The Doomsday Clock

The Doomsday Clock is calculated by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. It first appeared in 1947 when it evolved into a magazine from a newsletter.

The Doomsday Clock symbolizes the urgency of nuclear and other dangers, as determined by the broader scientific community, which is trying to communicate the level of danger to the world. In 1947, the Doomsday Clock was set at 7 minutes to Midnight.

Midnight would be the end of the world as we know it. When the first Hydrogen Bomb was set off in 1953, the Clock moved to 2 minutes to midnight, which was the closest to midnight that the Clock has ever been.

At this time, in today’s world, the Doomsday Clock has just been set at 2 and a half minutes to midnight. In 2017, because of the instability of the world’s governments, especially the Trump era in the United States, global danger looms closer to midnight than it has since 1953.

Our unstable President Donald Trump, hair ablaze with red fire, has a whistle in his mouth and he can’t stop twittering: one tweet after another, one lie after another.

The only people who really believe him are those who need reality hearing aids in their ears. Trump holds his hand up, his stubby thumb and forefinger making a circle; this is the way he thinks, or is it the way he thinks he thinks?

On the way to Harvard Square the day after the election, there was a man with a wild look in his eyes and an insane grin on his face wildly waving the American flag. It was so bizarre that I had trouble taking my eyes off of him, and I realized I was yearning to turn the steering wheel to go up on the curb at Mt. Auburn Street and steer my tiny Honda Fit into the madness of that man.

Suddenly, I realized that I too had become insane, driven mad enough to even consider an act like that. I had stopped thinking and was just reacting with my lizard brain—one lizard wanting to attack another. The fury had twisted my thought patterns into a strange psychosis.

I could hear the mad ticking of the Doomsday clock. The world is no longer the same now Trump believes he’s in charge. He loves to say, “You’re Fired,” and now he wants to set the world ablaze. Trump wants to Fire Life from the Earth.

When Trump started to run for the office of president, I chuckled because I knew he could only attain that office if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were riding across the surface of the world.

I can see the Dark Tower from Stephen King’s story leaning and the Beams are breaking apart. The world has come to a new place and it’s left us behind.

In Korea, there’s a man with a little boy’s face who’s experimenting with nuclear power—shooting missiles willy nilly into the atmosphere. If someone in his parliament falls asleep when he’s speaking, he has them executed.

The mad men of the world are beginning to unite and take over the world’s nations one by one. People fly giant planes filled with jet fuel and people into the tallest buildings in New York and they fall. I wonder, as I sit in my cluttered office, what is happening to humanity.

Our technology has run amuck and our emotional stability is a fatal error because we’ve been left behind. The Doomsday Clock sits at two and a half minutes, and Randall Flagg, the man from the book called “The Stand,” is in charge.

Is anyone else out there frightened at the direction our “civilization” is going? Some jokes have fatal punch lines and humanity is telling that joke right now.

I collect fancy signed books now, and one day, if the world falls apart, I’ll be able to use them for cooking the food I don’t have. These books have signatures of famous authors, and they sell for funny money on an Internet site called Ebay.

The Doomsday Clock is starting to spin out of control, and even though people tell me it’s Daylight Savings time now, I wonder what I’m saving the daylight for.

The Twin Towers are down; the red-haired madman is president of the United States; the streets are filled with homeless people; and I no longer know what to do. I’m waiting for an answer. What time is it on the Doomsday Clock? President Trump thinks he knows. He’s going to build a wall…

Marc D. Goldfinger is a member of the board of directors of the Homeless Empowerment Project, which publishes Spare Change news. Formerly homeless, he serves as the paper's poetry editor.

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