When I was in the fourth grade, there was a rumor that on March 6th a nuclear device located somewhere in a subway tunnel in Manhattan would be set off, blowing up most of the Eastern Seaboard. I believe the supposed estimation was D.C. to Boston would be gone. Discussing this, my classmates and I played kickball and learned about the Presidents in an elementary school sitting in a city that is the direct center point between New York City and Philadelphia. Therefore, according to fourth grade Geography: everything that mattered would be gone. We were a little nervous.
Actually, that’s a gigantic understatement. My parents, together, had to literally drag me fighting all the way to the car and force me out of it at the school. (I’m not really sure why I didn’t expect to suffer the same fate at my house, less than a quarter of a mile away. I walked to school every day in elementary and middle school, unless it was bad weather or the world was going to end.) I remember my whole class being positively unhinged. I have no idea where the rumor started, or if it was more than just Calypso Elementary gripped with fear, but we were frenzied. March 6th also happened to be the 10th birthday of a boy in my class named Mark. Poor Mark. We wouldn’t shut up. We were all talking about what we’d heard. (I, personally, had been fed quite a plethora of information by a boy named Zach in the 5th grade.) We were all trying to visualize the carnage with our mouths. Poor Mark. This careful, quiet boy was heartbroken and furious. He was crying and screaming…and we all just kept spitting prophecy in the scariest terms nine-turning-ten-year-olds can. And at the exact moment the bomb was supposed to hit us (it was said to be detonated at 3:06 pm and would hit us by 3:09), we all dove under our desks. All but Mark and, well, the teacher. Mark screeched and told us we were ruining his birthday. (We really, really were. We suck.)
When we didn’t find ourselves in the here-after…it was basically just a quiet moment where we all sat on the floor (except for Mark and the teacher). It wasn’t that we were let down; it wasn’t that we were relieved. We were alive and that was good, but we maybe felt lost. Duped, maybe? Confused, for certain. Oh, and we’d ruined Mark’s birthday, so we didn’t feel too awesome about that. Poor Mark.
After we were not doomsday-ed on March 6th, at about 3:10 pm, I had to be coaxed, then physically pulled, out from under my desk. I’m fairly sure my beloved, but annoyed and frazzled, fourth grade teacher thought I wanted the attention. This is not an unfounded claim—I was a bit of a childhood ham. However, it wasn’t the cause here. I spent large amounts of my childhood obsessed with the rapture.
Admittedly, I was an odd, idiosyncratic, sometimes-fixated child who grew up to be an odd, idiosyncratic, sometimes-fixated adult. I went about my rapture-obsession somewhat strangely. I didn’t think it was about to happen. I didn’t think we were living in the end times. I’m not even sure that I expected it to happen in my earthly lifetime. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it, worrying over it. I would try to segue catechism instruction to questions I had about the Second Coming. If I got the instructor on the topic (some were either than others), I wouldn’t let up until all the other kids were freaked out and I was forced to. I was told not to worry about it. I was told I was in no immediate danger and couldn’t do anything to stop it if I was. But that wasn’t my aim. And not worry about it? That’s like telling us to hush up and learn the scientific names for the different levels of atmosphere (this, I do remember learning in 4th grade) from 3:05 to 3:10 on March 6th. That’s like Mark not worrying he’ll be nuked to bits on his tenth birthday. Poor Mark.
I’m not so wrapped up in these idea now—not entirely. Sometimes, my art drifts toward these deeply ingrained ponderments. I can’t help that. Escalating tensions in the world do make me a tad nervous now and again. I don’t know that I should try to stop that. And every once in a while I need to telephone someone reassuring and have them tell me it’s OK to plan life for 2013. I would appreciate adding you to this list. (My brother invited me to attend 2013 on Facebook. He’s a good brother, and also, not a worrier.)
So, as you can see if you’re still with me, I don’t say this summation lightly. I’m not a lifelong skeptic about doomsday conspiracy theories. I get nervous. I dive under my desk. Expiration dates on canned goods that say “Jan. 2013” make me laugh in an anxious kind of way. That’s where I’m at. (Yes, somewhere behind that preposition, grammar nerds.)
