Thursday, March 17, 2011

The end, again -- and again

By Capt. Fogg

A friend just drove back from Orlando and reported seeing billboards proclaiming, once again, that the "end of the world" was at hand. I'm never quite sure what these idiots mean by "the world;" whether it's human life, the habitability of the planet or perhaps the existence of existence itself which would be a problem far too complex to discuss, even amongst sane and intelligent people. Let's say I don't really suspect these apocalyptic birdbrains of either virtue.

Might I remind you, if you're one of these folks, that the recent quake and tsunami is insignificant when compared to things that happen regularly on this our only planet? But of course you may be one of those New Earth, 6 day creation idiots, but even then it's pretty small as compared with the explosion of the Santorini volcano or Krakatoa. Even in human times, the ancients weren't as populous and certainly didn't build nuclear power plants. But why discuss reality when the tantalizing lure of doom has the lemmings in thrall?

People have been predicting these things for as long as we have records; some to sell normative religion and others for what seems to be the pure thrill of it. Is there some inherited "daddy's going to whip your ass when he gets home" instinct or is it put there by our Mesopotamian religious heritage? I suspect the former since it creeps up in Norse mythology as well, but who knows? It persists because it makes money and gives power, at least temporarily -- particularly for those prophets who offer early destruction and provide dates and times. Some of those have to suggest mass suicide to avoid embarrassment as time inevitably rolls on past the deadline.

I can't wait for 2012, which I suspect won't mean the "end of an error" or the end of anything really important. 1982 came and went at the same petty pace and the end of the last millennium passed as smoothly as last Wednesday. I'm willing to bet we'll stop attributing all that cosmic wisdom to the Mayans by 1/1/13 but of course, I can't lose that bet, can I?

The Rapture idiots, followers of the lunatic of Patmos are still passionately with us, because gibbering John offers more of an "any time now" promise with clues like: "wars and rumors of wars" that obtain to every moment in history, just like earthquakes, floods, famines and outbreaks of disease. Since there's a new crop to replace the ever disappointed dimwits, perhaps nothing short of a true planetary catastrophe will rid us of them.

There are times when I wish for it, particularly if I survive long enough to watch the expression on their non-raptured faces. But I look forward to being here for a number of years, watching them reshuffling the cards, re-reading the entrails, consulting omens and shamans in their shameless way, world without end.

(Cross posted from Human Voices)


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