Friday, May 20, 2011

Laughing at the end of the world

So, unless you've been living somewhere blessedly free of the infernal screech of CNN (and if so, do you have a spare bedroom? I bake.) you've heard that the world is supposed to end tomorrow, according to a group of what you would call wingnuts and I what would call normal people otherwise going a little sideways.

About two weeks ago I was driving home and saw one of their shrink-wrapped tour buses. WORLD ENDING! And I thought not, that's weird, but the sandwich board budget must have been increased.
Then I felt kind of relieved. Then I felt kind of scared. Because, if their version of the apocalypse was just sort of a giant, universe-sized snuffing out of life as we know it, I think I would be okay with that. But this is really old school, Revelation-of-Saint-John style stuff, with the burning and the flames and the floods (and how do those happen simultaneously? Wouldn't we all just get steamed to death like human-sized broccoli florets?) and the doomy doom doom.

The New York Times ran this weirdly touching, very sad article about a family whose parents believe that tomorrow is doomsday. The kids aren't quite so convinced. I mean, what do you do if your bellwether for whether or not everything is, in an essential way, okay with the world tells you that it's all going up in smoke tomorrow? Can you imagine the conversation on Sunday morning?

Sadly, in reviewing my one-more-day-left-to-live scenario, it was rather exactly the same as my every-other-Saturday-morning scenario. Dye my hair. Eat ice cream for breakfast. Contemplate the yawning pit that stretches out underneath everything, like every other day.

2 comments:

  1. I really feel sorry for the kids, because the nutty parents are the ones driving the bus, and they can't get off until they are 18. Poor things!

    Often, a failed prediction leads to splinter groups and re-entrenchment. After Baptist preacher William Miller predicted the end of the world on Oct. 22, 1844 — a date thereafter known as "The Great Disappointment" when nothing happened — his followers struggled to explain their mistake. One subset decided that on that date, Jesus had shifted his location in heaven in preparation to return to Earth. This group later became the Seventh-Day Adventist church.

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  2. You'll be pleased to know, Camper is now predicting the apocalypse for sometime in October. If anyone wanted to fake their own death, now's your chance!

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