Surely I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, but Saturday was supposed to be the end of the world. Thankfully, that didn’t occur and now we’re all here to celebrate my birthday. I was going to write a fluff piece with top 5 lists of things I like, but this whole Rapture thing has gotten me rattled and bothered a little and I need to work out a few thoughts.
For those of you concerned that this will be a deeply personal article that is more suited to a live journal or xanga, fear not because in a sense, I think all of this apocalyptic stuff goes back to popular culture. See if you can follow me on this one because it starts with comic book writer Alan Moore.
There was a time in my life when I was a huge Alan Moore fan. I read everything I could get my hands on and then, I had read just about everything that he had written in the superhero genre and that’s where I stopped. No Lost Girls for me.
After I became a devout Grant Morrison fan, I felt as if I could no longer truly be an Alan Moore fan because the two writers have always been at odds with one another and they both represent very different ideals and attitudes when it comes to writing comic books. Morrison leans more towards the day-glow sunshine and fun side of comic books while Moore is the father of grim and gritty comic books (which I suppose makes Frank Miller the mother of them which must drive him insane because he hates women).
Perhaps if Alan Moore hadn’t gone insane and become such an insane commentator against the comic book industry, then perhaps his genius would be more recognized today (yes, he’s still considered one of the greatest of all time, but I feel there is a measure of sadness in this statement given his lack of commercial work for the past two decades). This is getting out of control. To the point!
In Alan Moore’s proposal for Twilight of the Superheroes (an apocalyptic superhero story that would have been one of the greatest comics of all time, but alas, will never EVER see print), he wrote:
What I want to show is a world which, having lived through the terrors of the Fifties through the early Nineties with overhanging terror of a nuclear Armageddon that seemed inevitable at the time, has found itself faced with the equally inconceivable and terrifying notion that there might not be an apocalypse. That mankind might actually have a future, and might thus be faced with the terrifying prospect of having to deal with it rather than allowing himself the indulgence of getting rid of that responsibility with a convenient mushroom cloud or nine hundred.
It makes one wonder if that is the mentality behind some doomsday predictions. Are people so frustrated with the world that they would rather just see it all end instead of trying to make it better? What does that say about us? Were people actually frustrated or disappointed that the world didn’t end on Saturday?
It really isn’t any surprise that doomsday predictions are so popular. The Book of Revelations is the most haunting and exciting book of the Bible because of the imagery that is associated with its passages. The dead rising from the grave, Lucifer coming from Hell only to be chained by Christ, a host of angels coming down from heaven – these are all powerful and frightening images that one can imagine in a video game or a movie screen and yet they were written nearly two thousand years ago and they’ve been promised to come to pass. In our visual society, perhaps some people view the Apocalypse as the ultimate form of entertainment; something the likes of which can’t be replicated.
Can you imagine what the internet will be like during the Rapture?Twitter would be filled out commentary about what was going on mixed with sarcastic disappointment. One can almost imagine these fake postings, “THAT’S the Four Horsemen? #unimpressive” or “I saw an angel with smaller wings than the rest #fail”
In our snarky, not easily impressed society, I wonder if the Rapture will just be another disappointment to comment on.
Going back to my original line of thought though, maybe our world has a lot of problems with it, but are they so insurmountable? People complain about healthcare, gas prices, and politics, but considering what we’ve accomplished over the course of existence, aren’t these problems simple? We’ve survived plagues, natural disasters, and stopped Hitler, surely we can have calm and rational discourse for the direction of our country.
I’m not scared of the end of the world because I’m at peace and also because there’s not a thing I can do about it. The only thing I can do is affect the world around me and to make people happy which is what I will do. Doomsday predictions are a futile and hollow practice because even if one could predict the end of the world, what would it accomplish? It isn’t as if it could be stopped, so why worry?
Part of me hopes that people who bought into the Rapture predictions will see that it was all for nothing and that it’s far more important to care for our world than to wish for an end to it.
The more realistic part of me thinks that the disappointment Rapture people are feeling will be replaced with a different kind of hope; a hope that the Rapture hasn’t been cancelled, but rather moved back and that we’ll all be delivered from this world so we don’t have to deal with its problems.
Rather a dark way to end a post on my birthday, so let me turn it around here at the end:
Rapture or not, from here on, lets make the world a better place and please keep Joplin in your thoughts and prayers.