Just in case the world ends tomorrow

There’s much hilarity, at least among me and my heathen friends, about the prediction by fundamentalist preacher Harold Camping that tomorrow worldwide disasters will befall the earth and the Rapture will snatch a tiny remnant of true Christianity into the clouds. But it’s not just me and the snarking, hellbound folks I hang out with. It’s big news all over.

A search for “May 21 doomsday” brings up 1950 articles on Google news. On Twitter, “If the world ends Saturday” is a top topic, worldwide. And on Facebook, 490,946 people have signed up to attend the event, “Post Rapture Looting.” (Time: 12-3 p.m. Saturday. Location: everywhere.)

However, USA Today reports that only a few of Rev. Camping’s employees believe they’ll be raptured tomorrow: apparently, 80% plan to report to work on Monday.

Meanwhile, Live Science explains the lure of the apocalyptic. And Armageddon isn’t all fun and games. It’s terror and disappointment, too. Slacktivist has a compassionate take on people who live in fear of Judgment Day.

But I don’t mean to be so serious. So what if floods, plagues of crows, and the cast of Jersey Shore descend on us in a chilling, tacky reaping. Let’s dance! What books would you read, and what music would you play, before/during/after the apocalypse?

I’d of course start with REM, segue into Carmina Burana (“O Fortuna!”) and then open up the dance floor to Motown. I’d finish with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, to coincide with the influx of flaming comets. And on my reading list:

  • The Stand, Stephen King
  • A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter Miller
  • The Passage, Justin Cronin
  • Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke

I would also be remiss if I didn’t remind everybody that I have written a novel about an extremist sect that tries to bring on the Apocalypse. Yes, that would be China Lake. Yes, that would be the novel’s Edgar Award on the shelf right there. Yes, I believe pride is a deadly sin, but what are you going to do about it? You’re going to be dodging comets. You have bigger things to complain about. Hey, it’s not the end of the world.

30 responses to “Just in case the world ends tomorrow

  1. I’d start off my music list with Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries”…just because I love the smell of napalm during an apocalypse. But when the comets started raining down, it would have to be Strauss’ “Also sprach Zarathustra”…..then maybe The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun”.

    I can’t top Meg’s reading list… You can’t go wrong with any of her choices. But I might add John Connolly’s “The Gates”. (The Gates of Hell are opening….mind the gap.)

    My idea of hell? Being stranded in the bar of a Holiday Inn during a nasty Midwestern Blizzard…and all they have is non-alcoholic beer…and the only thing on the jukebox is Jimmy Buffet…for all eternity. I can take a lot of things, but I cannot abide Jimmy Buffet. That would be hell.

  2. While I’m getting ready to face my impending doom, I’d want to psyche myself into an appropriate frame of mind for witnessing the end of all things. Innuendo, by Queen to start with, followed Basil Poledouris’ theme from the Conan the Barbarian film (to accompany my “dying prayer”, which will bear a passing resemblance to Conan’s), before switching to Yakkety Sax, by Boots Randolf (aka the Benny Hill theme) for the big event itself.

    The reading list is pretty hard to argue with, but I’d swap out The Stand for The Talisman and add Terry Pratchett’s Nation, Iain (M.) Banks’ The Bridge and Use of Weapons, and then James Morrow’s Towing Jehovah and Glen Duncan’s I, Lucifer, as a sort of final sticking up of two fingers as I await my time in hell, which will consist of…

    Being stuck in a small, too hot room, in which I’m forced to drink banana flavoured milkshake while watching an endless loop of Jersey Shore, Big Brother and films starring Adam Sandler that aren’t Spanglish or Punch Drunk Love.

  3. The only things I would add to Meg’s lists would be Swan Song by Robert McCammon and Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf. Of course, listening to the song Braver Than We Are would be my swan song as I am lifted heavenward only to have aim taken by rabid Rapture Skeet Shooters. Talk about Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t. :>)

  4. Oh, one more thing. Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore if you want to get some background on The Man Himself.

  5. Madeline — “In an old house that was covered with vines…”
    Harriett the Spy
    On Writing
    Grapes of Wrath–ahoheaoheohaeohaoehoahea! Okay, scratch that one.

    Music–Mad World by Gary ???
    Afterlife–Paul Simon
    I Will Follow You Into the Dark–Death Cab for Cutie
    Flagpole Sittah — Harvey Danger
    Breathe Me — Sia

  6. While the method of the end of times is slightly different, I find it reassuring that the US Government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued this blog post, entitled Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse, yesterday. Everything you need to know to prepare is included, plus a little history on Zombies.

    Also, Meg, don’t think that it escaped us that, while you don’t overtly pimp “China Lake” until the final paragraph of the post above, you do manage to work in the phrase “…the Rapture will snatch a tiny remnant of true Christianity…” into the first paragraph. Very subliminal of you…

    • I’m both proud and sly.

