Illustration: Jim Cooke/GMG Art

In previous years, Jezebel’s annual March Madness brackets have spanned a number of fun categories—Internet vs. IRL, Sex vs. Chocolate, Childhood vs. Adulthood. And what a gas it has been. This year, however, we have thrown caution and also optimism to the wind. We have let our hair down. We have unbuttoned our pants to release our anxiety bloat. This is going to get dark, my fellow sport enthusiasts—real dark. But in a fun way!

This year’s battle will be waged between two fairly undesirable conditions: pre-apocalypse and post-apocalypse. Are we living in one of those conditions now? Who can really say, except for scientists, but some “seeds” will certainly feel more familiar than others.

“This is simple,” you say. “One is bad and the other is worse.” Guess what, pal, it’s not. Is the anticipation of a flu shot worse than the actual needle prick? Would it be that terrible if we never had to read a Bret Stephens column again? Is it the devil you know, or the devil you don’t? Open your mind, why don’t you?

I have re-learned how brackets work for this precise occasion. As you’ll notice, ours is divided into two subcategories: “Nature,” meaning things that are organic or somewhat body-related, and “Nurture,” a word we have re-defined to mean “society and technology.” Here it is:

Illustration: Jim Cooke/GMG Art

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In the first round, the top “seeds” face up against the bottom.

First up, in the Pre-Apocalypse Nature Division: Birth control (1) faces off against Ivanka Trump (16). This is match-up is especially kicky, as Ivanka Trump really does work for an administration that wants to reduce women’s access to birth control. So—which do you choose? The one that might cause depression and other side effects but prevents pregnancy and severe period cramps? Or the one who is, in a way, a human period cramp?

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Next, in Pre-Apocalypse Nurture Division, Capitalism (1) has it out with her relaxed daughter, Wellness (16). Who’s it gonna be? Ubers on demand, one-day book deliveries, and raw, catastrophic greed? Or $149.99 crystals and overuse of the word “intentional”?

Over in Post-Apocalypse Nature Division, we’re looking at Immortal Tech Billionaires (1) vs. Mad Max Fashion (16). These seeds are both exotic and very frightening, summoning images of Jeff Bezos’ disembodied head floating in place of the moon and extremely edgy eyeshadow streaked with the tears of unimaginable suffering. Your pick!

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And last up, down in Post-Apocalypse Nurture Division, we’ve got Being a Handmaid (1) vs. Donald Trump Somehow Still President (16). Oooh, a tough one. Slavery, or everyone’s got three legs and a tail from the nuclear fallout?

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You have the next 24 hours to cast your votes. We’ll be back tomorrow—or will we?