“The Morning of the Day They Did It,” E. B. White, 1950 – Technology has progressed to the point where food has become toxic, everyone must take Anti-Tri-D shots, euthanasia is advertised on television, culture has been “debased,” and visual media have encroached on every aspect of life, such that “children early gained the habit of forming all their images second-hand, by looking at a screen.”
Comments: Read in A Treasury of Great Science Fiction, Volume Two.
Synopsis from The New Yorker: “The writer has survived the end of the world and is on another planet. He describes what his last morning on earth was like. He was a script writer for a television show that was broadcast from a plane. The latest Weapon for the defense of the U.S. was Operation Space, a platform in space where two Army officers controlled some sort of super bomb. There was to be a broadcast from there. Suddenly everything went wrong – the two Army officers in defiance of the world, shot off the weapon and ended the earth’s existence.”
Author: Wikipedia: “Elwyn Brooks White (July 11, 1899 – October 1, 1985), usually known as E. B. White, was an American writer. He was a long-time contributor to The New Yorker magazine and a co-author of the widely-used English language style guide, The Elements of Style, which is commonly known as “Strunk & White”. He also wrote famous books for children including Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.”