Monday, April 4, 2011

And Lo, I Beheld an Ad Upon a Bus...

Have you heard of this May 21st thing? Apparently we're all going to die. I just saw an ad for it on the side of a bus, which is where I get all my portents of doom. It's a good thing too, I wouldn't want to be caught totally by surprise when nothing happens.

Lucky for me the bus driver stopped to take a leak at the Safeway.

If you said praying, you have
absolutely no sense of humor.
According to a bunch of rapture fans, the end of everything is coming this year during May sweeps (so much for season 5 of Madmen). To spread the word, they've set up bill boards and a website about how doomsday is nigh ('nigh' is like 'soon,' but more ominous). Unsurprisingly, I have a number of problems with this, not the least of which is what is that silhouette doing in the lower right of the sign? Like for real, doesn't someone approve these things first?

The end is near alright,
just not in the way he thinks...
My first big problem with this is that the source of the prediction is 89 year old radio preacher Harold Camping who, instead of watching NCIS and telling teenagers to pull up their dungarees, is running out the clock (his, not the world's) doomsaying based on numerology, the bible and presumably gin.* Two of these things are not science and the other is gin so why is anyone listening? What's more is he already pulled this crap once before when he predicted the end of the world would happen in 1994 in his book "1994?."

Tonya Harding, Forrest Gump, the, 1994 was quite a year.

Yeah, that's going to hurt
the Bluebook value...
Yeah, remember that? When the world ended in 1994? You don't? Well, that's because Harold is full of shit. What's messed up is that people are again buying into his crazy. Some are actually making major life decisions based on this guy's ramblings. What's he going to tell them on May 22nd, when they're all un-raptured and have to go to work in the morning? "Looks like I forgot to carry the two. Sorry folks!"

"And I would have gotten away with it,
if it wasn't for that meddling geriatric!"


Also, I'm no theologian, but isn't this whole thing a little presumptuous? Let's say you're a supremely powerful deity who created the universe and is (for some reason) planning to destroy it on May 21st 2011. Now you want this to be a secret, and you're god, so it shouldn't be a problem, right? I mean, Shyamalan could do it. Then how come some jackass with a radio show is passing out t-shirts giving away the biggest spoiler of all time?

Why not, right?

And then there's this whole double standard when it comes to the unprovable. If I predict that aliens will one day park their motherships in orbit and invite the human race to join an intergalactic U.N. I'm a crackpot. But if I take out ads warning people that Jesus is going to beam Mike Huckabee and a select few dinosaur deniers off the surface of the Earth before going on some kind of apocalyptic judgement spree, I'm one of the faithful. What's with that?

Mike Seaver:
Beacon of sanity, in an
insane world...

But I guess the most chilling part of Camping's prediction is not that people might actually believe him, it's that tiny little voice in your head that against all reason is wondering: 'what if he's on to something?' Admit it, it's crossed your mind. After all, if you accept that there's no such thing as impossible, just extreme degrees of improbability, you have to at least entertain the notion that anything, even this, is possible. Well, I'll tell you the one thing that's helped me beat back this terrifying thought: No matter how random, how cruel the universe may seem at times, it can't possibly be so fundamentally broken as to end like a direct-to-video Kirk Cameron movie. It just can't.

p.s. Be sure to check out this website for some major backpedaling (and probably some free t-shirts) on May 22nd! 
Really? I'm being unfair?

*I have no real evidence that Harold Camping came up with his predictions while drinking gin, the truth is I'm just making crap up. Of course, so's Harold Camping. I guess we're even.

No comments:

Post a Comment