The end of the world, from the perspective of Steven Thomas

I had the opportunity to interview the author of thisistheendoftheworld.com, Steven Thomas. Enjoy the read.

Where are you from? What do you do?

Hi, I’m Steve Thomas. I’m from a small town in northern Ontario called
Wawa. I studied film in Toronto and worked there post-graduation for a
couple of years making commercials and working in television. In
January of this year, I relocated to Taiwan with my fiancée. She
teaches English, I write ads for Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers.
I can honestly say it is the most bizarre job I’ve ever held. If
you’ve ever read my articles called “Awful inventions,” those are
selections of some of the bizarre ads I have to write. I also help
inventors in North America get their ideas made for cheap over here
(cheap, but not exploitive cheap).

What sparked your interest in world-changing events? What motivated
you to share these ideas with the world?

My interest in the end of the world started with film, but developed
with books. John Wyndham’s the Day of the Triffids was the first book
to start the fire. I loved how classic sci-fi could make the world end
without making things too negative. It was more like, “ok, we screwed
up, or an alien came and screwed things up, or whatever, and now we
just have to deal with it and learn to move on.” I don’t think the end
of the world is depressing if you look at it from a distance.

I started the site because I had always been looking for a way to talk
about the end of the world, but I have so much junk information
crammed in my head that it never worked in film, music, or anything
like that. A blog is the perfect junk dumping ground.

If these stories of which you write are truly of significant interest,
why do you use so much humor to express them? Don’t you think doing so
might challenge the integrity and seriousness of the subject matter?

A lot of people get so worked up about how we’re destroying the world,
and I understand this completely. We are. I would argue that it is
already too late. But we could all be doomed any day for any reason.
It’s always the black swan that gets us, so why bother running around
worrying? Just be a decent human being, and if you have the willpower,
fight for change. You don’t have to devote your entire life to making
a change, just be considerate, and try to think about the future every
once in a while. Everything goes extinct very quickly – in relative
terms – so why worry about the inevitable?

Do you really have 20 survival kits in your home?

No, sadly I do not. Living in Taiwan I probably should have one as I
experience several earthquakes a week, but I live on the 18th floor,
so if there’s a big enough earthquake, I’m toast anyway. I have taken
many steps to prepare for the end of the world however. I am starting
to reinforce basic survival skills such as growing my own food,
keeping warm in cool weather, purifying water and so on. I also keep
myself as fit as possible so that I can outrun zombies with ease. That
is important I think. I’m going to learn how to spear fish in the next
while.

Do you wear aluminum foil hats, have your home rigged to burn in case
of an intruder, only use disposable cell phones, mask your IP address,
or take any other precautions to avoid becoming a resident of
Guantanamo?

I rarely lock the door to my house actually. Someone stole my shoes a
while ago but that’s about it. I used to be much more paranoid but now
I just go with the flow. The only time I mask my IP address is when
I’m trying to watch HULU from Taiwan. Sometimes when I’m writing
pro-Muslim, anti-America articles it flashes through my mind that this
might be problematic, but again, there’s no point worrying until it
happens.

You speak a lot to the tune of American and world governments,
especially in the way of police forces, suspicious activities, etc.
What is your greatest fear of the government?

I don’t think there is much more that the government could do to make
me afraid. I guess the biggest thing I’m worried about now is the next
big war. I don’t want to make guesses about who will be involved, as I
truly hate war, but I think it will be bad. Also, I’m waiting for the
American economy to collapse. This has to happen at some point, and it
will be devastating when it happens. Heck, I even think the American
government orchestrated 9/11. I’m guess I’m terrified of the
government. Then again, my parents have worked for the Canadian
government for all their lives, but fish and wildlife is one of those
less harmful parts that terrifies me less… slightly less.

What other media do you use to spread your message?

I made some end of the world short films in school. One about nuclear
war, one about the sky suddenly opening up and one about audio cables
taking over a neighborhood. Otherwise I just don’t shut up about it
for the most part. My friends generally despise when I say things
like, “So I learned this thing today…” I guess they don’t think it’s
appropriate dinner conversation. I don’t get it.

Does the microchip implanted in your arm tingle when you stand too
close to a microwave?

No, it is just meant to tell me when my pizza pops are done. And I
mean DONE, like the middle bit isn’t frozen anymore. Someone should
make a microwave just for making pizza pops perfectly. It’s always
microwave-burnt on the outside by the time it’s cooked inside. They
also have directions for cooking it in the oven, but it takes like 25
minutes. If I wanted pizza in 25 minutes do they not realize that you
could just order a real pizza? That’s why I got the microchip. I get
too irritated without it.

They don’t have pizza pops in Taiwan. Please post me some.

If you found Jimmy Hoffa, would you tell us?

Oh, he’s dead. Sometimes I wonder how things become a mystery, when it’s like:

One dark, stormy and murderous night, Jimmy Hoffa went to meet some
mobsters – but they were his friends – and then he was never seen
again! The mobsters said they didn’t see him, and they even had
alibis, and they couldn’t find his body!

Isn’t that just what happens to every single person that gets killed
by the mob?

If you were to be in Washington D.C. on October 30, would you be part
of Jon Stewart’s rally to restore sanity or part of Stephen Colbert’s
rally to keep the fear alive?

Fear alive. Without a doubt. Visits to my site dropped considerably
after BP capped the oil spill, and those numbers make me feel like a
man! Really though, those two guys got me very interested in satire. I
especially love how relentless Colbert’s persona is. He never drops
the satire. Even as a long time watcher you sometimes get lost in his
character. On his latest book tour I think William Gibson put it
really well:

If something really is satire, I don’t enjoy it. It can’t be satire
and be that good. What I like is something that’s closer to a useful,
anthropological description that has a really, really sharp satirical
edge. Satire, traditionally in our culture, pushes the exaggeration
past where the edge really hurts, and you sort of just goof on it. But
other cultures, like the British, totally get it. Where you want to be
with satire is right on the razor’s edge, where it really hurts and
you can’t tell whether you’re being put on or not. (via Technoccult)

Do you believe God is in the T.V.?

No, but one time I called this guy from Craigslist who said he’d give
me free cable for $100 bucks and he looked exactly like Jesus. Also,
he just popped open a box on the side of my house and connected a
cable. $100 bucks? Come on.

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One Response to The end of the world, from the perspective of Steven Thomas

  1. Jaclyn A says:

    Cool interview. This guy sounds wacky but in a good way.

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