End Times: Dave Eggers's Shower Curtain Short Story and Other Sure Signs of the APX

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The Mayan calendar is ticking steadily on toward expiration, but that is the least convincing sign of the apocalypse since Harold Camping predicted one in May.

More persuasive: 5,000 dead blackbirds falling from the sky on January 1, 2011, the New York Observer trend piece on how young people aren't having sex anymore and just doing coke instead (the possibility that it's true and the article itself), Nicki Minaj's butt-speaker outfit at the AMAs, the Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett duet and Human Centipede 2.

There's also the Nicolas Cage double whammy of Drive Angry and Trespass, the Daily Beast slideshow "Are Red-Haired Women Evil?," the fact that Dancing with the Stars programming takes up so many hours of the week, that Tom DeLay was even on that show and the NBC app for tracking royal wedding updates.

The latest in a long line of cultural examples that we've just given up on an authentic, quality-based lifestyle is the 16th issue of The Thing Quarterly, a short story by Dave Eggers printed on a shower curtain now available for pre-sale. The monologue told to Eggers by his curtain begins with "I am your shower curtain." It's a bit much, and I consider myself a fan of Miranda July. Dave Eggers, you jumped the shark.

The past year, like any other year, was one of great highs and lows--Téa Obreht became the youngest woman ever to win the Orange Prize for fiction and the Pope got Twitter.

But it feels like the lows are getting a lot lower. The sad thing about the terrible (so terrible) jokes on Whitney and OR-G, the persimmon-mango-lime-papaya vodka that is the "Official Spirit of the Female Entourage," is that the people behind them expect us to accept them, to spend our time and money on them, and we do.

Someone proposed the episode of Kourtney and Kim Take New York where Kourtney gets an oil enema on TV for us to watch and the fact that Americans did not riot in the street means that it really won't be long before we're all lying in ditches, sipping personal bottles of OR-G and waiting for death.

Underemployed writers harking the end of cultural excellence may be the 5th horseman, but the oil enema broke me. What is your personal sign of the APX?

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