Unremarkably, the beginning of the end of the world did not hit the ground running at 6am on the 21st of May, 2011, and neither did it all start to unravel 153 days later on the 21st of October; two dates the Christian radio broadcaster, Harold Camping, was certain some ghastly goose-stepping sky being was going to lay waste to our planet.
Equally unremarkably our home world remained happily spinning on its axis throughout 1794, the year the Methodist, Charles Wesley, was certain the same mischievous god was going to wreak havoc on all terrestrial life. Undeterred, Charles’s brother, John, picked up the fatalistic baton and named 1836 as the assured year for the final and complete destruction of our planet. Needless to say, Westminster Abbey was still standing in 1837 to host the coronation of Queen Victoria.
For the Jehovah Witnesses 1914 was the year they were sure the world would end. When it didn’t they simply dusted themselves off, pulled up their socks, and went on to name 1915, then 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, and finally 1994 as sequentially erroneous dates for their Christian God to commit radiant genocide.
The Baptist minister, William Miller, was positively convinced our world would be blissfully annihilated on the 21st of March, 1843; a date amended on the 22nd of March to the 18th of April, only to be revised again on the 19th to the 22nd of October, 1844, which came and went without as much as a Godly sneeze. Another Methodist, Joanna Southcott, was certain God would ruin everyone’s day on the 19th of October, 1814. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, got his prediction of the end of the world fabulously wrong when 1891 came and went, and television evangelist, Pat Robertson, was no doubt left scratching his head when his God failed to blow our home planet and everything on it to smithereens in1982.
Naturally, the failure of the world to end as wished by these socially derelict individuals should not come as a particularly great surprise to any person exercising even a miniscule amount of reason. What should come as a surprise is that our societies have progressed so little that such socially derelict individuals can still to this day command attention and spout their regressive fantasy bullshit.
Most recently that was Harold Camping and the misguided fools who followed him, but unfortunately there’s another colossal storm of irrationality coming, and that’s going to hit on the 21st of December, 2012.
Now how in the name of Great Zeus lunatics connected this:
the Mayan Long Count calendar (which concludes its 13th b’ak’tun on the 21st of December) with fatalistic Christian notions of radiant apocalypse only another lunatic can say, but connect it they have and that insane leap in selfish imaginings has spawned a literal industry of doomsday preppers busily burying themselves, their guns, and their supplies inside the earth.
I hate to say it, it was perhaps inevitable, but the great majority of this sociopathic tide is located in the deeply superstitious pockets of the United States which, in the eyes of a foreigner like myself, appears to be a veritable theme park of illiteracy, misinformation, and religious hogwash. These are the same people who will say (without batting an eyelid, mind you) that President Obama is a radical Muslim-Atheist. The same people who believe Nate Silver is the Anti-Christ practicing his dastardly “math.” The same people who say Sarah Palin is smart. The same people who LOVE American history… Especially the part where Admiral Washington parted the Mississippi and led the slaves out of Nevada.
Now it’s not possible, I know, but if it were I’d park myself outside every doomsday bunker from Arizona to Kentucky and be there ready to record the moment these misguided mole rats returned to the surface on the 22nd of December. I’d then make a digital collage of those still shots and videos and upload it to the cloud as some sort of marker which I would hope future generations could look back on and marvel at as they surveyed the very moment when we naked apes stopped acting so fucking stupidly.
That won’t happen, but I’m allowed to dream.