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.