Monday, May 23, 2011

Rapture, Sweet Rapture...Where Were You?

So, Judgment Day came and went, and 89-year-old Harold Camping, the minister that predicted the end of the world as we know it, said today, "It has been a really tough weekend."

A really tough weekend, eh?

How about the poor schleps that emptied their back accounts to advertise your prediction, Harry?

How about the teachers that put off grading papers this weekend?  

Or didn't send the payments for bills that should have gone in the mail on Saturday (Where's that number for the electric company)?

What about those that flew out the door at 4:30 on Saturday, bought Spam (made a meatloaf this afternoon), flashlights, and heavy duty batteries? Filled a cart with bread and bottled water (a sin to purchase, we know, but some assumed the arrival of the Archangel might contaminate water supplies)....yeah, what about them?

If I sound bitter, it's not for me, really.

It's for those that came before Harold Camp, and the ones that will surely follow after him.

In ancient times they had traveling soothsayers (usually blind guys, go figure) and of course, the infamous Nostradamus.  There were temples, and magicians, mystics and holy men.

One would think that in this secular age, in the land of the I-Pad and microwave ovens, we would have moved past this end-of-the-world phase.

But we haven't.

Remember the crazy actions of the Hale-Bopp Comet Cult in 1997?  How could thirty-nine people blindly buy tennis shoes, slip on workout clothes, lay out on cots and then kiss the world goodbye in the hopes of rising to join with aliens?  I mean seriously, take one look at the cult leader, Marshall Applewhite (pictured below).  

                 Would you accept a glass of Kool Aid from someone that looked like him?
End of the world prophecies have been around a long time, so why do we keep falling for them?  Is it human nature to secretly long for the end?  Perhaps.  Consider why do we slow down and rubberneck at car crashes?  Why does the news always begin with fires and murders and other such tragedies?  Why are there so many Saw movies?

The next big prediction is some cataclysmic event on December 21, 2012.  The pundits believe it could be good, or it could be bad-- from some spiritual transformation of the human race to the Earth being sucked into a Star Trek-like Black Hole.  

But then again, December 21, 2012, could pass much like this past Saturday...gently going the way of Hale-Bopp, Rapture, and The Backstreet Boys. Just fading away and turning into the next day.

Let's just hope the human beings involved keep their heads this time. 

Addendum:  This just in...Camping has amended the timetable.  Everyone circle October 21.  Not.


  1. Or maybe the 2012 ending predicted by the Mayan calendar was because their tribe dispersed due to lack of commoditites and foodstuffs in the region from over-population and disease. Hmmm...We humans tend to overlook the obvious sometimes so we may create a dramatic event to excite our little brains. Can you blame us? The old Buddhist adage of "chop wood, carry wood" is rather dull.

    But you raise an excellent question, Joe. Why ARE THERE so many Saw movies? You got me. There shouldn't be as far as I'm concerned.

  2. There's always going to be those that make the majority look loony. I do feel bad for Camping's followers-I saw a news video clip on a family who actually took their kids out of school and traveled the country with them, spreading his message, figuring they didn't need to attend school since the world was coming. Wow.

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this!

  3. mean, it didn't end? Damn. Hey Sam...I want my comics back.

  4. Do you think God takes into consideration the time zones before he has the "save the date" signs put up?