Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thoughts on the coming apocalypse

Dr. Peter Venkman: Well, you can believe Mr. Pecker...
Walter Peck: My name is "Peck."
Dr. Peter Venkman: Or you can accept the fact that this city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "Biblical"?
Dr. Raymond Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor– real wrath-of-God type stuff! Fire and brimstone coming down from the sky! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddmore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!
Mayor: Enough! I get the point! And what if you're wrong?  Ghostbusters 1984

To begin, let me first qualify that I am not subscribing to any religious fanaticism.  I am skeptical of anyone who says they have found the revealed truth in an oft mis-translated translation of a translation.  Let me also say that if you find comfort in your faith, by all means continue to do so, for it would be cruel of me to strip you of your comfort.
That being said, apparently some folks of the deeply religious persuasion seem to feel that the end of the world should be happening on May 21st.  May 21st, 2011 to be exact; now in all seriousness, I do not…repeat, do not, believe that these folks have any veracity whatsoever.  At best what they are doing is selectively reading something that was poorly translated from the original, doing some rather dubious calculations, and coming up with a solution to fit their interpretation.
Which leads me to the topic of our conversation: What if, two days hence, the world is in fact coming to an end?  Maybe not the whole world, let’s just say “The End of The World as We Know It.” Our civilization will grind to a spectacular halt, consumed by a fiery flood, and by Sunday morning it will be all over.  What do you do? There will be no chiseled, square-jawed heroes to save us, no super humans in spandex, we are doomed.  Now what?
Do you spend your last few hours with those that you love? Do you make peace with all those who you have had “issues” with? Do you go out in a sybaritic festival of indulgence that would make Caligula blush? Or, as the clock runs out, do you grab your bug-out-bag, fuel up the four wheel drive and head for the hills, hoping to survive?
What can you do as the hands of the Doomsday clock reach midnight and the bell tolls? Panic, scream in impotent fury, cry, invoke the active deity of your choice, or party like its 1999?  How do you tell your kids? How do you let them know that you can’t save them, you can’t protect them and that it is all going to end, now?
Now think about how this makes you feel? Are you afraid? Angry? Hurt? Consider this: You will have a higher probability that you will have a devastating car accident than you will face an asteroid impact extinction level event.  What foolish drama have you let run your life today? Why did you yell at your kids, or your spouse? Was it important? Was it more important than the end of the world?
I will assume that the answer is no.  So hug your kids, your spouse, or your cat(if it will let you). Tell them you love them.  Work out your issues.  You can’t solve every problem, and some people just can’t be fixed. Run up that hill, but have a candy bar every now and then.  Live, just live. Be happy, but not deliriously so (it makes people nervous). Because a bad day isn’t the end of the world.
On a side note: IF the world does end, I will stand corrected. 

1 comment:

  1. Well, I believe the Bible does say that the end will come "like a thief in the night." Quietly. Quickly. And,too, there is metaphor. For many of us our lives have ended and begun again. We thought our world was over, and the old one was replaced with a changed one. The end has been predicted many times. Here I am, writing, working,loving,and living, still.