All right, so the world is imploding. You know this. I know this too, though only because the Wassup Guys told me. Surely, these are the last days, before the global apocalypse rids the planet of humans and leaves only some cockroaches, a few stray strands of hair and, of course, Kermit, because Kermit is an indestructible force of shocking malevolence. This is not the way I thought it would go down. I assumed, like the rest of you, it would be the robots. It was always a relief, actually, knowing that Artificial Intelligence Technology would not progress enough in my lifetime to force me to spend my last seconds staring into these cold dead eyes. But I always figured we weren't self-destructive enough as a species to destroy ourselves; the robots were destined to be the benefactors of our vainglory. This is all happening too fast. I fully expected to be on my death bed, screaming, "The robots! Damn the robots! Stop them ... while you still can!" But nope: We're gonna end up blowing ourselves up. Awesome. But wait ... we might end up having the robots do the killing for us anyway.
Many things will change when Obama is elected. Other things will stay the same. And then there's a third category: things that are profoundly changing, and will continue to change, regardless of who's president. One of these things is anti-terrorist warfare. The war on terror is becoming a war between madmen and machines. A few years ago, jihadis had the upper hand because they didn't mind killing or dying. Now they're being blown away by remote-control pilots who can't be killed. The machines in the sky don't bleed, and they spare us the difficulties of an official troop presence. Pakistan has become the world's first robot proxy war.And so it begins ... Anyway. At least I didn't talk about Obama and McCain to start this week. Just one week to go, my friends. 32. Detroit Lions (0-7). In honor of Jon Kitna's shocking display of humor and self-awareness, a few notes on Halloween. Maybe it's my advanced age or just a lack of social graces, but this is the first time in memory that I haven't been invited to a single Halloween party. (I've even hosted them.) To be honest, this is just fine and dandy with me. It's always too much work to put together a costume, and no matter how far you're willing to go with it — and I'm never willing to go very far — there's someone who trumps you and makes you feel like a dope for even trying. The best Halloween costume I ever saw was four years ago, when a friend went as an Abu Ghraib prisoner. It's difficult to rise above that, or fall beneath it. 31. Cincinnati Bengals (0-8). It's probably for the best that the NFL ordered Chad Johnson to take the "Ocho Cinco" off his jersey. Jokes like that aren't quite as funny when you're 0-8 and won't be favored until the last game of the season. (Maybe.) 30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-6). It would be fair to classify me as someone who lacks sartorial flair, but I have a legitimate question to any man out there who knows how to dress himself. Because I can only wear the same version of the same black T-shirt before people start considering me homeless, I've taken to wearing regular button-up shirts with a "sport" jacket over them. (Like so.) For years, I've worn undershirts, until a few weeks ago, when an acquaintance, upon seeing my plain white T-shirt under a blue shirt, basically laughed and pointed for about 15 minutes. I tend to wither under such circumstances, so I've stopped wearing them. I'm, of course, sweating through everything I own now. Is there a right answer to this question? Because I'm all screwed up. 29. San Francisco 49ers (2-6). New coaches usually are hired either to relax players who chafed under a totalitarian regime or light a proverbial fire under a group of layabouts. But it's rare that a coach loses his fucking mind after one game. For years, Singletary was an up-and-coming coaching prospect who never got top jobs because of whispers that he "wasn't ready." I think I understand now why there were whispers. Settle down, dude. It's one game. 28. Oakland Raiders (2-5). I know Drew's book is about to take over every frame of your Web browsing experience — and with good reason — but I'd like to take a brief moment to shout out to the Free Darko guys, whose Marcrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac I had the distinct pleasure of reading this weekend. It's annoyingly brilliant, particularly because they now have better editors than, uh, me. A note to both Drew and the Free Darko folks: Your books are well-thought-out, vividly illustrated and disturbingly organized. You're making the rest of us, who just slapped our books together as quickly as we could type them, look retroactively quite lame. Stop it, please. 27. Seattle Seahawks (2-5). Yep, these guys are in second place in the NFC West. They're only two games out, and still have to play the division leaders twice. I've had just about enough of this, "The Arizona Cardinals will run away with this division talk." I remind you once again: These are the Buzzsaw That Is The Arizona Cardinals. I'm putting odds of them blowing it at, oh, 75:25. 26. St. Louis Rams (2-5). A couple of weeks ago, for an article I wrote for the magazine, I watched the first four Saw movies in a row. This is not something I would recommend — even though the movies are better than they're given credit for — but I now have several different ways to methodically mutilate all my enemies. This comes in more handy than you'd think. Remember when movies had characters who would slip arsenic in people's drinks? It's much more fun when there is a pendulum, or the racks. 25. New York Jets (4-3). I know, they won, and I dropped them. Again, like you care. Anyway, this team almost lost to the Chiefs at home, and it was almost entirely attributable to a lousy game from Brett Favre. That's, like, three in a row now. At this point, you can actually Mad-Lib Favre's postgame, "No such thing as an ugly victory" speech. But there are plenty of ugly losses, and the Jets are about to have a bunch of them. 24. Miami Dolphins (3-4). Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times dropped 75 editorial jobs, which, amazingly, is only 10 percent of the paper's whole staff. (No word if "Christine Daniels" counts as one of the cuts.) How have they not gotten to Plaschke yet? He has to make as much as five or six copy editors, doesn't he? Meanwhile, in sad news, the great — and it wasn't always great, but it sure was great recently — Radar went under last week as well. This is how you know the economic downturn is hitting home: People at newspapers and magazines you don't read are losing their jobs. I always thought they'd be the last to die! 23. San Diego Chargers (3-5). While we're on the topic of job cuts ... Norv Turner is still employed. 22. Houston Texans (3-4). Like