But here it is:
What kind of nonsense in this May 21st rapture prediction?
Yes, I’ve read about it. (Not extensively, though. Be proud of my small accomplishments. This has taken years of therapy.) I feel like it came out of nowhere. Some man decided the Bible told him so. Now, I have read the Bible. I am a person of deep faith—Christian faith at that, though you can guess to the particular sect later. However, that does not mean that I am blinded to this fact: you can make any text (even the Bible) say whatever you want it to say if you are creative, driven, smart, crazy enough. I feel as though “proof” in these cases is often an “eye of the beholder” flavored thing.
Me, who is still not entirely settled about 2012, is about as certain as I can be about anything that our terrifying plunge into rapture will not begin this Saturday. (Lemme fill you in, if you didn’t spend as much time wading around in Revelations and supplemental texts as I did. This is what happens: there will be a war like we’ve never known between good and evil—personificate that as you will. We will all be up to our knees in blood. We won’t know if we’ve been saved and chosen to enter into God’s Eternal Kingdom or not until we’ve been stabbed with a big sword. Now…imagine me having streamed these idea for several years prior, and you’ll understand why I didn’t want to get out from under my desk.) This goes on for a while—in our current scenario five months—and THEN the world ends. Fantastic.
I don’t think this will happen this weekend. I don’t have any of my proof, but I just don’t think so. I could be wrong. And then, I guess, on Sunday I’ll have many admissions to attend to, many things to say I’ve been holding back. I hope this isn’t the case, I have a bunch of plans next week…oh, and for the next 60 years. If I am wrong, I’ll say “my bad” to all of you in this post-rapture pandemonium. However, this all is just my unsolicited opinion.
To Whomever It Most Concerns:
Does it matter exactly to whom I address? Who’s the biggest part of the problem? Owners? Players? Fans? (I’m only throwing “fans” in there because I kinda think it’s ridiculous that we let this continue. I’m not saying it’s like, “All evil needs to thrive is for good men to do nothing,” but I’m not saying it’s not.)
Let’s address the rest of this to the Player/Owner combo.
You’re all just…silly. A lockout it silly and wasteful and annoying in general at any time. But dearest NBA (I actually don’t even like the NBA in a terribly high quantity. The basketball I like falls under the acronym NCAA.), when you initiate a tooth-and-nail fight to protect your rights after the NFL just did that for approximately a million months—sweetheart, nobody CARES. Oh, players, your feelings are hurt and you want to go play overseas now? Good. You need a vacation; we need a break. All the soccer players do it. Buck up. That whole ex-pat thing is so chic right now anyway. We are over a lockout story (except I’m currently talking about it, aren’t I?). We don’t care if it’s resolved, we care that it’s shut up.
Oh, also, we forgot to mention: your fans aren’t doing do well, and whether you’re putting a ball through a net at home or abroad has nothing to do with it. They’re starving, they’re jobless, they’re in foreclosure, oh and lots of other things in this vein. They’re trying to peacefully alert the system, and they’re opposition is far more severe than yours.
So everyone, quiet up. Players: zip it. Go make another Nike commercial, and you’re set. Play in Europe or sit at home and watch Scarface on loop: I don’t care. Owners: Eeeeeeeenough! You’re keeping people out of jobs—I don’t mean players, I mean vendors, ushers, security. Fix it or at least let your down-and-out fans sleep in the empty stadium since you’re using it (you know, if you haven’t rented it out to U2 for the night).
And: GOOD! Cancel the first two weeks of the season. It’s too long anway.
On a Duke-related sidenote (cuz I bleed Duke blue), I’ll bet Kyrie Irving is sorry now! Ha! Shoulda stayed at Duke another year, baby. You coulda actually played basketball and I still coulda loved you.
In conclusion, make the problem go away and I can at least politely follow the season again.
Yours with cold attention,