February 12, 2003

By Michael Strickland

The End is Near

Sampling today's news, one can't help but think The End is Near. The CIA warns a nuclear ballistic missile from North Korea could reach the United States. Federal officials caution Americans to stock up on duct tape and plastic sheeting to cover doors and windows in case of biological attack. Anti-aircraft batteries and fighter jets protect our nation's capital. World governments are more divided than ever, even as a war with Iraq seems imminent. The stock market continues to tumble while gasoline prices soar. How long has it been since we've heard good news?

What's worse, the future doesn't look much brighter. It doesn't seem to matter, at least in the near term, whether or not we invade Iraq. We will face continued terrorist threats either way—and, one could argue, increased threats either way. A skittish Wall Street will probably react nervously whether we go to war now or continue to postpone it. And even with Iraq out of the way, there's always North Korea waiting in the wings.

I'm a confessed news junkie, so perhaps I watch too much Fox News and read too much CNN.com. Maybe the barrage of doomsaying has colored my perceptions. But there seems to be plenty of doom to say without the need for hyperbole or imagination. And I'm even on a "news diet" this week, since what's shaping up to be a 70-hour work week has limited my intake of daily news.

Perhaps I need to sit back and take a look at what's on my bookshelf. Amongst my many paperbacks, an entire row of novels like Lucifer's Hammer, Earth Abides and A Canticle For Leibowitz conspicuously reveals a morbid fascination with post-apocalyptic scenarios. Maybe I don't need a news diet—going cold turkey for a while might be a good idea.


Development note: I've noticed that this site doesn't look like it should in Netscape Navigator. Rather than waste time jury-rigging it to look right in a soon-to-be-obsolete browser, I'll just add the cliché "This site best viewed with Internet Explorer."
Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Daily Chuckle:

Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

Today's Column
Send a Comment


2/11: And the Winner Is...
2/10: Exploration is Risky Business
2/9: Staphylococcus
2/8: Morning Cup of Kofi
2/7: Game Over
2/6: The Eagle Never Landed
2/5: Pope: Potter No Problem
2/4: Time for Another Rewrite
2/3: A Matter of Opinions
2/2: Suicidal Bravado
2/1: Godspeed, Columbia

Like what you've read?
Find more good reading on

In Association with Amazon.com

(and support future Daily Stricks!)