Reflections & Ruminations

  • Jacqueline Stuart

Apocalyptic Reverie: Doing the Mushroom Shuffle in Berlin



Dutch DJ Eelke Kleijn, spinning tunes into Armageddon. He da bomb!


Apocalyptic New Year's Brooding

I hate thinking about the upcoming year and the ways that I could improve my life. This inevitably leads me to think about all the things that I didn’t accomplish in the previous year.

New Year’s Eve (and day) is not on my top 10 list of favorite holidays. One reason for this is that I hate thinking about the upcoming year and the ways that I could improve my life. This inevitably leads me to think about all the things that I didn’t accomplish in the previous year.


It’s not that I’m opposed to making resolutions. Striving for personal growth and development are good things. They are goals, and goals keep me grounded.

But this year on New Year’s Eve and for two weeks after, I allowed myself to quietly spiral into apocalyptic-what-if scenarios.


Whatever it was, the air was literally feeling strange to me, as if I were being pricked by something that was on the verge of bursting into a volatile nuclear reaction.

Maybe I picked up on the current energy in the world. Maybe I was slipping into a paranoid state. Whatever it was, the air literally felt strange, as if I were being pricked by something that was on the verge of detonating.



The Ominous Death of Bowie


Bowie's time in Berlin during the 1970s inspired his master piece song, "Heroes"

Since then, I’ve sensed that the already unstable world was soon to enter into perilous disharmony.

Actually, I’ve been feeling this weird sensation since last year, more specifically, since Bowie’s death. Something about his passing psychically alerted my senses. Since then, I’ve sensed that the already unstable world was soon to enter into perilous disharmony.


Then the U.S. Presidential elections happened and well, we know how that’s been turning out so far. And he’s not even president yet.



Endless Cold War


Kruschev and Kennedy successfully waded through the mounting tensions and averted a catastrophe. Cooler heads prevailed in that instance.

History will tell us that we’ve been on the brink of a nuclear disaster since the creation of the atomic bomb, not counting the U.S. nuking Japan, because technically, Japan was at a disadvantage. Had they possessed an atomic weapon, the U.S. would have resorted to lesser catastrophic measures for fear of retaliation. Soon thereafter, U.S.S.R. evened out the playing field by building up their own nuclear arsenal, and thus began the nuclear arms race and the Cold War.


The world had a close call during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Thankfully, Kruschev and Kennedy successfully waded through the mounting tensions and averted a catastrophe. Cooler heads prevailed in that instance.


But in today’s political temperament, when megalomaniacal world leaders react before they think (and also have most of the world’s nuclear missiles at their disposal), believing that cooler heads can prevail seems delusional.



Get Out of the Cities! Is that the Answer?


So there I went, into my self-induced anxiety, combing the internet for those kinds of websites that are riddled with doomsday predictions and conspiracy theories. I found a site that addresses nuclear survival, instructing the reader to:

Memorize the THREE top rules for survival. They are:

Number One – Get out of the cities!

Number Two – Get out of the cities!

Number Three – Get out of the cities!


That seems like good advice. Don’t be an idiot. Get the hell out of the densely populated areas that are prime targets.


But where I currently live isn’t ideal either. I live only 6+- hours from NYC and even closer to Boston. If the bombs were to come from Russia and if their Satan 2 nuclear missiles were ready for action, those of us who live in this area would either be burned alive or suffer slow deaths from the fallout.


But at that moment, deep in anxiety-provoking websites and youtube videos, I thought about building a fallout shelter on my property, stockpiling canned goods and water, and, yes, buying a gun.



Striking Distance from Berlin


Germany’s history with Russia...coupled with its involvement in NATO and its cozy ties with the U.S., make it one of Russia’s primary targets...

A thought about Germany came into my head and my heart sank. Germany’s past political disasters led to the Second World War, ultimately propelling the country’s split after the war (East and West). When reunification saw Germany whole again in 1990, all seemed well. But all isn’t well.


Germany’s history with Russia (and its dangerously close proximity to Eastern Europe), coupled with its involvement in NATO and its cozy ties with the U.S., make it one of Russia’s primary targets, should an all-out war ensue in Eastern Europe. And now with the potential dissolution of NATO, remilitarization could be economically catastrophic, even for the most financially stable country in the EU. To make matters worse, Russia has recently placed nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad, striking distance from Berlin.



Ground Zero, Berlin


Strangely, the more I embrace meeting my fate in this way, the freer and less consumed I become by all the stupidly inconsequential day-to-day drama that preoccupy me ad nauseam.

I thought about my connection to Germany and about the world in a post-apocalyptic free-for-all (especially if Russia’s Dead Hand is still in place), and wondered, why the hell would I want to be around for that?


I pictured myself living in Berlin. Ground zero. I imagined my nuclear death, and as I did, an unexpected wave of calmness washed over me. Death would be fast, at least faster than the alternative. I would disintegrate into dust–me and millions of Berliners–a mass exodus to the cosmos. I’m about ready to disembark from this ride, so I might as well go out with a bang.


Forget building a bomb shelter that won’t protect any of us from all the lawlessness, violence, and suffering that will be widespread following global nuclear war. If this demented world is to end in this way while I’m still around, then the epicenter is exactly where I want to be. Strangely, the more I embrace meeting my fate in this way, the freer and less consumed I become by all the stupidly inconsequential day-to-day drama that preoccupy me ad nauseam.


If I were in Berlin right now and a nuclear bomb was headed my way, I would gulp down a goblet of the finest wine, get blitzed on Kush, and listen to Eelke Kleijn spin melodic house music while I danced my life into a pile of ashes at Tiergarten.


Prost!

Dreams and Shadowlands

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© 2017 - 2020 by Jacqueline Stuart for Dreams and Shadowlands

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