not with a bang but a whimper


There has been so much obsession with the Apocalypse lately: the mini-boom in Revelation-based books, the ravings of the End of Days Christians, movies, TV shows and just about every pundit harping on Armageddon as though it were some kind of cool parlor trick. I have to say, I don’t quite get the allure.

There’s two kinds of apocalypses – the religious kind, and the secular kind. In the religious scenario, God descends upon the Earth, or Jesus, or somebody, and all of us rigid agnostic types are forced to eat crow, slap our heads and say “shit, if only we’d listened to the MORMONS!” There’s much gnashing of teeth, a lot of judgments, electronics stop working, and I’m sure it’s incredibly well art-directed.

The other kind would suck. A secular apocalypse would be some sort of nuclear meltdown, an environmental shift or a massive virus that wipes out life as we know it. This would take a fairly long time, as the last survivors eke out a dreadful existence, breathing their last in a cruel winter, all hope and joy utterly demolished. This is the far more likely scenario as apocalypses go, and pardon me for repeating myself, but what exactly the fuck is so cool about that?

Either way, why are we so presumptuous as to believe we’re the ones to get the End of Days? Crazy Christians never fail to amaze me; they think they’re so fucking special that God would have to make an appearance on their watch.

I refuse to believe that the end of the world is that arbitrary. It would also be tremendously unfair – I’m still in my thirties, for Christ’s sake. Shit, the baby in Tessa’s tummy is negative-three days! Why do WE have shoulder the fucking apocalypse? Furthermore, why do people seem so psyched to get it all over with?

Obsessing about the End Days is like meeting God and pissing on his leg. If you dig on Armageddon, you are truly beyond the reach of modern entertainment and should try self-flagellation or sensory deprivation tanks. Leave life for the living, and leave the springtime to those of us who still appreciate it every time it comes.

0 thoughts on “not with a bang but a whimper

  1. Killian

    Thank You! And my particular pet peeve is the “Left Behind” book series that has insinuated its way into (many) Christian reading/discussion circles. YIKES. If stuff like this actually ENCOURAGED agency (let’s get rid of poverty, violence, degredation, etc. on OUR watch, before the end of the world) that would be one thing, [I don’t even care IF people did good stuff just to get to “Heaven”—good stuff would be getting done] but it doesn’t seem to work that way.
    anyway, I liked the cheer from the last comment on the last post—ending with “push that baby out” ! Go, Tessa, Go!! Love to you Three. Sacred OR secular, the end of the world could not POSSIBLY happen before the beautiful Peanut arrives. THAT would just be wrong, wrong, wrong!

  2. Kevin

    And I thought I was the only other person in the world who has gotten sick and tired of this crap as well. . . . As I think on it, it must be very depressing to be one of these Chirstian Conservatives/American Taliban types: So afraid of life and all that is has to offer in the way of art, music, literature, film, not to mention love of your fellow man/woman, but also so petrified to meet the maker that they claim loves THEM so much and hates all of us heathen devils for our philandering ways. (Please see the recent Terri Shiavo protests to see a perfect example of the fear exuded by these people) The End-of-Days-ers who try so hard to prech to and convert/rebirth people like only sour me religion as a whole and convince me further that it truly is a gateway psychosis. Ian, any headway on getting “American Coastopia” up and running?

  3. LWB

    “I refuse to believe that the end of the world is that arbitrary. It would also be tremendously unfair”
    Ignoring the contradictions there, I’ve heard you say some things on the basketball court that would make you a PERFECT candidate for a front-row seat to the End Times.
    I was just down in Amish country for Brent Cox’s wedding, an then saw Kingpin the next day. Now those people are beyond the reach of entertainment.
    Speaking of which, can I put in a request for why the Amish piss you off in a blog soon? I do think you have some good points there, English.

  4. Ehren

    Actually, I’m not Christian at all and I find the idea of the Rapture and the whole world of Revelations to be interesting and rather exciting as a source of fictional narrative. I mean, it’s kind of thrilling to see earthquakes eat up LA or to see comets hit the earth or whatever. For me, it’s a similar thrill to what I would get watching War of the Worlds or even Lord of the Rings.
    The only problem is all the extremist right-wing hysteria that goes along with the Left Behind books, like the antichrist turning out to be the head of the United Nations. But can you honestly say you don’t see the appeal of disaster movies? Of end of the world sci-fi/fantasy?

