Friday, June 13, 2008

End of World As You Know It

The world ended yesterday. Nuclear war, as I understand it. Yeah, I know, I missed it too. Just got too busy, and things backed up, and we had a game last night and before you know it, the day was done and so was the globe, all in a nuclear fireball.

No, really, this guy not only called for a nuclear war by yesterday if not sooner, but has gotten national press coverage for his statements. This despite being wrong before (September 12, 2006, for you apocalypse aficionados).

And it reminded me of the Millerites, who were the followers of minister William Miller and a predecessor of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Throughout the 1830s, Miller and his followers preached on the imminent return of Christ, no later than March 21, 1844. When that deadline passed, there was a reconvening and a reconfiguring using a different calender, setting a new date for April 18 of that year. When THAT day passed, they settled on October 22, a date now known as "The Great Disappointment" due to the lack of heavenly trumpets and ending of the earth.

And in the wake, there were a number of theories about what happened, ranging from the idea that doomsday was pushed back due to the inherent goodness of Miller's followers to the proposal that doomsday had happened, but it was a heavenly event and we just didn't get the memo.

Me, I think the minister pushing the current doomsday (who has the nickname "Buffalo Bill", which I think if from the book of Hezekiah) was just trying to spare us from another Friday the 13th. Nice try, but no mushroom cloud.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the Midwest has been wracked by heavy storms and floods. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is underwater, and the man-made Lake Delton, near the Wisconsin Dells, has been swept away. Oddly, this doesn't seem to get the same level of press as a crazy preacher in Texas calling for doomsday.

The natives of Lake Delton describe the dam break as "The End of the World", and it is a horrible thing. But, alas, it the end of the world by water, not fire, so we can't even give "Buffalo Bill" half-credit.

More later,