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OK, So THIS Time it Really IS the End of The World. Right?

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

OK, So THIS Time it Really IS the End of The World. Right?

Andrew Ryan

Remember Harold Camping’s epic doomsday prediction fail back in May? Based on his mathematical trawling of the Bible, God was supposed to send Earthquakes around world for a few months starting on May 21st, sending all the good people to heaven and condemning sinners to wallow painful in their own filth amongst the rubble until the world actually PROPERLY ends on October 21st, which is this Friday. Excited? Oh man, me too. The best bit will be when this Camping fellow explains away the lack of absolute death and destruction on October 22nd with something like “Oh, oops, I got a small calculation wrong, turns out that day was actually when God chose his next prophet, WHO HAPPENS TO BE MY GREATGRANDSON WHATARETHECHANCES RIGHT??”

I find it endlessly fascinating how transparent and ridiculous human beings can be. Let’s look at this doomsday thing; human looks at world through bible coloured glasses, and doesn’t see anything he recognizes from the ancient text, which could easily be the only subject he’s ever read about. In his eyes, the world has gone to hell, which means everyone except him and the people who listen to his radio show are going to hell. Most of the world doesn’t give a shit about his outdated religious repent-and-be-saved bullshit, and when his tiny mind can’t comprehend any other solution to the world’s problems than religious faith, he decides, well, God can fix it, and the only way He can fix it is by wiping the slate clean and starting again. Pick a date, any date will do. This guy will, of course, be watching all this go down from the safety of heaven, and he doesn’t want to be alone up there, so he spreads the word and tries to convince his already attentive flock that they should listen to him even harder because IT WILL ALL BE OVER because Harold can’t see how it would go down any other way.

The narcissism on display here is incredible, but it’s not confined to this one particular crazy old dude, we’re all guilty of it. Even if we exclude all the directly attributable to man reasons for mass extinction, we’re left with a bajillion theories and predictions for The End, and they’re all things that everyone has kind of considered as possible to happen in their lifetime. Sun explosion/implosion, planet shaking, gravity disappearing, asteroids, comets, the plague, aliens, the return of Jesus- who of you has not thought, even for a second “oh shit, I’m going to see the end of the world”. Humans are totally into the idea that their lives are significant and the time they happen to be alive is the most important in history. WELL, it’s possible, but, you know, so is the existence of mermaids.

I wonder how much money our Harold has made off this round of prophesizing? Apparently he made $100 million from donations in the last seven years, and it’s very likely he made a whole bunch of additional dollars from book sales. Yep, he wrote BOOKS about his failed prophecies (before they proved themselves to be failures), which I am not even going to bother reading about because the thought is just too repulsive.

Where is the logic in donating money to a campaign to save souls? Why bother with any other form of spending for the sake of a “better afterlife”? WHY IS AN AFTERLIFE EVEN IMPORTANT? The Egyptians believed in life after death and look what happened to them. Maybe if they didn’t spend all their time creating giant houses for dead people and putting all their finery into tombs they might have had the resources for a longer lasting civilization? Hmm? Better quality of life in the present? “Heaven on Earth”? Why not strive to make this planet and this life nicer to live in instead of focusing on some imaginary cloud-land with a big happy father figure who just freaking loves the shit out of you because you were a good little boy who followed all of the rules and Daddy is proud. Proud? Proud.

And besides, if the rest of the population has gone for this long without converting to religion in the face of countless end of the world prophecies, what makes these religious nuts think another prediction- by a guy who’s already fucked up like four in the last twenty years and is obviously way too old to be taken seriously- is going to make a difference? Why do they not see that he’s probably just predicting his own death and can’t imagine a world without him in it? My fingers are curling in between key tapping; my frustration with the narrow minded is coming out through fingernails digging into my palms.

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? Why is common sense and rationality so rare? Anyhow, I hope you enjoy yourselves this Friday. Have another end of the world party, just in case, and have the best time ever because this life may as well be enjoyed.