Things that just occurred to me, in no particular order

Posts tagged ‘prophets’

Eschat Singing

There’s a thrill when the old odometer turns over. Don’t deny it

Some people pull over and take pictures of their car at that 999999.99 point. Some just drive on, but even they get that little tickle of pride in their old beater car. It’s still a beater, but now it’s special.

So it goes with the old Apocalypse game. I’m an old hand at them, you know. I’ve lived through a few.

My first as he so called “Crash of ’79.” A few prophets couldn’t imagine the numbers flipping over to 1980, so they expected it would all crash down before that happened.

When that didn’t happen, they turned their eyes to 1982. Then there was the Harmonic Convergence in 1986, then panics in 1989 and 1990 followed by the grand daddy of Apocalypses, Y2K.


I’ve always been fascinated by Eschatology, the study of the End of the World.

When I was a kid, they used to keep all the end of the world books and Christian diet plans next to the comic books at my Mom’s grocery store: The Late Great Planet Earth, Chariots of the Gods and a couple of others.

My best friend’s folks were a serious pair of Bible Believing Christians, so he had all of the best gory Judgment Day comic books and the Chick cartoon tracts. A good Catholic boy, I ate those things up.

I worked for a big old New Ager in college, at the time of the Harmonic Convergence and listened to all of her happy chatter about the dawning of the age of Aquarius when the planets lined up.

And then, on X-Day , July 5, 1998, I admit I smirked about when the SubGenius Eschaton didn’t immanetize.

So I’m not expecting a whole bunch of of 2012, the date that all of the History Channel documentaries, Nostrodamus prophecies, Mayan Calendars and Art Bell seem to point to.

See, I think deep down they want it to end. They want there to be an exclamation point to all this existence. They want an end to the narrative — but there isn’t one. The biggest part of all these stories is what happens next, whether it’s a 1,000 years of peace, the end of the Kali Yuga or Galactic Consciousness.

There’s always a next something, even  if it’s just another apocalypse.


Beyond tomorrow

A few days ago, I muttered the following nonsensical statement in plain view of other people, with my bare face hanging out and everything:

“Well, you know, I never follow anyone on Twitter until I run them through FollowCost. You never know when someone you follow might end going nuclear, you know, and who needs that?”

The person that sits across from me, the sage Lindsay Tice (@ltice to Twitter folk) looked at me and said “That’s a sentence that wouldn’t have made a damn bit of sense two years ago.”

Then she added: “I wonder what we’ll be saying in two years that make no sense today.”

Really good point, especially considering politics. If you would have told me, just three months ago, that conservatives would have been walking around talking about “Teabagging this” and “Teabagging that” in complete seriousness I just would not have bought it. (Sometimes I think reality is written by an author with a profoundly twisted sense of humor, and he probably blogs for Daily Kos in his spare time.)

The best I could come up with at the time was  “Soylent green gives me gas, and these damn VR goggles give me a headache.”

But, hey, anyone can do better than that. So I  opened it up on Twitter. Here are some of the responses I got. Feel free to come up with your own:

  • “Did they let Rush and Cheney out of Guantanamo yet?”
  • “My plasma car loses power at 15,000 feet.”
  • “You know, I liked my iPhone better before they made thumbs obsolete.”
  • “It’s really cold here on Mars.”
  • “I like the new GPS implants, but man, they itch.”
  • “Hey, man, know where I can score a latte?”
  • “I’m glad the economy turned around, but the follicle tax is a little much.”

Don’t stare, Scottie

He walks in the room and and the air changes. He gives off a kind of psychic sizzle most people can sense from across the room. People give him the long eye, then scoot aside, giving the man room.

He moves quickly, darting between people with a cell phone pressed to his ear and he’s clutching something. Could be a ragged pile of papers one week, an old cassette tape player the next. Some weeks, its an old heirloom-quality family bible.

When the room quiets down and the City Council gets going about their nightly business, he’s front and center demanding his right to speak as citizen.

He has a prophecy, a word from God. His words are shouted, not angrily, but matter of fact. They run together and become hard to distinguish. Eyes meet behind him, and some people smirk to each other. Other hide their mouths to cover a laugh.

I’ve done that, I admit.

His speech leaves no impression on the listeners. He just another eccentric with  a pipeline to the divine, trying to save a soul or two before it’s too late.

Here’s my question: Is he a story?

I’m drawn to those eccentrics, as well as the wackadoos and the nutjobs and the down right freaky people. When I was a kid, they were the guys on a street corner screaming words that only made sense in their interior world.

If I could have, I would have listened all day, trying to suss out just what in the hell they were talking about. But my Mom or some other responsible adult would have been there to move me along.

Don’t stare, Scott. Isn’t polite.

I’ve made a life out of seeking them out. I was on  a first name basis with all the Hare Krishnas and Moonies on my college campus. I love talking to the conspiracy theorist as much as I enjoy talking to anyone else. I have mementos from many of them — hand-printed internal monologues that make no sense, letters mailed to God that somehow wound up on my desk and angry screeds aimed at me or someone I know.

Back when I worked in Vail, I used to have weekly telephone conversations with a woman who regularly cursed me for living an ungodly life. She said it was wrong to live in anyway that wasn’t specifically spelled out in the Bible. It didn’t phase her at all when I pointed out that our very conversations were a sin. Jesus never spoke on a telephone, I said.

That just made her curse me more.

The Twin Cities are filled with eccentrics. I could make a regular beat out of following them, documenting their lives and their passions if I chose it. But I don’t know that anyone else would find them as fascinating.

That brings us up to the present man, and his incomprehensible, five minute monologue to City Councilors. He doesn’t seem to stop talking long enough to breath.

Finally, he finishes, raises his hands in a blessing gesture and tells the room ” I Love You.” And he leaves.

Don’t worry, he’ll be back next week.

Update: Check out this TV news report from Rhode Island. I’d like to believe I would’ve had a lot more fun with this lady. Frankly, I think the reporter should have grabbed a mask for himself and continued the interview.

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