  5. cathie

    ok, as your resident professional christian, i cannot keep myself from commenting.
    first, you don’t get why people are attracted to the violent aspects of the end of the world scenerios?? please see every action movie ever released in july. beyond the reach of entertainment??? try right in the middle…
    second, like most things in the bible, the apocalypse has been mined of its sensationalist aspects and drained of its truly religious ones – namely that it is a quite beautiful vision of the return of eden, with the city of jerusalem shining in the middle – a tribute to humanity’s work in God’s world and a promise that God will gather every living creature in redemption – ‘wiping every tear from every eye’
    hardly a scenerio of hatred or judgment, but a sign of hope and humanity.
    which is what i need when i see so much secular AND religious perversion of what i dedicate my life to.

  6. Piglet

    The definitive commentary on the Book of Revelation is “Apocolypse”, by DH Lawrence.
    The thesis in a nutshell is that Christianity would never, ever have caught on based on the Gospels. Return love for hatred, turn the other cheek, and all that Sermon on the Mount stuff? No, people need a religion that Kicks Ass! they want to see the world destroyed, the heathens eternally torture while repenting too late, and MASSIVE wailing and gnashing of teeth. It’s not enough for the meek to inherit the earth; they need to look down and see all the bare-bellied sneetches suffering, while they themselves urinate on them from on high.
    That’s why Revelations, and not the Gospels, are the essence of modern christianity.

  7. Ehren

    Regarding Mr. Of The Woods’ quotation of Mr. Springsteen, I always thought that we are supposed to take that line, which is spoken by the doomed narrator to the woman he loves, as an empty sort of promise that we and the Boss know will never really come to pass.

  8. Chris

    D.H. Lawrence is the author of the “definitive commentary” on the book of Revelations.
    The one.
    My Lord is that funny.

  9. KJF

    amen to that! didnt we already suffer through a mini-apocalypse in november 2004. thats enough for one lifetime. and just one more comment from the peanut gallery……ba-by, ba-by, ba-by!!!!

  10. Emily

    If this helps, I was the first born in my family and was SEVEN days late. But my mother also claims that I was by far her easiest delivery (out of four).

  11. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Hmmm — no new entry. It is about time! Hope Ian brought his laptop to the hospital with him! Details! We want details!

  12. CL

    Yeah, definitely…things are happening.
    Good luck, guys!!!!!!!!!!
    Meanwhile, we’ll talk amongst yourselves. Laurie, Andrew and Dixie, I hope you have a delightful day today.

  13. kent

    I agree with you, but, that “Revelations” series is the bomb! It’s as hokey as that California falls into the ocean show, and it has screaming demons of hell! Or at least scenery chewing of biblical proportions! And a hot Nun.
    You better believe that the followers of Ozzie and the Heavy Metal Nation are all OVER this miniseries. 2 Devil’s Horns Hand Gestures Way UP!

  14. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Thanks CL. You have a lovely day, too.
    We could all place Internet bets on the details of Peanut’s arrival!
    Here are my guesses —
    Name: Caroline Blake-Williams
    Size: 7.9 lbs, 21 inches
    Hair: flaming red
    Duration of labor: 15 hours
    Manner of arrival announcement: water broke
    Drugs or no drugs?: After 11th hour of labor, one epidural administered

  15. Coach Dean Smith

    Coach Gut turned me on to your blog…he’s an avid reader. I appreciate the kind comments about me and the Tar Heels over the years.
    I’m a little concerned about your jaundiced view towards Christianity. I share your concerns about the so-called “Moral Majority”
    For a different perspective, I’d invite you to visit the Binkley Baptist Church the next time you are in Chapel Hill. Our website is
    Anyway best wishes with your new child and Go Heels.
    Coach Dean E. Smith

  16. kevin

    I’m pretty sure it is he by the Binkley link.
    Congratualtions to you three and we look forward to hearing more details. k


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