Moncton — 2020 has struck again, and this time it has left Moncton resident and avid “doomsday preacher” Matty Corkum wondering what to do with his future.
In an interview with The Manatee, “Crazy Corkum”, as Monctonians have taken to calling him, had a lot to say about the current state of doomsday preaching across Canada.
“It’s really sad…at the beginning of the year we were a bit worried there’d be a lot of competition on the streets, you know, with more and more people joining the profession. Then, when lockdown went on, and now with the second wave hitting, the real problem is that there just isn’t very much need for us anymore…the whole industry’s been turned on its head.”
David Myler, better known as “Doomsday Dave” in his local Campbellton, added the following when approached for comment. “It’s really a shame. It’s like the end of the world out there, you know? Especially up here, people have been through so much already in 2020, they just really have a blasé attitude to the apocalypse now.”
One local study has shown that, across Canada, the doomsday preacher industry has shrunk by as much as 60 percent. Even cities like Ottawa, with a historically rich history of the profession, haven’t escaped unscathed. Recent reports out of the nation’s capital indicate that some 500 full-time doomsday preachers are currently on the streets…but not to preach — instead, they are looking for work. And that number is expected to rise to as many as 1,200 by year’s end.
“People don’t really think too much about it outside the industry, but for us, it’s the same as when Netflix killed Blockbuster,” said Karen MacInnes, HR Director for the Doomsday Preachers’ Union of Canada. “COVID-19 has killed Doomsday Preaching. I really don’t know how we recover from this.”
The Manatee caught back up with Matty as he was slowly scratching out the words “The End is Nigh!” on the cardboard sign he has loyally carried up and down Main Street every day for the last 24 years. “It’s like I’ve lost my will,” he said as he slowly wrote out: “Will work for Irving gift cards.”
“I think doomsday preaching is done for me now; hopefully I can get some day work to make ends meet, otherwise my only option is to go back to teaching high school, and to be honest, that possibility terrifies me.”