Contemplating the end of the world can instill a sense of extreme fear, wide-spread panic and a need to get in touch with our inner survivalists. But the only for-sure effect of all the fretting, re-evaluating of religious views, repenting and hoarding is an elevation of blood-pressure levels. Instead of focusing on the sure-to-be-awful things associated with all the apocalypse talk, why not drink that proverbial half-full glass of optimism, channel your inner Pangloss and have your apocalypse sunny side up?
According to a May 21 article by New York Times health writer Jane E. Brody, "adults shown to be pessimists based on psychological tests had higher death rates over a 30-year period than those who were shown optimistic." Sure, in the event of an apocalypse, you could be wiped out by robots/zombies/floods/freezing/exploding of the world, rendering the life-preserving effects of optimism irrelevant, but in case you do survive or all this end-of-days stuff works out to be a bunch of hooey, here are some positive aspects of any event that may wipe out a good chunk of civilization. Roll these around in your noggin' when hunkered down in your bunker, take some deep breaths, and feel better about the world's downfall.
• Should the Earth find its end via a big freeze, similar to the movie Day After Tomorrow, look at this upside: The Ugg boots and puffy coats you've been trying to bring back in style will once again be popular, so you can wear them to the grocery store without looking like a lazy POS that couldn't be bothered to put on real clothes. Also, popsicles are delicious. And then there's the theory that body heat fends off hypothermia, so cuddle up with a cute co-survivor sans clothing and judgment.
• Zombies causing the end of humanity? Turns out watching Zombieland had more than entertainment benefits. Find Woody Harrelson, tell him thank you, and help out with his quest for the last Twinkie. Unless Hostess' bankruptcy causes the confections to become obsolete prior to the zombie apocalypse.
• Nuclear attack? Good thing gas masks look cool and the whole steampunk fad came around.
• Aliens? Think of an invasion as a free trip to space and fulfill your childhood fantasies.
• No more TMZ, George W. Bush, Real Housewives of somewhere-or-other, or anything else that would cause the continued dumbing-down of society, and thereby lead it to a sort of painfully slow apocalypse via self-destruction anyway.
• Arrival of the Antichrist? We've already been subjected to Rush Limbaugh, the Kardashians, Jersey Shore and Tom Cruise. Bring it.
• Water poisoned a la Book of Revelation? Now no one can harp on you for surviving on booze. Or not wanting to shower.
In general, if you're a survivor, you can look forward to a lack of lines at Redbox, traffic becoming obsolete, freedom to loot and lay claim to anything left (cars, the Playboy mansion, Xbox with Kinect, the Hope Diamond, pet polar bear), living in a world without exes and/or in-laws, freedom from banal tasks like yard work and no need for clothing. Not to mention not having to worry about when the apocalypse will happen.
And even if you don't make it, don't be sad. At least you're not left on Earth with a bunch of religious zealots/survivalists/preppers/dooms-dayers. Not to mention a lifetime of "I told you so's.":