On the end of the world


Part of me wants to mock them too.

Some guy came along and told them the world was going to end yesterday, and they believed it.

I mean, come on, right?

And the making-fun-of-these-people seems to be quite the thing: the one-liners are flying around twitter and facebook, websites replaced their homepages with “CLOSED FOR RAPTURE” notices; everyone’s having a lot of fun with it.

But some of these people actually believed the world was going to end yesterday. They prepared for it. Some of them quit their jobs, sold their houses.

How much do you have to want to get away for your life, what troubles do you have to have, to make you so ready for an escape from it that believing the guy on the radio predicting the end is nigh — his second try, incidentally: he first predicted it’d all end in 1994 — how bad does it have to be before the rapture starts to feel like a viable alternative?

What did they do, when the minute approached? Did they try to find a nice vantage point, a beautiful last view from which to ascend? Were they happy? Were they afraid? At the last minute did belief dissolve into wild hope? Or was it the other way around?