Good news for you! All worries, over soon. All concerns laid to rest. Everything transformed in a white-hot eyeblink of OMG WTF into a lukewarm puddlepool of odious harp music, angel squeals and tepid moral pudding. I know, right? Finally!
This much we know: In a mere 72 hours (give or take, time zone depending, sometime before brunch) millions of true believers shall be whisked off to a cloudless overlit megadome where no one has sex and no one reads books and everyone is huddled together in a massive quivering vanilla cuddleparty, despite the requisite 500 layers of scratchy taffeta. Please remove your jewelry.
Are you ready? Whatever will you wear? Who will feed your dog? Hurry on now, you only have ... oh dear ... three days left until May 21, the oft-repeated, now infamous date of the Rapture, as predicted by Oakland's own nutball octogenarian and world-famous sideshow pastor Harold Camping, after a lifetime of careful biblical calculations and number-crunching and blah blah etcetera you know the rest.
So anyway, it's Armageddon, real soon now. Do you have plans? Have you made proper arrangements? For those of us left behind to suffer this terrible beautiful planet after the fanatical Christians depart, there will be plenty to do. There are looting groups forming on Facebook. There will be Rapture parties galore. Brunch parking will be awesome. After all, Armageddon is on a Saturday. Were you thinking Sunday? As if. Sunday is when God rests, barbecues some wild salmon and watches "Idol."
Perhaps we shouldn't be so cocky. Perhaps the good pastor isn't so very far off. The world, you have to admit, is in a bleak state indeed. Arab nations are in turmoil, prophetic biblical lands are war-torn and decimated, oil is threatening to dry up, fresh water too, the euro is on shaky ground and the American empire is on the verge of bankrupt implosion. I know! What else is new?
But that's not all. Ominous signs abound in nature, too. Permafrost is melting fast, honeybees are offing themselves en masse, dead dolphins are washing ashore, epic flooding is destroying the south, tsunamis are poisoning Asia, the Duggars just won't stop procreating. 2010 is now officially on record as the Weirdest Weather Ever, and 2011 is on track as the year we break seven billion horny hell-bound bipeds on a floating rock that never really wanted more than, say, a couple million. Fun for us!
It all adds up, no? But then again, something doesn't feel quite right. Something feels a little too ... positive. Glowing. Possible.
Flashback to the Dark Days of Bush, when the fundamentalists were all giddy from inhaling the toxic fumes of their own homophobic xenophobic bloviation and doom-tracking lists like the Rapture Index were happily sucking at the tit of guys like Ted Haggard; megachurches were all the rage in collective psychosis, and even Bush himself said God told him that launching a few wars and murdering thousands of Islamic innocents was "totally cool" with Him.
In other words, end times predictions were hotter than Ashton Kutcher's tweets, except Kutcher was a 20-something dork and Twitter hadn't been invented yet. What a time it was.
Still, nothing happened. The world felt far more desolate and off-kilter than it is now. America was diving headlong into its ugliest period in nearly a century, conspiracy theories were a dime a dozen, and Fox News' juggernaut of idiocy was just hitting its stride. Angry Jesus simply could not have picked a better time than, say, 2003 to be wildly disgusted and wipe us all out so He could start over with some feral bunnies and a fistful of opium poppies ...
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Mark Morford is the author of The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism, a mega-collection of his finest columns for the SF Chronicle and SFGate. Get it at Amazon and beyond. He recently asked that you please step away from the fear, a piece lamenting how
Fox News ate my nuclear dolphins, and a column wondering why you always walk in circles. http://facebook.com/markmorfordyes">Facebook, or email him. Not to mention...
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