home Commentary, Humor It’s not too late: Our holiday 2017 shopping guide

It’s not too late: Our holiday 2017 shopping guide

The world is ending. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the Earth. I see it every time the tangerine anus we elected to be our president logs onto Twitter.

Because I am an American patriot, I figure that the only appropriate response to the looming destruction of all is going out and bravely doing some shopping. I know what you’re going to say, “But Natalia, we should fight injustice and authoritarianism instead.” But that’s, like, hard, dudes. Also, I don’t know, would we win? Like I said, I’m an American patriot, and I like winning — and it is hard to lose at shopping, when you think about it.

So here are some essential, one might say curated items for your Apocalyptic shopping list — for the festive season, and for the dark season of damnation that’s around the corner.

A wig

I know, I know. It seems counterintuitive, but bear with me for a second.

If you plan on surviving the end of the world even for five minutes, you’re probably going to perform some dark deeds. It’s what the writers on “The Walking Dead” know — and those people know everything about dragging out existence, considering how adept they are at dragging out roughly a billion extra episodes in a given, miserable season.

The thing about performing dark deeds is that they tend to make you feel bad unless you are a psychopath, and who needs to sit around feeling bad when there’s no more ice cream, Netflix and randos to hook up with on Tinder just to make those dark thoughts go away for the thirty seconds or so that they actually last in bed.

This is why a wig is a good investment. Whenever you need to rob a grandma of her canned goods, just put it on, and it’s like you can be a different person. It’s not you doing the bad thing. It’s Mr. Fluffy Blond Helmet, or however you want to name your alter-ego.

If it works for the president as he works to delegitimize our institutions and destroy our standing in the world, it will work for you.

A broken watch

There is no reason to abandon symbolism just because civilization is about to crash and burn all around you. A broken watch is THE accessory for a dystopian hero or antihero. It is the embodiment of time being over, of clocks stopping, of scheduling disappearing, of no longer needing to rush to your appointment with your shitty primary care provider who’ll only bark at you to stop being poor.

It will also be right twice a day. And being right is important. Once again, just look at our president. He derives so much raw power simply from believing himself to be right all of the time that he’s basically capable of using that power to blow up the world. Self-justification will be an important asset for you in the nuclear wilderness. Start getting used to it early.


I have a confession to make — I don’t really get calipers or what they do and I actually used to confuse them with capers in my mind. But they sound old-fashioned and now that we’re about to be blasted back 500 years or so, I figure you’ll need to have some calipers around.

A breadbox will probably come in handy too. And whatever iron trivets are. And sugar beet knives, probably.

A silkscreen Elvis

One of the great perks of civilization is having useless shit just lying around. Things will be very different after the world is reduced to ash and feral rape cults.

In order to remind yourself of the good times, just go ahead and invest in something pointless now. A silkscreen Elvis is really just a jumping off point for shopping ideas.

For example, you could also order a reproduction of that giant clam shell thing that Ivanka Trump apparently decorates perfectly good tables with. And when it all goes to shit, you can just go ahead and start worshipping giant clam shell thing as a god. It will be better and less messy than worshipping radioactive whale carcasses or sewer-dwelling mutants or whatever.


There’s no point in surviving the end of the world if you don’t look cool while doing it. Look at our First Lady — she gets it. Going to visit the site of a natural disaster? Throw on some shades and stilettos.

“Oh but Natalia, she’s out of touch.” Oh but this is the woman who also married an actual natural disaster in human form. Give her credit here.

Print-outs of old Tumblr wars

You’re going to need a laugh about all of the stupid shit the modern world used to be obsessed with, and since you’re probably not going to have any internet, might as well just print it all out now. Keep it in waterproof folders for when the acid rain inevitably leaks through the roof of your hangar/improvised cathedral for giant clam shell thing worshipping.

Light a candle made from the fat of beloved pets who died defending you from radroaches, and descend into the world as it used to be, where people who identified as unicorn-hippogriff half-breeds endlessly called out vegans for trying to appropriate their struggle for acceptance. It sounds beautiful, doesn’t it, that world? So vivid and so fragile.

I miss it already, which is why it’s important to keep mementos. Well, until an actual unicorn-hippogriff half-breed crashes through the walls and eats them and you. I know you think that’s a bad way to go, but it would still be cooler than being organ-harvested by deranged bandits following the Paul Ryan “eat the weak” credo. Like, you know those people will be out there as soon as the big one hits. Good luck in avoiding them. Merry Christmas.

Photo: taintfair/Creative Commons


Natalia Antonova

Natalia is a writer and journalist. She's the associate editor of openDemocracy Russia and the co-founder of the Anti-Nihilist Institute.