So no matter where I went today (one of these places not being church because I am a lost cause), people were going to town with the “oh the big bad rapture’s going to get us” attitude. Which is cute, and occasionally clever the first handful of times, until it’s uncomfortable, annoying, and starts to feel a little too antagonizing/provoking (“oh, what, you’re going to end the world or something? well, I’m going to update my Facebook status every minute the rapture doesn’t happen”) . I mean who wouldn’t secretly wish at least a metaphorical lightning bolt stirred things up a bit?
The fact that the bogus prediction (see I am safe to say this now. wooo retrospect) got so much attention, even though largely in the form of mass mocking, shows that people, in some corner of their brains, feared that it might actually happen. By talking about it, the prediction was validated. Acknowledging the claims of the crazies just fuels the fire/tornadoes/earthquakes/end of mankind as we know it claims. In some respect, people feared something might happen. Never doubt the power of suggestion via lunatics. Why else would everyone try so hard to make a joke about it? If it’s funny, and there’s a general consensus of its impossibility, people can relax a bit. But this doesn’t detract from the fact that there was at least a touch of nervousness to these jokes. And the quantity of these jokes is just further evidence of this nervousness.
It’s interesting how people react and how something as hypothetically serious as oh, you know, the apocalypse, can be so “funny”. Not to say that I didn’t make a rapture crack any chance I got today. I certainly did. I told my mother that Old Navy online shopping was not a wise way to spend her last hours (or an hours really), $1 flip-flops or no. I may or may not have momentarily tried to convince my younger sister–who was distressed the entire day– that I was ascending, which she didn’t buy, due more to the unlikelihood than my performance.
I suppose these jokes are in the same family as the nervous-at-a-funeral laughter or those terrible (hilarious) dead baby jokes. I would hope that if people really thought the world was ending, they would try to do something more fulfilling with their waning time than tweet about it. I can’t tell for certain if making light of the end of humanity is healthy–in that it’s a form of catharsis to dispel any lingering irrationity– or unhealthy in that it creates an obsession of sorts.
In any case, aside from being relieved of some student loan payments had Armageddon arrived, I guess I’m happy the world isn’t over, yet.
But 2012? Pssshht Mayans. More than Lie-yans. Am I right?