Saturday, May 21, 2011

Average rapture

My plan for the Millennium started to go awry the last day of 1999, with a full blown cold that I tried to medicate away. I was miserable and tired all day, hoping to keep it all together to ring in the new year with my girlfriend and some close buddies. The plan was to drive up to my grandparents cottage on the Crowe River to spend the time without electronics or television, just people, beer, food, and a fire out in one of the quietest places on the planet.

We had counted on clear roads, and this was a country lane that any amount of snow could make treacherous, and so our plan fell apart when snow began to fall. I got a speeding ticket outside Madoc dropping off the first couple of friends, and on the way back to pick up the last few, the snow became crazy heavy. So I made the executive decision to turn the car around and pick them back up.

Christopher drumming.
Spin the cat.
The rescue went well at first, but on the way out on the country road, there was another car coming the other way, and neither of us was expecting the other. I swerved to avoid him, running off the road. I'm glad my reflexes were good, because he didn't react at all, unless you count being indignant that I was on his road. The car came to rest with a stump through its oil pan, but was able to get us home.

Humiliated, we returned to my parents house with a written-off car. We drank beer and played bongo drums, and played a couple of rounds of 'spin the cat'. It was a blast. No chorus of angels, no worldwide crash, no Y2K, just a bunch of people having a great time, and me the next day sporting a hangover, and a cold.

Hardly the rapture, but we'd been through this only five months before through Nostradamus.

"In the year 1999 and seven months,
A great King of Terror will come from the sky."

I was there for that, too, and, again, nothing happened. So many liked to interpret this as the month that the King of Terror arrived, implying he was here, but inactive so far. I guess the King of Terror gets jetlag too, and needs some time to kick up his heels in Istanbul with some good coffee, to sit and watch the girls on the Champs d'Elysee, hang out with Tiger Woods, or to catch some Nascar before destroying the world.

I do not think there is a special spot for those who go to church. I've seen too many churchies do horrible things. I think most of us, at heart, believe we've lived our lives as good people, and are counting on that, which is why religion is declining while spiritualism makes a comeback. I'm an optimist, and I think were the decision mine, you would have to be pretty pointedly evil not to be saved. I'll be okay with the creator no matter when the time comes.

Which brings me to this:

The type of people who believe this, and the reason these things keep popping up, is that there are some who think that their faith should make them special. Rapture cults are a specific focus of these people, just as there are fetish groups and specific internet sites for just about every sexual oddity. Deep Christians crave being special. They want to be vindicated by their elevation, waving 'ha, suckers' as they ascend to heaven on Jesus' left toe. 

That is why these rapture things will always exist. Its promise fulfils an intricate, specific human need.

The next date, of course, is the much hyped Mayan calender ending that is coming up next year. Not to point out flaws, because it has been done many times before by people way more connected than me, but the Mayan Calendar is cyclical. It simply rolls over, like our calendar, only on a much longer time frame. Putting my faith in the interpretations of symbols on a disc in a long lost language, especially for something so important, seems ludicrous.

The Mayan Calendar (see the carving of me running screaming on the bottom?)

We can't even predict our own economy, in English, let alone judgment day.

But I will indulge. If you are really itching for a prediction, I'll tell you how I think this ends.

It doesn't.

By the time our sun goes supernova and consumes the earth, we will have moved to a different planet, or we won't. Our stuff is all going to be consumed by the sun. Everything we know ionized. That gives us some hundreds of millions of years to figure out how to make this work. Since we can only go back about four thousand years in our written history, it's like the groundhog poking his head out of the whole in the spring and the first thing he thinks is "snow's coming!" Ya, it's coming, but we have a long, long time to enjoy the sunshine.

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