Hey Look! It’s A World! And It’s Not Ending!

Well, Steve and I were going to do a cast all about the rapture just so we could joke about it and laugh a lot at Harold Camping. But Steve’s had a little trouble sleeping lately, so just wasn’t feelin’ it. So I figured I’d ramble a while here.

You can see that it’s after 6 p.m. where I live. And nobody’s floated away or been shaken up. It’s actually a damn awesome day, the likes of which we haven’t had a lot of lately. It was nice to walk around and not get rained on, and hanging around outside and enjoying the sun was pretty cool.

Hmmm where do I begin about this silliness? I am thankful that most talk I’ve heard has been people making fun of Harold camping for his doom and gloom predictions. I haven’t run into a single soul who actually believes it. But there has been a lot of talk of it. If you looked at the top trending topics on Twitter in the world and for lots of countries over the weekend, there were many phrases to do with Camping and the supposed end of the world. One trending phrase made me raise my eyebrows. It was “Apocalypse Please”. So, was that “Apocalypse! Please!” Or “Apocalypse, please.” I’ll never know.

Our buddy Barb did say she saw some dude driving around her city blasting a vuvuzela out his window with end of days signs on his van. Thankfully he’s in the minority of real live people I’ve heard about who believed in this craziness.

But he’s not alone. I just read that at least 250 people have signed up to Eternal Earthbound Pets, that place I made fun of a year and a half ago so if they are raptured, someone will come rescue their pets. Seriously? And their site has a big note at the top saying they are getting swamped with emails. I don’t know if I believe them, people can say whatever they want, but if they *are* getting swamped with emails, wow.

And that’s not all. Some people’s steadfast belief that we’re all gonna either go floaty float or boomy boom has ripped apart families, caused others to spend their life savings on promoting Camping’s message, and who knows what else. That’s the sad thing. All this completely false stuff has very real consequences for those who get swept up in it.

Ok, while I’m on the subject of giving money to the cause, how does that even work? If the world’s going to end and all the good people who you’ve donated to go up in a big woosh, what the hell do they need all your money for? Don’t people see this as a giant con? Maybe they should after they watch this video, in which Camping gets mad when someone asks him if he would give back all the money people have donated under the condition that Camping was right. Or maybe they would believe it after reading about how Julian Assange was able to locate credit card records for camping showing a trip to St Bart’s booked on Expedia leaving on May 28, 2011. I can’t find a credible enough link, but I don’t doubt it for one second.

And what is it about this guy that makes him so believable? I have heard him talk a couple of times, and he sounds like a senile old man. Visually, does he look convincing? Just what is it about this guy that slurps up followers?

Ooo. I see that it looks like Harold Camping may have skittered into hiding. Not only that, but his website has gone 404. This could be due to overwhelming traffic or the fact that it’s been yoinked from the series of tubes. Since Camping has also closed his offices and hid somewhere, I go with column b.

I have been joking that it would be really weird if Camping just happened to kick the bucket tonight. He is 89 after all. I mean, any of us could die at any time, but when you’re gettin’ up there, well…it gets more probable. Wouldn’t that be a brain screw to his legions of followers? They’d all think he got raptured and they didn’t!

As I write this, a small part of me wonders why I devote this much time and attention to something so ridiculous. “People are going to think you believed in it,” it hisses. “Why else would you invest this much time in talking about it?” But it’s not *it* that has my attention. It’s the way people are behaving that scares and fascinates me. Why are so many people so vulnerable to utter insanity? Are their lives really lacking in stability that much that they would grab on to this? What else would they grab on to? Could I fall for something this dumb? Could it really happen to me?

I’m sure either the human species, or the world, is going to end at some point. But nobody could predict it down to a day. We’re not that good and we never will be. Just look at our success rate in predicting the weather. Now, can we drum that into everybody’s head so nutbars like Camping can’t work a bunch of people into an irrational frenzy? Is that possible? Probably not, but I suspect we have lots and lots of years to try.

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