Saturday, September 23, 2017

The world is not ending today after all, but the world as we know it is ending

So says a man named David Meade who is about as kooky as they come. Maybe kooky is too harsh a word. Loony. That's much better.

He has lots and lots of details about the planet Jupiter and the constellation Virgo and a heretofore unnoticed planet called either Planet X or Nibiru (take your pick) that has supposedly entered the solar system and will crash into the earth shortly. You can read all about this stuff somewhere else if you care to, because I will not dignify the ruse scam nonsense matter further.

Religious nuts (of which I am not one) do this all the time. The movement that became the Seventh-Day Adventist Church said Christ would return in 1844, and when He didn't they modified their doctrine a bit. The movement that became the Jehovah's Witnesses said Christ would return in 1914, and when He didn't they modified their doctrine a bit. There was a big expectation among certain people that the world would end in 1987, but they had to modify their doctrine a bit. At one point in the 1970s, some people in South Florida began moving to Maggie Valley, North Carolina to avoid the wrath to come. How that would have helped I do not know. Does anyone remember Hal Lindsay? Harold Camping?

Somehow the return of Christ and the end of the world are intertwined, or they're not, depending on where you wish to place your money.

It's all about the money.

I just checked Amazon and all sorts of apocalyptic titles are waiting for you to snap them up at very reasonable prices ($3.99, $6.99, $10.91, $11.11).

Some apocalyptic titles have to do with nuclear catastrophe instead of the return of Christ, such as Alas, Babylon which I read about forty years ago, and The Postman, which was made into a movie starring Kevin Costner, and we mustn't leave out The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Nuclear catastrophe seems much more likely in the overall scheme of things than the Planet Nibiru crashing into earth, don't you think?

This has been another semi-fascinating post to make you aware of what's going on around you that you aren't even aware of.

This post could probably benefit from a beginning, a middle, and an ending, but it is what it is.

For those of you who remember him, Putz is beginning to seem more lucid all the time.

Editor's note. An update for readers of yesterday's post. On 13 February 2017, Kim Jong-nam was assassinated. He died after being attacked by two women with VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia while traveling from Macau under a pseudonym. The death is under investigation but it is speculated that it was carried out by the North Korean government. --RWP


  1. I made a reference to today being the end of the world in my latest post. I remember when the new century was arriving. The wife of my children's step-brother was telling us about the way they were hoarding water and food. They were maxing out their credit cards because all the computers were going to lose all data. She went on and on until I could take it no more. I stated that those things would not happen. I saw a crazed glaze cover her eyes. That was when I realized I was going to try to disagree with a lunatic and I closed my mouth. By the way they are no longer married.

    1. During the Y2K scare I worked, as I had for many years, in the software applications department of a spinoff of a mega-corporation that you would recognize by its three initials beginning with A and ending with T. The big problem was caused by the fact that way back at mid-century when computing first caught on, the programmers, in an effort to conserve valuable space in their precious contraptions, decided to use a 2-position year field as in mm/dd/yy and then proceed to do simple subtraction in all of their programs for the next half-century to determine an earlier date from a later date. Suddenly, in about 1996 or so, some brilliant person realized that this method was no longer going to work when (19)99 rolled over into (20)00. The simple correction was to change to a 4-position year field as in mm/dd/yyyy, but it affected thousands (probably millions) of programs. Fortunately, the changeover worked swimmingly and the doomsday prophets were wrong once again. This fix will work until the rollover from the year 9999 to the year 10,000, when a 5-position year field will be necessary unless the planet Nibiru has crashed into us first.

  2. "Religious nuts (of which I am not one)" - One of the funniest lines I've read ina while. Hahahaha, it tickles me you feel the need to say so! And Putz?! Lovely Putz. He went wol nd I kept a check on his blog for ever so long, and his son's too, but in the end I hought he'd just left for good. I'll have a look for him now. Thank you for the words rhymes, great ones as ever. x

    1. I just checked Putz's blog and he still hasn't posted anything since December 2013, but his son Daniel's biking blog is going strong. I am hoping that David is still alive and kicking and just finally caved to his wife Karma's fervent wish for him to stop blogging. I'm certain that blogland, to say nothing of Ephraim/Manti/Tooele, Utah, will never be the same.

  3. P.S., my first comment was in reply to Emma Springfield and my second comment was in reply to All Consuming Profuse apologies for the omissions, which might have been one more indication that the world as we know it is ending.

  4. Of course I remember the legendary Putz. Some people thought that he was The Son of God but he wasn't. I know this because I met the real Jesus in my local pub last night. It was the second coming. He was over in the corner reading a much-thumbed copy of The Bible and chuckling wildly about all the mistakes and contradictions. "Who wrote this nonsense?" he kept expostulating. I bought him a pint of Tetley's bitter and a bag of plain crisps (American: chips). Miraculously, he turned that pint into dozens of pints and that one packet of crisps into a mountain of crisps. The landlord was none too happy and promptly turfed Jesus out of the pub, yelling, "You're barred!" as he threw Jesus's big wooden cross out into the street. "And you can take this bloody thing with you too!"