      And kudos for pointing me in the direction of the Post-Rapture Looting event. Have you chosen the color of the Ferrari(s) you’re going to grab?

      • Any post-Magnum, P.I. Ferrari worth it’s salt must be red. Though, truth be told, the nearest Ferrari dealership to Des Moines is a Grand Prix’ distance away. Might have to settle for the most exotic Kia on the lot.

  7. The rapture?!?!?…you sure?
    Ah jeez, now what the hell am I supposed to do with a truck load of fresh bunny meat?

  8. I’d add one song to your list: Roger Waters Amused To Death.

  9. Bother, I forgot to say that unless I am a piece of the “tiny remnant of true Christianity” then y’all should be safe and sound.
    Seeing as it is well and truly Saturday the 21st and I am still sitting here amongst the dirty dishes and mounds of washing, (Credit to Dana Jean) then I am assuming that my kitchen is neither heaven, nor hell.
    Wait, it could actually be my own special version of hell.
    Sorry, you are all just going to have to wait until tomorrow.
    (Really, what good is a One Day Ahead Oracle if she really can’t predict the future?!)

  10. Flakes! I’m amazed that you’re still here.

    For those who don’t know, Flakes lives in New Zealand, in one of the first time zones to see May 21st. She bravely stayed online when midnight came, to let me know what was happening. I was relieved to hear that she and her mounds of washing were unaffected by global tremors.

    But just now I’ve seen a television interview with Harold Camping, Mr. Doomsday. He says the earthquakes will strike at 6 p.m. local time, wherever you are.

    Flakes — did you have dinner in your kitchen, or in a smoking hole?

  11. Well, my kitchen often resembles a smoking hole, (even though we no longer smoke) but no… we’re all present and accounted for. I have very high hopes that my Northern friends will be just as disappointed. Er… relieved.

    Good luck people, my fingers are crossed…

    • I am relieved you are still here my Flakester friend. Maybe the end of the world is a pick-and-choose sort of game. Kinda like that Job situation. You know God, always goofin’ on us.

      • You could be right, Deej. I do have a feeling that I probably haven’t made the cut. That would be typical, wouldn’t it? Not quite good enough for the Rapture, not quite bad enough to send South. (Perhaps God thinks that New Zealand is already far enough south?)

  12. Well me dear Flakey, y’all might just best be wantin’ to be doin’ some serious restin’ up!
    I mean it’s beginnin’ to sound like if this all goes south, up yonder here in the north that is, it may fall upon you guys to repopulate this big ol’ flyin’ mudball.
    Hmm, I just know there’s gotta be a perk in there somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I know what it is πŸ™‚ .

    • Oh dear me, Pat. If repopulating the world is going to be left up to the likes of me… then mankind is more than likely doomed.

  13. That’s me Kiwi!
    But you can relax Flake, it’s now after six and all is well, a least on Eastern Standard Time rightchere in The Mighty BlueGrass.
    I’m more than happy to continue all regularly scheduled non procreative activities…end of the world or not, I finally got my grass cut and the rest of the day is mine, is what I’m sayin’ πŸ˜‰ .

  14. What if the remnant is just so small that the rest of us didn’t notice?

    I was on the lookout for signs of the apocalypse today while we were out at a local celtic festival and highland games. Despite the careful scrutiny, no highland dancers, bagpipe players, tossers of cabers, or lobbers of sheaves seemed to disappear in mid-stride.

    • That’s all good news, except that now, with no catastrophic interruption, some poor soul will be saddled with bringing in the sheaves. (As usual, I don’t even know what I mean.)

  15. *SN πŸ™‚ RT*
    That hurt me just a little.

    Well as you probably then know, that is precisely what signals much rejoicing to begin, followed of course by the occasional frivolous frolicking, dancing in the streets, singin’ in the rain, playin’ that funky music, and uhh, probably other stuff πŸ™‚ .

  16. OK this is no fun. Here I am, poised to loot and somone says, “like, no Rapture, man.” Bummer.

    • It’s okay David, I’m sure someone, somewhere in this big wide world is Rapturing…. and if not? There is always Freeganism–the next best thing to looting.

  17. I was just wondering if anyone wanted to help me put helium in some blow up dolls when my cousin sent me this. As usual, my timing leaves a lot to be desired.

    • Hahahahahahahahahaha!

    • Careful reading is important. The first time I read you post, Rich, I got, “…help me put helium in some blow up dolls my cousin sent me…” Glad to know my reading was full of hot air.

      • I do that a lot, Ron. I hope you don’t have the same problem with studying scripts. :>) How is regional theater in the midwest these days?

  18. My cousin has an even more off beat sense of humor than I have and it wouldn’t be that far fetched an idea that he would send something like this. :>)

  19. Rich: Next time. Please.

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