The Debate: End of the World vs. No End of the World

I remember being in college and desperately wanting a chance to write somewhere … anywhere. Generally, that led to frustration.

Hence, I decided to invite college journalists here to debate me on random subjects. I’ll run these from time to time, when I’m feeling particularly funky. Today, Julian Routh, an excellent Duquesne University student, and I debate whether the world is about to end …

Julian Routh on End of the World:

Jeff, I thank you for the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with an established personality like yourself, but it’s time to put this issue to rest.

To the general public—make sure there aren’t any hard-earned dollars left in your bank accounts, and certainly don’t look forward to finally getting that coveted festive sweater on Christmas morning, because come Friday the 21st, it’s over. Existence. Humanity. Life as we know it. No more morning coffees from the cute barista. No more long checkout lines at Walmart. No more Dick Clark New Years Eve specials.

No more anything.

Because look around you. Everything is aligned in a pattern that makes this so-called ‘dooms day’ inevitable.

Come on, now. We are in a world where Psy (I repeat…Psy) is the finest example of international icon. A world where blowhards like Lou Dobbs are handed mammoth platforms to spread their bullshit. A world where Lindsay Lohan, the universe’s most destructive train wreck, has enough money under her coke-stained mattress to wipe out hunger and poverty.

And now that Manny Pacquiao has been knocked to the canvas and Sockington the Cat has accumulated nearly 1.5 million Twitter followers, the only thing that was formerly ‘impossible’ that hasn’t come true yet is those darn Mayans being right about the end of days.

As for the 21st itself? It’s the day that This is 40 will release, reminding us that Paul Rudd is happily employed and we aren’t. It’s the anniversary of Naismith’s first basketball game, providing Stephen A. Smith with the grounds to utter the N-word on national television. And it’s the day, 46 years ago, that Andy Dick escaped from his mother’s womb directly into a Xanax addiction and mediocre acting career.

These recent sentiments of inexplicability can only be explained in the following fashion: They are signs, precursors perhaps, of our impending descent into the destructive demise of the human race.


Jeff Pearlman on No End of the World:

The world isn’t coming to an end.

I know this because, as I write, I’m sitting inside a Panera, listening to yet another awful Christmas song, sipping from a lukewarm cup of bottom-of-the-barrel light roast shit. My right arm is coated in poison ivy, my Flex-Fit cap is starting to lose its elasticity, the Jets are starting their third-string quarterback and—to be perfectly blunt—I’ve got a bad case of the coffee farts.

World ending? No way.

Look, like Julian, I bought into this whole end-of-days hype. Why, I was promised—guaranteed!—by the Church of Wayne Krenchicki that, should I follow the doctrine of the holy savior of all holiness, my existence (beginning today) would be eternal bliss. I was promised sex with 1,001 Kardashian-esque virgins on a cloud made of honey and butter. I was promised my own nuclear-powered Corvette X28Z. I was promised Tom Brady in a Jets uniform, 500 new Tupac albums, a never-ending Alf marathon, billions of dollars, the all-you-can-eat Red Lobster buffet. All I had to do, they said, was believe. Believe in Wayne, believe in hope, believe in The End.

Well, here I am. No virgins, no car, no Brady.

Fuckin’ A.