  5. Yorkshire Pudding, I do love a good piece of fiction. Unfortunately, this was not a good piece of fiction. I'm kidding. It probably is a pretty good piece of fiction, just not the type I enjoy. C+

  6. Unfortunately I've left it too late. The world has ended.

  7. Graham, given the horrific events that occurred earlier this week in Las Vegas, it does seem that way, doesn’t it?

  8. Interesting post.

    May 21, 2011, was the date set by Camping (and proclaimed by nationwide billboards). When the physical end didn't come, he covered himself by saying the spiritual end HAD come on that date, and that the spiritual end would arrive LATER That same year (in December, I think). By then, hundreds, if not thousands, of people had sold their homes and given Camping all their money for his use in getting the word out, and when they asked for their money back, he called them whiners. I'm reminded of a verse from Ecclesiastes about evil men prolonging their days by their evil--Camping lived to be 92. You no doubt recall Herbert W. Armstrong. I have an illustrated booklet by him proclaiming the end of the world in 1975.

    The Jehovah's Witnesses didn't just proclaim the end just once but a few times until they got sufficiently tired of making fools of themselves (and, no doubt, losing members) that they stopped. History is filled with tragic stories of people giving away all that they owned and gathering on hilltops to meet the Lord. Imagine what it must have felt like to come down from those hills. On a larger scale, it seems to me that Christianity, at least, has never made a promise that it didn't have to back away from, usually by saying that a given promise was only true metaphorically, poetically, spiritually, or that it was only true during the time of the apostles, despite the fact that the Bible gave no indication of this. For instance, Christ's forecast of an early end to the world ("the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done."), and his promises along the lines of: "I tell you the truth...If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Even today, people allow their children to die for want of medical attention because they believe in Christ's promises, but when those promises fail, they never think to fault Christ but instead say that their faith wasn't strong enough or that God needed "another angel in heaven." This has happened repeatedly right here in Oregon during the relatively short time that I have lived here. I wish I could understand how it is that you manage believe. I sometimes wonder if the brains of some are simply predisposed toward belief, but if this is true, then what about the brains of those who don't believe. Most of us (non-believers) like to think we're smarter, better educated, and/or or more rational (and statistically, there is a correlation between these qualities and non-belief), but, of course, none of this proves anything, and it is also true that millions of very smart, educated, and people known for the rationality, have believed in things that were either patently irrational or had no verifiable evidentiary support, so why not us? Are we on the forefront of evolution, or are we aberrant in that we lack something that might be thought to increase out odds of survival, (although I'm not sure that it does when one looks at countries which are notable for their lack of religiosity)?

    Yeah, too bad about Putz disappearing the way he did.

  9. "I saw a crazed glaze cover her eyes."

    My cats often react this way when I'm talking, but I don't know why, and I can't even tell if the glaze is crazed, beatific, or just plain bored.

  10. Snowbrush, two interesting comments, one to me and one to Emma Springfield (it took me awhile to figure that out)!

    About how I manage to believe. When everything is screaming folderol! nonsense! balderdash! and the like, I simply choose to believe that death is not the end of us. I believe because it is incredible. I believe because it is impossible. I believe because the crucified, dead, and buried -- and risen, don't forget risen -- Christ has changed me from the inside out and from the outside in. I am not better than anybody else. The change has taken years and years and years, and it's not finished yet. But I know I am not who I was before. I do not claim to be perfect -- I still have a lot of faults and flaws -- but I do claim to be forgiven. And I have a hope.

    The most important word in the preceding paragraph is "choose"...unless it's "hope"...or "forgiven"....

    I will not bore you further.

  11. "I will not bore you further."

    You don't bore me at all, and it hurts me a little that you would imagine that I regard you in any other than a loving and interested way. If my word to you means anything, I want you to know that I have loved you for years now, and part of the reason for this is that you listen to me about religion because frankly, most religious people feel too threatened to hear such criticisms as I offer. No doubt I'm tactless, although I don't mean to be, but I think it is also true that most religious people need to live in a bubble in order to maintain their faith, and I threaten that bubble. Credo quia absurdum is, I believe, is the only position that a person of intellectual integrity can assume, although are you sure that you believe because it is incredible, or would it be more accurate to say that you believe despite it being incredible? In any event, I respect you for what you have told me, and I well understand why you would be motivated to take the position you do because I daily wish that I could do so. What then separates us, other than your ability to do what I cannot? Of course, I have NO idea how you pull it off because it could just as easily be applied to the Judaism of your ancestors--or to any other religion--as to Christianity.

