fashioned printing presses. The skills overlap: writing + making it pretty + sharing.
So, I guess what I’m saying… bloggers: you don’t need to stop writing just because society has collapsed. Your skills — our skills — will serve purpose no matter the apocalypse. Need a few suggestions how? Read on…
1 :: Live Blog the Fall of Society… but on Paper
Alright, so maybe getting the “live” part of your new paper blog up to par with the instantaneous gratification of a now-extinct Tweet or a never-to-be-updated-again Facebook status is going to take some work. It might be nigh on impossible. But the raw emotion of unfiltered writing, in the moment, scribbling every thought and impression without so much as a filter — that’s a skill that can capture the “live-ness” of the fall of society even as it is happening. Someday, somehow, someone will read it — at least the possibility is as good as anything else you’ve put online — and it is sure to evoke that “there-ness” of emotion that follows even the most gratuitous Apple launch event live blog.
But perhaps you’re not an “original content” kind of blogger. Perhaps you’re one of those dudes who’s blog consists entirely of links to “check this out” articles or reposts of other people’s content. Don’t be blue: your days of blogging aren’t over either. Before cut-and-paste made your creative outlet possible on the Internet, the same skill was applied manually on paper with the help of the original cut-and-paste: scissors and a dab of glue. In the days following armageddon the street is sure to be littered with the blowing contents of thousands of newspaper boxes. Those same newspapers will be peppered with poignant headlines and insightful articles detailing the story of humanity’s demise. And someone needs to preserve those last fragments of history before they are gathered and turned into nesting materials for the millions of small rodents that will soon rise to dominion over the planet.
3 :: Letters to “Whoever Finds This Note”
If popular culture has taught us nothing else, it’s that as the world collapses into chaos and ruin, numerous influential people are busy penning valuable letters addressed to some random stranger who will stumble upon it in the distant future. Those letters will offer insight into a lost society and they are almost always sure to shape the destiny of some young post-apocalyptic hero of the future. You always wanted to be a role model — an influencer — didn’t you? Get writing. And be sure to sound cryptic or prophetic or at least profoundly vague.
One step up from the profound note to the future stranger (from option 3 if you skipped that part) is a detailed journal of your last days on the planet. You’ll need to scrounge around a bit to find a high-quality, leather-bound notebook (I keep a spare Moleskin handy in my apocalypse tub just in case) and a high quality pen. Just like a quality blog, you’ll want to set aside an hour or so every couple of days, making sure to write only the most relevant details and insights into your survival so far, your opinions on the events that transpired in the days and weeks before the manifest end, and of course, you’ll want to think out a few clear and methodical solutions for the redemption of humanity to write out either (a) just before you run out of pages or (b) in your last entry before you face your own certain demise. If you have the strength, be sure to remember to trail off your last few words with a scribble or a smudge across the page.
5 :: An Historical Record For Civilization 2.0
Of course, if you manage to pull through and once your own survival is guaranteed — maybe following a chance rescue by some kind of military agency or once that imminent threat that crushed the other ninety-nine percent of the population has passed — the next logical step to paper-ware your blog is the full-on historical record for the future society, the same society for which you are now a founding member. There are a number of forms this can take, so use your imagination…
This post is part of my (satirical) Seven Days of Apocalypse Week of Lists countdown to (almost certainly not) the end of the world. Share and enjoy.