Is it the end of the world as we know it?
Is the end nigh?
After all, 100,000 fish have washed up dead in Arkansas; 5,000 red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky on New Year’s Eve in the community of Beebe, northeast of Little Rock; 500 dead birds were discovered in Louisiana; 100 jackdaw birds were found lying dead in the street in Sweden; several hundred birds found dead in Kentucky; 100s of dead snapper wash up on a beach in New Zealand; 40,000 dead crabs wash up on the beach in the UK; an estimated 200 fish wash up on the shores in Maryland; 100 tonnes of sardines are found on beaches in Brazil.
Finally, in possibly the strangest turn of events of recent times, North Korean state television broadcast the first ever Western movie to be shown in the dictatorial state- and chose Bend It Like Beckham.
Before we discount the Bible-thumping, tinfoil hat-wearing masses currently flecking spittle all over their keyboards as they feverishly rattle off grave warnings of apocalyptic doom, perhaps it’s worth taking a slightly closer look at the increasingly spooky global situation.
The rivers may not have run red with blood and thus far the locusts have stayed away (well, actually a lot of Australia seen those as well), but given that vast tracts of Queensland are currently under a creeping muddy tide; that blizzards of record proportion have pounded the US and the UK this Christmas; and that Nicole Richie has had a novel on the New York Times best-seller list, you could be forgiven for wondering if we were fast approaching the End of Days.
As 2010 drew to a close, the world became an increasingly strange place, tilting imperceptibly on its axis.
A 17-year-old girl armed with nothing more than Twitter and Facebook accounts held the Australian media and public in thrall as she single-handedly called footballers’ off-field behaviour into question in front of a gawping national audience.
A former computer geek, who pre-makeover looked like he should be holed up his mother’s spare room playing World of Warcraft, become a global chick magnet with the power to held governments across the Western world in his digital grasp.
Shane Warne, he of the dayglo orange tan, peroxided quiff and gleaming chompers, somehow bagged himself the poshest totty out there in the form of Liz Hurley.
Then came the truly shocking revelation that Nicole Richie, she of the Simple Life and fledgling jewellery company, was a New York Times best-selling author.
The signs are there - maybe it is time yet to start stockpiling tinned food and unread Dan Brown novels to keep ourselves entertained while the Doomsday scenario plays out.
Because despite a year of hand-wringing and all-round global fretting, no one really seems to have a plan. A plan to confront our unquestionably warming planet; a way to keep sportsmen’s extra curricular activities strictly PG-rated; and a way to turn back the clock on Ms Richie’s “literary” career.
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