    I don't believe that most atheists feel the yearning to believe that I do. I instead think that most atheists are pleased with their non-belief because they don't fear final extinction, and that this is true whether they're active in the atheist community or are atheists like Peggy who never talk about religion except with me. The difference between Peggy and me is that she feels sentimental about the Baptist churches of her Air Force childhood, but even then she never thought much about the tenets of religion, but rather used church primarily as a social vehicle (when you're taken to church three times a week, church can't help but be a big part of your life). Unlike Peggy, I wasn't taken to church nearly so often as I went on my own after my family moved into town, and I could walk to church. What I mean to say is that I tended to be more religious than my parents, but after I had my first doubt around age eleven, it was like sliding off a steep roof in slow motion from then on.

    My father vacillated between belief and atheism because, like I, he wanted to believe but was very much aware of the inconsistencies and absurdities of the Bible. I think it likely that a lot of religious liberals are like my father and myself. What I mean by this is that liberal religion gives them SOMETHING to hang onto without going full-tilt as in the manner of evangelicals, fundamentalists, and a great many Catholics. As you might know, when he got old, Dad imagined that God talked to him every night, and he would tell us over breakfast what God had said. A big part of God's message was that Dad had won the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, and he even started giving his small savings to the church because, after all, he was about to receive millions from Ed Mahon on the Johnny Carson show. I told his preacher that Dad was delusional, but, to my great surprise, the preacher just accused me of being greedy. It was a sad, sad situation because I couldn't bring myself to legally take over Dad's affairs because I fully believed it would kill him.

  12. Snowbrush, I am glad I don't bore you and you certainly don't bore me either. And aren't we having a nice conversation! I understand completely what you mean about the Baptist churches of Peggy's childhood. I remember reading once a long time ago that northerners went to the country club and southerners went to church. The Southern Baptists were such a dominant group for so long across the south that going to church just became a part of the culture and sometimes had very little to do with religion. Not any more, at least not in the urban areas. When we moved to the Atlanta area over 40 years ago, the county in which we lived (not the one we live in now) was over 90% Baptist, but times do change. Now it is less than 10% Baptist.

  13. "And aren't we having a nice conversation!"

    I'm glad you think so. I am too because it seems to me that this is the furthest we ever got toward a satisfying discussion of these things.

    "The Southern Baptists were such a dominant group for so long across the south that going to church just became a part of the culture"

    In my part of southwest Mississippi (at least) the Church of Christ was a major runner-up (at least in our own minds), and we saw the Baptists as only slightly less fallen than the Catholics, it being our view that there were no near misses when it came to heaven and hell.

    "When we moved to the Atlanta area over 40 years ago, the county in which we lived (not the one we live in now) was over 90% Baptist, but times do change. Now it is less than 10% Baptist."

    Is this not largely due to the influx of Big Box churches?

    In my last response on my blog, I wrote about the reflections of a man who visited both city and country churches in the 1890s in the dress of a poor man. You would probably see it anyway, but I thought I should mention it. The writer, by the way, was himself a devout Christian.

  14. Snowbrush, I will hone in on one section of your comment. We do have a lot of "Big Box" churches, it's true, but I don't think that's the reason why the Baptists have slipped from 90% to 10% hereabouts. The reasons, in my opinion, are many. Atlanta became a corporate transfer town and lots of Northerners swelled our ranks who tended to be Catholic or Episcopalian or Lutheran or Methodist (if they went to church at all). Many of the new people and old ones too are simply Nones or Dones when it comes to religion. We have plenty of Hispanic Pentecostals and Black Pentecostals around here. We have plenty of independent and/or charismatic groups too. And we have sizeable Muslim and Hindu populations as well. There is a Ba'hai place of worship a block away from the high school my children graduated from. Last month I met a man in our local Subway sandwich shop who is from Punjab and is a Sikh. Things have changed since the old days when Southern Baptists, Methodists, and Church of Christ folks dominated this part of the South. You might say those days are gone with the wind.

  15. "You might say those days are gone with the wind."

    Liberals like to think that there's strength in diversity, but I just see disharmony, so it would suit me if I lived in a land in which everyone was of Western European origin. One of the things about the Workers East and Workers West set of books is how commonly the author ran into Swedes, Germans, Poles, English, and especially Irish, back in 1892. Today, immigrants are more likely to be Hispanics, and an occasional Middle Easterner. Most notably, blacks are no longer under white people's thumbs, by which I mean that they're visible in a way that they never used to be, although, overall, I can't see that their race is making a positive contribution, the extent of their political involvement being to protest police shootings of black people. Unfortunately for their cause, a black heroin dealer can never win as much public sympathy as a Rosa Parks. I haven't read Gone with the Wind, but I consider the movie a great one.