The Long Goodbye

Since the world is going to end later this year when the European Organization for Nuclear Research finally turns on the Large Hadron Collider (which will create mini-black holes, magnetic monopoles, or convert all the matter in the universe into exotic strangelets that will get big enough to turn into matter-sucking maelstroms), this might be a good time to make amends and prep for that all-important interview with St. Peter.

If you are like Jason Calacanis, even if you started apologizing RIGHT NOW and kept at it until The Big Suck, you probably won't make much of a dent in your list. But I think the good faith effort will score some venial sin points and at least keep you in purgatory.

With the world coming to an end, it seems frivolous to speculate any further on the impact of a Microsoft pact with Yahoo or what happens if AOL hooks up with MySpace or if Google is about to implode. But I suspect that won't keep the ValleyWags and the SAIs from speculating, nonetheless. Besides, if being wrong is a disadvantage when the roll is called up yonder, there will be no need for crowd control anyway--because in addition to a Spartan few journalist/bloggers, there won't be any bankers, lenders, analysts, regulators, Presidential candidates, oil company executives or admen.

It occurs to me to make a video to leave behind, like the jihadists do before they blow up innocent woman and children. But since we will all be in "Paradise" together fighting over those 72 virgins, the memorial "wasn't-I-just-too-kewl-for-words" tapes will get no play, except on MySpace--where there is apparently an audience for any video content, no matter how stupid and pointless.

Since nothing so clarifies the mind as dangling at the end of a rope, Over The Line wonders if our impending doom will help us see that in the greater scheme of things, getting people to buy stuff was probably less important than extending a hand to the helpless, or... nah, getting a sustainable conversion rate of 25% was far more important than Darfur or Tibet. When did a Baggara nomad or a Dalai Lama ever pay my tuition bills or fill up my SUV with gas? Word.

This might also turn into the Great Summer of Retribution, since you are running out of time to get even with everybody who pissed you off over the years. Geez, where to start? Do you go in chronological order, starting with the guy who put gravel on his sidewalk so you couldn't skateboard in front of his house? Or work backwards, starting with the guys who say that Vista is an improvement over XP? I don't know about you, but I've been keeping a little list....

I fully expect there will be a huge line of people lined up in Geneva to be first for The Big Suck. You would have thought that as a species we would have learned long ago that there is little to be gained by being the first among your peers to own the newest video game platform or MP3 player or smart phone, or being first through the door on Black Friday. But there they were behind the barricades, in the rain, artfully articulating why being first was so important, "Yeah man, just, you know, gotta have it dude." Can't imagine why the end of the world will be any different, with perhaps a wee bit more drinking and smoking in line.

The only caveat I can think of is--you might want to be a little circumspect about who you tell off before they crank up the Collider. There is that one-in-a-trillion chance that the accelerated particles won't end the world, and you'll have to go back to work the next day and own your words. Whoops.

The story you have just read is an attempt to blend fact and fiction in a manner that provokes thought, and on a good day, merriment. It would be ill-advised to take any of it literally. Take it, rather, with the same humor with which it is intended. Cut and paste or link to it at your own peril.

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