So I have to be content with analyzing this study from a three university researchers who used NASA computers to predict the imminent collapse of our civilization, which is not exactly the end of the world but might prove inconvenient as well. These guys say that modern civilization is fated to cash in its chips because of resource exhaustion and income inequality.
They might have a point as far as resource exhaustion. Let's face it, an average American, sitting in his adjustable recliner while reading his friends' posts on Facebook and also simultaneously viewing "Cake Boss" on an HDTV the size of a patio door is using 60,000 times more energy than a comparable aborigine squatting on a rock in the jungle watching bugs have sex, and, sadly, is probably being less thoroughly entertained. But I, and all Americans who think that anyone who complains about income inequality is a certified, flag-burning traitor, deny that the disparity in between the fortune we pay people for making our IRAs disappear as opposed to the pittance we pay people for serving us sandwiches will have anything to do with the end of the American way of life. This is saying that while we return to howling savagery, socialist European countries will survive to produce even more masterpieces and old buildings. This is saying that the country that produced the Swedish Chef will outlive the nation that birthed Rocky Balboa.
That is nonsense. Also you have to figure that no matter what happens to America, there's going to be enough nine volt batteries and LED screens left over to preserve some kind of social networking. But if worse comes to worse and America vanishes forever, for whatever reason, there's one thing we can vow to do now—become the biggest, baddest lost civilization of all time. We're already halfway there.
First off, when future archaeologists dust off our playgrounds and taverns, what are they going to find the most of? Spherical objects of every size, ranging from pool to bocce to soccer. Right away they're going to realize the most important thing about us--we had balls.
And what did these other collapsed so-called civilizations leave behind? The Romans, a few old tubs, aqueducts and one stadium in a sorry state of disrepair and the Egyptians, merely a big bunch of stacked-up rocks. Where are the selfies? Think of how much more real the ancient Egyptians would seem to us if we had just one Instagram of a slave in a body cast posting with a message like "Broke both my legs falling off Sphinx today so now I'm croc food" followed by a sad face in a hieroglyphic Emoticon, or the Romans actually uploading a video of one of their famous orgies instead of just bragging about them in a dead language.
Well, they'll never say America didn't leave enough traces of itself for future people to examine. From sea to shining sea, both lined with marinas and rental condos, to our massive, well-marked and organized landfills to our Ginsu knives and toaster ovens, America will leave enough pieces of itself behind that archaeologists thousands of years in the future will have employment studying them for thousands of years in their future.
Plus Americans specialize in durable goods. When some future tomb raiders break into Ted Nugent's sarcophagus, not only will his ancient guns still fire but the Pop Tart he left on his counter will probably still be edible. And the flamboyant archaeologist who bites into it will probably make the same face that we all make today when we bite into a Pop-Tart, the face that says Why am I doing this?
The most important thing, though, will be the images. The billions of pics, the millions of You Tube videos, the Facebook posts beyond counting, all will provide a window into us that no prior tragically lost civilization could ever come close to matching and the message they offer will no doubt send the students of us in the future into paroxysms of uncontrollable envy.
"Wow," they'll think. "These people did nothing but eat and have sex." And then they'll vow to be more like us.
It's almost worth dying off for.