The girlfriend says, “If we break up, do you think we can still be friends?” The answer is obviously “no” because who wants to be friends with someone who just rejected their love? Might as well ask her, “If I process your cat through a Cuisinart and surprise you with a protein smoothie in bed, do you think we can still be friends?”

What’s betrayed is two-fold:

1.) She’s already thinking about breaking up.
2.) She’s already making plans for after breaking up.

The operative is not “if.” By the time it’s gotten to this “if we break up” hypothetical it’s a certainty of “when we break up.” By her floating “if” she’s now the agent of effective reality. She’s going to make the break up happen.

More and more, social discourse includes the hypothetical “If the system collapses, what would we do?” Displeasure with the economy, disgust with censorship and media bias, and distrust of leadership is pushing this topic to near perpetual frequency. It’s at the front of everyone’s mind … and worries.

So as a whole are we the agents of our own effective reality? Is it we say “if the system collapses” and we’re actually forecasting “when the system collapses?” Playfully, the hypothetical system collapse is referred to as “The Zombie Apocalypse” – although the standard once was “Mad Max Apocalypse” – and by being playful we convince ourselves it’s only a thought experiment. Yet more and more any mention of zombies is omitted from the conversation.

And our Hollywood entertainment peddlers pump out any number of post-apocalyptic fodder flicks every year. I’ve been a cynic of Hollywood using their product as a prepatory primer to get Americans comfortable with social engineering. At highest leadership, reference President Palmer in “24” and Vice President Kathryn Bennett in “Air Force One.” And for the post-apocalypse, “The Hunger Games”; “Mad Max: Fury Road”; “28 Days Later”; “Mars Attacks”; everything by Roland Emmerich.

The entertainment cottage industry of post-apocalyptic movies is second only to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Maybe we’re being primed. After binging Prime, have any of you been buying more canned goods, bottled water, and ammunition than usual and not realized it?

Anyhow, back to “If the system collapses.” How close are we with being resigned to “When the system collapses?” Because based strongly on the memes we share on social media – a principle player in our effort-abbreviated communal conversation – it’s starting to feel like we’re getting ourselves ready for the break up and we’re toying with plans of what we’ll do after the break up.

Architects of our own demise, designers of our own catastrophe, and life imitating a playful thought experiment. Hmm.