Apocalypse, in costume

I have what might best be classified as ‘manic costume joy.’ You’ve even heard about it here on this blog. I try to be the scariest thing I can think of for Halloween. One year, that was “Your Biological Clock.” Another year, the year humans hit 7 billion in number on October 31st, I tried to be overpopulation by burying myself in tiny homemade dolls with articulating, poseable limbs. Instead, I gave up after making just 30 and decided that “I am Being Attacked by Tiny People.”

Last week, my journalist friend Cally asked me when I was going to be the “Sixth Mass Extinction.”

Great idea, right? Really scary! But how does one dress up as a geologic-era scale event? You can’t just walk around in a onesie covered with CO2 molecules telling people that you’re the “Apotheosis of the Anthropocene,” can you?

Fortunately (but actually, quite unfortunately), the news has recently been full of inspiring headlines, so before the big day, I worked up some options:

 

“Global Populations of Wildlife decline 60 percent since 1970!”

 

 

Steep Decline in Mammal Migration!” which can be combined to great effect with “Almost Every Caribou Population in Canada is Doomed!”

 

 

Or how about “Fish are Fleeing Warming Ocean Waters Because of Climate Change, and Meanwhile Also Getting Overfished!” which can easily be accomplished by adding a costume partner to our “Apotheosis of the Anthropocene” onesie.

 

Sad now? Me too. I scrapped the Sixth Extinction idea and ended up going as a malevolent ocean spirit that sinks ships and dines on sailors, thinking maybe I could take out a couple of factory fishing trawlers and frighten some oil tankers into drydock. “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul,” American author Ed Abbey said one time. But more people would have remembered it if he had been chewing on a skipper’s femur.

All original drawings by the author.

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