Posted in Commentary

The apocalypse will begin in Tucson, and it most certainly will be televised

I was driving down Wilmot Road one afternoon recently, past the school I used to teach at, past the Wells-Fargo across the street from the school, past the bus stop in front of the bank…wait, what did that say?

I have to think it’s a pretty rare thing for someone to be aware, as it’s happening, of the exact moment they saw the end of the world as we know it coming, couched as these things often are in seemingly mundane signs and symbols observed briefly and in passing on a random spring afternoon. You heard it here first, folks: Skynet has been created, and is fully operational. Fully. Operational. Doubt me at your peril; don’t make me go all Alderaan on your asses to prove my point.

How do I know this? Do I have secret government sources? Do I hang out on shadowy internet conspiracy bulletin boards?

No. The advertising on the side of the bus stop said “SKYNET” and, in smaller letters, KVOA, (a local TV station we don’t watch, because NBC has stopped carrying any shows we’d consider watching). My first thought was, “Really? They really named their weather cams ‘SKYNET‘? Do they not know that that name is already rather ominously taken by an entity that wants you, me, and John Connor dead?”

Evidently, they do, but while it’s only a matter of time before SKYNET becomes self-aware, apparently the humans at the KVOA office lack that crucial awareness.  Ain’t that always the way?  They have built a network of cameras around the city, ostensibly so that they can get to where the news is happening faster than other local networks, even though the “news” these cameras are reportedly intended to capture is supposedly limited to weather, traffic, and the creepily vague “safety.” It’s supposed to be just great for all of us. Which is what they always tell you before you’re up against the wall with a blindfold and a Virginia Slim…if you’re lucky. KVOA seems to be completely unaware that they have, in their small and self-serving way, merely sown the seeds of our future extinction. No biggie.

Watch this high-tech, slickly produced (by robots, obviously) video, and tell me you don’t read “Big Brother” in every frame! Sure, it’s benign now, but it is gathering intelligence about us, our movement patterns and those of our law enforcement, arguably our only line of civil defense against our future cyborg overlords (although perhaps not here in Arizona, where we are generally armed to the teeth).

Even now, it’s watching us on street corners, picking our noses in our Passats and slyly picking wedgies as we step off the curb to cross the street. It’s watching us as we look up at our perfect blue skies and debate the ETA of monsoon as we wilt in a May filled with 100-degree days. It is watching our every move, calculating trajectories and weak spots and only people who ride the bus (or look at bus advertising) even know the threat exists.

Maybe the Mayans had it right after all.



I've been doing some form of creative writing since 9th grade, and have been a blogger since 2003. Like most bloggers, I've quit blogging multiple times. But the words always come back, asking to be written down, and they pester me if I don't. So here we are. Thanks for reading.

6 thoughts on “The apocalypse will begin in Tucson, and it most certainly will be televised

  1. see, and all this time i thought the first sign of the apocalypse was in houston texas where i saw two starbucks at one intersection, catycorner from one another.

  2. Huh, news as reality show……I never had a big brother before. Seriously, it’s so exciting to think that I can be a part of what may be the worst moments in a fellow citizen’s life. I mean, they aren’t looking to televise a birthday party in the park as it’s happening. We get to see the stunned faces, the smoldering wreckage, the bodiless limbs? Sign me up for THOSE vicarious thrills. It’s tough to decode which group I have less respect for…news media or politicians.

  3. No, no, no. Not good at all. A megacorp naming their technology “skynet” is like parents naming a boy child “oedipus.”

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