God, I love The Onion: Nadir Of Western Civilization To Be Reached This Friday At 3:32 P.M.

An international panel of leading anthropologists, cultural critics, biologists, and social theorists announced this week that Western civilization will reach its lowest conceivable point at 3:32 p.m. Friday.

“From the prehistoric Lascaux cave paintings to the stirring symphonies of Mozart to today’s hot-dog eating competitions and action films with comical gerbils, culture has descended into a festering pool of mass ignorance,” said Yale sociologist Paul Riordan, who has spent his career analyzing western civilization’s fall into the depths of depravity. “If our calculations are correct, this complete erosion of all that is enlightened and unique will reach absolute rock bottom on the afternoon of Sept. 25, 2009.”


“The sciences, the arts, the humanities–all aspects of society as a whole will reach their respective low-points in just a matter of days,” said anthropologist Robert Davidson, gesturing toward a nearby line graph illustrating western society’s collapse. “We’ve been charting this cultural descent for generations now, from the advent of New Wave music, to the rise of scientific creationism, right through to the trampling death of several Wal-Mart greeters on the morning after Thanksgiving. Everything has been leading up to this Friday.”

The entire genre of reality television gets my vote (except for the shows that I like, of course, those ones are ok).

What gets your vote for the nadir of western civilization?


  1. #1 Erin
    September 25, 2009

    I think we already passed the nadir with Teletubbies.

  2. #2 NoAstronomer
    September 25, 2009

    @Erin : If Teletubbies was the nadir does that mean you think we’ve been improving since then?!

    I’d vote for the nadir except I don’t think it’s here yet. Though ‘reality’ TV is pretty close.

  3. #3 DrA
    September 25, 2009

    Kraft singles. Plastic cheese wrapped in plastic. Why bother to peel it? How can you sink any lower?

  4. #4 dean
    September 25, 2009

    There may be multiple minima rather than a single one:

    The teletubbies are a good start: how about

    Oprah and Dr. Phil (I view them as conjoined)

    birthers and truthers

    I must admit, when I’m having a particularly rough computer day with teaching and other duties, the thought crosses my mind that object oriented programming might be the downfall of our civilization. Does that count?

  5. #5 kmr
    September 26, 2009

    Sarah Palin

  6. #6 zayıflama
    September 29, 2009

    I’d vote for the nadir except I don’t think it’s here yet.

  7. #7 WendyRG
    September 30, 2009

    I’m not quite sure we’ve reached it either, but Sarah Palin is a darn good choice.

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