By Avi Sato and Callie Culbertson
So, the doomsday clock is up to its old tricks again.
What, you haven’t heard about this brilliant piece of arcane cold-war trivia? Let us enlighten your day with this morbid relic from the Soviet era.
In ’47, in the pre-pubescent days of the Cold War, the clock was the invention of the Chicago Atomic Scientists.
These were many of the people responsible for the Manhattan project — not the people who brought you The Lion King and Les Miserables in the west end, the one that gave us the power to blow up the world more times over than we have fingers, toes, and… other things.
In the light of the threat of thousands of missiles pointed at the Soviet Union and many thousands more pointed at the United States and the United Kingdom in return, these brilliant savants who are responsible for the beginning of the nuclear age decided that seven minutes represented the threat to the world as we know it.
Since then, the clock has moved closer to midnight with every threat (the RDS-1, Operation Ivy and its brainchild, the thermonuclear bomb) and farther away with every step away from all-out bombing the shit out of the planet (test ban treaties, the fall of the Berlin Wall, START I).
Anyway, the clock now sits at two minutes to midnight and we thought that you might like to know exactly how much damage those of the Trump persuasion can cause in two minutes.
You may think that orange-hair-boy and his testosterone clan can barely get off their sad asses in two minutes but…
Here are some examples of what could happen in those two minutes:
– Have less than mediocre sex with a frat boy in a MAGA hat
– Ruin your career by lip syncing on national television à la Ashley Simpson
– Smoke a cigarette and question all your life choices that led to Trump winning the election and what you could have done to stop it
– Whiten your teeth so the cockroaches can better identify your body
– Start a petition to make it illegal to run candidates who are completely orange for federal office
– Forget the mediocre sex and just give yourself the orgasm the men in your life have been too busy to bother to discover
– Become an atheist, a little late, but we always welcome new kids to the party with an overwhelmingly vigorous helping of booze (tips on how to quickly consume your body weight in wine provided below)
– Inhale deeply on the Columbian Pure and know that you can’t possibly face the consequences because, hey, two minutes!
– Run naked to the end of your street shouting “The Apocalypse is nigh!” cause, you know, you wouldn’t be the crazy person doing it anymore (nudity optional but it’s the end of the world so, fuck it)
– Hug someone and hold on for dear self-evaporation…
So as you can see, two minutes is apparently plenty of time to fuck up the world.
Of course, the scientists didn’t mean a literal two minutes. In 1991, the clock read 17 minutes and has been on a downward trend ever since.
If you weren’t alive in 1991 (or simply don’t remember because of all the joyful powders inhaled to the soundtrack of Smells Like Teen Spirit) that’s when the Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of its own bureaucracy (lessons to be learned, oh governments of today?) and the Cold War ended.
So in the last seventy-one years, the clock has moved forward five minutes, meaning that two minutes roughly approximates to twenty eight and a half years.
So what can be accomplished in those two minutes on a less hasty spectrum?
4 years is how long it took the Manhattan project to build the first nuclear bomb and get us into this doomsday experiment in the first place.
9 years is how long it took the great Martin Luther King Jr to take us from Montgomery to the Civil Rights Act banning segregation.
Mozart, Bach, Handel and Rachmaninov all composed the majority of their life’s work in less than twenty-eight years.
Simone de Beauvoir wrote her landmark feminist novel, The Second Sex, in fourteen months, a mere matter of seconds by the standards of this clock!
You could have 38 children if you didn’t take any time off, write a page a day and end up with more than eleven full-length novels full of brutal feminist angst and loathing for the patriarchy (please, please do it!), or take our suggestions for ways to make the next two minutes of your life intensely successful:
1 — Write your first symphony. By this clock, it shouldn’t take you more than a minute at most.
2 — Learn a new language or six. If you’re living in the United States and want to be able to communicate once Trump throws you over the wall, Spanish might be a good one to start with since you’ll likely learn it in a few seconds.
3 — Run for office. By the time you’ve run out of minutes, you too could be president and your hair is better and your policies aren’t transcribed verbal diarrhea. You’re reading a feminist magazine. Believe us. They’re better.
Just some thoughts from us here at The Pantsuit for the next two minutes of your life, in case you were wondering how to use them.
Or, of course, you could use one of our favorite time-saving tricks and drink a bottle of wine through a straw while questioning a nation’s worth of life choices and browsing Obama memes with nostalgia.