That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane –
Lenny Bruce is not afraid…

-REM, It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

So according to both REM and our latest End Of The World prophet Harold Camping, the end of the world will start with an earthquake. The scriptures agree! As I write this, Raw Story is currently live blogging the rapture

At 6 pm local time on the International Date Line, Harold Camping of the Family Radio Network believed the Rapture was supposed to begin with a tremendous earthquake and destruction the likes of which humans have never seen. Rolling westward, it was set to hit Tokyo — which has already witnessed its share of destruction this year — at 6 pm local time, or 5 am ET. Since that’s the most reasonable unreasonably early hour I was willing to get up, that’s when this liveblog began.

I feel as if I should take time out of my busy day to relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime spectacle, since according to Camping it’s folks like me who made it all possible…

Q: Why May 21?
A: Camping calculates May 21 is exactly 7,000 years from the date of the Noah’s Ark flood. In his book “Time Has an End,” Camping writes. “The year 391 B.C. is the year when the Old Testament was finished, and 2,011 + 391 – 1 = 2,401, or 7 x 7 x 7 x 7.” There you have it.

Q: Any other reason?
A: Yes. Gay Pride and same-sex marriage. Camping says God will punish America and the rest of the world for Gay Pride and same-sex marriages, just as Sodom and Gomorrah were punished with fire and brimstone in the Old Testament.

Of course, the gays are responsible. The gays are always responsible. A friend of mine in Kansas suggests we all leave articles of clothing here and there on the streets of our towns to mark the occasion. Perhaps instead, it’s time for The Rapture to be reclaimed.

I have a scenario: Instead of rapturing the one or two percent of the world’s right wing christianist nutcases, suppose God really does rapture His Own on that day and hour no man knows, not even the Angels. Suppose He takes all the good people away. No…the Good people. The Really Good people. The ones who gave a damn about this good earth, and their neighbors…all the ones who cared enough to struggle, give their lives even, to make this world a better place for all of us…all the ones who couldn’t let an injustice go past without raising their voices…all the ones who never let a friend down, even if it meant taking some personal risk…all the ones who were trustworthy, who wouldn’t cheat a stranger, let alone a friend…all the lovers…all the dreamers of a better tomorrow. Whether they were Christian or Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist or Atheist. All the good people…which would be a pretty large portion of the human population, but alas not hardly all of it. Suppose in one sudden instant God snatched them all away. What would be left behind?

Why…all the assholes.

And there’s your Tribulation right there. Never mind the seven seals and judgement day….every day is judgement day. The antichrist isn’t a person, it’s a mindset. It’s living for what you hate instead of what you love. It’s cheating someone weaker then you just because you can and assuring yourself that the weak deserve it. It’s bullying your way though life and then whining that you don’t get the respect you deserve. It’s scapegoating your neighbor instead of taking responsibility. It’s looking at life with zero-sum glasses that are always telling you that whenever someone else is happy it’s because they’re taking something away from you. It’s resenting human joy so much you just have to strangle it wherever you see it in the eyes of others. Suppose the world was suddenly left with nothing in it but people like that.

Seven years of tribulation? Oh, no…my guess is less then one or two months before they’ve all managed to slit each others’ throats. Judgement. The joy we bring into the world, or the pain and suffering we inflict upon others, is our judgement upon the world, and ourselves, and this good earth, and some people hate everything so much they pray for the world to end soon, and some of us wish it never would. Some live in rapture, and some in tribulation and every day is judgement day.

To paraphrase Jesus of Nazareth, the jerks will always be with you…try your best to deal with it. Later today I’ll pour a little glass from my bottle of Don Julio 1942 and toast the rapture that happens whenever I am happy and realize that for all its pain and struggle, life is good. And when 6:30 comes along and the universe is just going on about its usual business I’ll be sitting on my front porch savoring a very nice tequila, and listening to the birds in my maple tree chirping like they don’t believe the world will ever end.