Apocalypse, Now…? Can it wait until Monday…?

Four horse guys... like, you know... whatever

Why is everyone so eager for the end of times?

In case you haven’t heard, life as we know it will end on Saturday, May 21 at approximately 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time… or at least the initial event in the form of a massive earthquake that will reverberate throughout the globe.  According to an Oakland minister, Harold Camping, this will trigger the rapture (when all good folks disappear from this plane and reappear in heaven apparently) and the rest of us sinners shall deal with unbelievable, excruciating  pain and suffering here on a dying planet.

Of course, this is Mr. Camping’s second such prediction… the first was sometime in 1994, and the last time I checked, we are still here.  He claims that last time was a mathematical error.  Oops.  And lets not forget the fact that the world is already slated for termination on December 21, 2012… so which one is it?  Or is the guy in the sandwich board correct that it will all end today?  Or Tomorrow?  Damn… which end of the world is the real one!?

My bigger question however… why is humanity so gung ho on its own destruction?  It’s not as though this is a new phenomenon, just look at the Book of Revelations.  Even older and more ancient texts talk about how and when the world will end… and each prediction (spoiler) proves false.  The original Davidians… they were all about the end of times.  Didn’t happen.  Yet we still seem drawn to such proclamations of what can only be seen as delusional egotism.  Why are we in such a rush to die?

One idea is that we can’t imagine any other way to get out from under the crushing debt so many of us in the U.S. carry.  Another, and I suspect many of the more religious folk out there who don’t believe in divorce, is to get out from their crappy marriage.  Maybe the idea of an apocalyptic landscape without the IRS is enough to wish the seas to boil and rivers run red?

I’m extremely guilty of enjoying disaster movies… most significantly my love of zombie flicks.  I don’t however believe this is going to happen in my lifetime (or ever in the case of zombies).  So what are our favorite ways to exterminate ourselves and everything else we know?

Zombies… but that is quite far fetched.

Asteroid?  Always a spectacular way to go… just ask the dinosaurs.  Plus, there is precedent, again, ask the dinos.

Earthquake?  Sure, that’s coming on Saturday right?  Plus, that has localized precedent… ask Japan.  For many there, life is verging on apocalyptic.  (Apocalypses are local matters really…until it’s not).

Volcanic destruction?  Again, awesome and with precedent.  Around 75,000 years ago a huge volcano erupted in Indonesia or somewhere thereabouts and killed off a whole lot of us humans in what is considered our greatest genetic bottleneck.  Not to mention a great Tommy Lee Jones movie.

Black Hole?  Yeah… another great idea.  The fear with this one is based on the LHC under the Swiss Alps.  By using the particle accelerator build by CERN we will create a black hole that will suck the Earth and all other bits of matter in our near space into itself and we will simply cease to be.  That didn’t happen, but then again, another theory is that it broke down because the black hole did happen and we went back in time to prevent it from working.  Are you buying this?  No?  Neither am I.

Aliens!  Yes… a wonderfully fantastic way to go.  Those scenes in War of the Worlds where you just see bodies being lifted into giant spaceships for fuel/food/Soylent Green…. Yeah, that would be good.  Even Stephen Hawking warned us regarding alien life and our meeting would be bad for us (probably them too really… mutually assured destruction?).

I’m forgetting the main one… God.  I’m guessing that is what will ultimately be the cause this Saturday since they have it tied up with the Rapture and all that.  This must go hand in hand with the whole “fear of God” thing that helped usher in my lack of faith.  Do you really want to worship a petulant, insecure and vengeful anything?  I won’t worship anything that threatens to kill me if I don’t do as it says.  Might as well bow down to Fat Tony and pray you don’t get whacked.  But that’s just me.

So… if you are expecting the world to end this Saturday, best of luck to you.  If you are thinking the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie is a sign of the apocalypse, you may be right.  If you are anything like me, you think this is all a bunch of bullshit with sad little people glomming on to anything that gives their lives meaning, even if it’s apparently wishing for everyone’s death but their own because they are more pious… to them I say, thank you for going away… I’ll be here on Earth living.

And if I’m wrong… it’s been a pleasure.

… and I feel fine,
Cornelius J. Blahg

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